One reason for working is having money to buy food. And my, oh my, is food expensive. I remember all of the event flyers around the college campus trying to lure students to check out their clubs for promises of “Free pizza!” or “Free cookies and hot chocolate!” It was an effective tactic. I mean, there was the time freshman year when I went to Spanish club for only one meeting so as to get a free dinner at a Mexican restaurant. What??? I was young and naive.
Too true though. Kids want food. And free food is the best kind of food. So how does one score food for free? And in mass quantities?
Clean Houses for Free Food
This summer I’m working for a realty company on the weekends cleaning houses for them in between renters. People rent a house for usually a week, sometimes two or even four, and when they pack up and leave, many delicious scores are left behind for us cleaners. And free for the taking of course.
There are, of course, a few common sense-based guidelines to follow when deciding whether or not the food is acceptable:
#1 Lunch meats & cheeses are never safe. — This one doesn’t even apply to me since I don’t eat meat or dairy, but if I did… The thought of reaching my hand into the same slimy bag that the previous person reached their hand into and could have soiled all the other slices of meat with their fece-covered hands is repulsive. Not trying to suggest that every tenant is a pig, but yanevaknow.
#2 Opened drinks are a no-go. Milk, juice, water or soda bottles. The people could have put their foul fish-lips all over the tops of those bottles and I want nothing to do with it.
#3 Ice cream (for dairy eaters) is tricky. Assuming the tenants are human beings, they perhaps shoved their spittle-speckled spoon back into the container a few times, licking in between, to relish a few more bites before clasping the container closed. Heck, they could have sneezed into it. Unlikely, but once again, who knows. It could be safe. Perhaps you’d like to scrape off the top layer and eat from there. Like my grandmother with molded cheese. Suit yourself.
#1 Unopened items. This one’s pretty obvious and for good reason. If and when the tenants eyes were bigger than their stomachs upon stocking the shelves, congratulations, you just scored.
#2 If the item(s) are individually frozen, and not ice cream. For example. Veggie burgers. Most people don’t stick their dirty spit covered fingers or spoons onto the rest of the burgers when taking them. Though it’s true, they could have. Discretion is advised. Though usually these items are safe bets.
#3 Produce. Whenya find produce, have a party. A produce party. Enjoy this glorious score! (make sure to wash though) 🙂
#4 Condiments. These are usually safe. People don’t usually do strange things with ketchup or mustard. Use ya best judgement if you’re so inclined!
My scores for this weekend:
FRIDAY 1 house
Food scores: None.
SATURDAY 3 houses
House one, 1.5 hours. Food scores: 4 frozen waffles, one bag of frozen sweet corn. One packet of instant decaf coffee. 😀
House two, 2 hours. Food scores: 2.5 pounds organic sweet potatoes!
House three, 2 hours. Food scores: DING DING DING an unopened vitamin water, entire bag of apples, 1 large gala apple, 1 unopened bag of baby carrots, 1 head of iceberg lettuce, 1 jar of peanut butter, 70% filled bottle of olive oil, 80% full bag of local popcorn, 80% full bag of tostitos hint-of-lime chips (though I just learned these aren’t vegan much to my dismay!), 2 individually wrapped whole fruit popsicles and much, much more. The things listed above are just what I took. Along with a turquoise re-usable shopping bag to carry it all. Yusss.
As a disclaimer, I wouldn’t typically buy baby carrots, iceberg lettuce or the other processed stuff, but when it’s free, any produce is better than none, and processed food once in a while is A-okay.
SUNDAY 1 house, 2.5 hours. Food scores: 1 box of organic sweet pea soup. Delicious.
So as you can see, sometimes you score, sometimes not. Cleaning houses is definitely a wonderful summer job and has great perks!
Have any tips on where to score free food? Comment below!! 😉
Thanks for stopping by!! <3