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No money for food

No money for food? Looking for free food? What now? On Moneyless.org we have quite a few tips to get food without money. There's no reason to starve if you don't have money. On the contrary. You can ask for food and you can search for food. If you follow some of these tips you might even eat tastier food than if you had bought your food.

When it comes to free food there are several approaches:

  • Asking: use the abundance of food, requires social interaction
  • Finding: in nature or in dumpsters
  • Growing: the most sustainable way

Grow your own food

If you're moneyless the best way to get food is to grow food. If you live in the country side and there's enough land you only need to get seeds. There are many seed swapping communities, where gardeners meet to exchange seeds. There's likely to be plenty of people willing to get you started if you don't have seed of your own to swap. If you live in the city guerrilla gardening can be an interesting alternative to owning your own land.

To ask for free food

You don't always need money to eat. You can also simply ask for food. You can do this with restaurants, market people, shops or people you know. It's always important that you explain why you need food: for example because you don't have money to eat. In the beginning it's not easy to do this but definitely not impossible. In Portugal and Germany there are even organizations that take left over food from restaurants and reshare this among people without money.

Ask at a restaurant

You might think it takes a lot of effort to ask for food, but practice makes perfect! Be patient and things will be alright. Some restaurants even give you a table to sit and put the food on it, right there, for free, if you don't have money. How does this work? You enter and wait till someone comes to you. You explain to the person that you don't have money. You ask if they have some left overs in the kitchen. It's good to have an empty box in which they can put food.

Ask on a market

You can also ask around at markets. It's best to go around closing time. Tell them you don't have money and ask: "Maybe you have something that you can't sell anymore?" Ten against one that the person will give you some salad or apples. If not, thank the person anyway and ask at the next stall. Until you have plenty for yourself.

Neighborhood supermarkets

You can do the same with supermarket. Big stores don't work out well for this. Employees will almost always say: "My boss does not allow me to do that." And you never get to speak that boss. Small supermarkets are much better. Neighborhood stores. And immigrant shops in big cities are usually happy to give, especially shops ran by muslims.

Ask a farmer

There's always food to be found at a farmer. Not everything a farmer grows will end up in stores. A lot is left on the fields. You can ask the farmer if you're allowed to pick those leftovers. You'll surely find a lot.

Ask at community gardens

A community garden in Montreal, CanadaIn many villages you can find a piece of land where people can have a plot in a community garden. They share what they reap. Ask them! They might even want to teach you how to grow your own food. Then you can live **zelfvoorzienend** and you won't need money anymore to eat. Always eat for free.

Find free food online

Some people offer free food on websites. There are new initiatives such as foodsharing.de that allow people to offer their left overs.

Free food samples and coupons

In the United States there are many companies that send out free samples of new products. You can also use this to get free food.

Free coupons are another way. You can request the coupons online, they will be sent to your home and then you can use the coupons to get the food in stores or restaurants.

Search for food

Dandelions are easy to find and can be quite tastyFree food grows on trees, under the ground and in shrubberies. Dandelions, chickweed and wood sorret can be quite tasty and are easily found. If you practice a bit you'll know what to eat and more important what not. Even in cities you can find quite a lot of edible food. If you're near down town Seattle you're particularly lucky, as you'll be able to check out the first Food Forest in a major American city.

You can also find great food in dumpsters, for example at stores. This is called dumpster diving and many people do this. It might sound weird but it's really much weirder that almost half of produced food ends up as trash. Turning some of this into a meal doesn't seem so weird anymore. Check Trashwiki for great tips and places to dumpster dive, Trashwiki was started in 2008 by some of the same folks who work on Moneyless.org.

No money or consciously without money

You might feel ashamed for not having money. But you can also accept it and profit from in. The most important if you don't have money is that you don't feel ashamed about it. That everyone around you does have money to eat doesn't mean you are less worthy than them, or that you have to be afraid about what others think about you. These are paradoxes created by society. You don't have to adhere to them. Especially if you're moneyless.

Don't be critical about what you get

With money you can often choose what to eat. Without money you don't have this choice most of the time. It's better to be satisfied with what you find or get. Are you used to eating meat? Meat is a bit harder to get or find. Are you vegetarian and asking at a restaurant? It's better to leave it with it, you eat what they give you. You're freegan now, you eat whatever is free.

A dumpstered salad in NYC