I paid £3 for a Costa mystery bag and it was the worst I’ve ever had – Bethan Shufflebotham


I’m a big fan of the free Too Good To Go food waste reduction app, and I’ve saved several “magic bags” over the past few years. Generally they are very good, like the £18 worth of goods I bought for £3.09 from Morrisons.

I also saved a Toby Carvery roast dinner from being thrown away and got £8 from Greggs for £2.59.

On one occasion I almost hit the jackpot when I bought a magic bag from Millie’s Cookies for £4 and got 16 of their delicious pastries.

READ MORE: I pitted five chocolate digestives from Aldi, Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbuy’s and M&S against McVitie’s

But this week I decided to buy a Too Good To Go bag from Costa and felt like I wasted a massive amount of my money, time and precious fuel.

For those who have never heard of Too Good To Go, it’s a free downloadable app. and uses your location services to find places near you that are partnered with it.

Retailers upload a limited number of “magic bags” each day, which are available at a hugely discounted price – shoppers save up to 70% on their purchases.

Boxes and bags sell out quickly, so you’ll need to refresh the app throughout the day to see what’s available nearby. But when you can get your hands on one, it’s usually a real bargain worth way more than you paid for.

Which brings me to my Costa purchase. This week I booked a magic bag from Costa for just £3, the app suggesting it would include around £10 of ‘take away food’ from the Costa Coffee and/or M&S menus, such as fresh salads, buttery pastries, savory sandwiches or mouth-watering cakes”.

I drove the six and a half miles from home to pick up my mystery bag at 8 p.m., and I happened to be already a bit upset that the solo barista made me wait 10 minutes while she took orders at the Drive. Although I appreciate that she seemed to be on duty alone.

When I was served the member of staff walked to the back to take my order but when she came back I thought there was some sort of mistake. The bag seemed very small compared to the bags I had received from Millie’s Cookies, Toby Carvery, Morrisons and even Greggs.

Upon opening the bag at home, I was filled with disappointment at the sad contents. Inside there were only three items, which is the least I have ever seen included in a bag.

The vegan macaroni cheese looked less than appetizing

Undeterred, however, I continued to unpack to get a good look at the merchandise.

In my Costa Too Good To Go bag was a vegan Macaroni Cheeze and two cheese pizzas for the taste buds of M&S kids.

The vegan mac and cheese looked extremely unappetizing and had solidified in the box, with no parsley crumbs in sight. It had the same day best before date so you really had to eat that night. Since it was quite late, it wasn’t something I was going to eat, so I gave it to my partner’s mother, who is vegan.

Both pizzas also had an expiration date of the same day, but credit where it’s due, they’re perfect for the kids or as a quick snack.

These two children's cheese pizzas are usually £1.05 each at M&S
These two children’s cheese pizzas are usually £1.05 each at M&S

But my main issue is that these pizzas are £1.05 each at M&S, with macaroni and cheese selling for £4. As all were nearly expired, they would have been discounted in store as well. Having paid £3 for around £6.10 worth of products, I was quite disappointed with this box.

Too Good To Go is a bit of a lottery, but you tend to win more than you lose. This time it was a spectacular failure. Although I will add that no food was wasted and was eaten by friends and family. Better luck on the next bag, I suppose – but I won’t rush to book with Costa.


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