Everyone wants to know extra ways to save money, frugal tips for stretching your dollars, and helpful hints for getting by in tough times. There are so many money saving strategies available, and some of them are overlooked as “too small to make a difference”. Well my friends, the small things add up to a lot when you are diligent and focused on saving money!
Today’s money saving tip is a collection of small, but very effective, frugal methods for cutting down on household and grocery expenses: how to save money by getting almost everything for free, including freebies and free samples.
You’ll want to start thinking of freebies as items on a 100% off sale! We’d all grab up as much as possible if this sale was at a store, wouldn’t we?
Everyone loves getting things for free, and freebies and free items require very little effort to get a HUGE return. Below, I’ve compiled a strategic list of frugal ways to save money using freebies, free items, free samples, free software, free coupons, free magazines, etc.
How to Save Money by Getting (Almost) Everything for Free
- Get news of freebies and free items before everyone else. Home Ever After brings you the best money saving free samples and freebie alerts regularly. We offer a free subscription to our updates, and we’ll send you the newest info as soon as it’s published. This means you get our VIP alerts and can request free items before they run out.
Action: Get our freebies RSS feed or freebies email updates now. Subscribe!
- Request free samples in the mail. We bring you the best lists of free samples and free items to request in the mail. No shipping charges, no credit card numbers, no fees; you request, and companies send you free stuff in the mail. New ones come out all the time and don’t last long. Readers write me frequently asking, “Do you really get anything good?” In response I wrote a post called Does Free Stuff Really Ever Come in the Mail?, in which I listed out and took pictures of about half of the free stuff I got in the mail for 6 weeks.
Action: View our freebies and free samples here and start requesting now.
- Pick up free food and other items at stores by combining our printable coupons with store sales. It’s time to get good at watching for store matchups, when you buy things for free by using a manufacturer coupon together with a store coupon or store sale. In some cases, the store will even OWE YOU money (called overage)!
Action: Print out our newest printable grocery coupons weekly.
- Put away your full size products and replace them with samples. You might laugh about this and think it sounds silly, but let me tell you that I didn’t buy toothpaste from the summer of 2008 to July 2009! My family has been using up the free samples and toothpaste I “bought” for free at the grocery store all this time. The fact is that if samples are out where your family will use them, they’ll get used up (instead of getting lost in a drawer or closet somewhere). And using these free items means you’ll be buying products less frequently, saving you money in the process. See how I replaced all shower items with free samples here.
Action: Once you start receiving freebies, put your full sized products in the pantry and replace them with samples. Once the samples are used, put the full sized bottles back.
- Get free magazines to score free coupons for other products. Magazines often have valuable health, beauty, and grocery coupons inside. But you don’t have to buy magazines to get them- just request our free magazine subscriptions to start receiving more magazines than you ever thought possible!
Action: Request free magazine subscriptions whenever they become available.
- Use free alternatives before buying ANYTHING. I wrote about this before in Top 13 Free Things to Stop Paying For Now. From toothbrushes to envelopes, there is so much free stuff available to us that we often take these things for granted.
Action: Make a list of current items you pay for, then brainstorm ways for getting the same things free. Read our reminder list of free things to stop paying for.
- Get kids’ clothes and shoes for free by trading them on Swap Mamas. This free community allows you to post and trade just about anything – making it a great way to get all the kids’ items you’ll ever need for free (while getting rid of outgrown clothes yourself). If you can’t find what you need there, check Craigslist for free clothes people are giving away. Still no luck? Read our tips for how to save 90% on kids clothes and get them nearly free.
Action: Create a free profile at Swap Mamas and start trading for free clothes and other items.
- Don’t pay to rent movies anymore – get them from Redbox for FREE or borrow from the library. Redbox kiosks offer free new release movies constantly. There are free codes all the time, frequently for special events and holidays and some codes that are particular to certain stores.
Action: Visit AHome Ever After regularly to get Redbox promo codes for free movie rentals.
- Cancel your cable and watch TV online. YouTube and Hulu have made it ridiculous to pay for cable services. Watch your favorite TV series online at those video sharing sites or directly from the networks’ sites (Fox on Demand, CBS, and more).
Action: Call the cable company and cancel your subscription as soon as possible.
- Stop paying for long distance on your phone; switch to free voice over IP services like Skype. Talk to anybody anywhere for free using your computer. How could you justify paying the phone company for long distance now?!
Action: Cancel your long distance phone package (if you have one).
- Use free video conferencing on Windows Live Messenger. Stop spending money to print and mail pictures, videos, and long letters to your relatives! You might not have known that Live Messenger has free video conferencing built in right from your chat window, but it does. Now Grandma and Grandpa can see and talk to the grandkids for free as often as they want, without spending an extra penny.
In a recession, we’re all concerned about keeping our expenses as low as possible and finding all the ways to save money on household items. Print out this list or bookmark this page and work your way through the frugal tips to get you on the road to saving money and getting almost everything for free!
How to Save Money By Getting Almost Everything For Free was originally published on HomeEverAfter.com on April 9, 2009.