This post is about getting food for free, that is without spending money, but actually I mean more than that by free food. Food is the key thing which keeps many people in slavery. You need it to live (although some people dispute that) and the current system is set up such that you need to pay for it. This requires money, which in turn requires you to participate in the economic system which binds people to jobs they don’t want and generally makes people so many people miserable. When you know how to get food for free, you become more free.
I don’t claim that the methods I outline in this post will fix the system or work if everyone were to do this, but for now they can at least help some of us.
In Europe this is called recycling, in America, dumpster diving. The best places to go are supermarkets at closing time. Huge amounts of good food are thrown away every day. This might be because an apple is bruised or a banana is deemed too brown. Much of it will be food that has reached its best before date. Apart from the fact that these dates are usually very conservative and therefore the food will probably be good for some time, if you go at closing time you get food which was on the shelves only minutes earlier, so it may not even go out of date until the next day. You can live on entirely on what you find in these bins.
There are some things you will very rarely find, like dried foods and things with a long shelf life. It’s nice to be able to buy these things, but it’s a luxury.
If you are settled, you can of course grow food. Not much good if you are travelling though.
Depending on where you are, you may be able to find fruit, mushrooms, and other foods growing wild.
Asking in Restaurants and Shops
This is similar to skipping, but you get it before it is thrown in the bin. Going to bakeries at closing time is often very worthwhile. Some restaurants will also cook lots of food that if unsold gets thrown away.
There are charities which give food to “the homeless” (whatever that means). Some temples and churches do this. It is not something I really like because, unlike skipping, the food has been paid for by someone. I’m not really comfortable with the idea of other people buying food for me. If you need it though, you should know these places are there.
I'm River MacLeod, a nomadic hacker.