How to get free and super cheap food (including a free HelloFresh box!)

Save Money

What if you could get your groceries for free? How much could you save?

I am doing a challenge to spend less than $250 for 6 weeks of groceries here in Australia and this morning I came across a few options which can see you get FREE groceries as well as cash back and other super discounts!

You might also want to check out my eBook 26 Ingredients. It has over 100 recipes from gourmet breakfasts to delicious desserts, tips on using leftovers and making meals stretch and more. Based on a pantry of simple ingredients, many meals are under $1 a serve and the eBook is only $4.95.

I do have a few affiliate links in this post which pays for the cost of running the site. Find out full disclosure here.

1.) Free HelloFresh

I have talked about HelloFresh a few times on this blog because I love it. If you want a free Classic Box, worth $69.96, here is how to do it.
1.) Sign up for Cash Rewards. You get $15usd cash back on HelloFresh with them. This discount apparently also applies to future orders but you need to activate Cash Rewards each time you are on the site. Cash Rewards gets you discounts elsewhere as well. Sign up here, install it on your toolbar (they step you through how to do that) and it will tell you whenever there is a discount on a site.
2.) Click here to get $50 off your first box. Head to the HelloFresh website, get the $50 off. Choose the “Classic Box” worth $69.95. Depending on the exchange rate at the time, the cash back plus $50 equals a free box. You can select a different box if you want but may need to pay more.

Note: Cash Rewards takes a little time to process the cash back so you will need to pay the difference, to begin with, wait for it to be processed then cash it out. Also, HelloFresh is a subscription service. Make sure you cancel or pause it so you don’t continue to get charged.

Image from HelloFresh press section

2.) $10 to $25 off Woolworths + free delivery + 5% off gift cards!

Through Cash Rewards, you can also get up to $25 off your groceries. Activate Cash Rewards when you are on the Woolworths website. If you are a new online customer you will get $25 off. If you are an existing customer, you will get $10 off. These are increased offers for a limited time. Usually, new customers get $20 off and existing customers get $1 or so.

New customers also get free delivery! Plus, get an Everyday Rewards Card to collect points and get $10 off your shop occasionally! (Note, do not increase your spending to get more points. It isn’t worth it).

Cash Rewards also has an option for 5% off gift cards.

3.) Play the shops against each other

Humans are creatures of habit, but this can result in lost savings! Spread your shopping between the supermarkets and you will get sent better offers. Sign up to FlyBuys, Everyday Rewards and whatever other loyalty programs you find for your supermarkets.

Do not shop at the same one every week. Instead, shop at one for a few weeks, then another or split your shopping between Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and anywhere else. Supermarkets track how you shop, how much you spend, what you buy and send offers accordingly. The more you spend in one store, the more you will have to spend to get the great rewards.

Supermarkets regularly send out offers such as spend $xx for the next 3 weeks to get 10,000 points! If you only spend $50 at each shop, they will only ask you to spend $60 or something similar to your regular spending habits. If you regularly spend over $100 they will want you to spend $120 or $150 each week to get the same deal! By splitting your shopping, buying only what is on sale and using your reward cards, you maximise the discounts supermarkets will give you.

4.) Sign Up For A Black Box

Black Box is not available to all states. You join, then if selected you get sent a box of goodies to try. I have had a few and they always have a great selection of food, toiletries and other items. Sign up for free to The Black Box if you live in Vic, NSW or Canberra to get boxes of products sent to you to try.

5.) Get Cash Back

Along with the cash back offers above, Harris Farm offers $15 cash back through Cash Rewards for new customers plus a separate offer of free delivery (the free delivery only applies to orders over $80).
Marley Spoon has a $35 discount code regularly (check their site or look online as the code changes) plus an additional $6.00 cash back from Cash Rewards. You can check out our comparison of HelloFresh, Aussie Farmers Direct and Marley Spoon here.

Find a list of Australian discount and cash back sites or apps here.

6.) Search Deal Sites

Groupon is free to join here, has massive discounts on hampers, toiletries and other groceries items regularly, plus I have seen discount gift cards for Woolworths. Living Social has great wine prices and discounts for other things. Check deal sites regularly or set up alerts for food related discounts.

7.) Access Birthday and Similar Freebies

We have a huge list of Aussie birthday freebies here, many of which are meals. These aren’t ongoing options but good around your birthday (and other family members if you get everyone signed up!)

8.) Try Samples

Keep an eye out for free samples. The other week a company offered free cheese. You can check out our full list of freebies here and we share any we come across on our Facebook page here as well as our Facebook group here.

9.) Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping involves you going to a shop on behalf of a company, purchasing what they ask, possibly take photos and filling out a form about it. It can be time-consuming but it can also provide groceries, food and even holidays. Find out more here.

10.) Foraging

I am not a dumpster diver but I have foraged berries, herbs and similar growing in the wild or asked neighbours if we can pick fruit they clearly aren’t picking. Find out where to get fruit, herbs and vegetables through this map. You can also find out more information in our $250 for 6 weeks extreme grocery challenge.

11.) Receipts and Surveys

Do the survey on your receipt and you can get $5 off, bonus reward points and other offers. Many large supermarkets have this as an option now.

12.) Discounts, Coupons and Offers

If you thought Australia doesn’t have coupons or amazing discounts, think again. We have listed 12 ways to get coupons and discounts here plus a post here on how to get discounts on everything! Not all of it applies to groceries, but you’d be surprised at what is out there.

13.) Enter Competitions

I have won hampers, meals, restaurant vouchers, snack packs and other food through blog giveaways and other competitions. While you won’t win all the time, you have to be in it to win it. I’ve found blog and social media giveaways are easier to win.

14.) Barter

Do you have something you can swap for food? Maybe you grow herbs and can barter with next door for some plums? Bartering doesn’t need to be limited to swapping similar things, you can swap services such as mowing someone’s lawn, babysitting, cleaning or anything else. It’s a matter of doing an exchange you are both happy with.

15.) End Of Day Freebies

Some restaurants, bakeries, cafes and other food businesses offer end of the day freebies or massive discounts. Some pass the day old bread onto churches and similar. Find out who does it in your area and how you can access it.

16.) Food Banks and Community Pantries

If you are in need, there are specific food banks and community pantries available to assist those who cannot afford groceries. Proof of being on a pension, having a low income or other needs may be necessary to gain access to it.

At Christmas, there are many who will open their doors and allow you to pre-order hampers as well which can include meat. My recommendation is to leave these options unless you are truly are in need. Being frugal is fun, be ethical about it though. Don’t be too proud to access any services if you are in need though!

17.) Points From Survey Sites

Sites such as Swagbucks and Octopus Group will let you convert the points into gift cards at stores such as Big W, Dan Murphy’s and Wish gift cards which you can then use on groceries.

18.) Go To The Markets As They Close

If you head to a farmer or produce market just before it closes you will often find everything drastically reduced. We get our meat for less than wholesale prices this way, free range eggs for a fraction of the cost in stores and large boxes of fruit and vegetables for the price of one kilo of the produce normally.

Get More!

As you can see, there are loads of options for free and cheap food if you look and try different things. If you’re after more tips on groceries check out this post with 18 tips to reduce groceries. If you want other ways to make and save money, check out our 21 Day Money Challenge where readers got between $2,000 and $20,000 following our tips!

How do you get free food? 

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