Free Food For College Students On A Budget

college students

School is back in session and college students are back to waiting longingly for the weekend so they can go home and eat good food cooked by mom and dad. Having never lived away from my parents when I was in college, I don’t know about this; but I know the good food deal is a struggle for many college students. You’re on a budget. You’re not making a ton of money, but you are paying a ton of money to go to school. You have bills to pay, tuition due and you are broke. It’s the struggling life of both artists and college students. The good news is that you can eat well at college, and you don’t have to resort to only ramen noodles and the McDonald’s dollar menu.

How do I know this? Because I have three nephews in college, and they might not learn anything in class except for how to get through the week eating well while waiting for the weekend so they can all go home to their mom and dad’s or their grandmother’s house. They are wise beyond their years in the art of eating well and eating cheap; and I asked them how they do it.


Not only does becoming a volunteer for any number of organizations feel good as a whole, it’s also something that you should do just because it is the right thing. Volunteering is something that makes you feel good, but it’s also something that generally feeds you. You can volunteer for events around your campus or community and often find that the food provided is also available to you. It is a fun way to enjoy some free food as well as a way of making yourself a better person as a whole. Good luck to you in this endeavor.

Join A Wholesale Club

You can even ask your parents to make you part of their membership to Sam’s or Costco or whatever is local to you. We all know that they offer the best free samples on the weekends, and that you can pretty much eat an entire meal in here without actually making a big deal of it. Who doesn’t love the idea of getting a free meal while walking around an air-conditioned building for a few hours?

Join Clubs

The best way to get free food that’s actually good is to join some organizations on campus. These types of organizations often host events and socials only for their members, and many of them are catered to provide meals as they occur most often during dinner and even breakfast times. It’s a great way to ensure you get a few meals a week that you don’t have to pay for. The additional perks include making new friends, become involved in specific organizations that might be fun, informational and even transformative to your life. You can’t lose here.

Join A Church

Sunday mornings at many churches mean you get free food; coffee, juice and muffins are among a few that my own church serves each Sunday. Additionally, you might also receive free meals when you join the church for different events throughout the week. Let me point out that I don’t believe you should join a church for the free food, but I do think that you might enjoy the fellowship and the sense of family and community you find here. If you join for the food, fine; but at least try to get something out of it in addition to just your meals. You won’t regret it.

Make Friends with Kitchens

If you live in a dorm, try making some friends who have apartments. They often like to host gatherings which might mean cooking. You shouldn’t show up empty handed, but you can always offer to bring a side dish and run to the store and pick up a premade side dish to contribute to the meal. It’s an inexpensive way to score a free meal by only purchasing a small bit of it. It’s not free, but it is affordable and can make your life that much different.

Work at A Restaurant

If you are going to get a part-time job while you are in college, you might as well get one in a restaurant or a bakery or some place that serves food regularly. You’ll get paid for your work, but you also get the benefit of discounts on meals or even free meals at the end of your shift provided you work closing. Most of that food goes into the trash if it’s not consumed, and many restaurant owners would rather you eat it than it go entirely to waste. Basically, it’s like giving back to the community by eating the food that would otherwise be wasted.

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