In a World of Abundance
Over the last couple of weeks I have indulged in many pleasant gastronomic experiences around the city. Below are some pictures of events I attended and the food I enjoyed. And here’s the kicker. 😀 Everything was free!
Free Food is Everywhere
Why would companies hold events to give away food to the public? Usually it’s because they have something to sell. Most of the presentations I attend are sponsored by financial companies that want to push their investment products. I was given wine, bread, and cheese at a Raymond James event. Private market company Pinnacle served pasta and pizza at a fancy Italian restaurant. Yum. 🙂
Even technology companies such as Realm, which develops mobile apps, gave away pizza and t-shirts. So I got a free meal that evening, and free clothing. Yay! Whenever I wear my new Realm t-shirt I’m essentially giving them free publicity.
The companies try to raise awareness for their brands, sell their services, or recruit people into their community. That’s why they host these events. I can ramble on. But enough teasing. Let me reveal how you can get free food!
Search and Execute
There are 3 steps that anyone in the developed world can use to acquire free food.
1: Live in or near an urban area.
2: Sign up with event management organizers.
3: Search and register for upcoming local events using filters such as “free” and “food.”
That’s pretty much it. 🙂
It’s important to live in a relatively large urban center because that’s where most of these events are taking place. 🙂 A metropolitan district of 500,000 people or more would be ideal. So any mid to large size American or Canadian city should work.
Unfortunately if you happen to live in a small town such as Dildo, N.F. (population 1,200) then I guess you are screwed. 😛
Signing up for Free Events
Here are some popular event organizers that you can check out.
- www.eventbrite.com (or www.eventbrite.ca)
- restaurant chains with free meal deals
- Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
For example, Eventbrite classifies events as paid or free. So that’s a good place to start. Here are a few events I found and attended using the site.
All these events happened in the same week. The way you can tell if a free event is offering food or not is by reading the description on its event details page.
If you’re interested in an event, simply sign up. You can also develop a network of like-minded event seekers to help find and share information about upcoming events where there will be complementary food. Then you can all go together!
The pancakes you probably saw in the first photo of this post was taken at a local IHOP. 🙂 You receive 3 free meals at IHOP just by signing up on their website. By signing up with Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt you’ll get a $5 coupon every year which can be used 15 days before or after your birthday. Bring your ID to get a free breakfast at Denny’s on your birthday. Then head over to Red Robin for a free hamburger.
Sometimes there are large conferences in town where you can pick up additional food and swag. Here are some examples from my previous experience.
Sustainable Free Food Lifestyle
Apparently I ate really well this month. 😀 In my city, there is usually at least one free food event every day! But let me make a confession. I don’t actually need to rely on free food to get by. Normally I attend only a few of these events per month. The only reason I went to so many presentations in recent weeks was because I wanted to do “research” for this blog post, lol. 😉 I was after evidence that it is indeed possible to find free food on a regular basis.
Some offerings may be simple refreshments like crackers and cheese. But nobody cares or keeps tracks of who eats what at these events. So if I’m really hungry, I would have no complaints filling up on crackers and cheese. 🙂
Grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Price Smart Foods offer free samples as well. Here’s a quote from a reader over at freemoneyfinance.
“My boyfriend and I eat a meal of Costco samples approximately three times a week. We work within walking distance and do purposely use this as a money saving technique. We are always respectful of other shoppers and only double dip if a new sample lady arrives. I monitor our budget closely and I estimate we save $100 to $140 a month using this method at Costco. On the weekends we use the same technique at regular grocery stores, for example Whole Foods, Central Market and HEB, saving an additional $40 to $80 dollars a month.”
For people with jobs, it’s not necessary to go to extremes to save money on food. However, between free food events and grocery store samples, I am convinced that it is entirely possible to survive in today’s society without having to ever pay for food.
But would I recommend this lifestyle? Absolutely not, unless you really want to.
The truth is, just going to all these different places is time consuming. I wanted to attend a couple more free food events last week, but I was busy working my 2 jobs. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that if I were to abruptly become unemployed, and my investments were to lose all their value, then at least I don’t have to worry about going hungry. It’s not about living like a pauper to be hip or for fun. It’s about knowing how to be resourceful should I ever run into financial difficulties in the future. 😉
Random Useless Fact
Some people from Indonesia and the Philippines eat rice with everything.
Hilarious and awesome at the same time. In addition – you can meet some cool people, have fun and hey – potentially learn something new (maybe even a new taste for a certain type of food haha). Entertainment = check. Saved money = check. Full stomach = check. Sounds like a solid solution to me.
Once you attend enough of these events you start to notice familiar faces lol.
In case you’re curious Dildo isn’t the only nice town in NL you might also want to checkout:
(and yes these are actually real towns in NL)…you might not want to opt for the free food options in some towns though… Come-by-Chance…maybe I’ll buy my lunch.
Haha, those settlers who first populated NL had some interesting humour. 🙂
Good luck with FI goal in 8 years.
I’m ticked off because none of the Costcos in my area ever did samples. I guess they wised up to that one. I don’t think I’d go for these strategies unless I was really down on my luck. It feels a little slimy to me to take something for free if you can easily pay for it yourself. But it’s true that there’s plenty of free food out there, if you know where to look.
Damn. I can’t imagine a Costco that doesn’t offer free samples. That’s like their hallmark lol.
It seems to me that it would be more worthwhile to earn money to pay for the food. If you shop wisely and use coupons, you can get great deals on groceries. I think one has to consider opportunity cost. The time you spend finding the sources of ‘free food’ and the ‘time to travel’ to the free food, needs to be factored in. I know a woman who drives a mini-van and drives to Costco for lunch 3 times a week. She ‘dines’ on samples. It must cost her more in gas, than the value of the food she eats. Not to mention that it takes about 15 minutes each way. At minimum wage, that half hour is at least $6.00 add about $5-10 for gas, it is more than the free samples are worth IMHO
I eat rice with everything above, for ice cream I ate separately.. your Indonesian reader here XD
Ahaha. 😀 I would like to visit Indonesia some day. I hear Jakarta has over 10 million people. That’s hard to imagine from a Canadian perspective. Would be cool to see.
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