“I paid £4 for £12 pastries in Manchester Piccadilly – and got to choose them” – Bethan Shufflebotham


In the two years I’ve been on the Too Good To Go app, I’ve never been asked what I’d like in it. It’s pretty much a lottery – but I’m willing to participate to fight food waste and buy cheap meals.

So, when I intended to pass through Piccadilly station, I decided to book a bag from one of the app’s many partner retailers.

The Pasty Shop was one of the first companies to release a ‘magic bag’ around the time my train arrived at platform 7, so I paid my £3.99 and left.

READ MORE: I paid £3.09 for a mysterious bag of groceries and received £18 worth of food’

For those unfamiliar with the free anti-food waste app, Too Good To Go partners with retailers who upload a limited number of “magic bags” each day, which are available at a hugely discounted price – saving shoppers up to 70 per cent on their purchases.

This food is usually approaching its best before date – usually the same day – but sometimes you’re lucky and it can last another day or two.

When I arrived at The Pasty Shop counter, which is on the right of the ground floor, near the stairs and Oliver Bonas, the lady serving asked me if I knew how it worked.

The Pasty Shop inside Manchester Piccadilly Station

Something seemed slightly different from the usual “pick up a bag, swipe your app” approach, so I asked if it worked differently here. The sales assistant explained that I could choose any item I wanted up to a value of £12.

There was a queue of customers behind me, so I stepped aside to let them place their orders while I enthusiastically browsed the selection. I had never been able to choose what was in my magic bag, so I was practically giddy at the thought.

There weren’t many choices, but there was certainly something for everyone. Some of the options included two types of sausage rolls, a Cornish pie, a chicken and mushroom pie, a cheese and onion option and a vegan vegetable pie, with a platter of potato wedges hot under the lamps.

READ MORE: I bought a Sunday roast destined for the bin and it only cost me £3.29

READ MORE: I got £8 worth of Greggs pastries and pastries for £2.59 with the free food waste app

Panic set in as I tried to do mental calculations in my head, refraining from pulling out my iPhone calculator – numbers were never my strong suit. But, once convinced I had selected just under £12 worth of food, I returned to the counter, the now empty queue of hungry commuters

I selected a giant chicken and mushroom pastry for £5.99, plus a large sausage roll for £3.99 and some wedges, priced at £1.99, bringing my total to 11 £.97 – just within range.

Prices seemed a little expensive, however, to be expected at a train station I guess.

What was in my bag The Pasty Shop Too Good To Go
What was in my bag The Pasty Shop Too Good To Go

Knowing that the food would soon be outdated, I had made my choices tactically. A sausage roll for me, a chicken and mushroom pot pie for dad, and a few wedges mostly just to add up the numbers, as they were the cheapest option on the menu. This meant that as little food as possible would be wasted – if at all.

The Pasty Shop has been on the Too Good To Go app for about two months and has saved over 500 meals from being wasted, with an average rating of 3.8 out of five stars.

When the bag was handed over, the pastries were all still warm, which was a pleasant surprise. My dad had no complaints about his chicken and mushroom batter, noting that it was filling and quite tasty.

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The highlight was definitely the foot long sausage roll, with puff pastry and sausage meat with herbs. This option costs the same as the reserved mystery bag, and I would have been happy to pay £3.99 for that sausage roll alone.

The wedges were a little disappointing as they were a little soggy and weren’t very hot, however, my sausage roll made up for that. I think I knew wedges weren’t going to be the most appetizing selections, but I didn’t want to waste £2 of my bag’s worth.

Now that I know what’s a hit and what might be considered a miss at The Pasty Shop, I’d happily reserve another no-waste bag here, and grab three sausage rolls for the price of one instead.

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