Where can you get free food?

United States
October 5, 2012 7:02am CST
This past month I have scored twice on the free food. Once from my apple tree and once from a friend who shared here grapes with me. I have been canning all week in hopes that I can help lower our food budget. I was looking for peaches and other items that people seem to have a ton of but I didnt have much luck this year. Now its almost winter and I feel unprepared. I was thinking of trying to grow lettuce in the house this winter and seeing if we can get some food from that. Where do you find food that doesnt cost money? Do you have any ways to produce food at home for free?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@mythociate (15963)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
15 Dec 12
I know you mean 'food you can keep for later,' but my first thought was "church." Though most churches do not have a free lunch REGULARLY, some will have a free (or relatively cheap) lunch at times ... keep your eyes peeled for church-bulletins which announce the lunches. Also, you can sometimes pick up leftovers if there are any local pizza-places that serve quick-&-ready pizza all day. And of course there are food-pantries where you can pick up lotsa canned-foods & stuff.
@lanieky (47)
• United States
3 Nov 12
where I live there is several food banks that we go to they give alot of can food and some bread and maybe some meat you will just have to check around and see if where you live has places like that also like you said you can grow some things inside the house.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 12
Learn to forage wild foods. Even in the city you can find some vacant lots or other places that haven't been sprayed with poison where you can get dandelions, lambsquarter and a lot of other free wild foods. I don't know where you are, but in a lot of places, there are still wild grains and seeds out there for the taking. I intend to go out tomorrow and gather what I can find of the last of the wild amaranth seeds to use in breads and cereals this winter. I have already gathered lambsquarter seeds for the same purpose. All summer I used dandelions in many ways, lambsqarter for greens, purslane, mallow and salsify from my back yard. I just dug a batch of dandelion roots to roast for dandelion "coffee." Grow a garden outside in the summer if you can, but even if you only have a small step, you can grow something in a pot. Some things do okay in the house. Your lettuce will grow fine if you have a sunny window. Radishes will, too, as well as spinach or other greens. To produce much in the house you will need good lighting and that becomes expensive in terms of electricity. If you have a sunny window, though, set up a shelf or table where it gets a lot of the sun and see what will grow. Think about sprouting seeds, but not the seeds that you bought to grow as they've been treated to keep fungi and other things away. Wild sunflower seeds will sprout and give you delicious food, as will many other seeds. If you have a Freecycle locally, ask there. Many times people will have an abundance of things (like peaches) but just don't think to offer them. If you can use Craigslist, offer to trade something for food. If you can clean house or wash windows or run errands, you can score some food at times. Just a few thoughts that I hope will help.
• Greece
20 Oct 12
Free food, really free - wild grapes growing in abandoned land, pomegranites just ripening on the trees, figs, so many that we made jam and dried skewers full of them this summer. Home grown, but not very good this summer - tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers,aubergines, melons and runner beans. But the home grown cost a little for manure, wooden supports etc. You could grow bean sprouts on the windowsill very easily, but you have to remember to change the water every day. Cress is another indoor growing favourite. I suggest you visit a local store and check out the seeds you can buy there and get some advice too, the assistants are usually knowledgeable and helpful.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
6 Oct 12
Hello, It will be hard to grow lettuce inside the house unless you really have a lot of light or a place where you can put up grow lights and a shelf with trays of your plants. I belonged to a green house group two years ago but even that did not work out too well for bvegetables. I did not get much of anything. I know you live in the US. I live in Canada so things are a little different. Where I live we have an organization called "Not far from the Tree". People with fruit trees often don't have the time or are too old to harvest the fruit so instead of letting it go to waste this organization puts interested parties in touch with the owners of the trees. These volunteers do the harvest and share it with the owner. Myself I am a volunteer at a Food Bank garden. The harvest is almost finished but the volunteers worked on the 90/10 principle. The Food Bank got 90% of the produce and the volunteers 10%. This Food Bank also registers people who are in need of more food than they can afford to buy. Certain criteria apply but when families meet this criteria they are entitled to get free food once or twice a month. This usually consists of canned goods, cerials, potatoes, onions and carrots. There are also "pick your own" farms where you can pick produce for a fee or buy sacks of potatoes and onions. You pay about 1/2 of what you would pay at the supermarket. Good for you, to do all this canning. Your family will benefit and be much healthier because you know exactly what is in the food that you canned yourself. Keep it up. Also check Freecycle and Craigs List. Sometimes people are giving away free stuff.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
5 Oct 12
we grew tomatoes in our garden this year and ended up getting a bumper crop. we got the tomato plants for nothing and i was able to make a few batches of salsa from them. i would love to grow more food and may do the same as you this year. i tried to do it before but our cat always used to eat the leaves but sadly, our kitty passed away in the spring so now i may try doing that this year too.
• United States
5 Oct 12
There are like 14 food pantries in my area. I could sign up for all of those and get free food. I will not do it because it will be food I can't handle like too much cans.