11 ways to get free food and save on food bills
Food & Drink

11 ways to get free food and save on food bills

21 January 2022

free food and places to get cheap food

Some say there's no such thing as a free lunch. Au contraire. Our monthly guide covers where to eat cheaply (or even for free) right now and the secrets to slimming down food bills.

As of 2024, monthly food bills (and everything else on the planet) is skyrocketing, so vouchercloud put together a list of savvy tricks to help consumers save money on the things they love. If you've ever wondered how to eat for free or get 50% off at Bella Italia and a free Whopper from Burger King, this one's for you.


1 Free food from apps
2 Kids eat free at ASDA, Brewers Fayre and Morrisons
3 Free coffees and Greggs breakfast rolls
4 Costa hot drinks for £1
5 25% to 50% off restaurants with newsletter discounts
6 Up to 30% off with NHS and student discounts
7 Up to £20 off first orders with vouchercloud discounts
8 Up to 80% off food approaching the 'best-before' date
9 Cheap meals with free food apps like Olio
10 Half price or 2-for-1 meals with a Tastecard
11 Find local restaurant deals on Groupon

1. Free food from apps, including coffees, Burger King Whoppers and doughnuts

apps to get free food

The promise of a free lunch might sound like a cruel trick, but there’s some substance (or sustenance) to these rumours. Lots of fast food joints offer free food with sign-ups to the app. What's in it for them? Probably to act as an enticing siren call when you stumble within a mile of the nearest store, but you can always turn off notifications or delete the app after claiming.

Restaurant Freebie Save
Greggs Download the Greggs app and score a free hot drink as a welcome gift! After that, keep your app handy to collect stamps with every food purchase (think pastries, savouries, etc.). Once you collect 9 stamps, you'll be rewarded with a free gift from that same category. £2.00
Burger King Free Whopper or Plant-Based Whopper with the Burger King app. Just download the app and place your first £3+ click & collect order to redeem your free burger. Stick around for flame-grilled goodness and exclusive deals like £1.99 Whopper Wednesdays. £6.29
Krispy Kreme Free glazed doughnut with the Krispy Kreme Rewards app. Keep the app handy to collect 'Smiles’ with every purchase (10 Smiles for every £1 spent). Once you collect 100 Smiles, you've earned another free doughnut – a delicious reward for being a Krispy Kreme Rewards member! £1.50 (approx)
Taco Bell Free Crunchy Taco with the Taco Bell app. Plus, keep the app handy to rack up points on all your purchases. Those points can be redeemed for more tacos, sweet treats or whatever your taste buds desire! £2.29

Download the My McDonald’s app and score a whopping 1000 bonus points with your first order. That’s like being two-thirds of the way to a free reward – think fries, salads, hash browns or a regular drink on the house! While it might not be a Big Mac just yet, it’s a tasty head start to free McDonald's treats.

£2.00 (approx)
Shopmium Get a free product – from savoury snacks like Pringles to a delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar – just for signing up to Shopmium! Buy it at any supermarket, snap a pic of your receipt, upload it to the app and allow one to three business days for cashback to drop into your PayPal or bank account. Plus, refer a friend and you both get £3 credit. £1.50 (approx)
Vintage Inns Download the Vintage Inns app and get £20 off your next £40 food order. Thats a massive saving on delicious pub grub like Sunday roasts and burgers! Plus, the app unlocks even more tasty deals – collect stamps and score a free cocktail on the house! £20.00

2. Kids eat free at ASDA, Brewers Fayre and Morrisons

free food for kidsFueling your little ones after a shopping trip? Heres a breakdown of restaurants and cafés currently offering free children’s meals. Remember, these offers can change throughout the year, especially during school holidays. But with a little planning, you can find fantastic options to keep little tummies full without breaking the bank!

Restaurant Discount available Save
ASDA café Kids eat free when an adult spends £1, so grab yourself a caffeinated beverage and you’re covered! The offer covers multiple children (we haven’t tested exactly where ASDA draws the line) under 16. Little ones under 18 months get a free Ella’s baby food pouch. £2.60
Brewers Fayre

Fuel the family with a free cooked or continental breakfast for up to two children under 16 with a paying adult. Adult breakfasts range from £8.99 to £10.99, making it a budget-friendly way to satisfy everyones cravings. Two happy kids, a full breakfast for you – its the perfect way to kickstart your day together!

£5.00 per child
Morrisons Kids eat free from 3pm, so grab a meal deal for yourself for £4.50 or more and your little ones can enjoy a free kids’ meal on Morrisons. Each meal includes a healthy piece of fruit and a drink choice of Tropicana or water. £3.25
The Real Greek Kids eat free on Sundays when an adult spends £10. Forget fish fingers and chips. For the real Greek experience, kids can choose between the Soulavki wrap or Meze platter with veggies and houmous. £6.75

3. Free coffees and Greggs sausage rolls with O2 Priority

ways to get free food

This is a no brainer if you’re already an O2 customer, but we have a sneaky tip to beat the system. If you have an unlocked phone knocking around, order an O2 Pay as You Go SIM card and top up £10 to get started—then, download the O2 Priority app to get free food and some delicious discounts.

Restaurant Freebie Save (approx)
Caffè Nero Free mystery hot chocolate or any hot drink or iced coffee from 10am Monday to Thursday £2.60
Greggs Free breakfast roll, sausage/vegan sausage roll or doughnut on selected days of the week. £2.30
Caffè Nero 2 for 1 on desserts, including vegan salted caramel and chocolate cheesecake, Black Forest roulade and more. £3.40

Learn more on the O2 Priority offers page.

