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Freebie 101

How do I get things for free? There are many ways; here is a beginner’s guide to getting freebies:

1. Couponing

Match a sale with a coupon:

Double coupons - My stores double up to 99c so I love clipping the 50 cent and 75 cent coupons as these will double to $1 and $1.50 respectively and then I wait for a $1 sale and voila the item is free.

BOGO – Match a BOGO coupon with a BOGO free sale at the store and you get 2 items for free. I would check the store policy first before trying this out.

Stacking coupons - some stores will allow you to use one store coupon (the discount is provided by the store) and one manufacturer coupon (the discount is provided by the manufacturer) per item (Target, CVS and Walgreens are great examples).

Free Trial Size Products – Target and many drug stores have a trial size section for travelers – check them out as usually items are $1 and below and when paired with a coupon they become free. Just make sure the coupon does not prohibit its use on trial size.

There are many ways to find coupons:

The Sunday Newspaper is a great source of coupons.

Internet coupons are becoming more and more popular and are a great source for saving money, especially Walmart coupons.  See end of post for a comprehensive list of sites that offer internet coupons.

E-Coupons are clipless coupons that are loaded onto your store’s loyalty card. They can only be used once and when combined with a sale and paper coupons you can get many items for free.  See end of post for a list of internet links.

Check the store - there are many varieties of coupons that you can find in the store:
Blinkies: Pull these coupons from the “blinking” machines at the grocery store
Peelies: Coupons that are stuck to the actual product
Tearpads: Pads of coupons typically found on special displays at the store, tear off one or two or three…

Catalina Machine – The grocery stores usually spit out a coupon when you make a purchase. Read these carefully as sometimes if you buy a product the Catalina machine will print a coupon for a free competitor product to entice you to switch.

Register rewards - Some stores such as Walgreens and CVS offer register rewards (like a catalina coupon above), whereby if you buy certain products on promotion you get a reward coupon in the amount that you spent on that product essentially making it free after coupon.  To make this work harder for you, keep track of the weekly register rewards at these stores and roll the coupons so you don't pay too much out of pocket.  Note: Walgreens does not allow rolling of these coupons on the same item, however CVS does but they do limit the reward - check your weekly store flier.

Home Mailers – one of my favorite ways to get free products is to email the company directly via their website (no stamp needed) and tell them how much I love their product. At best they send a complimentary coupon for a free product, more often than not they mail coupons and other times not. But you have nothing to lose so write away. Click here for a list of companies that I’ve had success in getting freebies.

Magazines – flick through your regular magazines as you’ll find some provide many coupons. I love All You magazine, its sold at Walmart only and has a great source of coupons – sometimes the coupons are for frees.  I subscribe to the magazine to get a cheaper deal.

Stacking coupons - some stores will allow you to use one store coupon (the discount is provided by the store) and one manufacturer coupon (the discount is provided by the manufacturer) per item.

2. Rebates
Manufacturers will often promote new products by giving the consumer the chance to try something for free after submitting the rebate form. Similarly some stores offer rebates as part of their way to entice people into their stores. Rite Aid offers great rebates for free items, and also when paired with a manufacturer coupon this can often lead to it being a money maker or simply a way to pay for the stamp to send in the rebate.  Unlike clipping coupons, refunding often requires keeping proof-of-purchase forms, refund forms, register receipts and more. All the extra work is well worth the time spent when in exchange you can eventually fill your home with free products.

3. Free Samples
There are many product sites that offer free samples e.g. Walmart, . Often they also mail you coupons to entice you to buy more!  I personally love writing to SC Johnson (Ziploc, Shout) and Flintstone Vitamins as they offer free coupons.

4. Internet Links

Internet Coupon Sites:


Eat Better America - General Mills

Very Best Baking - Nestle

Making Life Better - Unilever - Online database to search for coupons

E-coupon list:

Upromise - there is a direct link to the right of this post.

Deal sites

If you are shopping online why not make some free money! The idea is that you sign up with the following sites and link to your online store through their website and they will offer you a % back. There are good incentives to subscribe intially and the % back varies.

Here are some links to my favorites to get a % back while shopping online.