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Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...

10 May 2014

Are you interested in freebies and samples?

About two years ago I discovered that you can get free samples in the mail rather easily. There are a lot of different types of freebies out there; some require a survey. I tend to avoid those. I've received free magazines, coffee, tea, beauty samples, and much more. For pretty much all of these you have to be comfortable with sharing your name, address, and e-mail. I use a spare e-mail account so that my main ones don't get cluttered with junk.

A good website to check out daily is Sweet Free Stuff -- this is where I get a majority of my freebies from. They compile a list of freebie sources and link them, whereas most of them are time-sensitive or limited to a certain amount of free product requested. Some of them may require a survey or such things, but again, I tend to skip those. Others may require you to like the vendor on Facebook to access the sample or giveaway form, so make sure you are comfortable with that being public.

Thanks to this site, I have had a steady stream of samples and freebies in my mailbox. This is one of many sites I visit, but this one is the most trusted, most updated, and easiest to keep up with. I'd like to take a moment to say I am in no way affiliated with Sweet Free Stuff or any of the freebie sites/companies they link to, and I am not receiving compensation for mentioning any of this; I simply love getting free stuff and I am happy to show others how to obtain free things, too!

Here are some of the freebies I've received:

Keep in mind, this wasn't all accumulated in one day; some of this I've been holding on to for a few months. There also is so much more that I didn't have room for, or that I already used -- for example, I just recently drank all of my bagged tea samples!

  • Freebies should obviously always be free if that is what is claimed. The ONLY time you should pay anything is if they ask for shipping and handling. That does not make the freebie not free; shipping and handling is not a fee for the actual product -- that's how they're going to send it to your mailbox. Most freebies do not require this; just be aware that some do. Always double check!
  • Some freebie sites link to "freebies" that are actually not associated with the company selling the product. These are third-party website that requires you to complete "offers" -- mostly involved spending money or taking a "survey" -- in order to get the product for free. I see this most often with full make up products, such as a full tube of lip gloss or mascara. I honestly would avoid these types of "freebies". You can always tell by the fine print. I'm not saying they are illegitimate, but I don't use them because that means more effort than I'm willing to put forth, and sometimes they may require purchases that I'm not interested in making. Other times I find them a bit confusing.
  • Some freebies require you to open up the e-mail they send to the e-mail address you entered, and confirm that the e-mail is valid, before they send you the freebie. I suggest using an alternate e-mail account so you do not accumulate junk in your inbox. After submitting your info for a freebie, most will confirm saying something along the lines of "Thanks! Please allow x amount of days/weeks for your product to arrive." Otherwise I've seen "Please check your e-mail to confirm your request."
  • There are sites and apps where you earn points for making purchases or completing surveys or other offers. Then, you may use the points to get the rewards. These also require effort, obviously. Again, I don't like putting too much thought and time into getting freebies, so I personally avoid these types of offers. That is not to say these types of sites and apps are fake or worthless. I have never used them so I cannot vouch for them.

So there you have it! It takes a bit of trial and error to find out how much work you're willing to put into getting free things; for me I prefer little effort. Some people get a lot more freebies. For me, I don't get them thinking I'm going to not have to buy some of these things ever again; the only exception is magazines. I don't pay for them. If I can't get them as a free subscription, no strings attached, then I'm not getting it at all! But that aside...a sample pack of laundry detergent isn't going to wash all my laundry, but I welcome the extra bit for free! I'm not going to stop buying coffee and tea from the store, but having 1-4 extra cups of coffee and tea per offer? I'm not complaining!

Getting free things can be really fun and rewarding, but make sure to be careful and well-informed! It can be a risk but if you know what you're doing you'll find the right offers for you. Have fun!