There are fewer better experiences in life than snagging a free feed, but whereas for most of us a free meal is a rare gem, for one cunning former uni student, it was his entire life for two years.
Jordan Vidal, who studied at the University of South Wales, in Cardiff devised a series of plans to ensure he never had to do a grocery shop for almost his entire time at uni.
Discovering that his student loan and part-time job were not enough to cover rent, nights out and his weekly supermarket big shop, Jordan concocted various methods to keep himself well fed without needing to spend a single penny. And the plan was, ironically enough, created in a local casino.
When he realised that casino members were entitled to a complimentary Chinese buffet with soft drinks and unlimited plate refills, he signed up and started heading there every Monday at the ungodly hour of 4am to wolf down four plates of food.
This feast would sort Jordan out until the next day, where he would also top up with cookies and cakes from the buffet before heading into University.
“After three or four plates of noodles, spring rolls, sticky fried rice and sweet and sour chicken, I’d have eaten enough to keep me going through the next day.
“I had so much to eat that when I woke up I still felt full.
“I also had cookies and cakes from the buffet, which I’d eat before university.”
Not wanting to stop there, however, Jordan then struck up friendships with local restaurant and cafe owners, who would gift him their end of day stock that they would have otherwise thrown away, having not sold it.
“Legally, they have to bin any food that was made fresh that wasn’t sold, even if it’s perfectly fine to eat. I’d ask if they were going to throw anything away. And if they did, they’d give it to me.
“My fridge was constantly stocked up with sandwiches, cookies, slices of cake.”
Having done this on Tuesday, Jordan would then be sorted for food until Thursday evening, when he would make his way to nearby takeaways on Cardiff’s Caroline Street, often referred to as Chippy Lane due to the vast number of fast food outlets housed there.
Jordan would hit up various servers to see if they could sort him out with the food they were going to throw away at the end of the night on Fridays and Saturdays and, sure enough, he was handsomely rewarded every week, taking home chicken wings, burgers and chips absolutely free of charge.
“I would eat it all,” Jordan explained, “It really bugs me when I see things get wasted. We live in a world where people have no food, people go hungry and people die. I really don’t like waste.”
Jordan managed to leave uni with over £3,000 in savings, having worked a part time hospitality job for £7 an hour. He always had money left over for nights out as nothing was being spent on food shopping.
So if you’ll excuse us, we’re just off to our local casinos and chippies to do a few deals.