If there is one thing I learned from my life as a college student, it’s how to sniff out a bargain. Luckily, a handful of Missoula establishments have taken good deals to the next level by offering goods and services at a 100-percent discount. Here is my list of the top five Missoula freebies.

  • Photo courtesy of slworking2/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of slworking2/Flickr

    Free samples at Big Sky Brewery

    It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but if you fly, they’ll buy. The friendly bartenders at Big Sky Brewery will pour you up to four free samples of hop-juice per visit. Just be sure to bring along a designated driver if you plan to go all-in.

  • Photo courtesy of StreetFly JZ/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of StreetFly JZ/Flickr

    Free popcorn at Ace

    Nothing brings back great childhood memories like a Saturday stroll through the hardware store with a nice, greasy bag of freshly-popped deliciousness in tow. It’s definitely enough to make me want to shop for garden hoses on a regular basis.

  • Photo courtesy of bookgrl/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of bookgrl/Flickr

    Free mistakes at Dairy Queen

    I used to live pretty close to the DQ on Higgins, and every so often I’d stop by to see if the dessert-makers had any screw-ups stockpiled in the freezer. They usually did — especially on warm, busy days — and would offer them up at no cost.

  • Photo courtesy of rox sm/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of rox sm/Flickr

    Free slices of bread at Great Harvest

    I’ve rewarded many a workout with a pit stop at my favorite bakery for a fresh slice of Cinnamon Swirl or Apple Crunch. More often than not, it tastes so good that I can’t leave without buying some for later. Now that’s what I call successful marketing!

  • Photo courtesy of christine592/Flickr
    Photo courtesy of christine592/Flickr

    Free parking at Jeannette Rankin Park

    This little patch of greenery, located on Fifth Street just west of the Adams Center, is the best kept parking secret on the entire UM campus. It’s a public park, so cars can park on the street in front of it free of charge. Not bad when on-campus parking is $1 per hour, or $185 per year.

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