Freebies and Free Stuff

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What is even better than “saving money”; how about FREE?  Let’s rephrase Gordon Gekko’s notion about “greed is good” to “free is good” – and possible.  There is nothing like getting something for free, which is why advertisers know the power of the word “FREE!”  It gets our attention and rightly so.  Food tastes better when free, right?  It is possible to get stuff for free when you belong to certain groups or know where to look.  You may need to join a group or already belong to one.  This category changes regularly so rather than provide you the usual web links, I’m going to give ideas to search for so you can get the latest treats.

Some restaurants give away free food on Mother’s day, tax day, donut day, pancake day, among others.  You may already be a member of some groups that can get free stuff.  Many restaurants and business offer freebies to veterans and military personnel on Veteran’s day.  Search “veterans day freebies”.  Other searches to consider include “freebies for ….”  teachers, moms, babies, twins, teens, and seniors.  Find where kids can eat free here:  http://www.kidsmealdeals.com/.  Yes, there are some freebies any of us can get with a little hunting; just search “freebies” to find many websites that cover these which are usually product samples, but sometimes only after a lot of work to get to.

But before we get carried away with all that free stuff these websites and companies give away, it would be wise to remember that even free stuff isn’t always free.  Sometimes we need to ask how much does that free offer actually cost in the end.  Other times we need to weigh how much personal information we are willing to exchange and how much we want our email inbox to expand.  IMPORTANT TIP:  I strongly suggest you get a second email address to use for all those commercial offers and newsletters you sign up for.  Then you only need to check that commercial email occasionally without it distracting you from your friends’ and family’s email.  Remember that when you get tired of junk email, newsletters, special offers etc., most email programs let you setup “junk” folders to automatically route junk email to.  Then you can browse and delete that email folder even less often.  Let me also take this opportunity to publicly apologize to whoever has that telephone number I give out to commercial sign-ups.  Now back to the freebies.

Perhaps the best treat is to make your birthday extra special with freebies, discounts, or savings from a wide variety of restaurants, retailers, and businesses.  Many websites cover this constantly changing universe, so find the latest with a web search for “birthday freebies”.

It’s also amazing how much free stuff you can get from people who are just giving stuff away.  Check these places:

  • http://www.freecycle.org/ – Offer and request free stuff from your local community.  “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”
  • http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites – Look for the “free” category under “For Sale” at your local site.

Sometimes you just need to borrow something for free:

Free is great, but discounts are good, too.  Membership in many organizations provides discounts including AAA, AARP, USAA, unions, college alumnae associations, and many large businesses.  Students and teachers can get discounted software; search “academic software”.  Join the rewards club of retailers and restaurants you like to get email offers of freebies and discounts, especially around your birthday.

About John Kimball

Over the past few decades, I have experienced most of these financial issues with both mistakes and successes. I sure wish someone had told me these things when I was first starting out. So many times I have cried out, "I want a do over!" when I learned a new financial lesson or tip. I aim to pass along to you the financial insights I have gained from experience, reading, analysis, and living the financial aspects of managing, saving, investing, and spending your money. I am an analyst with a large organization and happily married with two children on their way to an expensive college, no doubt. I read numerous financial blogs, websites, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and books to bring you the latest news, insights, tips, and lessons combined with decades of experience.

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