Hungry + Broke? Here’s 10 Ways To Get A Free Meal

Hungry + Broke? Here's 10 Ways To Get A Free Meal

Most of us thankfully aren’t so broke that we have to go hungry, but some of us are. If you’re out of cash but have a grumbling tummy, here are 10 ways you can score a free meal and stick it to the man!

Go To A Soup Kitchen

If you really need it that bad and you’re not just being cheap, going to a soup kitchen is an easy to get a free meal. But if you do utilize their services, it’s only right that you in turn volunteer for them.

Sign Up For Free Samples

Companies want your feedback on new products they’re debuting. To be first in line on their newest creations, and score some free food in the process, you’ll have to sign up to get your voice heard. Participating sites include:, and

Companies that send out free samples for signing up to their newsletter include, and

Get Free Samples In The Store

The big stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco frequently have free samples available to their shoppers. While you shouldn’t take more than one sample, sometimes there’s 7 or 8 different options to try. Sample one of each and you’ll have an awkward, yet still filling meal.

Say Yes To Invitations

If you are being invited to a dinner party at work, a birthday party, a wedding – anything, just say yes. It’s a guarantee that they will serve food and you won’t have to pay a dime for it.

As a bonus, hang around ’til the end and you may score some sweet leftovers for tomorrow.

Free Food At Restaurants

Some restaurants hand out free food as soon as you sit down. Hit up a bar and you might get free peanuts. Go to El Torito and you’ll get as much free chips and salsa as you can handle. Go to Olive Garden and they’ll slap an unlimited amount of breadsticks on your table.

Now it’s not right that you take advantage and get all the freebies without spending any money, so be sure to order at least an appetizer and a drink. Combine that with the free food and you’ll have more than enough in your belly to fill you up.

Take Home Leftovers

Restaurants serve an exorbitant amount of food. The portion sizes for one entrée are enough for two. So when you go to a restaurant, either share your plate or eat half and take home the rest. Now you don’t feel as guilty plunking down 12 bucks for your food if it will fill you up tomorrow too.

If you go out with a group and notice a friend or family member is leaving a few slices of pizza, ask them if you can take it home. After all, that food is going straight in the trash if you don’t rescue it.

Don’t Beg For Food, Work For It

Have too much pride to beg for food? You could work for it instead. If you’re a hungry college student or just down on your luck you could trade some services for free food.

You could mow lawns, do their laundry, wash their dishes, clean their house or do any other odd jobs your neighbors need.

Check Your Phone

You don’t have to get the Sunday paper and cut out little coupons anymore to get free food. You could use your smartphone and land as much free food as your belly can handle.

Most deals require you to buy something in order to get free food, but that’s to be expected. Usually signing up to the restaurants’ newsletter lands you a sweet deal. Then after that the offers keep on coming.

Typical deals for signing up to their newsletter include buy one entree get the other free or buy an appetizer and the entrée is free. Others have reward programs that give you free food the more you eat there. Others send out a free meal coupon on your birthday.

Another coupon-like option for free food are services like Yelp and Foursquare. You could land a nice dish just by checking in with your smartphone.

Free Breakfast From The Hotel

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, be sure to book a hotel that offers a free breakfast. You can get everything from pancakes, eggs, bagels and waffles.

Eating while traveling can get expensive, but you can knock off the first meal of the day by taking advantage of the free continental breakfast your hotel offers.

Work At A Restaurant

I’ve saved the best for last. The very best way to land some free grub is to work in the food industry.

While you probably can’t get free food simply by working at a food joint, a lot of restaurants offer employees a discount. This is good, but there’s still ways to score free food at work.

If you work at a restaurant and if a customers’ order gets messed up and they send the item back, that food is going to be thrown away. You could just box it up and save it for yourself for later though and land a free meal.

Also if you work the night shift, the restaurant is going to throw away many items they won’t serve tomorrow. This is your chance to score yet another a free meal every single day.

PS: Don’t Do This

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice I didn’t mention dumpster diving outside restaurants and grocery stores in this list.

Every day these places dump what seems like perfectly good food out, either because it’ll be too stale to serve tomorrow or it’s past the expiration date.

But there’s a reason the food was thrown out and you don’t know it. It could be because the food wasn’t properly refrigerated and went bad. It could be food that fell on the floor. It could be anything, so it’s best to stay away from the garbage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *