Sunday, April 24, 2011

Five Ways to Get Free Stuff

If you've read my blog at all, then you've noticed that I love to save money. And what better way to save money than to get stuff for free? Here are five easy, proven ways to get products for free:

1. Free Samples
I recently posted about all the free samples that arrived in my mailbox in one day.
I signed up to receive those samples in several different ways. I choose to follow a blog, like Money Saving Mom, because she locates all of the best free sample opportunities and posts them in one place. You can also keep your eye on available samples by visiting Walmart's website.

2. Walgreens Register Rewards
If you haven't done much shopping at Walgreens, you might not be familiar with their Register Rewards program. You can read a full explanation of how to maximize your savings at Walgreens here, but I'll give you a quick tutorial. Every week Walgreens offers Register Rewards on select products. This means that, when you purchase one of those products, Walgreens will print a coupon, or a Register Reward (RR), offering a discount on any future Walgreens purchase.

For example, let's say Walgreens is offering a $3 Register Reward on any Goody hair product. If you purchase one of the products, you will pay full price (if you don't have coupons) and the register will print a $3 off coupon for your next purchase. But what if the cost of that Goody product is $3? You pay $3 for it and immediately get $3 back. Think this doesn't sound like you're getting anything free? There's more.

Here's another scenario: you go to Walgreens and grab the Goody hair product, plus laundry detergent, which is on sale for $3. When you get to the register, you purchase just the Goody product first and pay $3. The RR prints, and then you purchase the detergent separately. This time, you pay using the RR. Maybe you want to view it as paying for the hair product and getting the detergent free, or the other way around. Either way, you just got a free product.

3. Giveaways
Maybe you read my post about giveaways. If you did, you know that I've won some pretty great free stuff over the last month or so, including laundry detergent, fabric softener, and a wipe case.
Most recently, I won a reusable grocery bag and a luggage scale. Again, I use a specific site that gathers all of the giveaway information for me and lists it in one place: Money Saving Mom (can you tell I love this site?). I believe that if you spend a little time each evening entering just a few giveaway (you could choose ones with the lowest number of entries, or ones with products you want the most) it won't be long before you win something.

4. Coupons
Coupons don't have to be the overwhelming, negative-attention-getting, time-consuming things that some people perceive them to be. Coupons can be used, fairly easily, to score great brand name products for free. Here's something you may not know: when an item is on sale Buy One Get One Free, and you have a Buy One Get One Free coupon, you can purchase two of the item and get them both for free. So maybe you don't want to spend several hours each week clipping coupons and matching them to sales. Instead, you can clip only Buy One Get One Free coupons and wait until you can match them with a similar sale to get two free products.

5. Just Ask
Do you have a favorite product that you can't live without? Let the company know. I recently emailed the makers of Luna Bars, simply letting them know how much I love their product. I didn't even ask for coupons, yet they sent me four in the mail, two of which were for a free bar.
Speaking of free stuff, don't forget to become a follower of this blog, and tell your friends, because I'll be doing a sweet giveaway when I reach 20 followers (we're halfway there!).

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