After recently deciding to increase my recycling efforts at home, I wondered what I could do to reduce food waste. A family member reminded me that they’d seen a Flash Food cooler at a local Meijer. That led me to the Toronto-based company’s website, which says that it “helps thousands of people feed their families affordably” by connecting them with stores selling food that’s near its best-by date at steep discounts.

I downloaded the Flash Food app and saw that the Meijer store on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. had food available for pickup. I chose a muffin mini variety pack and a lunch pack of Oscar Mayer rotisserie chicken, both half off at $1.99; a pack of chopped ham for 99c; and a box of assorted fruit for $5. I paid $9.97 and got a digital receipt.

Pickup began with a visit to the service desk, where one worker turned to another who turned to a third who picked up a device that I assume had the needed information. He checked the receipt on my phone, then led me to the Fast Food cooler.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. I’d wondered about the fruit, but the lemon, oranges, and red apples came neatly packed and in good condition. And I was happy to learn that in addition to saving $8, I had spared the planet one mile’s worth of CO2.