Free (Non-Dining Hall) Food: How to Get It

Sometimes you just aren’t interested in tri-colored rotini or chicken. Other times you just need a break from dining hall food, but don’t want to fork over the cash for grub.

Fortunately, college students — including Harvard ones — are very easy to persuade with the promise of free food.

If you’re smart, resourceful and just a little bit lucky, here are a few ways to keep you feasting like a king without using your boardplus.

1) Join mailing lists

Join a number of mailing lists — yes, it is like subscribing yourself to Harvard-related spam — but many a times, you’ll come across a listing of “Learn about Microfinance — Free Finale!”

If you join many of these, use your trusty email client to filter them from your inbox (so as not to drive you crazy), then a casual glance will usually allow you to grab free grub a few times a week.

Introductory meetings, panels and discussions typically offer free food (and if you’re lucky, entertainment as well).

A little known fact is that you can join many of the House discussion lists and perhaps learn about House-wide food-related events.

2) Make friends with people who don’t live with you

It’s all well and good that you have friends in your own house or entryway, but sometimes it’s better to cast a wider net. You want your friends from different houses to let you know when their master open houses are, or when their tutor is having a chocolate fondue study break, or if there’s a chips and salsa stein club etc. etc.

3) Eat at other houses if you don’t have friends

J/k! Sort of. Master open houses — with lots of yummy food — are usually posted in said house. If you just so happen to eat dinner there and it just so happens to be open house night! then you’re in luck. :)

4) Be a supporter of local businesses

This means, joining the b. good mailing list at the very least. They have free burger days for those with a printed copy of the email.

Many a times, you’ll find free food events on facebook. Just see what groups / events your friends are joining, and make sure you take advantage of Free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Day! or Free Chipotle Day!

And remember — the earlier go, the shorter the wait, and the more opportunity you have to go back. Let’s not talk about the time I went to J.P. Licks 4 times.

5) Donate blood

Do a good deed. Donate blood. Get snacks. Drink juice.

Sometimes, you can win a free ipod (like me) or get free pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! YUM!

6) Help Harvard help you

Go to career guidance events, or premed events, or advising events, or mental health awareness events, or womens’ issue events, or study breaks, or don’t go crazy even though it’s reading period uber special study breaks etc. etc. etc. These free events that are personally beneficial also provide participants with food as well.

Some “fairs” held in the Science Center fields are known to have more free stuff than you know what to do with.

7) What recruiting events are good for

Yes the economy is going down the drain, but Harvard students absolutely must be pampered with fancy water in glass bottles, delectable cheeses, chocolate covered strawberries and other things of delight.

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