I recently set myself a personal challenge to try and eat for free for a week to see how much money I could save. Yes, that's right, I was only allowed to eat food I could get for free. I managed to have three meals a day, a snack and drinks.
My story even got picked up by The Daily Mail and The Sun!
Before you have visions of me begging for leftovers and routing through bins after hours, there is a way you can get free food without compromising your dignity. I am proof!
I would usually spend around £120/130 a week including a main weekly supermarket shop, top up shops and eating out so this was a massive change for me, but with a little planning and a lot of determination, I figured out how to complete my challenge successfully.
Head straight to:
- How to get free food & drink by post for entering giveaways & competitions
- How to claim free food & drink on cashback apps
- How to get free food & drink with website vouchers
- Interacting with brands on social media for free food & drink
- How to get free food & drink on loyalty clubs & apps
- Product testing & surveys for free food & drink
- Signing up to email newsletters for free food & drink
- Free food & drink from magazines & newspapers
- How to get free food with your online shop
- Get free food with ‘try me for free’ campaigns
- Make savings in restaurants
How did I actually eat for free for a week?
I get it, you’re sceptical. I was too, and so were my friends and family, but it can be done and I’m going to show you how in my step-by-step guide on how to get free food and drink and save as much as I did, if not more.
How can you claim free food & drink?
There are a variety of ways you can get free food and drinks - these freebies come in all shapes and sizes! I tend to use a variety of methods, which include:
- Giveaways & competitions
- Cashback apps
- Website vouchers
- Social media
- Loyalty clubs & apps
- Product testing & surveys
- Email newsletters
- Magazines & newspapers
- Online shopping discount codes
- 'Try me for free' campaigns
I'm going to break down the exact details of how you can claim these yourself. So grab a brew, get your notepad ready and let's begin.
How to get free food & drink by post for entering giveaways & competitions
This is one of my favourite ways to apply for freebies because if there are thousands up for grabs, you have more of a chance of scoring one. The product itself or a voucher is sent straight to your front door so keep an eye out for your post!
It’s also often the easiest way to apply too, as it’s usually a simple form with you name, email and address.
Here are some of the free giveaways I’ve been lucky enough to receive:
- Free Marmite – 250,000 available
- Free After Eight giveaway on Asda’s website – 1,000 available
- Free Onken Yogurt Pot – 1,000 available
- Free Crosse & Blackwell – 2,500 available
- Free Branston Beans – 80,000 available
- Free Pack of Red Bull – 4,000 available
These are often given away on a first come, first served basis so make sure you sign up to Magic Freebies UK’s newsletter to get the latest freebie alerts.
How to claim free food & drink on cashback apps
Supermarket apps are a gold mine for picking up genuine free food and drink items on your trip to your local supermarket. I’ve received hundreds of freebies this way, including Hovis bread, Lindt chocolate, a 12-pack of eggs (so handy in my house) a pack of Magnum ice creams and so much more.
If you’re already shopping at places like Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s or Tesco, then it’s definitely worth downloading these three apps:
There are others you can use but these are my favourite, as they are super responsive and reliable and always update their apps with new freebies throughout the week.
Downloading an app and signing up with your personal details like bank account information might sound a little daunting for some, but trust me, it’s 100% genuine and safe. If you don’t want to get free food this way, no biggy - you’ll only be missing out on amazing freebies and discounts!
These apps are super easy to use too. Let me break it down for you in three easy steps:
- Pick up the item from your nearest supermarket
- Scan the item and receipt on the app
- Claim 100% cashback on the product
You can choose for the money to go straight into your bank account or your PayPal account. The way you can cash out differs on each apps, which is something to consider when you’re cashing in your free money.
Shopmium will transfer the money straight away with every freebie you claim, but CheckoutSmart will charge you a transfer fee if you want to transfer your cash before reaching £20 in your account.
How to get free food & drink with website coupons & vouchers
Every now and again, websites will upload flash free vouchers and coupons on their site. Coupons and vouchers are still very popular in the thrifty / money-saving community and there will usually only be a limited amount up for grabs, so it’s always fastest fingers first with these ones.
