Going through a quarter of the year with only a tentative commitment to your shitty casual job, a need to have travel stories to make friends with, and generally living the Peter Pan lifestyle that university allows (if not encourages) can put a big drain on your budget. LARISSA BRICIS investigates some ways to fill the giant hole in your wallet with free food. Lots of food.


Settling back into the uni groove is hard. You remember fondly the long holiday that was undoubtedly filled with raucous, oft-shameful behaviour, many #YOLOs, and splashing way too much cash. Your holiday antics have left your job on shaky ground (your boss saw the Facebook photos), and now you’ve got $1.50 to your name. It’s dawned on you that a large sum of money, much like an iridescent unicorn that shits peanut butter Oreos, is something that you desperately want but is largely unattainable. Lucky for you, I’m a freebie scavenger. Welcome to #studentlyf.


O’Week is freebie central

Orientation is as much about getting acquainted with the concrete monolith that is UTS as it is about snatching at as many free goodies as possible.

Pro tip: Treat O’Week like Halloween. Bring a bottomless bucket to keep your treasures safe. Fancy dress is also encouraged.

Fill this bucket with UTS paraphernalia – pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, mini-calculators, balloons, novelty hats, diaries. You won’t need to stock up for another three years if you’re tactical.

O’Week also features a tonne of free food – sausage sizzles, fairy floss, froyo, etc. Unfortunately, UTS is very secretive about free food so you might need a Marauder’s map to find anything.


Bluebird brekkie bar

I don’t know if there are two words sweeter than ‘free breakfast’. From fresh fruit to golden brown toast, you’re guaranteed a healthy feed and a full stomach. It’s also got some sweet-as décor. Check it out! Bluebird brekkie bar operates between 8:30-11AM every Tuesday in the Law Courtyard, and every Wednesday in the Tower building.


Be resourceful

Don’t be afraid to use and abuse your inner social circle. First requests for help should be directed to parents and/or friends. These people love you the most and can’t bear to see you go hungry. They’ll open their pantries and wallets for you, all in the name of love. They’ll take you out for fancy dinners, and bake you cupcakes with your name on it. They’ll wrap your food in airtight bags, and have it ready before you leave the house. Don’t get too greedy though, or they’ll understand what a penniless food vacuum you really are. That’s when the love dries up, like old raisins.

Second point of call is your workplace. Workplace lunch rooms always have plentiful stocks of teabags, ground coffee, packets of biscuits, and loaves of bread. If you work for the company, surely they owe you a slice of bread, or fifteen? I mean, you’re their money-maker. They should be buying groceries for you! In line with that logic, help yourself to the pre-prepared lunch of your least favourite colleague. Just make sure to make it discreet, or you’ll get fired. Then you’ll really be on struggle street, won’t you?



This could potentially blow your mind, so please make sure you’re sitting down in a comfy chair before you continue reading. Most products come with a guarantee of a replacement or refund if you are “unsatisfied” with what you’ve consumed. This means that you can pen a letter complaining about the lack of crunch in a chip, or the uncomfortable acidity of your dark chocolate, or the unappealing presence of a beetle’s leg in your Nutella, and can almost always expect a profitable outcome. Check your mailbox the next week and, sure enough, 50 magical samples of [insert product name here] will be yours to keep. For the record, I’ve scored lots of free books through this method. Happy complaining, sourpusses!


Featured image: photography by Wen Kee Zhu