10 Legit Ways on How to Get Free Food Online in 2023

Did you know that there are legitimate ways to get free food online? If you’re a penniless student looking to save cash on food or just a frugal shopper looking to stretch your budget, there are various ways that you can get food without having to spend a dime. 

In this article, we’ll provide everything you need to know about how to get food online for free, as well as what sites and apps can help you to do so. Some of these methods might surprise you as there are more ways to get free food than most people know.

Can You Legitimately Get Food for Free?

A woman using a laptop at a restaurant
A woman signing up to the restaurant’s loyalty program

Yes, there are various ways to get food for free legitimately. While discounted food or free delivery is easier to find, getting food for absolutely nothing is a bit harder. However, it is not entirely impossible. 

And you don’t need to do anything criminal to make it happen, as there are several legitimate ways to get food for free, from signing up to loyalty programs to taking surveys online or downloading specific apps.

How Can You Get Completely Free Food Online?

A woman using a tablet inside a restaurant
A woman taking the restaurant’s customer survey

We all love to get something for nothing, and getting a lovely delivery of free food is sure to make and day infinitely better. The trick is simply to know where to look for your free meal. Here are some tips and tricks you can employ for getting free food online.

1. Sign up for restaurant newsletters and apps

Some restaurants will provide you with free food in exchange for some information. Sign up for your newsletter, share your location, or leave a phone number, and you might be rewarded with free food or discounted meals. 

Often restaurants will also send you something free on your birthday if you include this information when signing up to their database.

2. Take online surveys for free restaurant gift cards

When you complete online surveys through sites like Swagbucks, SurveyJunkie, Vindale Research, and OpinionSquare, you will get rewarded with points. 

These points can be exchanged for gift cards to some of your favorite restaurants and takeaway outlets, such as Starbucks, Olive Garden, and Domino’s Pizza. Alternatively, convert your points to cash and use that money to buy food from wherever your heart desires.

3. Be a mystery shopper or diner

Mystery shoppers get paid by customers to shop at stores or dine at restaurants. In return, you need to evaluate the store on various aspects, such as cleanliness, product offering, and service. Companies then use this information to better their offering.

If you need to buy something from the store or order a meal to complete your review, you will be reimbursed for this item and paid for your visit. It is a win-win.

4. Make use of free restaurant loyalty or rewards programs

A woman holding a tablet and a card in a cafe
A woman using her loyalty card in a restaurant

Many restaurants use loyalty programs to grow their customer database. By signing up for these loyalty programs, you will be kept in the loop regarding any special offers or exclusive discounts. You might even be rewarded with a free item just for signing up. 

With most loyalty programs, the more times you visit a particular place, the more likely you will score something for free. For instance, some restaurants will give you a free coffee or ice cream on your tenth visit – just be sure to get your loyalty card stamped each time you go.

Some reward programs we recommend signing up for include the following:

  • iHop eClub
  • Burger King Rewards
  • TGIFridays Rewards
  • Olive Garden Rewards
  • Red Lobster Rewards
  •  Del Taco Raving Fan Club 
  • Krispy Kreme Rewards
  • McDonald’s Rewards App

5. Take advantage of free food delivery services

Many food delivery services offer you free food when you sign up, or the first time you use their app. Deliveroo and Uber Eats are two such services that provide cash off your first order, and you can also refer friends to keep getting discounted or free meals in the future.

6. Get paid to go to the pub

Did you know that you can get paid to go to the pub? Serve Legal allows you to sign up as a pub tester. You need to check the IDs of anyone under the legal drinking age to earn between $5 and $50 per pub visit. You will also get whatever drinks you order for free.

7. Download restaurant apps to get free food

A woman using a mobile phone while grocery shopping
A woman checking her supermarket cashback apps while grocery shopping

There are several apps where you can get food for free. These apps typically work by providing you with points, coupons, or discount vouchers for completing specific tasks.

  • What are the apps that give away free food? Some apps, like Shopkick, reward you with free food vouchers simply for downloading their app onto your phone. 

    Others will reward you when you refer friends, while others will reward you for playing music, completing forms, visiting websites, or watching videos. These reward points can be exchanged for gift cards to your local grocery store or takeaway spot.
  • Get first-order discounts on takeaway apps: Most restaurants and takeaway stores have their own apps where you can get deals, free drinks, or even free food when you place your first order online. 

    Some establishments that employ these techniques include Burger King, BJ’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, 7-Eleven, McDonald’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Starbucks, Wendy’s, and Jamba Juice.
  • Use supermarket cashback apps: Various cashback apps allow you to get cashback or other offers when you shop for specific products at your local supermarket. You need to buy the products mentioned on the apps and scan your receipts to get cashback.

    This method can save you up to 50% on your monthly grocery bill. Some cashback apps, like Shopmium, will also give you referral credit when your friends sign up for the app, which you could then use to pay for the remaining amount.
  • Use zero-waste apps for leftover food: If you don’t like to see food going to waste, then this tip is for you. Various apps help connect you with restaurants, cafes, and shops with surplus food.

