20 September 2010

Getting the most out of FREE samples

Nothing beats FREE and I love FREE samples! I get excited each time I find them in my mailbox and I sign up for every one I can find!  But if you're new to this, it can all seem a little overwhelming. Here's a few suggestions:

EMAIL: When signing up for FREE samples online you almost always have to give your email address. This can end up filling your email inbox with junk mail you don't care to read. So create a separate email account on a free email site such as Yahoo, Hotmail or GMail to use when signing up for freebies and coupons. This will help prevent your personal and professional emails from getting mixed up in the advertisements.

TIME: Many people ask "is it worth the time?" All in all I probably only spend about 5-10 minutes per week signing up for freebies, but I receive at least 3 products in my mailbox each week. To make things easy to find, I store all of my toiletry freebies in gallon size Ziploc bags divided by product type (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.). These little guys are great for throwing into a suitcase on a weekend away, keeping in your gym bag, sitting out for guests when they visit, and tiding you over until another great sale on shampoo comes along.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Freebie are usually sample items - aka travel size items (although I have been known to score full size products as well).  I have received everything from toothpaste to scrubbing bubbles, shampoo to laundry detergent, tampons to Wheat Thins and the list goes on. Currently I get 3 different year long magazine subscriptions (Bloomberg Businessweek, Time Magazine and MarieClaire) that are sent to my door that I scored by signing up for freebie. Also, freebies usually come accompanied by high value coupons with extended expiration dates. These are great to hang onto a pair with killer sales!

DONATIONS: I sign up for all freebies I see. You may or may not choose to do this. The freebies I will not use I donate to local charities. A great example is diapers. I don't have children and thus no need for diapers, but companies frequently send 1-2ct packs out for people to try their product. I request these samples and donate them to our local women's shelter or the church nursery. (You can also write off such donations on your taxes!)

So GO HERE to my Freebie posts to get started signing up and in 4-6 weeks you'll begin to see your freebies rolling in too!

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