- Personal Finance
Who Says You Can't Get A Free Lunch?
Everybody Likes To Eat! Why Not Eat for Free!
A Free Lunch May Be Just Around The Corner!
Back in mid-December of last year I wrote a hub that briefly discussed the popularity of free stuff and specifically discussed a couple of opportunities to get free books and free cable TV using the internet. I also mentioned that I was planning on exploring this idea further in some other hubs. Given that my hub on free books and cable TV has by far been my most popular writing to date, I probably should write allot more of these :). That said I do plan to write a series of hubs that examine different opportunities to get free stuff. One reason is the popularity of the free stuff subject. As I said in my first hub related to this topic, "Who doesn't want to get free stuff?". The other reason is that there is actually allot of opportunities to get various things for free, that people rarely ever think of. So looking at ways to get things for free is a useful topic. This time I'm going to take a look at ways to get a free lunch! That's right maybe you really can get a free lunch if you look in the right direction. Aside from the natural desire to get a free lunch, I think this would really be a beneficial idea for allot of people to examine. Food costs have gone up and will continue to go up imho! I think everyone cringes after they take a look at their grocery bill. So being able to find and take advantage of opportunities for free food, would truly be a great help to most people. Surprisingly if you take the time to think about it there are actually allot of ways to get a free lunch or free food! Here are my free food ideas:
Plant A Garden - Ok for those technical minded types, yeah it's not completely without cost, but the potential food that a garden can yield is way more than the initial cost of seeds and time. Especially with food prices going up the way they have been lately. So having a garden is a viable way to get free food!
Get Free Donuts On National Donut Day! - Krispy Kreme and allot of other donut stores often give away free donuts on National Donut Day. It's not the healthiest thing you will ever eat, but it will be free, so watch out for this opportunity to get some free donuts on the first Friday of June in 2011.
Make A Meal Out Of Free Samples At Costco And Other Stores - I went to Costco on a Saturday afternoon recently and there were free samples every couple of aisles. I had planned to grab a bite to eat after my visit, but it wasn't even necessary anymore with all of the free food I had just consumed!
Go Fishing - I love fish! Free fish is even better. All you have to do is learn a little patience and maybe get a small fishing boat & fishing pole and you may be on your way to a free fish dinner this weekend.
Local Church and Community Events - Churches and other types of community organizations like to hold various events, luncheons, cook outs, and other types of dinners were the entire community is welcome. Be on the lookout for advertisements around town, in order to get a free lunch at these kind of events.
Keep Your Own Chickens - Like the gardening example there would be some initial cost and up keep. But the food you would yield with eggs and meat would more than cover that, so this could effectively be a source of free eggs and free chicken dinners! You would want to know the city ordinances and laws that apply to this in order to avoid any possible fines for keeping chickens were you live.
Do Someone's Shopping In Exchange For A Few Free Items - In a recent hub about ways to make some extra money, I talked about doing peoples shopping for them for extra cash. You could also be creative and do somebody's shopping in exchange for some free grocery items. For example you might offer to do a person's shopping if they gave you free cereal for that weak.
Restaurant.com - I have seen offers on this website for a $25 restaurant gift certificate that only costs $2. Normally they offer the $25 gift certificate for $10. Either way $15 worth of free food is good and $23 worth of free food is great! Update - One caveat on this opportunity. Many of these $25 or more certificates offered for $10 or lower have rules that apply. Others don't, so it is advisable to read the fine print before buying. This isn't to say you can't take advantage, you just have to take all the details into account and be smart about your purchase. For example one of the one's I recently looked at for sit-down pizza shop was $3 for a $25 certificate. However, in order to redeem, you had to purchase at least $50 worth of pizza. Still you could get $50 worth of pizza for $28 + gratuity. That's another thing to take into account, most all of these add gratuity before the certificate value is included.
Plant A Fruit Tree On Your Property - If the climate in your area is viable for this sort of thing, planting an apple tree or some other kind of fruit tree is a great way to get some free fruit! Here is a good hub by JD Barlow on planting different fruit trees.
Take Advantage Of Special Promotions For Free Meals - Many restaurants have promotions once in a while for a free dinner on the house. For example a popular promotion at many restaurants is to give away free birthday meals. Some of these free birthday promotions are actually very good. Like this one at the restaurant, Benihana (The Chef's Table) were you can get a $30 gift certificate sent to you on the month of your birthday, just for signing up on their e-mail list. Firehouse Subs also has a pretty good deal. Just prove it's your birthday and get a free sub sandwich.
See This Video For A Way To Get A Free Sub Sandwich
In Addition To Free Birthday Meals, Free Kids Meals and Free Meals for Veterans Are Also Common Promotional Offers To Look For!
Crazy Ways To Get Free Food!
Start Eating Bugs - Though it may sound crazy when first mentioned, bugs are a regular part of many people's diet around the world. Despite the "Eww" response from probably 99.9% of America's population, many countries in Africa, East-Asia, and some in South America and Central America consume bugs all the time. Known as Entomophagy in the scientific community, the human consumption of insects can include ants, worms, crickets, grass-hoppers, spiders, beetles, and even cockroaches. If you can get past the "gross-out" factor, learning how to breed and safely prepare different types of insects for human consumption can be a great and relatively healthy way to get free food! Seeing is believing though, so check out this video!
Hmm..... Eating Bugs May Not Be So Bad
Or If Bugs Aren't Your Thing, Look To The Trash Maybe
Dumpster Diving - It's gross and I'm not necessarily endorsing this as a great choice, but it does come to mind. There are many restaurants that throw perfectly good food away all of the time. Even fine dining establishments waste allot of food. Maybe to be safer about it though you could get to know someone who works at an eating establishment and see if they can sneak you some freebies once in a while.
Somewhat Shady Ways To Get Free Food
I'm not condoning these, but writing this, did get me to thinking about some of the more unethical ways people use to get free food. It's worth including just to spark some interesting thought and discussion among readers!
Pretend To Be Homeless - I don't know if they are 100% true, but I have heard stories about people who dress up like homeless people and go out pan handling for money and possibly free food. Not an honest way to get free food, but certainly possible.
Sneak Into A Continental Hotel For Free Breakfast - Again I don't consider this the high-road for obtaining free food, but there are lots of hotel chains that provide breakfast free of charge, for guests, that is. Of course how easy would it be to sneak in and get a free breakfast on the house?
Swipe A Few Extra Free Condiments From Restaurants - Tired of having to buy your own ketchup and mustard. Well you could just take some extra condiment packets every time you eat out somewhere. Or even just use the restroom and take some on the way out. Not good for fast a fast food restaurant's bottom line, but you can get free ketchup, mustard, and Bar-B-Q sauce.
Sign Up For Food Stamps - There are differing opinions on this method. One thing I would point out is it's not really free from everyone, due to the fact that it comes out of taxpayer resources. That's how the ethical debate comes about. Many feel it's not the government's role to provide food for anyone. Also there is the fact that many on food stamps don't really need it. But if you own stock in big banks like JP Morgan, and aren't concerned about ethical considerations why not try to get some of your taxes back by qualifying for a free lunch.
If You Take The Time To Look, There Are Many Opportunities To Get Free Food!
Groceries and food are constantly getting more expensive. I hope those challenged by difficult economic times and struggling to put food on the table for a family can find some value in this hub. Though not always easy to find the time and the food itself may not always be what we ideally want, there are many opportunities to get free food and a free lunch every so often. I hope readers can take advantage of this info!