mail boxSince leaving college I’ve found myself perpetually broke. “Broke” not in the sense that I can’t afford ramen noodles, but “broke” in the sense that I can’t go out sometimes, order indulgent magazine subscriptions and afford The Melting Pot or The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago.

To be honest, since being married we’ve both been successfully employed and have made enough money to live pretty well but the occasional indulgence can throw our budget off or leave us feeling guilty because we love social justice and the poor. Whenever I want to buy the latest eyeliner or go out to the hippest lounge in Chi-town Dustin’s always squirming and adding that we can hit up alternatives and save cash for our travels. He’s right.

It’s hard to justify spending $50 a year on Whole Living Magazine or Vogue when there are homeless people sleeping on the “L” on our way to work. It’s even harder to hand over $100 for a night out at The Melting Pot (a really cool fondue restaurant) or $40 for cocktails at a new lounge when there are millions of children being enslaved due to Human Trafficking.

make upInsert Free Things Here

I read about getting free things online while Googling it. Someone I knew had mentioned that she got free samples on a popular blog and I was in awe. Free? Free shipping and free items that I could use? Things like DVD’s, American Apparel clothes, perfume, magazine subscriptions, over the counter medicines I use all the time like Advil and Tylenol, and purses could be free? I thought there had to be a catch. Perhaps you had to blog about the brands (I didn’t have time for a blog) or maybe you had to pay shipping costs and call and cancel subscriptions all the time? Nope. The article assured there were no catches. So I made a list of websites that gave away free stuff and began signing up.

By golly it worked! Before I knew it I was receiving samples and gifts in the mail. I acquired free coupons for makeup and medicine…I even got clothing. There are enough subscriptions to Food and Wine, Caribbean Travel, and Photography Magazine to fill six doctors’ offices. I didn’t believe it at first and always checked to make sure I didn’t have to cancel subscriptions or was charged on my debit card (I didn’t and I wasn’t.) Two years later I still check out the websites that post free things and receive books, food samples, and free event tickets.

Favorite Freebies To Datemagazines

-Cheese fondue at The Melting Pot valued at $20
-a Discovery DVD about Deep Oceans valued at $15
-Whole Living, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Photography Magazine, and tons of recipe/food magazines that are in print but I have secured iPad subscriptions for while away in India
-American Apparel Skirt valued at $30
-Books
-Neti Pot, Advil, Tylenol, Breathe Easy Strips, and Cold Medicine
-Toothbrushes and Floss
-Any/every perfume and lotion sample under the sun
-Enough tampons and feminine hygiene samples to last at least 3 months
-Pearl embedded hair-band valued at $10
-Address labels
-Glass Mug
-Free drinks, appetizers, entrees from numerous restaurants around Chicago and Columbus
– Ketchup, syrups, snack bars, and drink mixes
-Condoms and other intimate products
-Photo Books and Photo Cards valued at $100

fondueSo How Do YOU Get Free Stuff?

Ok, so I get that you get free stuff and it’s awesome but how can I?

Free Stuff Websites
The two websites that I have found and can refer you to without a shadow of a doubt that you’ll receive free things (and not be charged) are Freestufftimes.com and Heyitsfree.net. These two websites are where I’ve gotten most of my free items from. Once you go to the websites simply look for the free items that interest you (This may/may not be all of them!). Follow the directions offered by the website and wait to see your free stuff in the mail. Remember that some items are time sensitive and only give certain amounts of samples out. The website will tell you. If you are unsure if the offer is expired you can simply click on the comments section under the offer and see what others are saying. Another great aspect of Freestufftimes.com is the “What I Got” section which lists and provides pictures of things other users received.

Target & Walmart Samples

You can periodically check Target and Walmart’s websites to find offers for free samples often. I’ve received many great samples from each. Sam’s Club and Costco also offer free samples for members online. I’m not a member thus haven’t tried any.

Coupons

In addition to free items you can look up free coupons from tons of blogs and websites. Begin getting coupons by checking out Freecoupons.com. Coupons are also offered on both free stuff websites (freestufftimes.com and heyitsfree.net) which can help you grab those $10 pistachios we both know you want.

Tips For Getting Free Thingsmeal

1. Always make sure it’s free. Even though you can sign up with confidence on both websites I mentioned you should always double check and make sure the offer is still valid.

2. Open a “spam” email account to receive newsletters and confirmation emails. On many “free” offers they will want you to offer up an email or receive a newsletter in exchange for a free item. Fear not! Simply open a new email account for spam. You can also use “fake” email accounts by through Fake Mail Generator. These fake email accounts will allow you enough time to confirm an email then close them. (Dustin and I do this all the time!)

3. It doesn’t hurt to “like” things on Facebook. Get the free item then “unlike.” If you do love their services or item stay “liking” them.

4. Use autofill on your computer. This program that is built into most browsers saves your information and fills it in automatically for you. This way you don’t have to fill out a ton of information to get free items.

5. Recycle junk. By signing up to get free things you inadvertently get mail (such as newsletters, updates, etc). Try your hardest to recycle.

6. Thank organizations. If you receive something in the mail that you love, thank the organization. This small act of gratefulness keeps them giving out free stuff.

Enjoy getting free things in your mailbox!