Out of all the free stuff you can find in the world, food and drink is arguably the most sought-after. While there are numerous places both online and offline one can find food freebies, locating them is at times challenging. That said, the tips below should stand you in good stead for finding free food stuff. Try them out and see what you can find!
Markets are prime locations for free food and drink. This applies to both local markets and also organised ‘food festivals’. In fact, at food festivals, you can almost guaranteed free samples of food and drink. Stall owners are only too keen to tempt you to buy and will offer freebies to help drum up new business. Beer and cider festivals are also great places to try, so don’t forget about these either.
If you are lucky enough to live within reach of a village fair these events are excellent sources of free food and drink. And if you somehow cannot locate any freebies, the food on offer is usually highly affordable, homemade in many cases, and deliciously tasty. Free drink is also available at the vast majority of village fairs, so head down and enjoy the festivities. Tip: most fairs are organised in the summer months due to better weather.
Is your birthday on the horizon? Then get some friends together and book a table at a restaurant that rewards birthdays. Typical locations include Frankie & Benny’s, but many other firms operate a birthday reward scheme. Although not totally free (as you’ll usually have to pay for a main meal), deals exist that let you net a free dessert, cocktail or starter. They are well worth considering for your big day!
On the web
The Internet contains a vast array of different offers and vouchers for food and drink. You only have to visit a handful of pub or restaurant websites to stumble upon vouchers, redeemable for free starters, desserts, ‘2 for 1s’, or free drinks. Some companies provide a freebie when you register for their e-mail newsletter. Social networking sites are also great places to bag free food and drink. Various free samples can be found online, such as those available on FreebieShare.co.uk. Request and then wait for delivery. It’s free and great fun.
Grow your own
One way to save on food and drink is to start growing your own fruit and vegetables. This can be done either in an allotment or in the garden. Inexperienced growers will no doubt have to study the basics of gardening, but the rewards are often worth the effort. Apple and pear trees are a good start, but with time, you could be producing potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and more.
While shops are unlikely to be a source of regular free food, independent stores and supermarkets often serve up free samples. This is especially the case when a new product is launched and the business wants to test customer reactions with tempting test sizes. Many of the large supermarket chains provide freebies on a weekly basis, so it can be worthwhile hunting these down. Other great places to search include pie and pastry shops, brasseries and sandwich bars.
The economic chaos of recent years has left many people in desperate need of assistance. Food banks have become increasingly popular with those who are unable to put food on the table, often due to unemployment and the high cost of living. If you are in these circumstances, food banks can offer assistance in the short term while you get back on your feet. Most towns have a local food bank staffed by volunteers who will be happy to assist. Donations to food banks are very welcome, so if you are able to give, these organisations will gladly receive.
Promotional events, such as the Ben & Jerry’s ‘Free Cone Day’ and similar are popular ways to bag free food and drink. This also applies to any event in your local area. Where there is people, there are businesses selling food and drink. With this in mind, many stalls, shops and outlets may consider offering freebies as an incentive for people to buy. A list of local events can be found in newspapers and also online, or via your local council.
If you like getting your hands dirty and among nature, why not try foraging? This involves heading out into the country or woodland and searching for food, such as berries and other fruit. Plenty of free stuff can be found by adopting these methods, but there are some risks involved. Not everything that grows is edible. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what you are eating. Disclaimer: do research prior to eating anything suspicious. It is recommended that if you are new to foraging, you take an experienced forager with you, at least until you have the basics covered. Items you may need include gloves, bags, walking shoes, rain jacket, etc. Many websites exist that specialise in foraging, so be sure to read these prior to heading out.