HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


LeftoverSwap: Would you do it?

Whaddya think, 'hounds? Yeah or nay?

A new app allows you to post photos of your leftovers; users can trade food, or simply take it off your hands.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ummmmmmm NO! Wait, let me rethink that......ummmmmmmmmmmm NOPE, still NO!!!

      1. Not a chance in hell.

          1. I don't consider them leftovers. I routinely cook extra portions so as to have them for future meals. I would not care to give them up. However, if other people discard perfectly good food just because they don't want to repeat a meal, I'd be happy to serve in the stead of the disposal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              I'm the exact opposite. I'd give my leftovers to others (though I do use mine). But I'd never take leftovers from strangers. How would I know how clean their kitchen is? Whether they washed their hands as needed? Whether they mix their cooked poultry with raw? Etc, etc. I'm not a germaphobe, but basic hygeine issues would be in the back of my mind.

              I do take leftovers from sisters and good friends . . . but then, I'm comfortable with their levels of hygeine.

              1. re: greygarious

                Agree, they are not leftovers, they're lunch!

                The only things that don't end up getting eaten or repurposed are things that really weren't very good to begin with. I'm thinking of a soup I made a few weeks ago...

              2. I would not do it with strangers from an app. But, one of my sisters and I sort of do this. 2-3 times each week, we each make extras of dinner, and swap the leftovers the next day. Works for us.

                1. i didn't want to bias people in the OP, so i withheld my opinion. i'm a firm NO on this, though i definitely agree with tracytrace that such an arrangement within groups of families or friends could make sense. but with strangers over the internet?! even assuming no crazy person laces food with something then puts it up for swap, i wouldn't go near food of unknown origin and cleanliness in its prep/storage, not to mention that someone else's hands and/or mouth/spit/etc might be all over it. no thanks, not for me!

                  1. Nope, at least in theory. While I love my leftovers, the thought of eating somebody else's leftovers is pretty unappealing.

                    1. Right now we have so much zucchini and green beans fresh from our garden that I'd be glad to share them with somebody I was sure was going to use them rather than some poor relative who'll take them and toss them out. I'll probably freeze some beans but am never really that satisfied with the results,

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: junescook

                        That's different! I'll gladly trade surplus garden bounty! We almost always have a few too many eggs, and pretty soon we'll be up to our ears in tomatoes, too. I trade them for figs, Asian pears, zucchini, or whatever others are growing.

                        1. re: ricepad

                          I was once taking a walk when I passed a house with an absolutely LADEN apricot tree. I considered picking a few, then decided to ask permission. I knocked and when the woman answered the door I asked if I could take a few. She asked me if I wanted a bag!! :-)

                          There's a website where you can either put yourself on there as someone with excess fruit and veggies to give away or look for houses/people that do.

                          1. re: Violatp

                            My last house was in the city--small backyard next to a driveway (so neighbors walking up and down). I had a great herb garden: parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint and other stuff I can't think of. It produced a lot more than I could ever use, so I let the neighbors know they were welcome to snip whatever they needed. Got some great recipes this way.

                        2. re: junescook

                          Ah, but that's not leftovers in the sense I understand leftovers., I would gladly accept others' garden overflow. Gardening is tough in my neighborhood thanks to the deer surplus as well as other wildlife. A neigbor has constructed an elaborate garden with 8-foot chicken wire walls and roof. Any time he or his wife knock on my front door with a basket full of surplus veggies, I'm a happy camper. (This year he put in fruit bushes, so I'm hoping next year there will be surplus blueberries and strawberries as well :)

                          1. re: junescook

                            garden extras are way different than leftovers in my mind! "leftovers" would be someone's unfinished, already prepared food, and that i wouldn't be ok with. free garden goodies on the other hand?! sign me up!

                            1. re: chartreauxx

                              Exactly. We do this in a loosey goosey way in my neighborhood with our summer veggie gardens.

                              I would never, ever accept prepared food from strangers. The potential for unsanitary wrong turns is exponential. Family and friends whose practices/kitchens I trust? Delightedly.

                          2. With strangers? No way. Friends and family, totally.

                            I did once give away my fries in a McDonald's though. I hadn't touched them at all and it seemed a shame to throw them away. I asked a young guy sitting near me if he'd like them and he happily accepted!

                            1. With friends or relatives yes. Else, I'd rather leave leftovers outside at select locations (bus stops etc) for the homeless.

                              1. The only leftovers we take home from someone else is at Thanksgiving. I cannot think of a reason why I would ever wish to take leftovers from strangers. I don't even really want leftovers from family members.

                                Here sort of the way I look at this, I don't buy previously-owned shoes or previously-owned underwear.

                                1. we live in a college town.. my mother does this all of the time when we have leftover pizza and beer and are getting ready to leave....she will randomly ask the table of college students .. if they want it..( only if they already have a pitcher)....it embarrasses me to me to death but they are always AWESOOOOME YA!

                                  If you think about the level of trust you put into eachother everytime you do an office pot luck...

                                  I think an app like this would be cool if it was more geared to a community as a way of bringing people together... "hey I have the makings for green bean cassrole ,eet at the park in Robins wood addition? bring a dish"

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                    i think my issue with this app is that to me, "leftovers" indicate something that someone 1) cooked without intent to serve to others (let's be real: when it comes to cooking for just me, i'm way more lax about things like expiration dates or cutting off the bruised/bad bits of produce, etc - i'll push the envelope when intending to feed myself, in ways i never would if cooking for others), and 2) that someone may have been eating off of, and/or stored in the fridge for an unknown period of time ("gee, this spaghetti and meat sauce has been in here for like a week - don't think i'll be able to finish it. THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!").

                                    again, if it's just *me* i'm cooking for, i'll take chances on older leftovers, produce or meat on the edge of turning, etc... but my standards are different when cooking for others, and i'm not sure i want someone else determining where that line is for me.