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Whether you’re trying trying to live a frugal life so you can become financially independent, strapped for cash, or just in the market for a good deal, there’s nothing better than getting free stuff. Whether it’s free samples, free gift cards, coupons, exclusive discounts, or free cash, it’s hard to beat the price!
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get free stuff thanks to the chaotic wonderland that is the internet. These days you can find a free item or offer almost everywhere from Amazon.com to specialty retailers. You just need to know where to look and how to strategize to maximize your collection of freebies.
Keep reading to learn how you can get free items and save money.
How to get free stuff
Join me, gentle readers, as we take a journey through the different categories of freebie available. The possibilities are exciting, I promise!
- Free Furniture
- Free Food
- Free Money
- Free Lodging
- Free Music
- Free School Supplies
- Free Target, Walmart, and Walgreens products
- Free clothes
- Free goodies
- Baby supplies
- Free books and audiobooks
- Free pet supplies
- Free movies
- COVID-19 vaccine freebies
- How to Get Free Stuff on Amazon
1. Free furniture
If you’re looking to furnish an apartment or home and don’t want to spend a lot of money, your first stop should be your local Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. They are, bar none, the best sites for finding shockingly cheap or free used — and even, sometimes, brand new — furniture, no matter the size of your home.
You’ll be surprised at what people give away when clearing out space. You can often find tables, chairs, pianos, TVs, book shelves, couches, and other household items that people simply don’t want to move or sell.
I’ve found everything from an ironing board to a giant armoire for free on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. It’s my first stop when shopping for furniture while trying to save money.
2. Free food apps
Thanks to rewards apps, it’s possible to get free food when you make several small purchases. And free is my absolute favorite flavor!
For example, the 7-Eleven app has a rewards program that you can use to rack up points to redeem for free food. The app even gives you free food like a donut or coffee just for downloading it. So work downloading the 7-Eleven app into your routine tomorrow morning and breakfast is covered.
Here are some companies offering free food loyalty programs:
- Baja Fresh
- Uber Eats
Of course, you don’t need an app to get free food. If you live in a city, check out local happy hours and events, which often give out food and samples just for showing up. Local coffee shops and lunch spots might also have loyalty programs where you can earn a free drink or meal after purchasing a certain number of items.
And if you’re willing to put the work in, you can always grow your own vegetables by starting a garden. (Though I can tell you from experience, there are easier and faster ways to get free food.)
3. Free money
There’s absolutely nothing better than getting free money — and you can do it just by putting money into a taxable brokerage account or retirement account in a brokerage firm like Schwab or Fidelity.
Of course, the stock market is risky (especially right now). But history shows that every market downturn is followed by an upturn. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can make money through dividend distributions and capital gains when you sell stocks for profit.
This means free money, just by putting your money into an investment account.
A safer but less profitable way to earn free money is to put cash into a high yield savings account (HYSA), which offers higher interest rates than traditional banks.
4. Free lodging
If you’re going on a trip and don’t want to spend money, there are a few strategies you can use to get free lodging.
The most popular one is Couchsurfing, which is a website where people offer free places to stay. This can be a fun way to meet new people and get some shuteye and a shower without having to pay exorbitant fees for hotel rooms.
In most cases, you will have to spend money to earn free lodging, but with the right approach, it’s possible to earn a couple of free hotel stays each year (and even free flights) simply by earning rewards from your daily spending.
With a few strategic moves, you could even rent out your own place on Airbnb while you live somewhere else for free, earning money to put toward your financial goals.
5. Free music
There’s no reason to pay for music in 2021 unless you want access to full albums and control over specific songs.
Many free albums are available on YouTube anyway, and you can get access to a variety of music through apps like Amazon Music and iHeartRadio. Other great apps to check out include Spotify, SoundCloud, and Google Play.
If live music is your thing, visit your local library or university for a schedule of free music festivals and concerts in your area.
6. Free school supplies
Kids need access to the right supplies if they are to excel in school. Lucky for the future leaders of America, there are a variety of programs and services available offering access to school supplies.
If you’re a parent, the best place to start is by reaching out to the school about assistance programs. Oftentimes, local school districts provide supplies like backpacks, laptops, and other supplies to students in need.
You could also ask around your network to see if any friends or family members have unwanted school supplies that they are no longer using. Many of them probably do!
You can also put the word out on Nextdoor.com, a neighborhood-based social network connecting neighbors who want to share used goods, services, and news. Your neighbors’ children might be graduating high school just as yours are starting, and they could be eager to unload all their children’s old school supplies.
7. Free Target, Walmart, and Walgreens products
Most families shop at major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Walgreens to load up on items like paper towels, snacks, beverages, patio supplies, and everything in between. You can’t beat the prices — especially when they are free.
For example, Target offers gift card promotions every Sunday when you buy a certain number of items. You can also get free shipping on certain items if you have a Red Card, not to mention a free birthday gift. Thanks Target! You shouldn’t have!
Walmart is also known for offering free giveaways and deals with coupons.
To earn free stuff at Walgreens, sign up for their newly rebranded MyWalgreens rewards program, which offers 1% cash rewards storewide, and 5% on Walgreens branded products.