4. Costa Coffee hot drinks for £1 with VeryMe

how to get free coffee deals

Like O2 Priority, you can access VeryMe rewards with a simple £10 top-up on a Vodafone SIM card. Vodafone partners with brands like Costa and Thortful, but the star of the show is 25% off local coffee shops for 12 months and 2-for-1 meals with the Eat Local app.

Find out more on the VeryMe Rewards page.

5. Save between 25% to 50% on restaurant bills with newsletters

restaurant meals offers

If you’re worried about inbox overload, it’s worth creating a strictly business-only email address or unsubscribing after the introductory discount. Discounts usually only apply to meals, so check the T&Cs carefully before telling anyone 'this one's on me'. Here are a few of the best food offers our discount code hunters tracked down:

Restaurant Discount Save (approx)
Brewers Fayre 25% off with newsletter sign-ups or 50% off with the Bonus Club £2.50/£5.00
Cookhouse & Pub 25% off with newsletter sign-ups £2.50
Beefeater 25% off with newsletter sign-ups or 50% off mains with the Reward Club £2.50/£5.00
Bar + Block 25% off with newsletter sign-ups £2.50

6. Up to 30% off with NHS and student discounts

nhs meals discounts

It’s time to invite any student or NHS worker you vaguely know to front the food bill at restaurants (kidding). But seriously, most restaurants discount the entire bill (not just the individual person) when there's a student or health worker in your group—if you remember to ask.

Here are a few of the restaurants offering discounts right now:

  • Beefeater: 25% off for NHS workers and students
  • Bar + Block: 25% off for NHS workers and students
  • O’Neill’s: 10% off for NHS workers
  • Brewers Fayre: 25% off for NHS workers
  • Frankie & Benny’s: 20% off for NHS workers and students
  • Café Rouge: 30% off for students from Sunday to Wednesday
  • Bella Italia: 30% off for students and 25% off for NHS workers

Bring along some valid ID: for students, it’s a university card or StudentBeans or UNiDAYS card; for health workers, it’s a Blue Light Card.

7. Up to £10 off with food delivery and takeaway discount codes

takeaway discounts

Food delivered to your doorstep will never be the cheapest way to satisfy your appetite, but we all deserve luxuries and a night off from the dishes sometimes. Our food and drink discounts can help make this luxury more affordable, particularly if you're a new customer. Here are some of the top discounts right now:

It's also possible to earn vouchers or credit by referring friends—Uber Eats will send you a £5 discount for every successful referral.

8. Wasabi and Itsu half price and up to 80% off at Approved Food

half price sushi offers

Itsu and Wasabi drop the price of all sushi and salads 30 minutes before closing time, so check the opening times if there's one in your area. Itsu's Super Salmon “3 Ways” is usually £7.99, but it'll cost £3.99 if you visit during the 50% off happy hour.

The website Approved Food sells food that would otherwise go to waste for 80% less—all past the best-buy date but not the expiration date. Think snacks, crisps, air fresheners and even beer. Tinned goods could probably survive an apocalypse, so these should be a safe bet. Otherwise, just use your best judgement.

Forget everything you thought you knew about “best before”. The best-before date is the date when the food quality and texture may start to change, but it’s still completely safe to eat.

9. Download free food apps for healthy meals on a budget

apps that offer free food

Apps like Too Good to Go and Olio should be your bread and butter. Too Good to Go connects you with local restaurants and grocery stores: discounting meals, baked goods and fruit and vegetables. Usually, you'll receive a mystery bag of surplus food from that day, but reviews from previous buyers can help you figure out what to expect.

Olio is a leftover food app for rescuing free food near you that would otherwise go to waste. Set your location to browse and request items from people in your local area. Near us, we found all the ingredients for a vaguely Italian dinner (bread rolls and baguettes, parsley and pasta sauce). There’s also a section for non-food items like clothing or books and a section to request items you’d rather not purchase yourself (like tools).

10. Half price or 2-for-1 meals with a Tastecard

50 off pizza

A Tastecard is super handy for loved-up couples, best pals or hungry acquaintances. Offering 50% off or 2-for-1 discounts at popular restaurants, it’s completely free for 60 days with no obligation to continue the contract. This one's amazing if you're big on Italian food. Here's a sample of some of the Tastecard discounts available right now:

  • 50% off at Pizza Hut
  • 2 for 1 on meals at Prezzo
  • 2 for 1 on meals at Café Rouge
  • 2 for 1 on meals at Bella Italia
  • 2 for 1 on meals at ASK Italian

Don't forget to set a reminder to cancel the Tastecard subscription if you aren't willing to continue beyond the free trial.

11. Try Groupon local deals

save money on food

Dinner dilemmas? Groupon comes to the rescue with a curation of food and drink discounts happening in your local area. We've spotted 50% off a gin experience, 51% off a steak dinner for two (including drinks!) or a comedy show with free pizza for under a tenner!

Snag your vouchers and book your table directly through Groupon. Don't forget to check our Groupon vouchers for even more restaurant discounts.

Food for thought

  1. Check vouchercloud discount codes. We usually have a code or two up our sleeves to help you save on takeaways, restaurants and your weekly shop—take a look at the food and drink discounts available before making any purchase.
  2. Resist the cravings. Ordering takeaway can get expensive real fast. Keep an emergency pizza stashed away in your freezer for those days when fast food feels inevitable, or try meal kits by HelloFresh or Gousto. Food delivery boxes are cheaper than takeaways, and the recipes are super easy to whip up when you're hungry now.
  3. Plan your meals. Create a meal plan to keep you on target and prevent any food waste. Throwing food away is essentially money down the drain, so plan cheap easy meals for the upcoming week or pop any ingredients you won't use on Olio for your neighbours to enjoy.


    Information updated monthly and sourced from retailers' websites, correct as of 15 April 2024. We use an estimated £10 spend to calculate the value of restaurant discounts.
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