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I Tried This New Montreal-Based App That Fights Food Waste & Here's My Experience

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

I Tried One Of Montreal's Newest Food Waste Apps & Here's My Experience

Living sustainably has always been important to me, and I try to reduce my carbon footprint throughout my day-to-day life. In an attempt to achieve just a fraction of influencer Emily Mariko's healthy, balanced and organized lifestyle, I've been grocery shopping and cooking a lot more these days. This has meant exploring different grocery stores and markets for the best deals and options out there.

It always upsets me to see food go to waste — and, having worked at a restaurant in the past, I'm especially aware of the amount of food that's thrown out at the end of the day.

Sauvegarde is a local app that helps with this. It allows cafés, bakeries, restaurants, grocery stores and distribution centers to sell their surplus food at a discounted price, which creates a win-win situation whereby customers get a great deal, local businesses minimize their expenses and the planet benefits from less food waste.

Sauvegarde helps food retailers find customers for products that might otherwise get thrown out, including items that are close to their best-before dates, prepared foods that weren't sold by the end of the day or irregularly shaped fruits and veggies. They also have non-perishable food that's still perfectly safe to eat, even if the "best before" is in the past.

Many businesses on Sauvegarde offer "surprise bags" too. Depending on where you shop, it could be bread, pastries, veggies or anything! The bags are well described so you have an idea of what to expect, but the specifics are all part of the surprise.

My Experience At A Glance

While excited about the initiative, I was a little apprehensive about the reality of the application, and I had doubts about its functionality and reach. After downloading the app and getting my account started, I realized I was completely mistaken.

The Sauvegarde app is available for both Android and iOS, and you can set up an account in seconds. After inserting my details and credit card number, I began exploring the platform. I was immediately surprised and impressed by the number of options available all around the city.

Using your location and a map-based search, Sauvegarde shows you different restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores offering deals on their surplus food. While I was excited to see the app included some of my go-to spots, such as GH Depanneur and Sushi Newtown, I was thrilled to discover numerous places included that I had no idea about at all.

My First Impressions Of The App

First off, I was super impressed by how easy it is to navigate the app. You can scroll through a bunch of stores and easily see what they have to offer and how much it'll cost. The app provides details on specific products to help you choose what you might want to order.

Many bakeries and grocery stores also have a "surprise bag" option, which includes a selection of surplus products and produce. I knew that this was something I wanted to try out for sure.

Best of all, the app allows you to see your favourite stores that don't currently have any items listed. This was very helpful in my case. I had been meaning to buy olive oil for a while now and found a really interesting specialty store, Olio & Cie, in the app. I favourited it and received a notification when a bottle was placed on the app. Voilà!

Courtesy of Celine Hamze

The Process

After browsing the stores available, I chose to try out three different places. I went to Louise Boulangerie for a lemon tart, San Pietro for a surprise bread bag and Olio & Cie for olive oil.

The process was smooth and efficient. After I placed my orders and paid through the app, I received a notification and email letting me know when my orders were ready for pickup.

The stores even gave me a deadline, which I found helpful because I placed my order three hours before I had planned on heading out.

After work, I simply passed by the different places, showed the staff my app confirmation and received my order. I couldn't be happier with the entire experience, and here's why.

It's Serious Value For Money

I was amazed to see that most products were being sold for less than 50% of their original price. I bought an entire, delicious lemon tart for $8 (from $16), a gigantic bag of different types of bread for $4.99 (this included three baguettes and 11 brioches) and a 500-millilitre bottle of fancy extra virgin olive oil for $19.97 (from $39.95).

Courtesy of Celine Hamze

You Can Discover Different Places Around Montreal

While I do try to explore the city as much as possible, I sometimes run out of ideas and places to go. Sauvegarde is a wonderful way to explore new areas.

For example, Louise Boulangerie was an adorable little bakery in Little Italy that I had no idea existed. I actually ended up buying brownies as well because everything looked so tasty. This is somewhere I'll definitely be returning to.

The app is also a great way to support local businesses. There are currently about 100 participating businesses in Montreal, with new merchants and products added all the time. Sauvegarde also has plans to expand throughout Quebec.

Courtesy of Celine Hamze

It's A Great Way To Combat Food Waste

A staggering amount of food goes to waste in Canada every day, and Sauvegarde helped me see what that looks like for real. For example, I was shocked to see how much bread San Pietro gave me in the $5 bag. I ended up freezing most of the bread for later use, which feels great because all of that would have gone to waste otherwise.

It's nice to feel like I could combat food waste and reduce my carbon footprint while shopping for groceries. The app even shows you how much of an impact you have made with your recovered food. Currently, with my three orders, I saved 1.59 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Courtesy of Celine Hamze

Overall Thoughts

My experience with Sauvegarde was amazing. The app was easy and fun to use, and I can't wait to see the platform grow. What's more, knowing that I was doing my best to combat food waste and reduce my carbon footprint made an already great shopping experience that much better.

Moving forward, I want to try and incorporate Sauvegarde into my daily routine. I've already favourited a few grocery stores and restaurants that I'm interested in, and I'll try to base my weekly meal planning and shopping routine around the availability of surplus produce and baked goods.

I think Sauvegarde is a great way to support local businesses and help people explore the city even more. From specialty Italian stores like La Baia Dei Formaggi to big restaurant chains like Toujours Mikes or even distribution centers like Favuzzi, the variety and quality of the foods available are astounding.

You can download the Sauvegarde app from the Apple Store or Google Play. For more information on this initiative and how you can begin to reduce your food waste, visit Sauvegarde's website or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.