free lunch

noun
1.
food provided without charge in some bars and saloons to attract customers.
2.
Informal. something given with no expectation of repayment, service, responsibility, etc.: In politics there's no free lunch—everyone expects favors to be repaid.

Origin:
1835–45

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

free lunch

Something acquired without due effort or cost. For example, In politics there is no free lunch; every favor calls for repayment. This expression alludes to the custom of taverns offering food free of charge to induce customers to buy drinks. It was soon extended to other kinds of gift but is often used in a negative way, as in the example. [First half of 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Some tireless employees are rewarded with a thank you note from the boss, maybe
  a free lunch or a small check.
Credit cards aren't a free lunch, and there's no reason that consumers should
  be fooled into thinking they are.
Two, there is no free lunch: you can't beat the market without taking on more
  risk.
No one in the history of the world has ever had a free lunch, either.
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