Okay let’s talk about freebies, because aside from couponing, getting freebies is my favorite money-saving activity.
Disclaimer: I’m not actually a thrifty person. Sure, I love Nordstrom Rack, but I also love Nordstom. And I throw out the plastic containers my faux-butter comes in and skip to buying actual Tupperware. (Sorry, Dad. I know this probably fills you with righteous, money-saving rage) Sometimes I think I could probably get an item cheaper at Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart gives me the heebie-jeebies so I inevitably go to Target or Meijer instead. (Meijer kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies too, but I think it’s because they sell live fish there. I don’t want to see a live fish when I pick up my deli meat. Sorry.)
Anyway, freebies aren’t the sad kind of saving like buying bras at Goodwill or using homemade floss, they are the awesome kind of saving where you literally get something for FREE.
Every day when I open my mail box there are wonderful packages of wonderful things waiting for me. Things I didn’t pay for! And I’m not talking lame things like a stick of gum, I’m talking about awesome things like a 4-pack of k-cups, an entire KIND bar, 15 brand new books to distribute to my friends, or the pièce de résistance: my full-size Bacardi beer stein. That I got FOR FREE.
And don’t forget magazines. Currently I get a subscription to Martha Steward Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, and some business magazine my husband read. And just to clarify one more time: these were ALL FREE.
And it is no work. I check a single freebie site once in the morning and once in the afternoon and sign up for whatever looks interesting. Now, to help you on your freebie journey, I’ve listed a couple of tips to keep you going. Because, if done incorrectly, getting freebies can be just as terrible as going to an Appalachian Wal-Mart.
Use an alternative email address. I have an email I set up specifically for my freebie and coupon entries. Usually the company giving away the freebie wants your email address so they can harass you endlessly with promos. Just give them your couponing email and you’ll get the freebie without the sales barrage.
- Use a legitimate site. This isn’t 1999, everyone can spot a site that looks a little shady. Don’t use that site. Personally I use http://hip2save.com/category/freebies/ which has never steered me wrong.
- Good freebies go quickly. Check your freebie site often and consider getting text alerts if you’re not near a computer during the day. This sounds like crazy-talk but when you miss out on getting free pre-screening passes to the next Hunger Games movie, you will regret making fun of me.
- Don’t sign up for stuff you don’t want. At first I signed up for everything. Fake nails! Car Wax! Shampoo! And then I realized I don’t even use shampoo. (Someday I will write a curly hair post explaining this, but for now you can read this highly enlightening article.) So sure, at first go crazy! My overnight guests now have a limitless supply of sample-sized shampoos and body washes they can use, but after a couple months you’ll have enough. Hold out for the real gems.
Now go forth and get things for free.