I fed my family with a healthy, nutritious and tasty dinner for only £6.26. How? I used the yellow sticker app that saves you and the planet while reinventing dinner time.
Gander, a new real time app that allows NI shoppers to have instant access to what’s trending in yellow sticker land in their nearest SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO and ViVOXTRA stores is fighting a war on food waste while saving customers money, and ramping up meal times as our journalist Emma Deighan discovered.
Set up to combat food waste, Gander is a real eye-opener to the ardent weekly shopper. Having launched initially with the Henderson Group across Northern Ireland, it not only presents an opportunity to save pennies and pounds on a whim but it contributes in the fight against food waste and, as I discovered, can offer up variety on the usual weekly menu in a family home.
As we live with a new normal of socially distant shopping, Gander is the perfect partner, as it gives you the ability to plan your shop before you even leave the house. Showing in real-time, Gander presents all the reduced items available in your local store, enabling you to plan ahead for meals, manage your budget and spend less time in the shop.
But ultimately it is about helping us all reduce food waste and protect the environment on which we rely. Recent Northern Ireland figures laid bare the amount of food waste here. It sits at some 230,942 tonnes and that was last year alone. It’s a sobering figure that Gander is trying to reduce.
I spent one week playing with the easy to navigate app to help contribute to that cause.
Locally I had three participating EUROSPAR stores each with a daily average of 40 yellow sticker labelled food.
I looked to Gander for culinary inspiration that would dictate how a family of four would dine on a typical Wednesday.
A quick scan through the app allowed me to balance protein, carbs and veg using two local stores with the Gander goose alerting me that speed was of the essence or I could potentially lose out on my chosen chicken and broccoli bakes, salad leaves, baby potatoes, tomatoes and coleslaw.
On my first stop, I picked up tomatoes and coleslaw - both of which were boasting their yellow labels like a badge of honour. They were easy to find. I considered opting out of the slightly damaged tub of coleslaw in an error of ill judgement but in the name of the trial, I bought it.
A mile down the road was where I picked up lettuce, garlic potatoes and the broccoli bakes. My collective Gander shops saved me £6.74 and created a meal for four for the grand total of £6.26.
I saved more than I paid for the meal which was a real eyeopener and coupling my purchases with ingredients I had at home to create a loaded tomato, apple, nut and feta salad with the bakes and the garlic potatoes proved a real winner dinner and the best part was it negated the need to think up a meal plan for the evening because the choice was determined by the yellow sticker items.
Example 50% savings on Gander that will save you money:
- Maris Piper Potatoes – was £1.79 / now 90p
- Chicken Curry – was £3.50 / now £1.75
- Lasagne 450g – was £2.99 / now £1.50
- Margherita Pizza – was £3.25 / now £1.63
I think one of the biggest learnings from using the app, is that it shows that just because an item is reduced and bears the yellow-label, it doesn’t mean it is reduced in quality or taste. Remember the damaged tub of coleslaw – it was delicious and despite its war wound it tasted very much as it should.
Would I use it again? Yes and I already have. It feels like we are living in a climate where uncertainty is the only thing that is certain. Political decisions and global pandemics are shaping consumer anxiety and the environment is facing a crisis making apps like Gander something that should be common place and widely applauded.
The Gander app can be downloaded via the Apple or Android app stores and used to locate reduced items at your nearest participating SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOxtra store. To find out more visit www.gander.co or follow @getgander on Facebook and Instagram.