See, it’s not just me who loves the thrill of swiping a free coupon before they run out!
That’s because these literally go in minutes, sometimes seconds, so it’s best to get your form autofill all up to date to help improve your chances. I use Google Autofill, which makes inserting my information into any form a breeze.
Once you’ve filled in your details, they’ll pop you an email with your voucher in to print off and redeem in store.
Freebie Tip 1: Always check your junk, as sometimes vouchers can get lost and make their way into your spam
Freebie Tip 2: Make sure you allow printer apps to download your vouchers and connect to your printer, if you interrupt the process, they might not let you print your voucher again
Freebie Tip 3: Check your printer is on, simple but effective
Some of my favourite previous voucher giveaways:
- Free Covent Garden Soup
- Free Linda McCartney Sausages
- Free John West Salmon
- Free Goodfella’s Pizza
- Free 1L A2 Milk
Sometimes it might not be a ‘free’ voucher or coupon, but it’s always worth downloading it because you can check for offers on mySupermarket to see where you can use this to turn a coupon into a crafty freebie.
E.g. Asda or Morrisons might have a promotional offer where all Covent Garden Soup is on offer for £1. So if you get a £1 off Covent Garden Soup coupon, you can redeem it for free in-store with your coupon.
Interacting with brands on social media for free food & drink
If you like a sneaky peak on social media when you’re stuck in the office all day, then this will make it worth your while. Just like newsletter sign ups, social media engagement is everything to a brand these days.
They’ve really upped their game in this area and you can get lots of freebies by commenting on posts, playing interactive games and quizzes, and even just messaging them.
Don’t believe me? Here is how you can get your hands on a free Ristorante Pizza voucher on Facebook:
- Log into Facebook and head over to Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza’s Facebook post
- Hit ‘Message now’ and start the quiz – it takes less than a minute to complete!
- They’ll send your free voucher across for you to print and redeem in any supermarket store
Amazing! It’s not just Facebook, Twitter is a great way to score free food and drink. One of the main ways you can enter giveaways is to follow hashtags like:
These are so quick to enter because you usually just follow and retweet or quote a tweet to them with an answer, followed by a specific hashtag.
Brands also like to get interactive on these channels too from time to time. Cadbury's Twitter is a fantastic example of this. I got a free bag of Cadbury Chocolate Buttons on one of their recent giveaways, where you had to direct the cow to find the buttons.
I tweeted the instructions and then filled in a form with my name and address and my chocolate was delivered in the post within days.
They also gave away a free box of Quality Street Chocolates when you tagged a loved one who you wanted to thank for something special.
Here is a list of a few brands that I’ve got free food and drink goodies from on social media to help you get started:
- Cadbury (obviously!)
- Coca Cola
- Chicago Town
- Lee Kum Kee
- Hotel Chocolat
- Dr Oetker
Ok… what’s the catch?
No catch, it really is this simple to get free food and drink. Let me show you more ways of bagging yourself free meals and supermarket freebies.
How to get free food & drink on loyalty clubs & apps
This is one of my favourite ways to claim free food. Lots of brands are only just clocking onto the whole loyalty rewards app movement and they want to encourage you to download their app and visit their restaurant or store over their competitors.
How do they do this? Yes, you guessed it, freebies! I’ve enjoyed countless Greggs food freebies, KFC fries and sides, a free GBK Burger, £10 free voucher from Frankie & Benny’s and many more free perks from downloading a free app.
Here is a step-by-step guide example to show you how I scored a free Greggs salad:
- I downloaded the free Greggs Rewards Loyalty app
- I signed up to get alerts for the latest freebies and discounts
- I picked up my free salad from my local Greggs and scanned the app at the counter
It’s that simple!
Here are some apps you can download in minutes to get started:
Get downloading now, they're all free!
Product testing & surveys for free food & drink
There are lots of exciting product testing companies available where they actually send you free food and drink to try, no joke! If they don't send you a physical product, lots will pay you to discuss your opinions on food and drink and offer supermarket vouchers in exchange for your opinions.
Some of the ones I use include:
Sign up and start replying to campaigns and surveys today!
