Food to feed the starving student on a budget

Ah, the enduring grandpa-esque sentiment: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” The pearls of wisdom may ring true in a metaphoric sense, but around town, restaurants are offering free food without a catch. Well, maybe just a little catch.

In an attempt to increase their revenue, online presence, and popularity with younger generations, food establishments have recently been offering free food when you sign up for their “E-club,” become a Facebook fan, or follow them on Twitter.

The phenomenon of sites such as Twitter and Facebook is any corporation’s marketing dream come true. If you can stand daily emails offering new coupons, codes, and updates, some restaurants will reward handsomely with delicious food.

Mimi’s Cafe: Free breakfast under $9 with e-club sign-up. Free appetizer when you order a meal online. www.MimisCafe.com.

Del Taco: Two free chicken soft tacos with e-club sign-up. Free shake on your birthday. Free shrimp taco with any purchase when you become a Facebook fan. www.DelTaco.com.

Rubio’s: Free taco with e-club (“Beach Club”) sign-up. www.rubios.com.

The Melting Pot (Salt Lake City): Free chocolate fondue for two with additional purchase with e-club sign-up. www.TheMeltingPotClubFondue.com.

Dairy Queen: Free 16 oz. Blizzard with purchase of a 16 oz. Blizzard with e-club sign-up. www.DairyQueen.com.

P.F. Chang’s: Sign up for a “Warrior Card” and receive 10% off every purchase in 2010. www.PFChangs.com/WarriorCard.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Free appetizer when you buy two entrees with e-club sign-up. www.MacaroniGrill.com.

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