What Can You Make With Lidl's "Too Good to Waste Box"?

Ana's Food & Lifestyle
by Ana's Food & Lifestyle

Have you heard of Lidl too good to waste boxes? Apparently, those are back. Today I want to share some frugal meal ideas inspired by the too good to waste box I got.

I had thought that Lidl had stopped selling these boxes, but they are indeed available.

A too good to waste box is a box of fresh produce that is not in the best condition, perhaps with some leakage or damage, but is still edible, and therefore is sold for a bargain at GBP 1.5 (USD 1.93) a box.

The idea is to save these vegetables and fruit from going to the landfill and help people to eat healthy without spending tons of money.

If you are interested in getting a box like that, make sure to go to the store pretty early to get one – for example, there were two left when I came at 10 am.

Also, you do not get to be too picky but bear in mind that each box is different. Let’s take a look at the box I got!

Lidl's Too Good to Waste Box

Here is the list of everything I had in my box:

  • 1 pound of unwashed spinach
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 big cucumber
  • A bag of white potatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • A bag of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 bananas
  • A bag of sweet peppers

I believe that without the box, all these veggies would cost me around GBP 9, which is six times more than the price of the box. Of course, some of the veggies are a bit wet or wrinkly, but in general, there is definitely a lot to work with. Mostly, the condition of each vegetable will just inform my decision of what to cook first.

In my experience, everyone appreciates vegetable boxes, but a lot of people are finding it difficult to actually understand what to do with them.

Of course, you cannot make the whole weekly meal from the stuff you get in there, especially if you are used to having meat in your meal plan, but I am absolutely convinced that with a small addition of the things you have in your pantry, you should be able to make a good couple of meals out of that.

So how do I maximize the use I get out of this box? I have decided to make three meals that would feed my family of three for three nights. There are definitely a lot of variations you could do, and your choices would depend on your eating habits (for example, vegetarianism) as well as the size of your family.

The first idea that sprang to my mind is using the peppers and tomatoes for a roasted pepper and tomato pasta. This would only require me to buy the pasta itself extra, and that is still very cheap.

I am going to chop the tomatoes and peppers in halves, pop them in my air fryer and let them brown off a little. Then I am going to blitz them through with a little bit of olive oil to create the sauce and add it to my pasta.

Pasta with tomato sauce

This is what the pasta looked like at the end, with a little bit of basil on the top for decoration. It smells gorgeous, and the sauce tastes incredible. This is a perfect example of dinner on a budget.

With the potatoes and spinach, as well as a couple of tomatoes, we can make an Indian dish called saag alu. I will need curry powder and some spices, and it will make a great side dish for chicken or meat, or perhaps even a vegetarian main dish to lighten up the week a bit. 

Lemon butter chicken breast

In my home, I decided to serve it with lemon butter chicken breast.

With cucumber, lettuce, lemon, and onions, I am thinking of making a salad. I want to make a crispy lettuce and cucumber salad with a little bit of onion and pepper, and add a homemade dressing based on olive oil and lemon.

You could choose to serve it with a bit of meat, but it might also be nice in this heat just to enjoy the freshness of the salad.

Tuna salad

I myself have decided to add some tuna to the salad. It turned out yummy.

After making these three great meals, I still have half the potatoes and lettuce left. Perhaps a fishcake would be a good idea for the fourth meal.

In terms of extra costs, I bought two chicken breasts to go with the saag alu, which cost me GBP 2 (USD 2.57), pasta for GBP 0.2 (USD 0.26), and two cans of tuna for the salad GBP 1 (USD 1.28).

Altogether, including the too-good-to-waste box, it comes up to GBP 4.7 (USD 6) for three family meals. This is not even vegetarian: you could definitely make an even cheaper frugal meal plan if you decided to give up on meat.

Too good to waste box

I hope that this has been helpful and inspiring for you. Would you get a box of vegetables for that price? What meals would you go for? Share your ideas in the comments!

Join the conversation
  • Maryann Los Maryann Los on Aug 08, 2023

    A grocery store chain where I live (Massachusetts) is doing something called Flashfood. They make available produce, meat, dairy, pet food, bakery items and other groceries that are nearing their best by or sell by dates and offer them at half price. This helps to keep food going to waste like your “too good to waste” boxes do.

  • Mary Andrews Mary Andrews on Aug 08, 2023

    Wish they had something like this in Belleview, Florida