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How to Get a Free Meal

Even if your options are limited and your pockets are turned inside out, you can still rustle up some grub. Consider several ways to feed yourself without begging or stealing.


  • Step 1: Get coupons Find or ask for free meal coupons from Mcdonald's, the Cracker Barrel, and other restaurants. Look for scratch-off cards and contests to win free food.
  • Step 2: Get a free restaurant meal Search for local restaurants that offer free birthday meals -- usually supplied only if you are accompanied by a friend who buys their own. Some honor veterans, women, and seniors on certain days of the year.
  • Step 3: Go to happy hour Hang out at bars during happy hour. Buy a cheap drink for the opportunity to feast for a couple hours.
  • Step 4: Crash events Crash wedding receptions, wakes, church functions, company picnics, and public promotional giveaways. Tour major food stores on weekends for promotional sample displays that might comprise a full meal when you're done.
  • TIP: Stick around a friend's home until you overstay your welcome or clean out their pantry.
  • Step 5: Volunteer Volunteer to help a charitable organization and you can usually get fed, because there is no other pay. Donate blood, as well, for which you will be given sustenance afterward, and still feel good about what you've done to help others.
  • Step 6: Scavenge, hunt Scavenge in the woods for wild edibles that you can take home, and cook. Hunt for game if you don't mind cleaning and cooking it.
  • Step 7: Grow a garden Grow your own garden to get quality, fresh, and safe food at little cost.
  • FACT: As of 2008, Americans waste 27 percent of consumables every year, or 30 million tons of food, as recently as 2008.

You Will Need

  • Fast food shops
  • Grocery store coupons
  • Local bars with happy hours
  • Nature preserves
  • Public functions
  • Restaurants
  • Charitable organizations
  • Blood drives

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