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free lunch
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free lunch
as in:  no such thing as a free lunch


No such thing as a free lunch, eh?
Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  an idiom indicating that every benefit, even if apparently free, has a cost
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Notes:
"There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (TANSTAAFL) is an expression popularized by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein and promulgated in his 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a libertarian utopia. This phrase and book are popular with classical liberals and economics textbooks.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_lunch  (retrieved 6/08)
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Samples:
  • No such thing as a free lunch, eh?
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • Of course the doors could never be closed, and so the cars were as cold as outdoors; Jurgis, like many others, found it better to spend his fare for a drink and a free lunch, to give him strength to walk.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • Sometimes he brings home bits of the free lunch, rye bread, corned beef, pickles.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • He picked up four of them — they smelled musty and old and the moths certainly had been having a free lunch — and then he paused.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining

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  • ’There is no such thing as a free lunch.’
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lightning Thief
  • That handful of compost was proof that when grass can eat sunlight and food animals can eat grass, there is indeed a free lunch.
    Michael Pollan  --  The Omnivore’s Dilemma
  • If I had been getting paid, no matter how little, I could at least count this a proper job, but all I got for a morning of pushing round magazines and candy and flowers was a free lunch.
    Sylvia Plath  --  The Bell Jar
  • His free lunch was no better than theirs and there was no beguiling entertainment other than that spontaneously contributed by his customers.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • We were poor enough to get free lunch, but I didn’t want to be the only Indian and a sad sack who needed charity.
    Sherman Alexie  --  The Absolutlely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • The education he didn’t get so many years ago, as he fed that school’s coal furnace and plunged the toilets to earn his free lunch, doomed him to manual labor.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’

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  • For the rest, they live on free lunch and their old friend, Harry Hope, who doesn’t give a damn what anyone does or doesn’t do, as long as he likes you.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • Means ~There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.’
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • The football field is usually a tightly strung ecosystem, an efficient economy: there is seldom a free lunch on it.
    Michael Lewis  --  The Blind Side
  • She might as well be wearing a sign that said FREE LUNCH.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • Chapter 4 — FREE LUNCH
    Willie & Korie Robertson  --  The Duck Commander Family
  • I thought everybody was on free lunch; I didn’t even realize we were poor.
    Willie & Korie Robertson  --  The Duck Commander Family
  • The master, Mr. Benson, said the government was going to give us the free lunch so we wouldn’t have to be going home in the freezing weather.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • The short, precisely timed passing game might not offer an entirely free lunch, but the discount to the retail price was steep.
    Michael Lewis  --  The Blind Side
  • And isn’t," I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, "or these drinks would cost half as much.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • I could use the boy downstairs, peeling eggs and cutting cheese into hunks, you know, for the free lunch at night.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • But before you use your new freedom to rush into town, let me remind you: ’There is no such thing as a free lunch.’
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • The principal and teachers, when they recognized who we were, where we ranked, told Sam that he could sweep the narrow halls, clean the bathrooms and shovel coal into the school’s furnace, to earn his free lunch.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
  • McGarrity not only agreed, but helped the boy with the free lunch so that Neeley was all finished at four-thirty.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch," in Bombay or in Luna.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
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Associated words [difficulty]:   free lunch [6]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Business, Engineering, Personal Finance
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