While there are lots of ways to avoid spending money, one of the most fun is getting free products. We haven't, for example, paid for toothpaste in at least a year, and we have seven free tubes sitting in the cupboard, so we're not going to run out any time soon. Here are some easy ways to get free stuff:
- Follow frugal and freebie blogs. There are dozens and dozens of these types of blogs; a few are listed on the right side. Find the ones you like and check them regularly, follow them on Facebook, or sign up to get daily emails that highlight their posts. This is a fabulous way to find giveaways from companies. Some give small samples; others mail you coupons for free products or send you a full-size version of the product itself. Thanks to these amazing bloggers, I've received free diapers, a sippy cup, a ABC board book, baby food, coffee, and many other products.
- Combine coupons and sales at drugstores, grocery stores, and discount stores. Again, the frugal blogs are an excellent help. The bloggers take the time to figure out the best deals based on fliers and current coupons. Print or clip coupons (again, look to the right for some sources) that come along if you might possibly use the product. Unless you need the product right away, wait for a sale to come along (often highlighted by a blogger). You'll often be able to get things for free—and even make money on the deal. For example, this week at Walgreen's Colgate Total toothpaste, priced at $3.99, comes with a $4 Register Rewards coupon that you can use on a future purchase. Combine it with a $1 off coupon, and you'll make $1.01 off the purchase.
- Join online money-making programs. Two I've joined are Swagbucks and Ebates. Swagbucks is a program that gives you points for doing various simple tasks, such as searching the Internet using its search engine and shopping at various online stores. It's simple and fun. You can redeem the points for prizes, such as Amazon.com and Target.com gift cards. Ebates is a program that gives you certain percentages of cash back for shopping through its site at various Internet stores that you'd shop at anyway. Every once in a while, a check arrives in the mail—free money.