Save money and help eliminate food waste with a new app

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- Saving money and eliminating food waste is now as easy as downloading an app on your smart phone.

Grocery shopping / Photo: DoD / Photo: US Air Force / (MGN)

Flashfood is a new app that is designed to help customers save money and grocery stores to eliminate their amount of food waste. The food is either close to their best buy date or the packaging has been slightly damaged so customers may not buy it on the shelves in the aisles.

"The food is still good inside!!" Ross Grunwald, store director of HyVee in Fitchburg said, "But the packaging just doesn't look so pretty."

Here is how the app works, once the customers download it and create an account it shows the participating grocery stores in their area. They click on one of the grocery stores and all of the food items for sale through Flashfood show up, with discounted prices shown. Then customers put the food they want in their cart on the app, purchase them and then come to the grocery store and pick up the items at the Flashfood designated area. You take the items to customer service to verify payment, then go on your way.

Flashfood was created in Toronto, Canada and Madison is the first place in the U.S. to test this app.

"The company approached us here in Madison, because they saw this area as a place that was progressive in wanting to eliminate their food waste," Grunwald said.

HyVee is the only participating grocery store with the app right now, but Grunwald said that if the tests goes well here then he expects other grocery stores and HyVees nationwide to feature the app.

NBC15 did reach out to other grocery stores in the area, Pick n' Save, Whole Foods and Trader Joes all have an app that features coupons and deals for users to save money when they come to the store. Metcalfe's features deals and coupons on their website that customers can also use at the store.