Do you have three years’ worth of toothpaste stacked on your shelves? Did you buy a few (dozen) more boxes of cereal than you really needed, just because you had coupons and it was on sale? Wouldn’t it be nice to share the wealth and see if your neighbors might like to purchase some of it at a discount, before it all goes bad?

Aiding extreme couponing resellers is not exactly what the creator of a new app had in mind, when he launched an online marketplace for surplus groceries. But if you happen to have some eggs you won’t be able to use before they expire, an unopened package of pasta you don’t need, or some canned veggies that the kids aren’t going to eat, the Recelery app might be for you, as it “turns every pantry into a shoppable store.”

Recelery (as in, “resell” your “celery”) has been flying under the radar for more than a year now, but it’s beginning to get some attention after launching an updated app with additional features earlier this month. Like many grocery apps, this one will allow you to make a shopping list, keep track of your pantry inventory, and share your lists with others.

The twist is that the app will also allow you to buy and sell groceries from your neighbors. “Bought too many groceries? You can sell what you do not need,” the app’s website explains. “Need three eggs to complete a recipe? You can search neighboring pantries for exactly what you need.”

The idea is “to reduce food waste (and wasted money).” App users can advertise surplus items in their fridge or pantry, by uploading a photo and a description, including product size, expiration date and an asking price. Share your location with the app, and you can browse available offers nearby, or search for a specific item.


“According to the USDA, a whopping 133 billion pounds of food is wasted each year,” the app’s description reads. “Recelery is aiming to reduce this number by giving app users the ability to virtually open their pantry doors and allow neighbors to buy fresh surplus items directly. Think of it as the modern way of sending your neighbor a cup of sugar!”

The app’s goal of reducing food waste is altruistic enough, though it also risks straying into the grey area of selling one’s stockpile. Sure, you can help out your neighbors by offering them a few items you might not be able to use. But one could also go extreme couponing and use Recelery to set up a virtual store to resell one’s loot, which most grocery stores and brands frown upon.

That’s not Recelery’s aim, though. Its focus is on perishable food items that are better shared than trashed. The idea came to founder Daniel Abrams while living alone in his first apartment. “There must be a way to share my pantry items with my neighbors so that I can use the exact amount I need and sell the rest,” he recalled thinking in a recent interview with Medium contributor Martita Mestey. There ought to be an app, he figured – and when he couldn’t find one, he created one.

The original idea was to create something of an all-inclusive grocery app, in which “users would be able to save money while using Recelery.” When told that idea might not work, “I was able to refocus my attention on Recelery’s existing food waste reducing features,” Abrams said.

The app is free, though users are limited in how many items they can add to their lists or to the marketplace unless they subscribe to a paid tier. The usefulness of the marketplace is also contingent on having an active nearby user base – you can only see offers within a one-mile radius, in order to keep it local and keep you from having to travel an inordinate distance just to pick up someone else’s grocery castoffs.

There are only a handful of app reviews so far. One user says they “love the concept of selling food to neighbors.” Another says the app “helps me ensure that I use my food before it expires.” One reviewer finds the app overly intrusive, however. “Wants phone number, insists on camera access for a profile picture I don’t want. Then, keeps requesting location access and not working,” one unsatisfied customer wrote.

But it’s still early days for Recelery, so there’s time to work out some of the kinks. It may not be a grocery savings app per se, but if it helps you earn a little spare change by sending your surplus food to a good home, it just might save us all some money – and save some good food from going to waste.

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