Home Discounts How to get free (or relatively cheap) food

How to get free (or relatively cheap) food

How to get free (or relatively cheap) food

There is a viral sensation sweeping the web; YouTubers and celebrities are attempting to use just one pound a day for their food.

For a nation that spend £25 a week alone on grabbing meal deals and picking up extra bits on top of their weekly food shop, are we simply spending too much on food, and do we really need to?

From my extensive ‘research’, I’ve come up with a few ideas on how to get food for free or at least at incredibly discounted prices.


If you’re looking to get free food in your area then a great idea is to download the Olio app. Simply type in your location and have a scroll.

Basically, people use Olio to put up their food for collection which would usually be thrown out into the bin.

You usually have to head over to pick up the food yourself, but if you have set it to your area then you shouldn’t really have far to walk!

Although lots of food is usually from people’s households, sometimes companies pop up giving away lots of free stock.

For example, Pret a Manger have two pick up times in the day for you to go and get their old stock for free.

Discount Times

When shopping on a budget, it’s always handy to know the key times that supermarkets reduce their stock by.

For example, main supermarkets such as ASDA, Sainsburys and Morrisons tend to reduce early in the morning, midday and early evening so keep your eyes peeled. The later in the day you go, the lower the item will be reduced to!

It can get a little intense, but have faith and keep hope in the fact that you will pick up that meal deal sandwich for 20p.


Supermarket coupons are accessible to all and can be printed off at home!

Simply head over to the money saving expert site to have a look through all their latest range of coupons.

There are of course lots of extreme couponing guides yet remember that you don’t have to dive in head first, simply printing off a few coupons for your shop will save you a good deal of money- keeping you, if you wish, under that £1 budget!

Claim your free drink

There are plenty of stores that offer a free drink when you head in there to shop.

If you sign up for a free IKEA card then you can claim a hot drink (usually £1.35) as many times as you like during your shop!

Waitrose also offer this service. However, in true Waitrose style, it’s no longer completely free. You do have to buy something to get your beverage so just pick up something super cheap to grab your coffee for less! There are plenty of bargain baskets throughout the store, Waitrose simply do not advertise them much.

Utilise your birthday!

There are countless establishments that offer you free food on your birthday! You will need a form of identification on you but apart from that there is usually nothing in the small print. Simply head along and see what they have to offer.

Check out this site here to see all the stores offering free birthday grub.

Head over to Crispy Creme

If you sign up to the Crispy Creme newsletter then you can grab yourself a code that will get you a free glazed donut in store.

It’s simple, grab your free coffee from IKEA before heading over to grab your donut from Crispy Creme for a completely free breakfast!

Pay as you Feel Cafes

There is a company called the Real Junk Food Project who have 40 ‘pay as you feel’ stores around the UK.

Basically, a ‘pay as you feel’ store contains lots of food that would have otherwise been thrown away.

At the till, you are expected to simply pay as you feel, although there is no real obligation to do so as many stores state that customers either pay with their time or with a certain skill.

There are plenty of locations across the UK, check out the site here to find your nearest one.

Grab discounted food

Establishments such as Starbucks and Itsu are not really the best places to head to on a budget, however, during the half hour before closing time, some stores do sell their food for 50 per cent of the original price tag!

That’s right! 350 of the 800 UK Starbucks store offer incredibly discounted food that would otherwise be thrown out.

You can view the list of specific stores over on this site here.

Itsu are an Asian inspired healthy food chain, they also offer 50 per cent off of their items half an hour before closing, you can check out the full list over on the site here.

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.