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Fresh Lids: Prevent food waste and save money while helping the environment!

Food management application that alerts you of upcoming expiration dates and provides recipes for perishable food items in storage.

Photo of Ri Caragol
10 17

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Mission Statement

Fresh Lids aims to save you money while reducing food waste. 

I created Fresh Lids while throwing away food. As I tossed the spoiled food in the garbage, I said to myself, wouldn't it be great if I could be notified that my food is about to spoil? If I knew food was about to go bad, I could consume it instead of throwing it away. I realized I wasn't only generating unnecessary waste; I was also throwing away money. Then began the journey to think about an efficient solution to this problem, and eureka, Fresh Lids was born.

Instead of throwing food out because you forgot it was in your fridge or pantry, Fresh Lids will alert you about upcoming expiration dates. Fresh Lids will then help you find recipes you can use your food with, helping you save money and reducing waste at the same time. Food visibility is a big part of the reason we forget about perishable goods that may be in our fridge. Fresh Lids aims to solve this problem by providing the user with alerts and notifications to address the issue.  

  • Save Money: Every food item we throw out is money down the drain.
  • Reduce Waste: Why waste when we can consume?
  • Recipe Finder: Find Recipes with what is in your Fresh Lids list.
  • Food visibility: Always have a list of Fresh Lids scanned items right in your pocket.
  • Notifications: Be notified before the expiration date arrives.
  • Data Points: Receive estimates of how much money you've saved and how much waste you've reduced.


Why Fresh Lids?

Fresh Lids is a simple and elegant solution to a big problem, food visibility and food waste. With the help of the Fresh Lids application you can scan smart labels, which you paste on reusable food containers, or you can also simply scan an item's barcode. Once the label is scanned, the user can read or write information about the contents of the food container. If the item already has a barcode, Fresh Lids will hook up to a product database and will attempt to fetch the product's information, populating the form's fields with  the retrieved data. Fresh Lids will give you an estimate of how long the food you are storing usually keeps in your pantry, fridge or freezer and before the expiration date arrives the application alerts you and even gives you possible recipes to use your perishable goods with. If the food you are storing already has an expiration date, you can always use that instead. Fresh Lids also works with items that come in their own container like milk, apple juice, eggs etc by scanning the barcodes on these items. Please watch the video for an example of how the application works.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Doing a round of beta testing with members of the community to gather feature requests and solve issues or problems that might exist with the product / application.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Brainstorming sessions with users would be extremely helpful to polish the concept and further develop the product. Feedback from OpenIDEO members would be crucial in refining Fresh Lids.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a software developer / music maker / technologist and recent graduate student currently residing in Indianapolis Indiana. Solving challenging problems in creative, simple, and innovative ways is what I'm all about. I am currently working full time as a Ruby on Rails developer and Fresh Lids is my passion project, I've been working on it relentlessly for several years now and I am planning on seeing it blossom as I believe it serves a real purpose, and helps alleviate a very serious...

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months

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Photo of Ri Caragol
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