How To Get Free Food in 20 Simple Ways

Pritam Nagrale

Updated on:

how to get free food

It’s often said that there is no such thing called a ‘free food’ in the world today. Usually, this implies that one has to work hard to make a living in this competitive world.

Fortunately, this adage doesn’t apply to people who take these things literally. There are in fact several ways you can not only score a free lunch — but a free breakfast and dinner too.

All it takes is a bit of planning and knowing where to get free food.

So if you’re up to the challenge, we have listed below 15 innovative ways using which you can get free food or one where you have to pay next to nothing.

Sounds interesting? Then read on.

Excellent Ways to Get Free Food?

how to get free food

1. Eating out on your birthday

Got a birthday coming up? If so, you can get yourself a free birthday treat. Many bistros and fast food hangouts like Jamie's Italian, Frankie & Benny's, Greggs, Table Table and many more offer free fast food to their patrons on their birthdays – and you could be one of the lucky few.

All you need to do is find an outlet with such an offer and head straight to it to make for a memorable, free birthday celebration.

2. Attend a Supermarket Opening

This is another excellent way to get free food. Most supermarkets try to entice shoppers with free tit-bits and yummy delights on their opening day.

In some cases, the offer of free samples extends well beyond the opening day. So look for a new supermarket due to open in your neighbourhood and make sure you are there when they open their days.

3. Participate in All-You-Can-Eat Competitions

Think you have a great appetite for food? Well, its time you put it to use – by participating in these competitions like Loopy's II Cardiac Arrest Burger, Seiad Cafe Pancake Challenge, Dobb's Dawg House Hot DogsSo Ba Pho King Challenge etc. to earn those food freebies.

Not only do you get to gorge yourself on all kinds of tasty treats, but it also won’t cost you a dime either. Thus, you eventually save some good amount of money on food.

And if you happen to win the competition and are crowned the champion eater – well, that’s the cherry on the cake for you.

4. Find a Job with Free Meals

Tried working in the food industry or hospitality business yet. If not, you should. Most of café’s, restaurants tend to include free meals for their staff. Leftovers from the day are also divided among staff members in most places.

This way you not only get a salary for the work you do you also get free food and a bag of leftovers to take home for your dinner.

5. Download a food delivery app

With competition getting more intense, many food delivery apps are now trying to woo new customers to sign up by offering them free food or the best food deals on their first few orders.

List of  Some of the most famous food delivery apps-

  1. Panera Bread
  2. Wendy’s
  3. Krispy Kreme
  4. Baja Fresh
  5. Chili’s
  6. Uber Eats

All you need to do download the app, complete the registration process and order food online to encash their offer of free/discounted food.

6. Sign-up for a restaurant app

Taking a cue from delivery apps, many restaurants and fast food chains like BJ'sTGIFridays7-Elevenampm and many more have also come out with similar offers to bag new customers.

And what do you have to do to get your hands on those free food offers? Nothing much just sign up for their newsletter and/or download their app on your phone.

PS: You can always create a new email id if you want to avoid all the spam emails.

7. Find your own food

Fancy a little trip to the great outdoors? If you do, you could also try foraging for your own food. Wild berries, nuts, mussels and crabs are just some of the edible stuff that can be found all over for most parts of the year.

It’s not only a great way of finding your own food freebies but also makes for a fun adventure if you have a family in tow.

8. Grow your own food

You can try to have your own little garden if you have space or even grow herbs and small vegetables in your apartment balcony.

Initially, it may take some doing, but once you have done the legwork, you will have your private supply of organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables – all the year round.

This way you not only get free food and save some cash but also stay fit as a fiddle by eating healthy stuff grown in your own backyard.

Also Read: Start a Local Restaurant / Food Delivery Service

9. Get invited for social dos

Art exhibitions, store openings, private film screenings – all these kinds of social events usually include a free supply of food and beverages for the guests.

Getting invited to such gatherings could be your ticket to grab a free meal and make some handy new connections too. So make sure your name figures on their guest list.

