How To Get Free Groceries: 6 Proven Ways

Eating at home might be cheaper than dining out, but it still isn’t cheap. Finding ways to get some of your groceries for free can seriously offset costs.

As of October 2023, food at home is 2.4% more expensive than it was a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This of course is a general estimate, but specifically, cereals and bakery products are 4.8% more expensive than they were 12 months ago.

See: 10 Costco Meals That Are Cheaper Than Buying Takeout
Learn: How To Get Cash Back on Your Everyday Purchases

Even grocery shopping on a budget can add up fast. The average monthly cost of groceries for a 19 to 50-year-old male following a low-cost plan is $299.50, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Slightly less, women in this group, from the same age range, spend around $259.50 per month on food at home. Thankfully, there are several relatively simply ways you can get free groceries.

How To Get Free Groceries: 6 Proven Ways

Reducing your grocery bill might be easier than you think. If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can cash in on freebies at the grocery store. This will often involve a need to plan ahead or potentially swap to products you don’t typically use, but being flexible will literally pay off. Here are six ways to score free groceries:

  1. Look out for buy one, get one (BOGO) free deals
  2. Use rebate apps
  3. Sign up for free samples
  4. Join grocery store loyalty programs
  5. Sign up for brand-specific rewards programs
  6. Take advantage of community resources

Look Out for BOGO Deals

“Many grocery stores will run promotions like BOGO, in which you can get a free item when you buy an item,” said Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert. Ultimately, this works out to be a 50% off discount on both items, which she said is a big savings for grocery products, as inflation remains high on food.

“Check store circulars or your grocery store app to find such deals,” she said.

Use Rebate Apps

Taking pictures of your receipts with a free rewards app like Fetch will allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards to a variety of stores.

“Redeem points to a store that sell[s] groceries like Walmart or Target, so you can use those gift cards to pay for grocery items — essentially getting your free food,” Woroch said. “Check the ‘Special Offers’ section in the app to see which stores or brands will get you more points faster, thus helping you get free food faster.”

These extra points can add up fast. “For example, you can earn 1,200 points when you spend $110 at Albertsons or 150 points when you spend $10 at Rite Aid,” she said.

Sign Up for Free Samples

“Many grocery brands will roll out promotions in which they offer free samples to get their product out to more people,” Woroch said. “These deals typically require you to fill out a form that you send to the company and you will receive a voucher for a free full-size sample that you can redeem at a local grocery store or big box retailer.”

She said you can visit the ‘free sample’ page on MySavings.com to browse current offerings.

Join Grocery Store Loyalty Programs

Taking the time to sign up for grocery store loyalty programs and download their associated apps can reap handsome rewards.

“Many major supermarket chains like Kroger and Safeway have digital coupons, rewards programs and other incentives when you sign up for their app or loyalty card,” said Lindsey Chastain, founder of The Waddle and Cluck. “You can earn free groceries just by scanning your card or phone when shopping.”

Sign Up for Brand-Specific Rewards Programs

“Sign up for rewards programs through specific brands,” Chastain said. “Companies like General Mills and Quaker offer promotions where you can earn points and redeem them for free product samples or coupons.”

She said to check the websites of your favorite brands for more details.

Take Advantage of Community Resources

It’s possible you really can’t afford groceries at all right now. If so, Chastain said there are likely local organizations that can help.

“Local food banks and pantries distribute free groceries and meals to those in need,” she said. “Some may require registration or proof of eligibility.”

If you’re able to do so, she said many of these groups also need volunteers. “Consider donating some time to earn credits,” she said. Additionally, she advised looking into community fridges and free stores.

“In some cities, people have set up public fridges stocked with free fresh foods for anyone to take,” she said. “Community free stores operate on a donation basis too.”

When times are tough, theses resources can be monumentally helpful. Don’t think twice about using them if money is super tight right now.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How To Get Free Groceries: 6 Proven Ways

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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