I found out last night that one of the things that helped my BF out through the school year is free dinners for students given my campus ministries in the area. In fact, we went to one given by the campus Lutheran ministry. We got a good dinner and had a good time at no cost. This ministry has another one next week as well as one on Sunday.
Last Sunday, I attended a church that was holding a collegiate lunch for one dollar.
Area churches are one of the sources I never would have thought to look to help with a frugal lifestyle, but they are offered for those who are having a hard time making ends meet. My BF has attended this dinner several times before and so, as his guest, it wasn't a situation in which we were imposing or, I felt, taking advantage of the situation.
There are a few things to remember when using these kinds of ministries to help save money:
1. If you don't attend the church regularly, take advantage of it only when you have to
2. If you do attend the church regularly, when you can afford it, offer to make a donation or bring something for the dinner
3. Be respectful of the people giving the dinner. Remember that most church groups are not going to appreciate alot of swearing, dirty joke telling, or other inappropriate behavior.
4. Be mindful of portions and how many other people are there for dinner
Above all, be grateful for your meal and use it as an opportunity to meet and chat with new people.