Eat To Win
The average person probably won't consider a food competition as a means to settle their hunger. However, if you're low on cash, entering an eating competition (e.g., pie eating contest, hot dog eating contest) is a great way to stuff your face and rid yourself of that relentless, never-ending hunger we've all experienced.
Work At A Restaurant
It's as simple as that. Believe it or not, working at a restaurant is a great way to save money on food. Many restaurant companies not only give their employees pay checks, but they also offer free or discounted food. Sometimes, owners will even encourage their employees to eat their food in order to get feedback on new dishes. Because restaurants want to cut down on being wasteful, owners often allow their employees to scavenge food items that might have been a mistake.
Find Restaurant Promotions
When new restaurants open, or when restaurants undergo some renovations, they'll often offer surveys, newsletters, and other sign-up options in exchange for a free food item. By signing up for a newsletter or mailing list, customers can periodically receive coupons and other special promotions that might lead them to free or discounted food items. Some restaurants also encourage their customers to take a service experience survey about their experience in exchange for other promotions.
Celebrate A Birthday
Restaurants are famous for giving out free desserts for someones special day. Who knows- some restaurants might even offer a free appetizer. By doing a little researchers, you'd be surprised how many special promotions restaurants offer by simply entering in your birthday on their database.
Take A Restaurant's Survey
Restaurant owners thrive on customer feedback. If something doesn't taste good, they want to know; if service was timely, or if employees are rude to customers, owners want to know. In order to encourage this type of feedback from their customers, restaurants will offer free coupons, or even free food, for filling out a survey. The best part is that these surveys often take seconds to complete.
Grow A Garden
Growing a garden is perhaps the easiest way for someone to acquire free food. Many farmer's markets and other events even offer free seeds. Watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash are all types of food one can harvest for free. Depending on how much space you have, apple trees, orange trees, and berry bushes may also be in the mix. Even though some areas aren't the best for growing your own food, with seasons playing a prominent role in gardening, starting a garden is a great way to get free food.
Events of all genres often provide free snacks and drinks for attendees. College students can especially benefit when their campus hosts special events. Chips, candy, popcorn, and other munchies are often the go-to snack to provide.
One of the most classic techniques restaurant owners use to attract customers is to offer free food or coupons during their grand openings. Some might offer 10%-20% off their entire purchase just for showing up and trying their food.
Become A Menu Tester
Some restaurants offer their customers the experience of being a menu tester. This is especially true for new restaurants. While diners might be expected to initially pay for the order, many restaurants will reimburse their customers once the tasting commences. If you're feedback is strong enough, you might even be able to make a living, with restaurants PAYING YOU to test their food.