Free Christmas 2012: The Food

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Free Christmas 2012: The Food

Everyone’s coming to my house for Christmas this year (and staying for several days), but I’m determined to do as much of the food as I can for free. Here’s what I’ve scored so far:

I was lucky enough to score a free $25 American Express gift card to use on Small Business Saturday. I used it to buy two pounds of Amish butter, a quart of honey and a jar of fancy mustard from a small, locally owned grocery store. I added the two pears (to be enjoyed now) to bring the total up to $25.

Private Selection Food

BzzAgent invited me to participate in their Private Selection (a Kroger brand) holiday campaign. As part of that, they sent me a mix of products and free product coupons. Here’s what I got:

  • a jar of blue-cheese stuffed olives
  • a box of crackers
  • a jar of pasta sauce
  • a bag of Costa Rican coffee
  • a coupon for cheese (which I’ll redeem closer to Christmas)


I was hoping to harvest some free pecans this year, but that didn’t work out, so I used some of my ECBs to buy a bag of pecans and a bag of walnuts. The pecans will be used to make a chocolate pecan pie. Not sure what I’ll make with the walnuts yet.




Every beverage in these pictures was free. That’s:

  • (4) 2L bottles of soda (free after coupons)
  • (2) fancy bottles of water (free after coupons)
  • (1) Gatorade (free after ECBs)
  • (1) Powerade (free after ECBs)
  • (2) Starbuck’s Refreshers (free after ECBs)
  • (1) bottle of wine (a gift)
  • (4) cans of soda (free at an event, and not something we drink)

I’m going to stock our drink fridge, so everyone feels comfortable grabbing drinks whenever they want one.

Soda Stream

We also hosted a Soda Stream House Party recently. Basically, they sent us a free soda maker and all the syrups, and we invited a bunch of our friends over to use it. It was a lot of fun, and now that the party is over, we have plenty of leftovers to use at Christmas.



I’m not a coffee drinker, but lots of the people coming to visit are. I’ve got that covered courtesy of several free sample requests. Once they’re gone, I’ll dip into my stash of free hotel coffee.

Sparkling Cider

We always have sparkling cider at Christmas dinner, so I used some of my ECBs to pick up a bottle while it was on sale. I was actually hoping to snag two more, but they were out. I’ll have to hit another CVS this week.


Black Olives

I’d like to stock a big basket with snacks. So far, I’ve scored dried olives through a Facebook promotion and six cans of black olives. I’ll probably use some of the black olives for snacking and some for Christmas dinner.

Peanut Butter

This cinnamon raisin granola nut peanut butter will be delicious on toast, and is the first step towards feeding everyone a free breakfast.

Moving on to dessert …

German Chocolate Cake

This delicious german chocolate cake came to us courtesy of a cake walk.

Chocolate Almond Pie

So did this chocolate almond pie. It was made by our pastry chef neighbors, so I’m considering it a major score. I’ll stick both cake walk wins in the freezer, and pull them out closer to Christmas.

Wrap Up: I made a list of everything that I still needed, and headed off to the grocery store with two $25 gift cards that my husband got at work (one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas). Our out of pocket total came to $22.83. That’s enough food to feed nine people for four days, with several day’s worth of leftovers to boot. Not bad, but next year, I’m taking it down to zero.

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