Frugal Friday: I Love Free Food

Free food buffet

We came. We saw. We conquered. The buffet.

Get In My Belly

Anyone who knows Robert and me, knows that free food is one of our great passions in life.

We know all the antique stores in the area that give out candy, donuts, and even sometimes have buffets (Watch out for the shrimp cocktail.)

At sorority events in college, we would show up for a few minutes before absconding with a tray full of Chick-fil-A nuggets.

You would think we are constantly preparing for eternal winter.

Here are a few helpful hints for shamelessly scavenging free food together:

Nugget tweet frugal friday: I love free food

Best Grocery Store Samples

Like any savvy shopper, I judge grocery stores based on the quantity and quality of their samples.

Not surprisingly, grocery stores in the swankiest neighborhoods tend to have the best samples.

No grocery store in their right mind is going to put out a full spread if they know low-rent scallywags like myself are in the area, poised to shove fistfulls of samples in my pockets.

If you really want to hit the jackpot, download the Zillow real estate app, and cross-reference grocery store locations with property values.

For me, the Kroger in Brentwood, TN, home of the trophy wives and country music stars, is the Mecca of samples.

Last time I made out with bruschetta, cheese cubes, and organic chips.

I’m guessing the sample stations were still overflowing when I got there, because no one in that zipcode eats carbs.

Pro tip: If you team up with your beau, you can get you double the samples.

If both of you pull the old, “I’m going to take one for my girl/boyfriend,” it nets you each twice as many samples!

You’re welcome.

Free food menu

“Get your own order of fries!”

Emails and Apps

Email lists and apps for your phone are reliable ways of learning about the newest promotions or deals going on at your favorite establishment.

But not all apps are created equal.

As a devoted nugget fan, I was stoked to join Chick-fil-A’s email list, and download their app. However, their email list falls short on the coupons side of things, and the only handy part of their app is the “find a location” feature. But even that wasn’t always accurate.

So far, my favorite food app is for Papa John’s pizza.

Papa John’s push notifications give me the same shiver of excitement as a text from Robert. They light up your phone with offers of two-for-one pizzas, or exclusive coupon codes.

The best part is that each pizza you buy gets you closer to a free one.

Everyone knows pizza tastes better when it’s free. In bed. In footie pajamas.

Beanie baby nuggets

I joined a sorority for the food. I mean, friends…

Calendar of Food Giveaways

Dress like a cow for Cow Appreciation day at Chick-fil-A, or dress like a burrito at Chipotle, the list of opportunities to embarrass yourself in the name of free food goes on and on.

If you’re really serious about getting your nourishment for nada, you need to have a game plan.

The best tools for this are a Google or iCalendar, and a list of food holidays.

Apparently I’ve been operating under the misconception that Robert is my soulmate, because some dreamboat over at Thrillist compiled a pretty nifty calendar of free food events throughout the year.

Marry me?

Add these dates to your calendar, and you’ll never miss free food again.

Sorry, Robert.




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