Today I want to tell you how to eat for free around the world. Although I talk here about my own experiences in cities such as Melbourne, most of these are applicable across the world. It’s easy to fill your stomach on a budget, or even with no budget at all, take a look for yourself…
Couchsurfing is a great way to meet new people, and get fed, watered and sheltered for a bit of cleaning up or cooking every day. Be wary though, not all couches come with food, and you should only use CouchSurfers with good reputations. See their website here
Work somewhere that serves food
Simple, really. If you work at McDonald’s you get free meals. If you work wrapping souvlaki’s for a street vendor I’m sure you can work something out. See an example of these jobs here
WWOOFing is similar to couchsurfing, except you usually get a bed, and nearly always have food and water provided. Do some agricultural work, get free accommodation and grub. Normally associated with the wilderness, believe it or not there are some WWOOF hosts very close to the centre of Melbourne. See the website here
Don’t let them waste
Restaurants, cafes and many other places that sell ‘fresh’ food always have a surplus. Sometimes it’s a feast, sometimes it’s a nibble. Either way, with some eyelash batting and polite persuasion they will usually let you take whatever is to be thrown away. I went to one place so often we agreed a deal, I would pay 1 dollar every time I went, no matter what was available. I ended up getting an average of $12 worth of munch for a dollar.
Offer to cook
Housemates, friends, colleagues…ask them what they’re doing that day for food. If it involves cooking, offer to cook it for a slice of the goods. Some might need the washing up doing to swing the decision. I was a terrible cook, so only did this once. Make sure you know how to cook what they are having.
Use free restaurants
Free restaurants are more common in some areas than others. Lentil As Anything is a donation only restaurant in Australia. This was my favourite place to go for food in Melbourne. The food is vegetarian and there are 4 locations across the city. Don’t do what I did and buy your own sliced ham, then pop it on your plate next to the served food. They find it rude and looking back I can see why. Sorry guys, I’ve grown alot since then! I tried to donate at least $5 each meal, but when I was stone cold broke they got nothing, and that is what they are there for. See their website here
Prasadam Hall also serves 3 free meals a day, from a Hare Krishna menu. I never went myself, but have heard good things. See their website here
Of course, usually a simple Google search for ‘free restaurant in ….’ will show you where your nearest one is.
Have you tried any of these? Got any other ideas? Leave a comment…