    This food may be near its expiry date or is just not needed, and instead of throwing it away, they will sell it for a low price or give it away. Olio is one app you can check out in this regard. Both households and businesses can add their leftover food to the app, allowing nearby neighbors to take it off their hands.

8. Sign up on cashback sites offering free takeaways

Some cashback sites, such as Quidco and TopCashback, provide free meals just for signing up for their services. These offers can include $15 off your spend at takeaway joints like Domino’s or Just Eat, and often free delivery is also included.

9. Look for free food coupons 

A senior couple looking at a supermarket flyer
A senior couple cutting coupons from a supermarket flyer

Coupons that you find online, in newspapers, in flyers, or in-store, are a great way to get food for free. 

  • How do I get free groceries with no money? Various websites, such as RetailMeNot, list coupons that you can use to get fast food, restaurant meals, and groceries for free.

    Another way to get free food with no money is to use food services only once. That way, you can take advantage of the registration offer and then cancel your subscription.
  • Use supermarket coupons: There are typically two types of coupons; supermarket coupons and manufacturer coupons. You might be able to combine both these types of coupons to get free food.

  • Check your receipts for free BOGO offers: Buy one get one free, or BOGO offers are discounts that may grocery stores and fast-food restaurants use. Check all the receipts you get to see if there are any offers you can take advantage of. Sometimes you will need to complete a short survey to qualify.

    Some places that frequently print BOGO offers on their receipts include Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, Cotton Patch Cafe, Carvel, and Potbelly.

10. Get free food from your mobile network

Customers of specific mobile networks, such as O2 and Vodafone, can get remarkable offers through their reward apps. Sign up to Priority Moments and VeryMe, and you can get free coffees, chocolate, beer, and more.

You don’t even need to be an O2 mobile subscriber to sign up to the Priority Moments app.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A woman taking groceries from a delivery man
A woman getting discounted groceries from delivery services

Where can you get free or discounted food delivered from?

Want to get your free food delivered straight to your door? Believe it or not, this is possible. With so many food delivery services to choose from, many brands offer free credit when you open up an account with them and place your first order. 

  1. DoorDash offers $7 off your first purchase of $10 or more. You’ll also get free delivery on the first order made on their app. And they promise to get your food to you within 45 minutes or less or you will get your money back.

  2. Blue Apron gives you $50 or $60 off your first couple of boxes when you sign up for a subscription. Each box contains responsibly sourced high-quality ingredients and chef-designed recipes that come packed in a refrigerated box with recyclable ice packs.

  3. InstaCart will give you $10 for registering with a referral link. The app will help you get your groceries delivered within an hour by a local partner in your areas, such as Whole Foods, Safeway, or Costco. Your first order on InstaCart also won’t incur any delivery fees. Refer your friends, and you will also get a referral reward capped at $25.
  1. PlateJoy offers discounts of up to $10 or $20 off your first order. PlateJoy is designed to assist all people, including those with specific dietary restrictions, such as vegans, in planning their meals.

  2. Gobble will give you $30 off your first order and free shipping. Gobble takes the hassle out of cooking at home by preparing all the ingredients so that you just need to do the final cooking. Most of their meals take fifteen minutes or less to finish off. 

  3. HelloFresh offers a registration bonus of $30 when you use the code HFNOW30. This is one of the world’s most popular meal delivery services, and you’ll get all the ingredients and recipes you need to prepare delicious meals at home. And all of their recipes have been created by Jamie Oliver. 

    There is also no delivery fee when ordering with HelloFresh. As a new member on HelloFresh, you can also send four free meal boxes to your family and friends. If your friends sign on to the service using your referral link, you will get another $20 bonus.
  1. Caviar is an app that connects you with local restaurants in your area. You’ll get $5 as a reward simply for signing up and $15 for every new friend that you refer to the app. 

  2. Uber EATS is the offshoot of Uber and is proving to be just as popular. Sign up on Uber EATS using a referral code, and you’ll get $10 off your first meal, and the person who referred you will also get $10.

  3. Munchery offers a daily changing menu from a variety of restaurants. You’ll get $20 in credit the first time you order, which you can use to get free food in the future.

  4. NatureBox is an excellent tool for getting healthy snacks delivered directly to your house. Sign up as a new user, and you’ll get 50% off your first order. You’ll also get free shipping if you order more than $25 worth of products and if you don’t like the snacks, just ask for a refund.

  5. Delivery.com allows you to hire people to do your daily chores such as taking care of the laundry, grocery shopping, or picking up take-out. Sign up on the app, and you’ll get $7 in credit for your first purchase.

  6. Saucey offers a registration bonus of $10. This site doesn’t deliver food, they specialize in providing alcohol, but it’s still an excellent service to use for your beer and wine purchases. You will also get $10 for each friend you refer to the app.

  7. SkipTheDishes is another food delivery service for local restaurants. Sign up with a referral link, and you will get a $7 credit. Every friend that signs up using your referral link will also net you another $7.

