Why You Shouldn’t Pass Up a Free Sample

29 May

Growing up, I always loved getting free samples. I mean, who doesn’t?

In the past year, however, I have really started to pay attention to whenever a free sample is available online. Various blogging sites, and even some company websites such as Target or Walmart make it incredibly easy to get free samples. Nowadays I very rarely pass up a free sample for many reasons.

Why I Always Try to Get Free Samples

There are many reasons I always try to get free samples. Some of these include:

  • Many items are travel-sized, perfect for either short trips or carry-on luggage if you’re flying. Considering that you can buy shampoo in the store for a low price, having to pay $1-$2 for something that is travel-sized is a huge mark-up.
  • If I just ran out of something that I haven’t gotten to shop for yet, it’s great to have the free sample available. It’s more cost-efficient than just running out to the closest store and buying whatever is available. In fact, I’ve been thankful to have free samples of soap, tooth paste and coffee for when I hadn’t had the chance to shop in awhile.
  • It allows me to try it before I buy it. For example, I would have never purchased Burt’s Bees lip balm before because it’s on the more expensive side. However, after receiving a free sample from them, I am a believer. The lip balm works so much more efficiently than the cheaper brands that I only need to use it on occasion, making it last a long time. (I have noticed that many of the cheaper brands have drying agents as part of their formulas.)

How to Find Free Samples

  • Follow some popular frugal websites, such as Money Saving Mom, in order to know when a free sample is available. Another site, which also offers a newsletter, is I Love Free Things. Many of these frugal bloggers will post something as soon as they know a deal is available. Generally, the sooner you know about the item, the better—many companies offer limited quantities and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
  • Some bigger companies, such as Target or Walmart, have pages dedicated to free samples and coupons. Once in awhile I will check on these pages for myself.
  • If you have a Facebook account, you can easily “like” or “subscribe” to certain pages, especially to larger companies that often have giveaways.

How to Get Free Samples Without Being Inundated With Crap

Many people do not want to sign-up for free samples because they feel it will lead to additional spam or junk mail. While this may be true, there are specific things you can do to avoid much of this headache:

  • Create an e-mail account that is just for “junk.” Do not start signing-up for samples, giveaways, etc with your personal e-mail; slowly, but surely, you will start to notice an increase in unwanted e-mail. Make your junk e-mail account simple and free of personal details.
  • Be sure to free the fine print. You may be able to “uncheck” the boxes that sign you up to receive e-mail offers from them and other advertisers.
  • Many companies offer freebies through Facebook. In order to get these freebies, you generally have to “like” their company page. You can always unlike the company page shortly after you get your free sample. Also, many companies will ask if they can post things to your page—always read everything through carefully as you sign-up for a free sample. You can click off these items.

2 Responses to “Why You Shouldn’t Pass Up a Free Sample”

  1. yourlifeforless May 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    I like your tip about creating an email address for junk. One place that’s awesome for free samples is the warehouse clubs (Sam’s, Costco, etc.) Besides sampling different foods, I got some travel size shampoo and conditioner that my wife used on our recent trip. Also, my dentist hands out floss and toothpaste at my appointments. You can’t beat free!

    • thethriftyspendthrift May 31, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

      I learn from the past—my very first gmail account became inundated with junk from every place on the planet. 😉

      I’m going to the dentist tomorrow so we’ll see if I can swing anything free my way.

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