Nab free food from Pret, Costa, local bakeries & more (plus eat neighbours’ leftovers for free… if you dare)
Whether it’s burgers, beer or blackberries, a free food and drink-sharing app offers you quality grub for free. The idea is that instead of binning surplus food, people sign up to Olio and offer it to their local community – think Freecycle for food.
Parents can check if their child’s school or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has a second-hand selling group, where you may be able to pick up pre-loved items. While this might not be available at every school, you could try organising your own second-hand sale with the school or check social media sites and apps such as Facebook Marketplace or Freecycle.
Just trying to score some freebies, eh? Alternately, do away with all the freebies. Then maybe you should check out Freecycle or the Buy Nothing Project. Freecycle networks are non-profit, community-driven, and driven entirely by volunteers, allowing people to give and receive goods in their local areas.
These two have been around for decades, and both have a feast-or-famine reputation: You’re either lucky enough to live where there’s a great group offering great things, or you live in a place where people try to unload some pretty awful stuff. (Fun fact: A guy in Fairbanks, Alaska, advertised free dog poop — “You shovel, you haul.”)
Back in my starving-midlife-student years, I scored some free grub from Freecycle and Craigslist. You might luck out, too.
Freecycle: When stuff doesn’t sell or isn’t handy to donate, Freecycle is your friend. Post your item on the site — I always add the disclaimer that I won’t deliver it — and you’ll often find someone will gratefully adopt your item.
That bike you no longer ride or trunk full of baby clothes would be welcomed by folks who can’t afford such things. See if there’s a local chapter of The Freecycle Network, or put unwanted items up for grabs on the “free” section of Craigslist.
For safety’s sake, leave the stuff on the porch or in your driveway for someone to pick up. Or, offer to meet the new owners in a public place for a drop-off.