Surprising Places to Score Free Food

Posted on 07/31/2013

The average American spends $2,620 on eating outside the home, according to 2011 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Scale back those expenses by getting creative with your dining out experiences. Check out these surprising places to score free food.

Car Dealerships
Even if you're not in the market for a new car, dealerships are notorious for offering free food. Saturdays are a popular day for scoring a free meal at a car dealership. Stop in on holiday weekends for free hot dogs and hamburgers. Just be prepared to kick a few tires in the process.

Grand Openings
Local radio stations and newspapers frequently offer updates on local grand opening celebrations, which often include free food. Banks, gyms or clothing stores are happy to hand out free food to locals if it means you could give them business down the road.

On Campus
Even if you're not a student you may be invited to attend art openings, film screenings or conferences. Free food often accompanies these events and who knows, you may also learn something interesting in the process.

Blood Banks
Blood is almost always in short supply so as a way to entice donors to roll up their sleeves many blood banks will give away free food at special events. Typically donors receive free cookies and orange juice, but you may find opportunities to be rewarded for your good deed with an entirely free meal.

Grocery Stores
Whole Foods, Walmart and other grocery store chains regularly hand out free samples to shoppers. This may not be enough to fill your stomach, but it definitely makes for a good free snack.

Informational Fairs
Organizers of neighborhood meetings and informational fairs are always looking for ways to boost attendance. Look out for events that include free food.

No matter what your religious beliefs it's undeniable that church functions can be a great place to score free food. From visitor luncheons to Sunday dinners, church can be a great place for a friendly conversation and a free hot meal.

Open Houses
While you may not be in the market for a new home it can't hurt to stay educated about your local housing market. Especially if an open house involves free food. Some real estate agents will supply free refreshments to help visitors feel more at home.

By Alison Storm

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* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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