Freebies are always welcome. It doesn’t matter if it’s food or drinks samples, loot bags containing all manner of items at an event, or just about anything you don’t have to shell out money for. People simply like getting free stuff online and/or in real life. It’s practically human nature.
In this day and age when we have to pay for everything from clean air, water, and all kinds of service charges for little things, freebies are always welcome. This is why getting free stuff online and in real life has become the passionate vision-mission of a lot of people. The results are extreme couponers, those who hoard lists of freebie providers, and other folks who have mastered the art and science of constantly getting things without having to purchase them.
The good news is that even if you aren’t an extreme couponer (yet!), you can still devise methods and find ways to make sure you don’t have to pay for every single thing in your life. With that in mind, this article will aim to deal with all the important stuff that has to do with getting them online.
If you know where, when, and how to get free stuff, then you’ve already won half of the freebies game! But first, let’s delve into the best practices of being a freebies pro.
How To Make Sure You Will Keep Getting Free Stuff Online
In the glorious pursuit of obtaining and accumulating things you won’t have to shell out money for, there will be some issues that could crop up. These might have to do with:
- organizing links and sources of freebies,
- making sure you aren’t overwhelmed by the sudden mountain of free items,
- having enough storage space for them,
- and generally ensuring that you will have a serene and stress-free experience in your journey to being a full-fledged freebie connoisseur.
To begin, you can read the following suggestions and tips to guide you.
- Make a list and regularly update it
You might start with just a couple of tried-and-tested methods to get freebies, but eventually, it will get longer (and more complex) over time. Trust us on this one.
So as not to get confused about which site or app is giving away a freebie on certain days, it’s best to come up with a list and a system for them. You can do it alphabetically, by calendar (or scheduled dates when free stuff are given out), or any scheme you feel is most helpful to track.
The important thing, though, is to keep updating your list or spreadsheet. Some links or apps might not be working anymore, or you might stumble upon new sources of freebies that are worth adding. So it’s only practical to be on your toes about updating, editing, trimming, and upgrading your list.
- Turn on notification alerts
Aside from making sure to regularly check your list or spreadsheet on free stuff online, it’s also wise to turn on your notifications and email alerts.
You may have signed up to dozens of subscriptions or apps to get free stuff, so it’s highly possible that some could slip through your fingers. There might also be promos that are done outside the regularly programmed giveaways that are too good to pass up.
- Sign up for memberships to different establishments
If you patronize certain establishments for their products and services, why not sign up for a membership or loyalty rewards program with them? A lot of shops, restaurants, hotels, and other establishments offer freebies and discounts for members’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other noteworthy occasions (more on this later). It’s a potentially great way to get your favorites on your special day, free of charge.
- Create enough storage space for all the freebies
By storage space, we mean both physically and digitally (we could add psychologically to it, as well). However, the main takeaway is to not let the free stuff you get clutter up your life and headspace.
For starters, you can rely on your spreadsheet and freebie calendar to devote enough time to couponing and signing up for free items. You could maybe do this over the weekends or during your downtime. This can help you manage your time and avoid encroaching on the rest of your schedule.
The items you get for free could be small or big (depending on the retailer or business providing them), or they could be gift cards for services like free massages, spa services, lessons, etc. It’s best to set aside the time, space, storage, and energy for them in anticipation. For instance, make it a habit to regularly clear some space in your pantry for grocery and food items (mind those expiration dates!). The same goes for closet space in anticipation of new shoes, clothes, and other articles of clothing. If you plan to stockpile freebies as gifts and giveaways, in turn, make sure you have ample storage for them, as well.
- Consider even the free stuff you don’t normally go for
While it isn’t in the spirit of decluttering, it’s also wise to sign up for free items you don’t normally use. There have been countless times when something you think you have no use for will come in handy sometime in the future. Or, someone else might need those things, and you can give it to them as gifts.
The most practical form of this example would be gift cards or e-coupons. They won’t need to clutter up your home (or office, or car), and you can re-gift them to anyone electronically on special occasions.
- Always check the fine print
If getting free stuff online sounds a bit too good to be true to you, there might be a slight chance that it is. As opposed to just downing a sample of a new juice brand or wolfing down a cocktail frank at the supermarket, there might be something in it for you online.
This is why it’s important to read the fine print (if there’s any) and research a bit on what constitutes getting something for free via the Internet. Do you have to do something in exchange for the freebie first? Some sites might ask you to answer a quick survey or watch a short video clip before you can claim a free item. Others could offer freebies at first, but automatically charge your credit card after a trial period is over.
Or you could likely be asked to give some personal information like your date of birth, address, and contact numbers so you can receive free items regularly. If you have privacy and security issues (or think something is iffy about the deal overall), then that might not be the best option for you.
How To Get Free Stuff Online Without Paying
Freebies take on many forms – be they pampering services, actual items like food, drinks, and grocery stuff, or even free money! Then there are those resources that go the extra mile by compiling all the freebies you can get in one useful portal.
