How To Get Free Food As A Student

Looking for ways to get free food as a student? We've got you... From freshers' fairs to competitions, we explore how students can get the best freebies.

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time6 min read

As fun and exciting as student life can be, we all know it can also be incredibly challenging - especially when it comes to living expenses and getting by on a student budget.

Trying to budget for social events, rent, bills, and day to day living costs can leave little money left over at the end of each term - even with the help of a maintenance loan - so you may be looking for ways to cut down on costs wherever possible.

Thankfully, we have a few tips and tricks that can help you to get free food as a student - it may not be a solve all but a freebie is a freebie, right?!


How to get free food as a student in the UK

1. University events and societies

One of the many perks of being a student is being able to join a society you're interested in; not only will you find likeminded people there, you'll also get to attend fun socials that often include free food and drinks for members!

Similarly, look out for campus events that you can go to - from freshers' welcome fairs to guest lectures and more, you'll find that these often include refreshments at no cost...

You may have heard the rumours of free slices of Domino's pizza being handed out on university campuses during freshers' week, so it's well worth showing up and stocking up on some free goodies...


2. Exclusive student discounts and offers on food

Did you know TOTUM members can get their hands on a FREE tastecard, giving you access to up to 50% off pizza delivery from the likes of Domino's, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut and more, as well as 2 for 1 dining at thousands of restaurants across the country?

With tastecard's 2 for 1 dining offer, you and a friend can enjoy an entire meal for FREE, making this a great way to get free food as a student, as well as getting hundreds of other perks and discounts with your TOTUM membership.

Get a TOTUM card with a free tastecard here!


3. Supermarket coupons for free food

Supermarket coupons are another quick and easy way to get free food. Whether you find food coupons in a newspaper or magazine (it may seem old school but it works!) or you download a supermarket's app to receive personalised offers, you'll often find free food deals to bring the cost of your grocery shop down.

Remember, you can also get an exclusive 10% off at Co-op with your TOTUM card and Co-op membership!


4. Food retailer and restaurant birthday offers

Did you know that when you sign up for brand newsletters or download their apps, you'll often receive exclusive deals each year on your birthday?

A lot of the time, this means free food - what better way to celebrate?!

Here are some of the top food chains offering free food on your birthday:

  • Greggs: If you download the Greggs Reward App, you'll receive a free sweat treat each year on your birthday with the coupon valid for one month

  • Krispy Kreme: With Krispy Kreme Rewards, you'll get a free donut on your birthday

  • Barburrito: The Barburrito Loyalty Scheme offers members a free burrito for your birthday

  • Las Iguanas: You'll get a free birthday meal or bottle of bubbly at Las Iguanas if you sign up for the mailing list

  • Bella Italia: You'll get a free main meal for your birthday when you sign up for Bella Italia's newsletter


5. Food competitions

If you're up for a challenge, why not take part in some food competitions to be in with the chance of eating for free?!

A number of restaurants encourage diners to take part in their food competitions and challenges, whether that's Mission Burrito's Man vs Burrito challenge or Grills Steakhouse's 102oz Burger Challenge.

Usually, you'll be required to eat everything on your plate within a certain timeframe to win the challenge, and in this case you'll usually pay absolutely nothing for it!

But beware, lose the challenges and you'll likely find yourself having to cough up for the food...


6. Free food samples

Keep a lookout for free food samples in shopping centres, bars and more when you're out and about!

This is one of the easiest ways of getting free food as a student and you're expected to give nothing in return.

Also look out for any restaurant or product launches in your area, as you'll again likely be offered free food at launch parties or events.

7. Set up a food blog/social media account

This one requires a bit of work on your behalf, but if you're passionate about food and enjoy reviewing things, setting up a food blog or social media account with restaurant reviews could be the perfect way to get free food in the future.

If you build up a big enough readership or following, you'll probably find you begin to be invited to restaurants to enjoy a meal on the house in exchange for an honest review for your followers.

Social media recommendations work a treat for restaurants, so don't underestimate the power of setting up your own food blog/page to receive free meals!


8. Download food waste movement apps

Finally, if sustainability is a cause close to your heart, there's no better way of getting free food as a student than through food waste movement apps.

From Too Good To Go to Olio, these apps essentially promote zero food waste by notifying you of food chains, retailers and local people with surplus food on offer for either a very low cost or completely free of charge.

The idea is to prevent excess food from being thrown away unnecessarily, instead passing it on to those who can make use of it instead!

With Olio, you can return the favour and similarly offer locals the opportunity to pick up any food from you that is about to expire or is no longer needed.


Save on food, drinks and more with TOTUM

Now that you know how to get free food as a student, you can also make sure to stay in the loop with the best discounts on food, drink and more by signing up with TOTUM.

From eating out to ordering in, you'll find tonnes of discounts from the likes of Just Eat, Deliveroo, Coco Di Mama, HelloFresh, Coffee Club and more!

NOTE: This article contains affiliate links, which will earn the site a commission if the product is purchased.

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Sign up for FREE, download the TOTUM app, and enjoy the latest offers, vouchers, coupons and more at your fingertips. Find out more.

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