Monday, November 09, 2009

How to Get Something for Nothing

I love getting free stuff.  When Oprah did the free Kentucky Fried Chicken thing, I waited in line and got my share.

There are a few ways to find out about good free stuff, and a few rules to live by when looking for free stuff. First, the rules.

  • I don't like having to buy something to get something else for free. The only time that's worth it to me is when I am already going to buy the product.
  • "No strings attached" offers are the best. I never sign up for magazines, or have to refer friends to get free stuff.
  • Get a SPAM email address from gmail, yahoo, or hotmail to use instead of your regular email address. Or you'll get tons of crap in your inbox.
Now, where to get the free stuff? My favorite website for all things free is Hey It's Free! They are fantastic about screening all their free stuff so you don't get scammed.  They mostly have free sample offers. But, these usually come with coupons that are better than the Sunday Paper, so they are doubly worth it.

I also frequent the "Less than a Penny" thread at Pinching Your Pennies. Sometimes they get stuff that Hey It's Free misses. 

Some people on Facebook are jumping on the free bandwagon. Every once in awhile I'll see a "first 5000 fans" promotion where you can get some really good stuff. I got some dipped fruit for free from Edible Arrangements awhile back.  I also got a coupon for a free Herbal Essences product that I'm going to use this week. Riteaid has their Herbal Essences for B1G1 (that's buy one get one free). So, using the coupon, I get shampoo and conditioner for free!

I also enter a LOT of contests. I'm not talking the sweepstakes types that millions of people enter. I tried that for about a month and realized that it was a total waste of time. I enter lots of blog contests. Everyone is giving stuff away on their blogs nowadays. And, I win consistently enough for me to take the time to enter.

It's a little tricky to try to find blogs that give away stuff. Some, like Give Away Today are devoted entirely to giving away things. This means there are a lot of entries, but the stuff is usually pretty good.

My best success has been found in getting involved in the blogging communities for stuff I enjoy; namely, reading, cooking and crafting.  I find blogs I like to read on a regular basis, and always enter their contests when they come up. I've won books, gift cards, and other random stuff.

My latest win was a gift pack from Crest & Scope Outlast by The Fashionable Housewife. Sounds weird, but I got a huge bottle of Scope Outlast, Toothpaste, and Floss Picks. All stuff I use all the time.

Now, go forth and score free stuff!


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