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How to Save Money and Get Free Stuff

Updated on August 23, 2012
Free Stuff
Free Stuff | Source

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!

Free Samples - Travel Sized
Free Samples - Travel Sized | Source

Free Samples

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!

Save Money With Coupons
Save Money With Coupons | Source

Coupon Savings

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

Savings Method
New Price
Store Sale Advertisement
$1.50
20% off Total Purchase Store Coupon
$1.20
$0.50 off Coupon, Doubled
$0.20
$1.00 Store Rewards "Bucks"
FREE with $0.80 back!

Where do you want to save the most money?

See results

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!

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    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      That's a topic that never gets old: saving money! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful tips.

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 4 years ago from Far, far away

      This is great! I am always on the lookout for ways to save money. I am going to pin this article right now.

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Cocopreme - thanks for the read and pin!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for reading, Robie!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Who knew that Facebook and Twitter could actually save you money! Great tips as always, Amy. I'm even getting ads at the bottom of your hub with coupons as well - so people can get coupon clipping straight away.

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Nettlemere - yes, I'm amazed at how much I save just from "like-ing" products and coupon sites on Facebook. I love it when I see a "free sample" alert come through my news feed. And great news about the coupon ads here too!

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      This hub is for everyone. Who doesn't want free stuff and save money? Excellent tips!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Kittyjj! I hope you find some good tips here!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great tips and useful information, Amy. Great job. Voted up and sharing.

    • profile image

      v1p3r 4 years ago

      Great tips

      Thanks

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Useful tips for anyone especially the frugal.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      The reward programs at the stores I shop at are getting a tad ridicoulous. I have TONS of additional cards/key tags just hanging out in my wallet. It never fails either....if I'm at CVS I inevitably can't find the card I must give the phone number that was associated with the account many moons ago.

      I love CVS extra bucks rewards, Walgreens register rewards, Hair Cuttery card etc. but it's getting to be a little much lol.....

      Someone should invent a card where you can add all your reward cards too and BAM 1 card with all your rewards (this is prob alreayd invented I just haven't seen it yet).

      Thanks for sharing these tips on saving money...sorry bout my mini-rant.

      ~Becky

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      I love getting free stuff. One thing I haven't done is allowed Facebook or twitter to become advertising portals. It looks like I am going to have to do that to get even more free stuff. Voted up.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great information, not only for those of us who love freebies and are frugal by nature, but also for everyone out there who has been hurt because of the current economy. Great job.

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks to everyone for reading and sharing!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Becky - some of these cards can be use via smartphones, but not all. I've been able to use coupons and emails to save money by displaying it on my iPhone screen. I hope the cards go that way too!

    • profile image

      Jessica 3 years ago

      Nice post! I love to find free samples. Who doesn't like fre?

      I'd like to share some of the samples I got

      I just got these free samples

      Make up:

      Bare Minerals Makeup:

      http://tinyurl.com/freesamplebaremineralsmakeup

      MAC Mineral Make up: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplemacmakeup

      Rimmel Lip Gloss: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplerimmellipgloss

      Maybelline Mascara: http://tinyurl.com/samplemaybellinemascara

      Food:

      Coca Cola: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplecocacola

      Folgers coffee: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplefolgerscoffee

      Cheerios: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplecheerios

      Gerber Baby Food: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplegerber

      Home:

      Johnson's baby relief kit: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplej-jbabykit

      Aveeno baby lotion: http://tinyurl.com/freesampleaveenobabylotion

      Axe Deodorant: http://tinyurl.com/freesampleaxedeodorant

      Charmin Toilette Paper:

      http://tinyurl.com/freesamplecharmintoilettepaper

      Swiffer Sweeper: http://tinyurl.com/freesampleswiffer

      Febreeze air freshener: http://tinyurl.com/freesamplesfebreeze

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