If you think that getting access to free things such as food is something that’s impossible, or something that a criminal would do, then think again! The food industry has been evolving throughout the years, and you’ll be surprised that there are a lot of different ways where you can access free food, especially when you’re on a tight budget.
All you have to do is to know where to look to get access to these, so read on to know where you can put your focus on, and to take note on a few tricks to help ease that budget. Remember, the goal is to have as much free stuff as possible!
How to get free food with no money? Let’s look at 20 ways below.
- Use supermarket cashback apps
The use of free supermarket cashback apps do not usually ensure that you get free food automatically, but usually with the use of these apps you can get a good amount of freebies. Most would usually offer discounts, but in the long haul, the savings that you could get on these are surprisingly huge!
The only prerequisite for this is for you to be able to download the free apps to your phone, and check on the supermarket offers that fit your eligibility criteria–for example checking on the participating supermarkets in your location. What happens is that once you’ve bought the product, all you need to do is to scan the receipt through the app and instantly receive your cash returns.
Take in mind that not all offers will get you 100% cashbacks for this approach, but the savings that you can get is usually 50% of the actual price–or more. Add all your savings together, then boom–you’ll have enough to secure you some free meals.
- Become a mystery diner
What about the possibility of getting free food directly from your local and other favorite restaurants? Well, this method will work out best for you. As the term implies, becoming a mystery diner is eating from the restaurant as if you are one of their regular customers.
All you need to do is to sign yourself up with a partnering agency, and wait for them to assign you to restaurants or food chains usually near you. You will then order, let’s say an ice cream, or buy one full meal, and then create a report afterwards on your experience.
These agencies get paid by the restaurant owners to audit certain standards, and make sure that their goals of the ultimate “customer experience” are being met by their staff. As payment, the agency pays you with food for free for doing the mystery work.
Don’t expect to be paid in cash for these though, but, hey, we’re talking about free food here!
- Sign up to restaurant newsletters and apps
Because of the emerging competition even in the online world, a lot of fast food restaurants and even local food shops offer a lot of things for free just by downloading their free apps for instance, or signing up for free to their monthly newsletters. Most would also offer discounts, like for example buy one get three burgers –all for the price of one.
It is good to take note that some businesses are more generous than the others. Some restaurants would offer a free taco, or a free appetizer just by simply signing up!
- Cashback sites offering free takeaways
While we have talked about free cashback apps earlier, know that there are non-apps that offer cashbacks, too! And, you can take a look at the “deals” page of the restaurant website for instance, that offers a free meal. You can even get a free coupon or get a free dessert or even a free appetizer the first time you register.
For this approach, new and first time customers are usually the target of these establishments’ marketing teams. For some companies, they offer free food for their first time customers, having it delivered to your home — all for free! Isn’t that awesome?
- Look for food waste supermarkets
You might have never heard of this before, but, yes, food waste supermarkets exist — and they’re most likely available in your area! You can get a ton of things here for free!
Usually, food waste supermarkets partner into free business deals with major supermarkets or even restaurants, that when their products do not come at par with their quality standards (but are still essentially safe), such items get to be donated to these waste supermarkets.
You can get 2 or get 5 items — or even more — depending on your liking, and for these types of supermarkets, you only need to pay when you feel like paying. By essence, you get food free here.
In other words, as long as you won’t mind getting substandard yet fully edible free food, then this approach is great to get one tummy full for the time being.
- Use zero-waste apps for leftover food
I know we’ve all experienced overestimating the amount of food we would need for the week, and then realize that the meal could expire even before you start eating them. It’s a good thing that the industry has devised free ways to save other people some money by creating an app to reallocate one’s excess meal for free.
Given these you can get a free meal, not just from households, but also from restaurants as well. Most restaurants partner with such apps to help them manage their waste.
Imagine having a free appetizer, for instance, or a free medium ice cream, a free dessert, or a free taco — all just by using these free apps.
Some establishments do not offer all their excess products for free, though. But you can be rest assured that you can one get good deals at low prices (for instance get one meal for half of its money price, and get a free drink with it). You might feel uneasy relying on these apps at first, but you’ll realize what a bargain you can have with your money.
- Get paid to go to the pub
Who says you can only get free meals? Well, if this is not enough for you, you can get paid to be a tester at pubs too, and yet again, this is for free!
All you have to do is to sign up as a first time pub tester and you’ll be asked to visit restaurants or pubs for the first time –mostly just to check if they’re really checking the IDs of any young people who would want to buy alcohol illegally.
This job is usually for those aged 18-19, as this is the demographic required to have IDs checked. If you fit the criteria, you can get money for this, or get a free drink!
- Get first-order discounts on takeaway apps
A lot of food industries give free items –from coupons to a free appetizer or even a free small meal for first-time customers.
Some companies, mostly delivery service companies, offer money as well, depending on the season. And as mentioned, you can also one get a free medium ice cream, or one free dessert!
