How to get Food Freebies

By starting this post with the old adage “There is no such thing as a free lunch”, you may think that you have been drawn into a very depressing piece of click bait.

But bear with me. This popular phrase expresses the idea that even if something seems like it is free (regardless of how indirect or hidden) there there will always be a cost somewhere. However, as this article will show, if you have skill and panache, you can always turn these ‘costs’ into opportunities.

Restaurant/Pub Mystery Shopping

Let’s have a look at mystery shopping. Imagine having to go to a random pub with a friend, buying a meal, and then getting reimbursed for the cost of the meal! So what is the hidden cost? By doing this job you are expected to write a fair and honest review, making sure that no one suspects that you are a mystery shopper. Rather than see this as a chore, you could consider how this will be developing your writing skills. Oh yes, and being an incognito food spy does allow the more imaginative of you to feel like you’re on some kind of gluttonous undercover mission! Market Force is a good company to sign up to for this sort of thing.

Free Food at Galleries

Feel like a bit of culture? That’s good, because there is often free wine and cheese at art gallery openings. As someone who has not only attended lots of opening nights, but actually put them on, I know that the organisers are far happier for random people to turn up rather than sitting in a room of family members checking their watches hoping they can escape to the pub soon. Many artists spend quite a lot of money on organising an exhibition, so look at their work, and if you like it give them positive feedback and show your support by buying a print or a badge. These costs can feel rewarding, as you’re immersing yourself in a local art scene. Aren’t you sophisticated? Be sure to retain your sophistication as you take a beeline to that buffet table! It’s a good idea to Google local galleries and find out when there are openings. Hopefully the more of these events you attend, the more respect you will develop for your local struggling artists!


Student Deals Websites

There are some good sites out there specifically geared towards tips to help you through the trials and tribulations of student life. If you’re looking for food freebies try Student Money Saver, which will get you fast food, sweets and sometimes something a little healthier. What’s the cost? Whether encouraging brand loyalty or trying to get customers to fill out surveys, it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to do anything too complicated and there are enough offers on here to give you a variety of options…

Become a BBQ Crasher

I didn’t realise I was a barbecue crasher, until I was jokingly referred to as one at a barbecue I crashed this summer by accidentally kicking a football at the legitimate guests. So, I guess that must mean barbecue crashing is a thing! It could be as simple as turning up to the park on a sunny afternoon with a few beers. If you are to follow my covert operation, you need to get talking to anyone with a barbecue, and here are a few suggestions that don’t involve the football technique (which I guess would have been just as effective with a Frisbee). You could ask for directions. Anyone who can be bothered to explain how to get somewhere must have enough human spirit in his or her veins to offer you a hot dog. If you have a bike then you could let some air out of your tyres (being sure to have a secret pump in your bag in case this goes wrong) and ask ‘does anyone here have a bike pump?’ Whether they help you with the bike or not, you’re bound to have melted their hearts enough to warrant a burger. If all else fails then offer them a few cans of your beer!

Become a Volunteer

OK, let’s look at one more morally sound option. Lots of churches and community centres do free meals for those who really need them. As a student, you may think you fit under this category, but eating with refugees and the homeless could encourage you to give up that idea. The quality of these community meals can be astounding, so get involved! Obviously this is a charitable activity, so the cost should be obvious, time and effort, which is often all you have to contribute to making the world a little bit more magical. By helping to cook, you can become part of an organisation of volunteers, which has the double outcome of feeling part of a team. If you already like cooking, then it gives you an opportunity to help those less fortunate doing what you love, and if you need to develop these skills then it is the perfect place to start, it could even get you a reference that could help you to snatch an ideal job in the future. A good place to ask about volunteering in a kitchen would be the Salvation Army.

Use Tinder to get your Meals Paid For

Now let’s end with a tactic that epitomises the decline of western civilisation, going on Tinder dates and getting your partner to pay for the meal. Everyone knows that using Tinder is the death of romance, an app where you browse images of potential partners and sweep ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based purely on looks. Lots of people refer to Tinder as a ‘hook-up’ app rather than a dating one; so probably quite a few people on there don’t really intend to be seeing anyone they meet for more than a day. Everyone has heard stories about people who have couch surfed across continents using this app to avoid paying a hotel fee, which isn’t just dangerous, it’s exploitative and shameful way to carry on (you can probably guess that I’m not one of the dashing athletic models who could get away with a scam like this).

So what’s the cost here? Your dignity, you exploitative love rat! Plus, you can’t always guarantee that the company of your Tinder date isn’t going to be awkward/weird/so uncomfortable that you are unable to enjoy your free food!

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