The following is a guest post from fellow blogger Denise from The Single Saver about using freebies to save money. You can find her info after the post, thanks!
Do you utilize free items (aka “freebies”) in your efforts to save money? If not, maybe you should reconsider.
My Recent Freebies
I hunt for freebies on a very part-time basis, but I still manage to save a pretty nice chunk of change through the process. For instance, some of my bigger finds in the last couple months include:
- two 3.5 lbs bags of dog food
- three snack-size bags of Cheeze-Its
- one box of Wheatables
- three bottles of Excedrin
- three Atkins bars
- one container of Yoplait yogurt
- coupons, which resulted in 30 boxes of free Special K cereal
- one bottle of Blink Tears
- many boxes of free tampons
How Freebies Help Save Money
How do freebies help singles and small families (and big families, too!) save money? The obvious answer is they give you a product for free. But they also save you money by letting you try out a product that you may be unfamiliar with – and if you don’t care for it, you have not spent any money in the process. Also, most (but not all) freebies come in single serving sizes, which is just the right size if you are single.
Sure it is nice to get something for nothing, but is it really worth the time to look for them? Yes it is worth the time, mainly because it takes almost no time at all! I am a busy person, and I can assure you that if finding freebies was time consuming, I would not do it!
Strategy to Save Money with Freebies
So what is my strategy? It is pretty simple. I initially chose two freebie-finding websites and I followed them on Facebook (I follow ‘Frugal Freebies’ and ‘The Frugal Girls’, but there are many others you can use). A few times a day, as I scan my Facebook account I look to see if either of these two groups have posted anything new. If I see a freebie that interests me, I take action. If not, I ignore it. This takes just seconds to do. If you aren’t a Facebook user, most freebie-finding websites also broadcast via Twitter.
Tips to Save Money with Freebies
1.) Often you will need to fill in a form to request your freebie. This will usually include your name, address, and email address. If the form requests any personal information like a social security number or credit card number, it is likely a scam. Do not ever give your social security number or a credit card number in order to get a freebie!
2.) Utilize your friends and family. If there is a hot freebie, see if your friends and family wish to receive it, too. If not, see if they will get it for you. For instance, my parents, who do not have a dog, requested a coupon for a free bag of dog food and passed it on to me.
3.) Only sign up for freebies that interest you. Your time is too valuable to spend it requesting things that you will never use (for instance, I don’t even look at the free diaper offers). Also, as most manufacturers put a limit on how much of a product they will give out for free, it is good etiquette to leave it for someone who may have a legitimate need or use for it.
4.) Check the packaging that the free items come in. Most manufacturers will include coupons for the item. If you find the product is one you want to keep using, you can save some money on your next purchase.
5.) Set up a separate email address to use when requesting freebies (through a free service like Google or Yahoo). That way, your personal email box will not get filled up with spam and other offers. Periodically check that email account as manufacturers will sometimes email you coupons and special offers.
Getting freebies is an easy way to save a little money, try out new products, and have fun in the process. For other ways to save money, don’t forget to check out The Single Saver for our “Tip of the Day”!
The Single Saver offers practical, money saving tips in a fun and interactive format. It is written by Denise, a single woman herself who grew up in a small family. A reformed spend-a-holic, she now enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to live a frugal yet very comfortable lifestyle. When not saving money, she is usually spending it on food for her two greyhounds and two cats.
Crystal’s Comments: I actually haven’t really looked into freebies before unless they end up in my actual mailbox. I’m signing up to follow a few freebie websites via Twitter now and will let you know if I come across any stellar deals that make me giddy!