Let's face it we all need to eat, but it's tough when you’ve got almost no dough for the dough. Come on, the cost of food these days, even snacks, can be pricey. I mean a bottle of soda can run more than $3. Boy, those are almost movie theater or amusement park prices! If you're low on dough thought, it doesn’t mean that you have to go hungry. There are plenty of places for free food if you're willing to be crafty and forgo a little bit of your pride. Here are five places in Hudson Valley where you can probably score some free food all year long.

Wholesale Clubs

Okay so they're not entirely meals, but BJ's in Wappingers Falls offers a variety of different samples all week long. So as long as you're daring to try that new version of hummus or some fruit juice, you can fill up on these goodies. Just make sure to play your cards right and travel the aisles inconspicuously so you don't get caught filling up your stomach. The best part is you don't even have to flash a BJ's membership card to get in the front door, unlike Sam's Club.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores like Tops, Stop and Shop and Hannaford also have samples just like the wholesale clubs. Now, these samples maybe not have the same variety of choice, but they definitely should be checked out if you're hungry and looking to nibble. Plus these samples are typically more mainstream goodies compared to the wholesale clubs.

The Mall

Let's be real: the Poughkeepsie Galleria is always helping feed the hungry for free. Whether you decide you want to take samples from The Bourbon Street Grill or its neighbor competitor China Max, both offer some kick-ass sesame seed chicken and don't seem to mind if you come back a couple of times. Not to be outdone Little Tokyo on the other side of the food court loves to dole out there teriyaki chicken, if the breaded sesame seed chicken isn't your thing.

If chicken isn't your thing to begin with, then skip the food court altogether and head up Auntie Anne's pretzels as they always love to give away free samples of their most delectable treats. Even their competitors Wetzel's pretzels on the first floor of the mall is into the sampling game.

Now if you're thirsty no need to hit up a drinking fountain because Teavana offers sample teas for you to try. If they don't have a flavor that you like, they'll actually brew one up for you on the spot if you ask. Don't ask me how I know that, but I can tell you it 100% works.


Bobs Discount Furniture 

There is free food and then there is free food. Never to be outdone, Bob's Discount Furniture stores offer some of the most filling samplings with a variety of goodies. Don’t worry, they don't even ask you to buy anything. They love advertising that they offer free iced coffee in the summer and free coffee in the winter as well as ice cream, fresh baked cookies and tons of candy. They even go so far as to say, they have a free cafe in every store that should be checked out without having to check out.

Listen To The Radio

Samples and free meals are out there, and if you don't have a coupon the best way to score some substantially free food is to listen to your local radio. Every Tuesday MIX 97.7 announces their workplace of the week. The contest is completely free to enter, just head to www.mix97fm.com for your chance to feed not only yourself but your fellow co-workers for lunch courtesy of In and Out Deli on New Hackensack Road. So if you're serious about scoring some free food then make sure you listen and sign up because your place of work could end up being Mix's latest Workplace of the Week.