Remember how your mama said there is no free lunch? She was wrong, and I am here to prove it! Keep reading for many ways to get something for nothing. OK, truthfully, you will have to invest a couple of minutes of your time. Do you have a minute to save some money … possibly hundreds of dollars? Then follow me on the path of savings to find out how to get something for nothing!
1. Your favorite cereal has blackened, hard spots on it. It looks as if it were burnt and you can barely chew it, if at all! Do you throw out the entire box of cereal and waste $4.35? No! You could return it to the supermarket where you purchased it and get a free box in exchange. You could, but I am here to say that is not the best option. The best option in this scenario is to write to the company or manufacturer of the cereal. You will not only receive an apology but also a refund check, plus free cereal coupons! This has happened to me and others who have written complaints to companies over bad tasting, bad smelling or moldy products. Do not be embarrassed to speak up if you are dissatisfied with a product. Let it be known. Even if you would never purchase that product again, the coupons can usually be used on other items that manufacturer makes.
2. You are in LOVE with a new product just out on shelves and can’t stop talking about how great this makeup, chip, drink or yogurt is! Don’t keep this to yourself either! Mail or email the manufacturer of the product and let them know. You will probably receive coupons and a nice letter as others have in the past. Now you have coupons, maybe even free item coupons, to use on this new favorite treat of yours!
3. Have you been treated unfairly recently in a place of business? It could be the airport, grocery store, post office, bank or other place you frequent. Speak up about this unfair treatment, especially if it is over the use of coupons. Coupon-hating cashiers are notorious for not being able to understand coupon requirements. Speak to a manager immediately or wait until you are home and call the store back. One example of this is when I tried to use two coupons at the same time and a cashier told me I could not. No reason why I shouldn’t have been able to use the two coupons together on the two products, just no. I went home and called the store manager. Not only did I get an apology and a promise that the cashiers would get training on coupons and how to treat customers fairly, but I also got a $15 gift certificate. I hope it came out of that cashier’s payroll check. Another time I got gasoline, but the store clerk would not accept my personal check, which had been accepted before at that location. I had no cash on me at the moment and the clerk threatened me with arrest. As soon as I calmed down, I called from home and emailed the corporate office to let them know exactly what had occurred. I received a $25 gift certificate but never went in that store again.
4. Are you buying a new home security system? Ask for extras. You will never get any unless you ask. Ask for specials or discounts on the price as well as free installation. Many times, free installation is a given unless the consumer is clueless about it. This goes for many other home improvements as well. Ask the contractor for a break on supplies or materials for the job. He gets a discount and freebies, why shouldn’t you?
5. Are you transferring over utilities to another home or moving to a new neighborhood? Ask for free installation of cable. If one cable company says no, ask another. Compare each of their promotions and keep asking for extras. Ask the power company if you can forego the deposit. Many can and do, so why not you? You will never know unless you ask.
6. Want to try a new product on the market but don’t want to pay retail for it? Go to the manufacturer’s website and request a sample. Most companies have a sign-up place on their websites for just this purpose. At times, they also have coupons available to print or mail out to you too.
7. Have a new baby and want to try different formulas for her? Sign up for samples and coupons at each of the baby formula webpages. Similac, Nestle GoodStart and Enfamil all send out full-size cans of their formula every couple of months or so to people on the mailing list. Hook up with friends of babies and trade the ones you don’t need for what you do.
8. There are lots of sweepstakes, including instant win sweepstakes, where you can get something for nothing. Online is the place to be for free sweepstakes. No need to buy a lottery ticket. This is free sweeping! Expect the prizes to be new on the market, must-have, most-wanted and sought-after big ticket items. Many instant win games can be played every day.
9. Shop at online retailers and catalogs that offer lifetime guarantees. Make sure you read ALL of the fine print. I just found out that one retailer offers lifetime guarantees, but this doesn’t cover shipping costs back and forth after the first six months. What will this get you for free? Your new gadget may break within the first month, but it is no problem to get it repaired or replaced for free. Many retailers would up their sales if they would stand behind their products this way! Who wants to chance losing their $200 on an item that may or may not work well.
10. It is your birthday! Happy Birthday and many freebies to you and yours. Restaurants may offer birthday clubs for children, but adults also can get free entrees or desserts on their birthday too. Grocery stores that have delis sometimes offer items for the birthday girl. Check out advertisements because local bars, eateries and stores may offer complimentary birthday loot, too.
11. Mystery shopping in your town can offer free food, items and cash. Be forewarned, never pay for this opportunity. A true mystery shopping opportunity will pay YOU. You can net free fast food, free oil changes, free coffee, free magazines, free eyeglasses and free services – all for doing a quick mystery shopping visit.
12. Who can forget Freecycle? Freecycle is an organization in your neighborhood that gives away unneeded items to keep them out of landfills. It is filled with people just like you. You offer what you no longer need and so do many others. Then you can pick up free items that others no longer need. Say your 12-year-old has outgrown her clothing, you give them to someone who can use them instead of trashing them. Then pick up some clothing in her size from another family on Freecycle!
13. Check those store receipts every time you shop. If you find a discrepancy on a price, some stores will give you the item for free!