Food prices don’t look like they will be climbing back down anytime soon. So to help you stay alive for the next year, we’ve assembled this list of some of the nation’s best free food giveaways or huge discount promotions. Hey it beats heading down to the soup kitchen, right?

Wednesday, July 30th – All cheesecake slices at the decadent Cheesecake Factory restaurant will cost only $1.50. The promotion is in honor of something called ‘National Cheesecake Day’, which may or may not be a Federal holiday recognized by the Post Office. This ‘give-away’ could also have something to do with the company’s stock hitting a bit of a rough patch this quarter with a double digit profit drop. And although this is the only item on our list that isn’t technically ‘free’, with extravagant slices usually costing something like $8 bucks, make sure to bring your girl out here on the 30th to coincidentally save big while scoring big.

before Tuesday , September 9thCampus Fresh in Washington D.C. (on the G-Dub campus) will send a coupon redeemable for a free frozen yogurt to anyone becoming a fan of their Facebook page. So if you’re in the D.C. area this summer, hit up this haven from the heat. Everyone knows college girls swarm in flocks to frozen yogurt give aways, so make sure you hit it up before the deal expires on 9/9/08.

Friday, October 31st – Thank you for bearing with us, now for the “Man Fuel”! Chipotle, makers of delicious burritos and amazing guacamole dip, will be giving away free burritos to any customer wearing an article of clothing made or adorned with tin foil. So bust out your anti-mind reading tin foil hats and get yourself some free chow. Even Lindsay Lohan seems to be getting ready.

Thursday, February 12thIHOP will give away free pancakes to celebrate National Pancake Day, also known as Fat Tuesday. This is a Mardi Gras/beginning of Lent tradition for Christians to prepare for Easter. IHOP is getting in on the religious action by catering to the world’s pancake lovers. The pancakes are free, but IHOP asks you to make a voluntary ‘donation’ to the Children’s Miracle Network. Now you can fill your stomach with pancakes and your heart with kindness. Aww!

Friday, March 20thRita’s Water Ice, also known as ‘Italian ice’, has cornered the market on ‘Spring Giveaways’. Each year on the first day of spring, Rita’s opens their doors and will give away one free 10-ounce water ice of choice to each customer. Although it looks like Rita’s is a primarily East Coast chain, give the store locator a whirl to make sure.

Wednesday, April 29th – Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream will be hosting its annual ‘Free Cone Day’ where each customer is given a free single scoop of ice cream in a sugar cone. In the past Baskin Robbins also had its own free cone day, but has since changed it to a $.31 scoop night. Poor form, Baskin Robbins.

Sunday, June 21stCaribou Coffee is holding its 5th annual ‘CoolFest’ to celebrate the first day of summer. All customers will be given a free fruit and tea blended beverage. Ironically, CoolFest still sounds like the lamest name imaginable for a promotional event. If you haven’t had your fill of chilled fruity drinks on this momentous day, find your closest Tropical Smoothie location and get a free smoothie for wearing a pair of flip flips. It’s national Flip Flop day of course. I’m seeing a trend in the correlation between faux national holidays and free food giveaways.

Friday, June 26th – The clown-headed mascot from Jack in the Box (I believe his name is Jack, but I’m unsure whether that’s just a coincidence) empathizes with those suffering the strain of high gas prices. To relieve some of that stress, you’ve got 2 free tacos coming your way when you show a valid receipt for gas at any participating Jack in the Box restaurant. No one can argue with 2 free tacos.

Saturday, July 11th – In honor of the this day being 7/11 on the calendar, the well-known convenience store bearing that same name is giving away one free slurpee to all who walk through those unnecessarily lockable doors. If you live in an area with a high density of local 7-11s be sure to make a voyage to several, collecting different colored straws along your journey as a bounty for your efforts.

Saturday, July 11th – The free food doesn’t end at 7-11 though because, you can get a free meal at Chik-Fil-A on this magical day by dressing up like a cow. Everyone’s familiar with the Chik-Fil-A marketing gimmick of having clever cartoon cows advocate you ‘Eat Mor Chickin’ so that their lives may be spared. Now you can honor these ‘sacred cows’ by dressing up in full cow garb and earning a free meal.

Also be sure to check out the free food promotion calendar.

Any big events we missed? Let us know in the comments section.

(Thanks to Facebook’s Free Food Events group)