- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
How to Save Money and Get Free Stuff
As a working mom on a budget, I'm always looking for ways to save money. From the grocery store to the drug store, I want to buy things for as little as possible. Here are some ways that I've found to save money and even get things for free!
Points and Rewards Programs
Many stores and products offer FREE points and rewards programs to frequent shoppers. Stores generally have cards or ID numbers that you use each time you shop to earn coupons or even cash and free items.
For example, CVS/Pharmacy stores have Extra Care cards that earn coupons with each purchase and quarterly ExtraBucks rewards. Using those rewards plus coupons, I have gotten many free items from the store including make-up, over the counter medicine, and even toothpaste. Most discount, drug, and grocery stores have these programs now, so sign up wherever you shop!
I also get a lot of free items from redeeming codes in points programs. One of my favorites is the Amazon MP3 program, where I enter codes and my account is credited toward MP3 downloads! The credits (usually from Pepsi) are anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00 and can be used on most any MP3 download. The last ten songs I have downloaded have been completely free thanks to entering codes!
I also really like the Pampers Gifts to Grow program, where I enter codes from diaper and baby wipe packages (which I buy anyway) and redeem for items or coupons. I won't argue with spending a little extra time to get things FREE!
I like free stuff as much as anyone, and I've found quite a few ways to get free samples. The samples are usually health and beauty or food items, and are often trial sized. However, some of the samples I've received are quite large! The best way I have found to get free samples is to sign up for email alerts from bargain hunter web sites and coupon databases. I've even found a few that are specific to my area!
Sign up for updates here - get FREE STUFF!
- The Krazy Coupon Lady - Extreme Couponing
Grocery Coupons, Recipe Coupons, Internet Coupons, and Printable Coupons are just some of what Coupons.com has to offer.
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- Extreme Couponing Realistically - Bargain Briana
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- Queen of Free
Did you know that a coupon can be worth MORE money than it says? There are many ways to use coupons so that you not only save more than is on the coupon, but you can even MAKE money in the process! Here are some ways to up the value of your coupons.
- Shop at stores that double coupons. In many cases, stores will double coupons up to $0.50 and round all other coupons up to $1.00. More savings for you!
- Combine your coupons with sales to maximize their value. For example, if a store is having a sale on cookies and you also have a coupon for the same cookies, you'll get them for even less.
- Use your benefits from rewards programs, such as percent off coupons or cash, to add more to your savings.
Add all three of these methods together and you can even make money on the transaction! Let's take the cookies for example:
Cookie Savings - Original Price $1.99
Store Sale Advertisement
20% off Total Purchase Store Coupon
$0.50 off Coupon, Doubled
$1.00 Store Rewards "Bucks"
FREE with $0.80 back!
Where do you want to save the most money?
Save with Facebook, Twitter, and Email
One of the easiest and most convenient ways I have found to save money and find free products is to use Facebook! By "like-ing" my favorite brands, products, and stores, I get notifications of sales, free samples, and discount codes right in my news feed! I can usually redeem them with just a few clicks.
I also follow my favorite stores and brands on Twitter for their latest deals and offers. In fact, I usually get the Amazon MP3 codes by following @Pepsi on Twitter.
I also get a lot of deals via email, by going to the web sites of my favorite stores and signing up for email newsletters. Stores often release email-only coupons and sales that I would never know about if I didn't sign up!
Of course, one caveat to saving with Facebook, Twitter, and email is that you get more from these companies than just savings. You will get a lot of advertisements clogging your feeds and your inbox. However, the amount I save is definitely worth weeding through the other news!
Try these methods and you will see results almost instantly. Practice combining offers, coupons, rewards, and sales to get the best deals, and make sure to grab free samples when they are available. Once you start looking for them, you'll find the savings are just waiting there for you to take them!