The following are some sites that do this, often in exchange for some minor activities that one normally does online, anyway.
Enroll in rewards sites that give out gift cards
Getting cold hard cash for free is always good, but a lot of times, gift cards also come in handy when you least expect it. Thank goodness there are rewards sites that offer them in exchange for doable tasks within a flexible schedule at any time of the day.
Below are some truly rewarding ones that allow you to get free stuff online via gift cards.
- GrabPoints has been known to process rewards in as little as 48 hours – which makes it perfect for emergency gift card-giving on special occasions. All a member needs to do is log in, do easy online tasks like watching TV, answering surveys, completing offers, referring other members – and then rack up enough points to redeem their gift card (or even cash!) of choice.
- ZoomBucks rewards its users for simply taking on offers, watching a bit of television, or completing surveys with a nice menu of gift cards ranging from gaming, stationery supplies, to shopping (and more).
- GCLoot is a new rewards site geared towards gamers, with gift cards and in-game items to be redeemed once enough points are racked up. Members only need to play games, watch videos, complete offers, or answer surveys before cashing out.
- Survey Junkie rewards its members for participating and sharing their opinions in matched surveys with covetable gift cards from Amazon, Target, and PayPal.
- Swagbucks is a well-known rewards site that gives out free gift cards for PayPal, Amazon, Walmart, and more. Members do easy everyday tasks online like shop online, watch videos, or answer surveys to rack up enough points to redeem.
- InstaGC promises its users with “digital gift cards received instantly”. The site offers a vast menu of over 300 gift cards for members to choose from, as soon as they earn enough points from web searching, online shopping, watching videos, and answering surveys.
- PrizeRebel provides users the option of redeeming their earned points for cash, or for gift cards from Walmart, iTunes, Amazon, and more. There are over 500 gift cards to choose from, which makes it more exciting when it’s time to redeem them.
Visit portal sites that regularly provide free stuff online
This particular list is made up of site names that will seem a bit on the nose, but that is the beauty of it all. There will be no mistaking what they offer to the public, which is tons of ways to get free stuff online (or at the very least, to never have to pay full price for something).
So don’t be surprised that most of them have “freebies” or “free things” as domain names – that is simply what they aim to provide (which we think is awesome!).
- The tagline of My Free Product Samples is “Simply Free. No Strings attached.” What the site does is round up all the current freebies being offered by various shops, service providers, businesses, and other establishments. The freebies are categorized by deals, coupons, makeup and beauty samples, laptop and computer, “totally free products”, and other (admittedly arbitrary) classifications on the right sidebar.
- The succinctly-named Freebies offers members exclusive access to ‘unlimited freebies’, which include full-size free samples from popular brands, as well as gift cards and significant discounts on products and services. Scrolling through the home page will give you an idea of what’s in store for members in the US, UK, and Canada, such as free dinners, desserts, appetizers, sample packs, discounts, and more!
- Sweet Free Stuff promises members that “everything here is completely free of charge!” The freebies are classified into digital, books, baby stuff, magazines, health and beauty, food, pets, samples, money, coupons, giveaways, and others. If you’re interested in any (or all of them), all you need to do is sign up and become a member.
- With the battle cry of “never pay full price again!”, Free Stuff Finder has a daily roundup of what comes free, at a discount, BOGO (buy one get one), and who is offering free samples when and where. Freebies and discounted items can also be searched via stores, gift deals, coupons and more on the main site tabs bar.
- All You has recently been absorbed by Southern Living so it is now presented in a magazine format. Nonetheless, it is still a good site to learn about home deals, discounts on electronics, beauty and health samples, and other deals, freebies, and tips geared towards the “value-minded woman”.
- Go Freebies has a simply-designed website that features a “What’s Hot” sidebar. Under it are listed such things as What’s New?, Free Samples, and Free Stuff, which are further categorized into babies/kids, business/money, coupons, downloads, food and recipes, health and beauty, pets, and more.
- The ‘best free samples in the market” are supposed to be at Samples Avenue – at least according to their tag line. One way to get freebies here would be via the survey-answering route, though their regularly updated blog also offers ways to obtain free samples.
- Free Samples is a short and succinct website name offering precisely what it proclaims. The people behind it believe that “the best things in life are free”. It also supports notable charities and causes like Greenpeace, the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and more.
- If you want Just Free Stuff, visit this site. There’s a lengthy alphabetized categories list of freebies ranging from Amazon deals, apps, beauty, books, clothes, games, music, software, videos – and even something mysteriously labeled as “bored?”! The freebies are presented in a no-nonsense manner with short captions, so what you see is typically what you get here.
- Sample A Day aims to post free samples every day – with no catch, according to their About Me info. They advise members to check regularly for offers because they can expire quickly. There’s a helpful “latest free samples” bar where links are compiled for easier perusal.
