Table of Contents:

9/25/15 – Day 25

9/24/15 – Day 24

9/21/15 – Day 21

9/20/15 – Day 20

9/19/15 – Day 19


Day 18 – 9/18/15

The adage goes: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Well, that phrase must be terribly outdated, since I had a free lunch today. Wha?

Let’s backtrack a bit first.

One of the many perks of living in Manhattan is the sheer number and coverage of Street Team Sample Squads. It all began when I was a wee freshman at NYU, when the Redbull girls would pull up in their branded mini-cooper outside of the library and gift us with virtually unlimited caffeine.

Since then, I have had fistfuls of Emergen-C packets stuffed into my hand in Times Square, mini-cups of hummus and chips given to me on Broadway, and just two days ago, free ice-cones gifted to me when walking through Midtown.

And today, as I strolled the blocks around Rockefeller Center, two uniform-clad workers were handing out mini-muffins along with a coupon. I’m glad I read this coupon instead of tossing it away, since it was redeemable for a free sandwich at a newly-opened deli nearby.

Now if you actively look, there are a lot of free food opportunities in Manhattan. Free juice Saturdays if you go for a run for Juice Press, free pastry when you download the Panera app, and tomorrow is National Talk Like a Pirate Day, which means a free donut at Krispy Creme if you give them your best “Ahoy, matey!” No where in the world are so many corporate samples/freebies within such close walking distance of one another.

That being said, most of these free food opportunities require a bunch of research before hand, a smart phone, working knowledge of social media and the app store, and the time and energy it takes to go grab the food. The free food is definitely not enough to be life-sustaining, but it is a nice addition and awesome change of pace on top of the $50/mo. food plan.

Daily Meals/Costs:

Chawanmushi – $0.32 (1 egg)

1 Pita sandwich (Chicken, spinach, & mozzarella) – Free

1 Lindt Chocolate sample- Free

Cabbage garlic stir fry with rice – $0.28

Banana – $0.19

Total: $0.79 

If you think what we are doing is interesting, impactful, or maybe kind of insane, please consider donating to our efforts here. 100% of the proceeds will go towards Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a non-profit that works to eliminate food waste and redirect food waste into solving urban hunger.

Donation Total: $520