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Snack Hacks: where to get free food when you’re a struggling student

Life as a uni student can be tough. Juggling work, studies and your social life (if you get to have one after the endless assignments) can be taxing, and let’s not even get started on the dreaded group presentations. Add to this the fact that you might be a in a share house with only enough cups to work on a rotation basis. Or maybe you’re crammed into a one-bedder costing you a small fortune while you wonder how many mortgages you’re helping to pay off for your landlord.

One way to combat these woes is free food. It makes you feel good, it fills your tum and can help ease the financial burden of living skint. If you’re not sure where to start we’ve pulled together these options for you to keep in your back pocket.

Donate blood

There are a lot of great things about giving blood. You’re helping to save lives, it gives you a chance to take a break and relax and wait until you see the snacks on offer! Every donor centre is different, you might find cheese and crackers, milkshakes, party pies, fruit cake, or giant cookies to munch on after donating. You can donate whole blood every 12 weeks and snack to your stomach's content. But if you love what’s on offer and want to come back more often you can donate plasma every two weeks. It’s a win-win!

Sign up for birthday freebies

Birthdays can get a little humdrum as the years tick over. “Another year older, another year wiser,” they say, but boring quotes won’t fill that stomach. Google is your friend here – search for local food joints that give you a special snack for birthday, sign up and collect your bounty!        

Supermarket samples

This can be a bit luck-of-the-draw to find. Most local supermarkets will only have intermittent sampling, but it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled. Alternatively large department stores like Costco are pretty good with consistent samples – you’ll just need to find someone with a membership card to get you in the door!      

Student sausage sizzle

We’re pretty sure there’s nothing better than a sausage sizzle, and if there is we don’t want to know about it. One of the fondest memories of your student days will probably be queuing up for the great Australian snack: a barbequed home brand sausage, on home brand white bread with lashings of tomato sauce.