8 Ways to Eat Free Food Without Breaking the Bank

If you have serious college debt to pay off or are on a tight budget and are seriously hungry, then this article couldn’t have come to you at a better time. We’ve listed a series of cool tips that will help you not only get a fraction of what you last for at restaurants, cafes, and bars but also eat for free.

No, we’re not talking about stealing or breaking the bank, but actual, legitimate ways that will reward you with free food. If you play your cards right, you’ll never go hungry again and save up on thousands as well.

Join survey sites

Online survey sites are some of the easiest ways for you to earn some extra cash on the side as well as earn gift cards that can be exchanged for restaurant food. Some of the sites that offer such privileges include:

  • Snipon for TellPizzaHut UK
  • OpinionSquare for Starbucks
  • Swagbucks for Dominos.
  • Toluna for Olive Garden

Free gift card hack

An opportunity to earn cashback gift cards for free? Who wouldn’t want that? How’s this possible you ask? The Down app, of course.

All you have to do is download the app, link it to your debit or credit card, and then shop like you normally would with these cards. The app rewards you with points upon every purchase you make, which you can then exchange for gift cards. 

Look for free grocery samples

If you haven’t been to Sam’s Club on a Saturday afternoon, we suggest you start now. If you move around the sample stations, you can get an entire meal for free. In fact, lots of stores offer free samples, and most of them do it predictably. Be on the lookout for when stores offer freebies and just get in line. 


With the recession deepening, bartering is making a bit of a comeback. If you have knowledge or skills that can be of use to others, you can’t trade them for a free meal or some kind of other foodstuffs.

Note down food holidays

There’s a national food holiday in just about every day of the week, especially when you live in America. Such holidays include National Chocolate Day, National French Fry Day and National Pancake Day. As a result, restaurants and grocery stores will be offering deals on the item being celebrated on such days.

IHOP, for instance, offers a free pack of pancakes on Pancake Day (February 27), whereas McDonald’s offers a free medium order of fries on National French Fry Day (July 13). 

Become a mystery shopper

For this, there’s no need to wear a fake mustache or any other kind of disguise at all. Mystery shopping is when you are hired by a restaurant that ‘pays’ for a meal and write a report about your experience at the end of the day. This way, the restaurant will be able to know how it is performing and come up with ways about what it can do to improve in the eyes of its audience. Sometimes, you pay upfront for a meal but will be reimbursed by the restaurant upon completing your report. 

Continental breakfast

When traveling abroad, sometimes a hotel will offer a free continental breakfast.  Don’t be anxious to look around for hotels that offer such benefits. Of course, a continental breakfast usually includes bread products, a cold cereal, and some juice. So don’t expect to eat like a king anytime soon. 


If you want free food, there is no better place to look than in the wild.  You will be able to find fruits, nuts, as well as other plants that provide sustenance without charge. Imagine having to make a salad comprised only from the greens foraged from your garden.

There is, however, the potential of not knowing what you’re putting inside your mouth. But once you get this right, then you have nothing to worry about.

WE SAID THIS: You’re welcome!