I am always on the look for new ways to reduce waste but also to do my grocery shopping at an interesting price. When I see how much and how often supermarkets re-stock just to please their customers, I cringe... They make available all year round whatever food you can think of and obviously, a lot of this food goes to waste because there is no way they can sell it all. That's where Happy Hours Market steps in!
Happy Hours Market is platform that was launched a little while ago. The principle is quite simple: get the unsold yet still edible food from Carrefour and other stores and make them available online for half the price! From Monday to Friday you can easily shop whatever food Happy Hours Market saved and come pick it up in Ixelles. The surplus is delivered free of charge to non-profit organizations after 9PM (end of collection time).
I have tested the platform for a few weeks now and I can honestly say that not only have I saved food but I have also saved time and money...a lot of it! I simply show up on https://www.happyhours.be/ around 7:30 PM and start shopping for what I need. Just add the items to your cart and validate it, you can directly pay online or by cash upon collection of the order. Easy Peasy right?! The only trick is that you never know what will be available on a given day and you have to be quick 'cause you're not the only one shopping and items are in limited quantity!
The first time I ordered, I really wasn't sure about the quality of the food I'd receive and it was one of my main concerns. I know that the expiry date is close or almost passed obviously but what to expect: spots on fruits, discoloration on the meat? I was positively surprised, Happy Hours Market pays a lot of attention to the food they sell (and your safety) and they make sure that it is indeed still edible! So if you buy meat it will look totally fine, same for the fish, veggies and fruits. The items I purchased were in pristine condition, only the date on the tag suggested otherwise.
So what started with one order became sort of a routine...I am now a regular buyer at Happy Hours Market and I am glad to see the project expend with more choice, a new website, a new location and now a crowdfunding. Every week I buy my groceries on the platform and I am glad to see my total around 10-20€/order and my fridge full. It's a nice feeling to know that you can buy food at an affordable price and yet still help save food. It also forces me to be more creative with my recipes which a bonus!
When sometimes a food doesn't look good and Happy Hours Market realizes this, they will give you a discount code to use on your next purchase. Same if for some reason the food isn't available anymore because of glitches in the online store. You never really loose :)
Since I started using Happy Hours Market I noticed that I've been preparing more veggies and soups and I am overall more organized. When I see a lot of good meats and fishes I buy them, freeze them and then defrost them one by one based on my needs. This drastically reduces my food waste and saves time, I know that I will eat the veggies and I simply need to cook some meat. In short, I spend less money on non-essential items, I save time and I eat way more healthy than before.
On average I now spend something like 150€ per month on food for 2 people and I tend to have still food in my freezer which means that some weeks, I only need veggies and fruits :) Can't complain! On top of that, the team is super cheerful and the little yellow truck super cute!
Now you might feel like I gave you a lot of info at once so let's recap the essentials:
Visit https://www.happyhours.be/ at 7:30 PM from Monday to Friday;
Shop what you want and either pay online or at collection;
Collection is located from Monday to Wednesday at the ULB (Avenue Paul Héger 42, B-1050);
Collection is location from Thursday to Friday close to Flagey (Rue Jean Paquot 50, B-1050);
Collection lasts until 9 PM, after that time surplus is delivered free of charge to non-profit organizations
Between Happy Hours Market and Too Go To Go, you can make a difference while eating properly at an affordable price!