10. Become a Mystery Diner

How would you like to get paid to enjoy free food? Sounds unbelievable? Well, it’s not. There are companies which actually hire people to eat out at fancy restaurants and report back to them on the entire experience.

These companies are usually paid by the owners of such establishments who want to know if such places tick all the right boxes regarding their food quality and service experience.

So you file the report and get free food in exchange for your efforts. Sounds like a sweet deal, right?

Also Read: Can You Make Good Money as a Mystery Shopper?

11. Eat your neighbour’s leftovers

If you have no moral compunctions about eating leftovers, then you should download this handy app called Olio.

It connects people with others in their immediate neighbourhood and with shops with surplus food in the immediate vicinity.

This way the food (which should be perfectly edible) is not wasted and somebody looking for a free meal can take it off their hands.

12. Locate a food-waste supermarket

For those of you who have never heard this term before. A food waste supermarket is a place which picks up food from other supermarkets that don’t match up to their quality standards but is otherwise perfectly edible.

It’s a great way to get free food, sans the hefty price tag of course and also minimize food wastage at the same time.

13. Look around for free samples

Newly-opened restaurants, speciality stores, cafes, pastry shops and bars often have promotional events where they hand out free edible food to people to try. Very often leading brands also replicate the same strategy when they launch a new product.

So the next time you find yourself at a busy intersection look around for people wearing smart aprons with trays loaded with free goodies – it could be your ticket to a free meal.

14. Use Supermarket Coupons

A majority of supermarket coupons get you a discount on select products. Like say 75c off on a particular brand of soap or 25c off on a roll of toilet paper. But there are coupons which also offer products for – FREE.

All you need to do is head to the supermarket closest to you and check out their supermarket guide for a full list of coupons on offer.

You’re sure to find a few freebies on edible stuff which is on sale or part of special free food deals and promos.

15. Find a Culinary School nearby

No, we don’t expect you to join them, but you can always sample the dishes prepared by their student chefs. Of course, it may not be an excellent dining experience, and some of the preparations may not be up to your taste – but that’s a small price to pay for free food, isn’t it?

By the same yardstick, some meals may even exceed your expectations, so go with an open mind and you won’t be disappointed.

16. Make a list of bakeries in your area

Most bakeries tend to dispose of their unsold goodies at the end of the day or mark it down with some best food deals around an hour or two before closing time.

So you have the choice of either collecting the cakes, pastries and loaves of bread from out of the corner bin or landing up there just before closing time and buying the stuff at throwaway rates – literally.

17. Join a religious group/sect

If you’re not a deeply religious person, this is something you could consider to get free food. By joining you get a free pass to attend all their religious gatherings and events and more importantly full access to the refreshments being served to the ‘devotees’.

Of course, you may have to invest in a couple of earplugs to preserve your sanity, but at least you won’t go hungry.

18. Try for the – Good Guy – discount

This may or may not work for you. It seems if you tell a checkout cashier while standing in line that you happen to be a good guy – just like he/she is – it’s entirely possible you may end up with a surprise discount for the food you’re buying or may even get some free food.

Not quite sure whether this is fact or fiction, but it doesn’t work on – bad guys – for sure!

19. Make your restaurant pal your best friend

Do you happen to know a guy who works at a restaurant? Well if you do, it’s time to make him your best friend and tell him that. This way you get to gorge on a regular supply of leftover restaurant food that he can get for you – night after night.

Of course, you need to have him convinced when you say he’s your best bud and there’s the risk that he gets fired when the restaurant learns what he has been doing.

20. Perform a BAD street comedy show

I have saved this one for last only because you should use it just if you’re really desperate. Street performers earn money by performing live on the streets.

You could do the same – only put up a terrible performance – so that the people watching you are compelled to throw whatever they can find to make you stop.

The last step, after the crowd, disperses – check the stuff hurled at you – chances are you might find a couple of half-eaten sandwiches and more than a few usable tomatoes – saving you the trouble of growing your own.

In Conclusion

Food can be expensive, but by trying out some of the simple ways to get free food mentioned above, you will never have to go hungry again – even if you’re out of cash or just don’t want to spend any.

So you still think there aren’t any – free lunches in the world?

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