Signing up to email newsletters for free food & drink
Brands are always looking for email newsletter sign ups, and if they can tempt you with a free treat, everyone’s a winner. For example, Krispy Kreme email you a free doughnut voucher when you sign up to their email newsletter. Simply print this off and redeem at your nearest Krispy Kreme shop.
These newsletters are so useful because you can get exclusive access to freebies and discounts. It’s how I found out Patisserie Valerie were giving away free Gateau Slices & Hot Drinks to celebrate their new store opening. So keep an eye out for these in your email!
Free food & drink from magazines & newspapers
I’m a sucker for those supermarket magazines and I always pick one up on the way out. They’re usually stacked up by the baskets near the entrance so make sure you grab one next time, because they’re often stuffed full of coupons.
Here are my favourites:
- Asda Good Living magazine
- Tesco magazine (get your free digital copy)
- Lidl's weekly deals
- Waitrose magazine (free to those who have a MyWaitrose card)
They won’t always be super obvious e.g. they won't always look like coupons or may be hidden in a poster, so stay eagle eyed for any promotions when flicking through your mag. Just like website vouchers, they might not be ‘free’ coupons, but if you save yours for when something is on offer, you can score yourself a tactical free meal.
If you pick up the Evening Standard or the Metro on your daily commute, they also give away free coupons every so often. Some of the recent coupons and free food and drink up for grabs include UP Smoothie Drinks, Warburton’s Bread, McDonald’s vouchers, and more.
Psst. If you’re a Londoner, sign up to The Slice from The Metro for even more exclusive freebies and discounts.
Surely there can’t be more way to get free food can there? Oh wait, there is!
How to get free food with your online shop
If you shop online, I don’t blame you! No queues, no impulse purchases and the convenience of someone dropping your food off at your house sounds like bliss.
You’ll also get to monitor your total and see where you can save with discounts like multi-buys, but did you know you can also claim freebies too?
Oh yes, supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have lots of freebies up for grabs, you just need to know where to look. If only there was an awesome freebie site that updated you with the best online supermarket freebies? Look no further than Magic Freebies UK's free food & drink section!
Here are some of the previous freebies on offer:
- Free Birds Eye Waffles
- Free Shredded Wheat Multigrain Cereal
- Free Pack of Walkers Baked Crisps
- Free Pack of Egg Noodles
- Free Pack of McVitie’s Thins
And loads more!
So you must be thinking great, what hoops do I have to jump through to claim these? Well, let me tell you know, it’s ridiculously easy.
All you have to do to claim yours is:
- Sign into your online shopping account
- Add your freebie to your basket and continue with your normal shop
- Checkout using a special discount code featured e.g. FREEBISCUIT at the checkout and the price will be deducted
Wahey! These are always running so make sure you take full advantage and look out for these on the website.
Get free food with ‘try me for free’ campaigns
We're nearly there!
You can also get free food and drink with ‘try me for free’ campaigns. Now, you’re probably wondering what on earth these are, right? Have you ever seen products in your local supermarket with a big bright sticker that says ‘try me’ on it?
Most of us, myself included, will completely ignore these, but we really shouldn’t because guess what? You can get these products for free!
Brands are dying to hear your feedback on their latest creations, so they’re willing to literally give them away. All you have to do is purchase your promotion pack and upload the promotional barcode, a photo of your receipt and sometimes leave a comment about your thoughts on the item.
These are, like other food and drink freebies, running all year round so it’s definitely worth getting involved and trying new products at no added cost to yourself.
It takes seconds to upload your receipt pic and barcode so make sure you do it while it’s fresh in your mind or remember to keep hold of your packaging and receipt until you’ve done this.
How to save money in restaurants using vouchers
There are always tons of savings, deals, and discounts on offer at all of your fave high street restaurants. If you fancy treating yourself to a meal out one day (go on, you deserve it!), it might not cost as much as you might think.
Check out our guide Restaurant vouchers (how to eat out on a budget) for all our top tips and tricks!
So there you have it, my secret methods to getting free food and drink revealed! Do you have any tips of your own? Get in touch.
Hope you enjoy getting lots of food and drink freebies.