8. Free clothes
It’s important to maintain a decent wardrobe. But it’s easy to burn a hole in your pocket while doing it if you’re not careful.
Don’t be a slave to the fashion police! Now you don’t have to lose money staying in style, thanks to sites like ThredUP offering discount items and clothing rewards. You can get $10 for referring friends and earn money for selling unwanted clothing. Then you can turn around and spend those rewards on discount clothes and avoid having to pay for items.
Beauty may be pain, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
9. Free goodies
If you like getting free goodies in the mail, check out Daily Goodie Box for free sample boxes. All you have to do is sign up, and if you’re eligible, you can potentially receive free samples and full-size products in the mail, shipped right to your door. The company claims to have partnered with over 300 individual brands, supplying over 400 products to members.
Some examples include Zillipops, Crunchsters, South of France hand and body cream, bath salts, and other fun items.
10. Baby supplies
Most people get showered with baby gifts when they’re expecting, receiving everything from strollers to bottles to bibs and more. (Personally, my go-to baby shower gifts are a Costco-sized back of diapers and some nipple butter.) So if you have a big network of friends and family, your problem may turn into finding enough places to store your items.
That said, if you don’t get showered with gifts there are a number of sites that you can use to get additional freebies for your newborn. For example, there is the Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box, the Target Welcome Kit, and the Babylist Registry Hello Baby Box, to name just a few examples.
11. Free books and audiobooks
There is no shortage of places to get access to free literature if you’re into reading. My neighborhood contains roughly 9,000 Little Free Libraries, so really the question is “Where can’t you find free books?”
The easiest thing to do is to head down to your local library and load up on armfuls of free books, audiobooks, DVDs, games, and CDs. You’re technically paying for this service with your tax dollars anyway, so you might as well take advantage of it. Your library might also have free ebooks that you can access online as well.
In addition, Amazon offers free books for Kindle if you prefer digital reading.
12. Free pet supplies
Many pet brands are giving out free items in exchange for providing your information.
In addition, some animal shelters and vets will give out free or subsidized food with the adoption of a pet. So don’t bring your new family member home without at least asking.
Poke around and explore different brands for everything from pet food to toys to leashes to treats and formulas.
13. Free movies
Tired of overpaying for your Netflix or Hulu subscriptions? Head over to Popcornflix for a free variety of shows and movies. You’ll get your movie fix in without spending an arm and a leg in the process.
Another site to check out is AZMovies, which offers a broad selection of new releases and classics.
And of course, your local library probably also has a wide variety of free movies and TV shows that you can borrow. See above: you’re paying for it with your tax dollars anyway, so you’d be a fool not to visit the library for free movies and shows.
14. COVID-19 vaccine freebies
Many brands and organizations are now giving away free items for those who can demonstrate proof of getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus. So hold onto that awkwardly sized vaccination card!
Also, the New York Yankees and New York Mets are offering free tickets to baseball games for those who receive the vaccine on-premise. Enjoy a game while you recover from your shot!
15. How to Get Free Stuff on Amazon
At this point we’ve been over how you can get access to a variety of music through Amazon Music. And we’ve mentioned how you can get free baby supplies through the Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box. We’ve been over my favorite way to get free stuff from Amazon: through their Kindle Unlimited library of free ebooks for members of Amazon Prime.
But perhaps the best-kept secret for getting free stuff from Amazon is through Amazon Vine. It’s an invitation-only program that curates the best, most trusted product reviewers… and sends them free things to review on the site. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen as a Vine Voice, you could receive free samples and exclusive discounts on any Amazon item in exchange for an honest review.
My best advice for becoming a Vine Voice through Amazon Vine is to write quality reviews of everything you purchase on Amazon and post them regularly. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does PINCHme send free product samples?
PINCHme is a couponing site that sends consumers free samples. All you have to do is provide feedback on the goods you receive. There is no credit card required, and new samples get released regularly.
Product categories include personal care, home and family products, food and drink, and pets.
How can I get freebies and perks on Amazon Prime?
The easiest way to get freebies on Amazon Prime is to sign up for the Amazon Rewards Card. This card and rewards program currently offers 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Do I have to pay taxes on free things?
You typically do not have to pay taxes on free things unless you receive a gift of significant value (e.g., a car or piece of property). In that case, your best bet is to talk with a tax advisor to learn whether the items you receive count as a tax liability.
If you take surveys online through a site like Swagbucks, that’s an example of exchanging a service for a reward, and so your earnings might be taxable. But you probably aren’t going to earn a lot of money on Swagbucks, so any taxes you owe would be minimal.
If you sign up for a sample site and receive a free gift such as skincare or beauty products, birthday freebies, toothpaste, or free boxes of goodies, you won’t owe any taxes at all on those.
The Bottom Line
There’s nothing wrong with being frugal and searching around for the best freebies, from magazine subscriptions to coupons to food items. Being frugal is a great personal finance skill and will get you much further in the long run. Be not ashamed of your freebies!
So look around and try to find retailers that are giving away free stuff online, and you could be rewarded for your efforts with new products that are perfectly legit. Social media is also a great resource for bargain hunting.
Just make sure to watch out for scams on freebie sites, as the internet is loaded with them.
Here’s to getting the best deals on stuff so that you have more money to invest toward your future financial independence.