Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Using Freebies to Stretch the Budget

I love freebies. I don't care how I come by them, samples, prizes, friends, I love them. If a brand is offering a sample, I'm the first one to sign up. A person on the side of the road wearing promotional clothing handing something out? You better be careful not to get in my way because I will stampede anyone to get at the promo person. Goodie bags at expo's? I'm in heaven. And I spend a few hours every week trolling for competitions and giveaways that I can enter. The smaller the prize the better - sounds dumb right? But I've never won an iPad or a holiday, whereas I am CONSTANTLY winning smaller household products and toys for the kids. At least 1 prize a week.

But it's only worthwhile if you actually USE the samples and freebies. I've noticed that alot of my friends or family end up throwing samples into draws, probably with good intentions of using them, but go on using their normal day to day product. And the sample just sits there gathering dust until a cupboard or draw gets a spring clean and it gets thrown out.

I make a habit of using samples first before other products. That way they definately get used. And although it might be hard to see the impact on the budget, by using the all the samples up it means my normal products go just that much further.

For example, at the moment I am not purchasing any baby nappy rash products, body wash, or dishwashing detergent because we are still using up the samples/prizes of these products. I also have a bunch of packet mixes that I cook with - maybe I wouldn't have purchased some of these meal types but I am definitely willing to give them a go since they were given to me by a friend who had too many and they would have expired. Not paying for these items is saving me a small amount on my grocery bill, and since there is always something every pay that I don't have to buy thanks to samples it all adds up.

Where do you get your hands on samples and freebies?

1. Brand facebook pages are becoming more and more popular for samples. Like your favourite brands and keep an eye on their streams.
2. Websites often have a sample offer that you can sign up for. Especially baby goods, there is so much available in baby goods. I will confess I have yet to purchase any nappy rash products at all since Lorelei was born almost 2 years ago. And I have 7 month old Seb now too.
3. Email companies that you are interested in to ask for freebies. I've had many companies send me a sample to try out even though they didn't have a sample program on their website.
4. Expo's are sample heaven! All the brands are desperate for a slice of your business, and will giveaway samples in the hope that you will try and end up buying
5. One of the market research panels I am with (Red Galah) often offers a sample bag in conjunction with (or instead of) payment for a focus group. There's often products that aren't released yet on the market
6. Check your favourite products website for competitions to enter. And check the terms and conditions to see how often you can enter - sometimes you can enter daily and I find those ones are generally a sure thing if I have the patience to keep entering.

I freely admit that I am a freebie whore. But every now and then a company gets lucky (possibly the worst pun I have ever made) and I like their product enough as a result of trying the sample to make the change. So the freebies work, although they have to work damn hard. As you can see often there are 2 brands competing at the same time. The photo's to the right are just a quick sample of the freebies in my home in use at the moment. There are probably more, I just ran around grabbing what was easily visible for the photo's.

Are you a freebie whore too? Does the sight of a promo person get you to change your route to make sure you cross their path? Tell me the best freebie you ever got your hand on!

Linking for love with Essentially Jess.
***Diclaimer: This is not a paid or perked product flog. With the exception of the kleenex products that I think I got in a blogging swag bag, none of these products were given to me without the brand knowing that I had a blog that they may be mentioned on***

12 comments:

  1. I saw one from neutrogena on facebook last week and filled in all the info and got a little package in the mail today!! I love freebies and samples I just wish I had more time to find some!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get so excited when I see little parcels in the mail, and because of all the freebies I sign up for there is always something!

      Delete
  2. Yes, I love freebies. When Pinchme first started I was getting their samples each day and then various other freebies I discovered via FB and parenting sites. This week my favourite freebie is a Photoblock worth $21.90 delivered (offer ends 8 May) and a $25 voucher for Mills&Boon books (love a bit of romance). So that's close to $47 value in only two things this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinch me is my new favourite site! I will have to hunt down those freebies, I hadn't seen them

      Delete
  3. I too am a freebie whore. My husband laughs at me because I just get so very excited to get something for free.
    I can't admit to being too good at using them if the are in the form of little satchels but I have started and am feeling rather good about myself for doing so :)
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband is as bad as me - worse! Because he will get a freebie whether its something we will try or not.

      Delete
  4. I just try to avoid samples now because I never remember to use them and like you said they sit in a draw, taking up space. I am a space whore and don't keep anything I don't use or need.

    It is a fantastic idea if you actively seek them out with intent to use them. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to be shocking at throwing them in draws, and Husband and I are terrible hoarders, I can't handle throwing things out if they might be useful. But since we got mroe organised with our freebies they get used

      Delete
  5. every little bit adds up! I bet you're saving heaps doing this! i've never even though about it! thanks for sharing. -Aroha (#teamIBOT)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thanks for coming by! I save a fortune, especially on baby goods because there are so many freebies out there it can take me ages to need to buy anything.

      Delete
  6. I love freebies, but never seem to be able to source them. I subscribed to some email services that I thought were promoting freebies, but I only get junk mail :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if you're interested, I found the free photoblock from Snapfish that ends today mentioned by Michelle above at http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/101126 :) Its a good place to start!

      Delete

I LOVE comments. They make my day even if you only say Hi!