Monday, May 24, 2010

Tips for Getting Freebies

Since I've become a stay-at-home mom, I've gotten creative in ways to get great stuff at low to no cost for me and my family. I have always been a dollar store fanatic and like to get the best for my money. Not bringing in any income has drastically increased the value of money in my home (I mean just because it's at the dollar store, is it really worth a dollar?) Anyways, I have found that by taking a long look at what you want to purchase versus your actual need or want for it will help you ultimately decide if its right for you.

Do you have a special day coming up and need an inexpensive (but not cheaply made) gift? Early Christmas shopping? Something for a rainy day?  Just some questions I ask myself before purchasing something.

When it comes to getting things for free, there are a few rules to go by:

  1. Genuine freebie and samples NEVER ask for credit or bank information!

  2. They MAY ask for birthdate (but who will really check to see if it is correct, so it's your choice). I only like to give my birthdate to restaurants' birthday clubs.

  3. Use initials for your name (at least your first name) when possible.

  4. Use a phone number and email address that you DON'T use often. Pay attention to freebies that require to to click a confirmation email (these are few though.)
Now on to the good stuff!!

The best places to sign up for (almost guaranteed) free samples is Vocalpoint and Kraft First Taste.
Why?
Vocalpoint automatically sends out freebies with coupons - sometimes even full sized products - periodically as well as opportunities to get more samples such as their recent Pampers promotion.

Kraft First Taste gives members the opportunity to try grocery items such as the DiGiorno 200 Calorie Pizza (via coupon) free or at low cost. Both of these give you more offers for completing polls and short reviews on your samples.

The best places for magazines is freebizmag.com.
Why?
Even stay at home moms qualify for some magazines. As the offers become available, they will email you to apply for them. You may not get all, but I have received several free 12 month subscriptions to popular magazine titles.

Best places with great photo deals are Shutterfly and Walgreens
Shutterfly has been consistently giving out promo codes for 3 5x7 greeting cards for free that only require you to pay shipping of $.99 and tax
Walgreens.com give free photo prints (pickup in store) and greal deals such as free 8x10 collages

The best news source on great freebies: Facebook and Twitter
Why?
Companies have found that these are the newest and easiest ways to reach new customers. They tend to give out samples, coupons for free items, discount codes, giveaways, etc.

Blog sites continously update their status' with freebies, samples, and deals as they become available. You can know exactly where to go and what to do to get them.

If you are on the fence about opening an account on either site, remember that you can control what information (if any, is visable to others.) I personally thought Twitter was not a good idea, but I honestly am hooked now! As for Facebook, it has two purposes - I can keep in touch with long distance relatives and get the scoop on great freebies. Still not convinced? Check out my previous Mailbox Monday posts and you find that 75% of my freebies I found out first on these two sites!  

A good place to start looking for freebies on Facebook or Twitter is to follow the first 3 blog buttons I have on the left side of my page as well as Katiecouturexo.blogspot.com.

Best reward sites are Swagbucks and MyPoints
Why?
Swagbucks rewards points or "swagbucks" for doing internet searches. The idea is to use them instead of using google, yahoo, etc and get rewarded for something you already do. They also offer promotional codes, daily polls, and special offers to earn more points. Since mid January I have cashed out for 11 Amazon $5 e-giftcards which have gotten me my daughter's easter shoes, sunhat, socks, $20 off a PS3 game for hubby, and a replacement wedding band. =)

MyPoints rewards you for opening emails and visiting partner sites as well as registering at different sites for email updates, etc. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time (after your points are awarded.) Since October I have redeemed two $25 TJ Maxx giftcards and have enough to get a $10 giftcard to about hundred retailers (but I think I'm going for another $25 giftcard)

Best auction site is Listia.com
Think of it as recycling. You offer what you don't need anymore and others bid on it. Once they receive your item you get their points to bid on what YOU want. You'd be surprised at what people will offer you for something and what you can get for free! They also award points for logging in and send out promotional emails to get 50 points upfront when you list an auction plus you still get all the points from your auction winner! I get alot of scrapbook supplies this way.

If you decide to join Listia, MyPoints, or Swagbucks could you please join through my banners at the bottom of my blog. I loved writing this post and would love to be rewarded if you join =)

Anyways, hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you score some cool freebies from it!
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