9 Ways to Mooch Food When Student Loans Leave You Broke
October 1, 2013

If you weren’t on a food plan in college, likely you were subsisting on ramen and pizza. But once you’ve graduated, you look forward to better culinary fare. Tragically, if you’re overburdened with student loans and underburdened with income, you may find yourself back on the noodle train. Not cool. Our suggestion? Learn the fine art of mooching for food. Here are nine tips for scoring free eats – bon appétit!

#1 Hit up happy hour buffets 

Get your eat on at a happy hour buffet

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Tell the bartender you’re a designated driver and you’ll get a free soda. Stuff your face, sip your Pepsi, and then clear out before they figure out you’re alone… 

#2 Munch free refills at movies

Take advantage of free refills

Image source: WorldofWonder.net

Only go to theaters that have free refills. Keep your bag and cup and use it until it melts. (P.S. Only go to cheap matinees!) 

#3 In late, out early maneuver

Eat the food, avoid the check

Image source: BusinessInsider.com

Show up to dinner after everyone orders, munch off their plates and then fake an emergency and leave before the check comes. 

#4 Get religion!

Get some religion and dinner at the same time

Image source: AwesomelyLuvvie.com

Look for pancake breakfasts and potluck dinners. You eat for free, the food rocks, and you can ask for a prayer to end your student loan plague!

#5 Culture plus calories

Get some culture and free wine

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Scan the web for free art gallery and museum exhibit openings with fine wine and appetizers – go get your snob on!

#6 Pull a dinner drop-in

Knock on the door at dinner time

Show up at the homes of friends/family to “borrow a book.” They’ll have to ask you to stay. Decline once, but grudgingly accept when they offer again.

#7 Creep around Costco

Have a Friday feast at Costco

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Print out a free one day pass and go gorge yourself on samples. On Fridays, vendors line the aisles and hand out nibbles!

#8 Never pass on a party

Parties are the biggest free food score

Image source: LowerEastsideTours.org

Never RSVP “no” to any party – especially one that doesn’t require a present! Free food, drink, and at no cost to you!

#9 Keep a freeloader file 

Don't get busted freeloading

Image source: ItsADogLickBabyWorld.com

Be sure to keep track of when you mooch and who you mooch from so you don’t get busted for taking advantage…


If your student loans have left you broke – feel free to freeload from Tuition.io! Sign up for our free student loan management tool to help you get your loans under control so you can afford to fill your own feedbag! Also be sure to check out our blog for tips and strategies on dealing with debt and our student loan help center for a roster of how-to guides and other information!