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Free Food Ideas

April 11, 2009

Grocery prices are up and chances are your paycheck isn’t. Here are some tips and tricks to get a meal on the table – free of charge!

Mystery Shopper
Sign up to be a mystery shopper in your area and you’ll be able to dine at a number of local restaurants. You pay up front for the meal, and then submit for reimbursement once you’ve submitted a review. It’s a free meal out – can’t beat that! Just remember to follow the instructions for the assignment or you may end up not being reimbursed fully.

Forage
Although not necessarily applicable to city-dwellers, a great option for those who live in more rural locales is to learn how to identify edible foods in the wild. You should do your research well, as some plants are harmful to eat.

Coupons
Keep your eyes open for coupons that offer you 100% discounts on specific products. Follow specific blogs that track these types of offers daily or weekly for the best deals.

Request Freebies
Sign up for every promotional offer you can find – cereal, snack bars, etc. Spending an hour or so online may pay for itself – in food!

Barter
Do you have a special skill that is useful to others? Try exchanging some labor for food and your special skill may turn into your next meal!

Buddy up to Gardeners
Know any gardeners that have a surplus of fruits, grains or vegetables? Ask them if they have leftovers – and you may end up with some free and delicious ingredients for dinner.

Free Meals
Keep your eyes peeled for local events that offer food – such as church functions, grand openings, meetings, receptions, etc. You’ll be able to eat for free and you may meet some new people to share frugal tips with!

Grocery Leftovers
Large grocery stores often toss food that doesn’t look appealing enough to sell but is otherwise completely edible. If you aren’t too picky about what your food looks like, try hitting up your local grocery chains and finding a great deal!

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