How To Finesse Free Food
If you’re like me and constantly struggling to afford lunch every day on campus, then this is the post for you. I tried my best to do the whole packed lunch thing at the start of the year, but soon realised that I could barely get myself ready for lectures in the morning, let alone make some lunch. I then attempted preparing lunch the night before, but eating chicken sandwiches everyday was just not doing it for me. Plus, my laziness kicked in even when it came to making lunch the night before – if you’re not lazy like me then you probably won’t have to budget with buying food on campus!
Even though Warwick has some great restaurants on campus, like Bar Fusion, The Dirty Duck, Xananas etc., it can become a bit costly if you were to eat at these places everyday. Of course there are then cheaper alternative stores to buy from like Costa, Curiositea, Rootes Grocery Store etc., but sometimes you can be seriously broke when it comes to the end of term and simply can’t afford anything. Due to this, I’ve learnt ways to finesse free food and find cost-effective food options. You’re most probably interested in the freebies, so I’ll talk about those first!
1. Department Offer Holder Days
They don’t happen often, but they are the best when they do! If you help out during these, you’re likely to get free food that is available for offer holders, which normally includes sweet and savoury foods!
2. Focus Groups
These are normally advertised in the SU Newsletters or other emails we get to our Warwick inbox, but in return for your help you are sometimes offered free food or food vouchers.
3. Department Common Rooms
Be sure to find out if your department has any freebies – the Psychology common room has free tea, coffee and hot chocolate for students!
4. Random Events
Whether it is something large-scale and a one off (e.g. employer events), or a small session that happens regularly (e.g. writing mentor weekly sessions), there is normally refreshments available which includes tea and coffee.
5. Society Events
You don’t have to be a member of a certain society to go to some events, and a lot will have free food (normally Domino’s pizza) so take advantage especially if you’re a 1 year living on campus.
6. Department Meetings
This might not apply to all departments, but in Psychology we normally have a whole year meeting at the beginning and end of term. These are in lecture style and are fairly chilled, but there is normally free food like donuts and cakes. Recently however they gave us free fancy pizza and celebration chocolates and it was the best day ever.
7. The SU
Always be sure to pop into the SU when you get a chance because a lot of the time there will be stands with free food and drinks (normally from external companies/brands). Examples are free Domino’s pizza, smoothies, waffles, popcorn – the list is endless, however I normally find out by word of mouth through my friends and can sometimes get to the SU when everything has ran out (heartbreak). So visit the SU whenever you can!
In terms of cost-effective ways of getting food, this will depend on your personal budget but I’ll list a couple of mine in case they’re applicable to you!
1. Rootes Grocery Store
Rootes is normally pretty good at having cheap food items in general, however if you’re really on a budget then you could check out their reduced items. These are normally in the Hot section, but you can also find reduced sandwiches in the Cold section. You can find reduced food items at the big Tesco in Cannon Park too if you’re willing to make the walk!
2. Phone Network Apps
If you’re on networks like o2 or Three, then there are normally apps that provide you with ways to get free or cheap food. I have the o2 priority app and there is always freebies on offer, including a free hot drink from Café Nero on Tuesdays, along with their Monday £1 lunch deal.
Hopefully this post has been helpful – but if you’re keen to know other ways to get free things (including food) then check out my post about mystery shopping, which is the ultimate way to get fab freebies. Also, be sure to read my post about ways to earn money whilst at Uni and my tips for budgeting!