- Free tea and coffee while you shop
We’re all sure that this trick isn’t new to you anymore. While shopping, or doing the laundry at the laundromat, or sometimes in libraries, you can get a free cup of coffee — while you get one, or buy one of their products in their shops. Some people who are coffee addicts get 5 free cups of coffee in a single visit — and that’s totally fine!
- Get free food from your mobile network
Yes, you heard us correctly — mobile networks offer free food as they partner with various businesses linked to your interests. So, watch out for offers from these networks because you can get one real free good deal for just being their consumer.
- Eat out for free on your birthday
Just like the prestige first-time customers get when signing up with companies, birthday celebrants get special deals as well! There are various coffee shops and companies that offer a one time deal for such celebrants.
And because it is your special day, you can celebrate it by getting a free appetizer from one restaurant, get a free full meal from another, and get your free small dessert from a coffee shop.
Sometimes, you can maximize your birthday through those buy one get a free small drink deals. Birthdays, in this way, become one-of-a-kind, indeed.
- Use supermarket coupons
While mobile apps and websites emerge, it is important to note that you can still get coupons at the supermarket for free. Again, all you have to do is to be smart in looking at the deals portion of each company, and get a free paper coupon, that will, in turn, save you money or even a free appetizer in the future!
Everybody mostly has tried using coupons free for food, and some wouldn’t even get to use them till their expiry date. So don’t forget to get those coupons exchanged for that free dessert!
- Grow your own food
Let’s get to the traditional ways we could get free food — growing them. All you have to do is to buy one set of seedlings for the vegetables that you fancy growing, and wait patiently until you are ready to get those harvested! Sometimes you could get a free seedling set from local markets.
Some areas, especially those who live in the cities, however might have scarce space for them to grow their own vegetables. But as long as you have some soil, a pot, and ample sunlight, you could still get some resources–all if you just plant the right things.
A lot of community organizations can usually get a free set of seeds out there for you as well. All you have to do is to search for such organizations online.
- Go foraging for food
That’s right, forage your food. Even the top chefs we see on TV do it! Foraging is something one can do for months especially in conducive places. These foods are being collected by foragers depending on the season. You can get a variety of resources here, and most of them are grown in the wild.
As long as you are not very particular with food, such foraged resources are best when cooked by a person who knows how to craft a wild food course for themselves. You can even create a free appetizer for yourself from wild mushrooms and fungi!
Obviously, this method is common for those who dwell in the countryside, and might not work for people who live in the cities, expecting that you could get a free shroom just beside your office building. It just won’t happen.
- Get free staff meals at your part-time job
Commonly for those university students who are looking for part-time jobs, why not look for those companies that can get a free meal for you while you work for them?
There are a lot of cafes obviously that can get you a free drink or meal while you work for them during your shift. Leftovers are also handed down to these employees, and usually they can get a free appetizer most of the time, or even desserts.
Working as a delivery driver for such companies can also get you a lot of free items. You can even get a free tip from your customers!
- Free samples of new food products
Supermarkets, bars and cafes always have their ways of giving out free samples when promoting their products.
You could get a free taste of so many items from such establishments. Sometimes, new products come in places where there are busy people, including bus and train stations, where you can get a ton of free things. You can even get a free appetizer, depending on what’s available.
Free samples are also available for access online. Here you can get a free grub, and other free rewards!
- Enter eating competitions
A lot of community organizations in your local area would usually come up with such competitions, and all you have to do is to sign up for free, if not for a minimal amount. Joining eating competitions can provide you with meals that are more than enough for the day, and while you’re at it you can get a free ton of rewards should you be able to win them!
- Meet-and-greets and networking events
A great example for these are university-organized events. When such orgs hold meet-ups for members or new recruits, they usually give out free snacks and a free appetizer to boost your involvement with them. Depending on the event, sometimes you can also get a free bottle (or more) of booze!
Meet-and-greet events are not just limited to university organizations, but also to socials outside the academe as well. Usually you can get a free meal or a free set of snacks when you attend exhibition openings, or films screenings, poetry slams, or even other events where the arts are involved.
- Supermarket openings and restaurant launches
Never miss news whenever a new establishment opens around your area–especially with supermarkets! You can get a free snack or even a full meal, and you only have to make sure that you’re there for their launch day.
In practice, you don’t just get to have free snacks, but rather a whole lot of free samples from the various products that are being offered. So make sure to get a free pass on opening day, and with an eager appetite!
These apply to restaurant launches, too, where you can get a free, fully-loaded meal–all depending on how generous the restaurant is.
- Find free foods on Community Gardens
Last but not the least, community gardens, especially in the countryside, usually provide free organic resources to its less privileged, surrounding communities. For people on a budget, some can “ buy one, get one” type of deals for vegetables and other herbs and spices. So, even if not all items may be free, you can still save humongous amounts of cash on community garden programs and their other feeding campaigns.
There are indeed so many ways where you can get meals for free, if not for a minimum payment. Students and other people on a tight budget would usually recommend these totally practices, as everything we have discussed are totally legitimate, safe, and legal. At the end of the day, all we have to do is to be strategic and smart, as we take advantage of these free things around us.