  8. Atkins Free Diet Quick-Start Kit is a mobile app packed with recipe ideas and tools to track your weight-loss progress and goals. The kit is free to sign up for, and you can get $5 off other Atkins products on the app.

  9. GrubHub is also an excellent food delivery service for providers in your area. Sign up to GrubHub, and you’ll get $7 off your first order of $15 or more. Each time you refer a friend, you will earn another $7. You can also opt for pick up if you don’t want to incur any delivery fees.

What are other ways you can do to get free or discounted food?

A man examining coffee
A coffee taster examining a batch of fresh coffee
  • Earn birthday freebies by signing up or joining birthday clubs: As mentioned above, many restaurants offer birthday freebies when you sign up to their loyalty clubs or join their mailing list. Examples of establishments that offer this benefit include Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden, Boston Market, and Starbucks.

  • Be a Food Taster and provide reviews: What better job could there be than a food taster? If you have a flair for distinguishing spices, and flavors, then this could be an exciting occupation for you. Just give your opinions on the food you eat. You could also be hired as a judge at cooking competitions.

    If this sounds like a career for you, check out The Consumer Product Center, where you can be employed to taste energy bards, sports drinks, potato chips, yogurt, fried chicken, and more.
  • Find a job that includes free meals: Many restaurants or cafes offer free staff meals to their employees. You might also be allowed to take meals home. If you’re looking for a part-time job, then this is an excellent option as not only will you be making money at work, but you’ll also be saving on meals. 

    Some bigger corporations also have cafeterias where they serve free food to employees.
  • Visit local happy hours: Happy hours are a time of day when bars and restaurants serve discounted meals and free drinks. Some bars also give out free snacks during their happy hours, while others offer specials, such as a free hot dog, sandwich, or salad, when you buy a drink.

  • Attend meetings, open houses, and gatherings: Communities, universities, societies, churches, and even museums often hold open days where you can meet new people while scoring some free food and booze. These can be fun to go to and a great place to meet new friends. At worst, you’ll get to enjoy a free meal.

  • Attend supermarket openings and restaurant launches: If a new supermarket or restaurant is opening in your area, be sure to attend the launch. There are bound to be free samples on offer and discounts for future events, and even the opportunity to win big.

  • Check out free samples of new food products: Grocery stores, restaurants, and bars all give free samples of new products. Some online stores will also give out free samples of products they’re trying to promote.

  • Get free food and drink while you shop: Some stores, like Waitrose and IKEA, will give you free coffee or tea while you shop. However, you will need to buy something from the store to claim your free drink.

  • Visit pay-what-you-want restaurants: Pay-what-you-want restaurants or donation-based restaurants are typically run by charities. Eat what you want at these restaurants and pay what you think the food is worth.

    The donation you make shows support for the cause; rather than paying for the food you eat so often, people spend more than they would at a typical restaurant, but you can also get away with paying a dollar or two for a great meal. 

    You might also volunteer at a restaurant like this, and you will likely get some free food while you work.
  • Enter eating competitions: If you can pack away the grub pretty quickly, then you can get some incredible free meals by entering eating competitions. These competitions are often free to join, and you might even win some cash.

    Certain restaurants will also give you their meal for free if you can finish a giant burger or steak in a certain amount of time.

  • Grow your own food: Having a small garden at home will save you lots of money on herbs and vegetables. Even the smallest of window boxes can be great for growing some greens.

  • Go foraging for food: Foraging is all the rage with top chefs, and there’s no reason why you can’t also participate in this trend. However, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing so that you do not incorrectly identify any mushrooms, berries, or plants, so you will want to take a course or go with a professional.

Is looking for free food shameful?

Two women in the kitchen about to have coffee and pastries
A woman encouraging her shy friend over coffee and pastries

Looking for free food is not shameful. You don’t need to be going through hard times to look for free food online. You wouldn’t pay more rent than you have to, so why should you spend more on food than is necessary.

It’s all about being savvy with your money to make those dollars go further. 

Not only is food essential for your nutrition and a vital part of your daily living, but free food offers are also a marketing tool employed by many businesses. 

These brands want you to try and use their product, and taking advantage of their free food offers is precisely what you’re supposed to do. You may find a cuisine you never knew you liked or a restaurant you didn’t know existed along the way. 

Take Advantage of Free Food Online Offers!

A woman with grocery items in the kitchen
A happy woman scored free grocery items

As you now know, there are so many different methods for getting free food online.

These include everything from taking advantage of restaurant launches to entering eating competitions, downloading your mobile network’s loyalty program, and looking for coupons online. You might even be able to get paid for tasting food or sharing your opinions.

You also don’t need to be poor to take advantage of these free food offers. Being savvy with your food expenses can be a great way to make your budget go further, leaving you more cash for that summer vacation or some unique Christmas gifts. 

Do you know any other places to get free food other than what we have already mentioned above? We would love to hear your recommendations and ideas. Please do feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

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