You’d be amazed by how much free food is available to college students. Learning to take advantage of these opportunities is a great way to meet new people and save some money.
1. Join a Club
This one’s a no-brainer. Clubs almost always offer free food at their first meeting. Some even do it consistently.
You won’t be covered for every meal but pick your cards rights and you might save a few dollars every week on food or be able conserve some food at home for a later meal.
2. Befriend the Right People
We all know that one kid who has too many meal swipes or gets too much free stuff. Hang out with him/her, invite him/her to a party, study with him/her, etc. It will pay off. Another good person to befriend would be one of your professors. Some professors have free coffee and snacks in their office. While not a good source of nutrition, it’s a good way to stave off the hunger for a bit. If you can befriend them successfully, you may even be able to get lunch with them and they’ll pay. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t befriend people just for the free food. Befriending a fellow college student will have a positive impact on your social life and befriending a professor will greatly benefit in terms of advice, recommendations, and life wisdom in general.
3. Go to Campus Events
This one is also pretty obvious. However, depending on the size of your campus, it may be difficult to find them. Pay attention to emails, look at bulletin boards, look on your school’s website, get involved on campus.
Like every other thing on this list, actively seek them out. Not every campus event will give you a full meal but the food you get can be paired with any other tip on this list.
4. Work in a Restaurant or Dining Hall
Many people don’t like working in the food industry. The customers aren’t always delightful, the pay isn’t the best, and opening and closing can be a huge pain. However, working in the food industry comes with a silver lining: free food.
Fast food places and restaurants give their employees a free meal before, after, or during their shift and dining halls give their employees the advantage of being able to eat as much as they can during their break.
Research is recommended, however, because each place is different in the amount of food they give their employees. It also helps to know which places are the best places to work for. This isn’t a requirement for getting free food but it ensures you receive a certain amount of meals a week.
5. Make Your Financial Situation Known
No, I don’t mean go around telling everybody how poor you are. I mean don’t act like you can afford to eat every meal when you can’t. By not hiding your financial situation, people are more likely to see you as the person to give food to. Don’t abuse it though or it will backfire. To achieve maximum success with this, be honest.
There you have it. Five tips to help you get free food in college. Individually, they might help you save a little money here and there but, together, you can keep the amount you spend on food to a minimum.