- 2000 Freebies has arguably one of the most bare-bones layouts among the dozens of free stuff websites currently in existence. It’s really just a bunch of links (with the occasional image) arranged according to the latest, as well as popular freebies of the week, printable coupons and rebates, and other ways to obtain free items. Still, it’s worth checking out if only for the sheer number of links they have compiled for you.
- If you often find yourself saying I Love Free Things, then you’ve come to the right site! They have fresh free samples offered on the home page, from foodstuff and house cleaning supplies to cosmetics, games, and health products. Membership is encouraged so they can send out the latest news in discounts, as well as a heads up on the freshest freebies being offered.
- Hey, It’s Free presents the free stuff and samples being laid out in a simple blog format complete with a short description and review for each. It offers information that is pretty useful to readers. There’s also a section for the latest Amazon deals featuring a thumbnail image of each product, aside from the comparison between the regular price versus the discounted one.
Getting Free Birthday Stuff Online – And On Other Special Occasions!
As we stated a few paragraphs up, birthdays and anniversaries are the best times to get something nice for free. It doesn’t matter if it’s something edible, useful, luxurious, or otherwise – it’s still a gift, after all. And if it’s from a restaurant, shop, or any other establishment that you love and patronize, all the better!
A lot of the free portal sites listed above have specific categories for birthday freebies (like Sweet Free Stuff), but they might not be the most reliable resources for updated lists. Some links could have stopped working some time ago, and deals do have expiration dates.
The best way to go about getting free stuff online without paying would still be to sign up for membership to specific establishments. To ensure your continued and loyal patronage, these establishments are usually on their toes to remind you of your membership benefits, which often include freebies. You could likely get something free like a drink or dessert (or maybe even a full meal!), discounts on clothing items, knick-knacks, and other stuff on your birthday. Or they could offer a BOGO (buy one, get one) treat on certain items or services.
Consider the following establishment offers and see if you (or someone in your life) can get something free from your favorites on your birthday:
- American Eagle Outfitters encourages users to sign up with their email to get exclusive deals, but there are also promos featured on the home page. Limited time offers include Buy One Get One (BOGO) and discounted price tags on jeans and pants, and free standard shipping on other selected items. Creating an account on the site will also yield birthday freebies and further discounts.
- Applebee’s has an offer sign-up page where would-be members of the Applebee’s email club can take advantage of free appetizers, coupons, and other special deals in exchange for their personal information (including name, email address, date of birth, zip code, and if the person registering is a veteran or on active duty).
- The Barnes & Noble Kids’ Club is, of course, focused on how to reward kids (whether it’s their birthday or not). It’s structured like a loyalty program where young customers can enjoy discounts of as much as 30% off on any book or toy, a $5 reward for every $100 spent on kids’ stuff in-store or online, and even a free cupcake on their birthday!
- What’s a birthday celebration without some free ice cream? Baskin Robbins knows this all too well, and offers coupons for you to get your choice of a free scoop of ice cream, or a discount on your favorite ice cream cake! Joining their Birthday Club is the ticket to all that free (or slashed price) cold creamy goodness year after year.
- Black Angus Steakhouse has a Prime Club where members can avail of a free dessert just for joining up. On their first birthday as a member of the Prime Club, they will get a free steak dinner! They will also receive special offers via email throughout the year.
- California Pizza Kitchen has a system in place for their CPK Rewards members (there is already a freebie 24 hours upon registering). It’s called the Benefit Levels chart, and it shows the annual points for Palm, VIP, Diamond, and Elite members. Depending on the accumulated points and membership tier, members can enjoy anywhere from a $5 reward to a free meal for four people!
- Chuck E. Cheese draws in new members to their More Cheese Rewards program by offering such goodies as a free trial month to movie clubs (restrictions apply and more information can be available after signing up), and other covetable treats.
- Columbia Sportswear has a Greater Rewards membership program that promises users exclusive promotions and points for sharing their adventures (presumably with items purchased from their shops) on social media. There are also member-only offers, promos, and deals.
- Dairy Queen offers the Blizzard Fan Club (AKA “the sweetest club in the solar system”) some “scrumpdillyishus” deals every month. The membership sign-up page asks potential members their favorite flavor, so there might just be a sweet surprise coming up every time their birthday rolls around.
- Denny’s Rewards program has an age restriction – only those who are 18 and above can enroll. Still, the perks of being a member can not be denied. There is already a 20% welcome offer discount on your next Denny’s visit just for signing up. And the site promises “a delicious birthday gift each year!” as a loyalty reward.
- If you like eating Dippin’ Dots treats, then it’s best to sign up for their Dot Crazy! Email Club. Members can expect coupons, promos, and special offers via email once they do. Plus, there’s a promise of some free Dippin’ Dots on your birthday, which is always a sweet deal.
- The Famously You Rewards program of Famous Footwear gives back to their loyal customers by way of some Star Membership perks. For one thing, they can enjoy free shipping every single day – whether it’s something purchased online or in-store. They even offer a Reward Cash scheme where members get $5 for every 100 points they accumulate, for up to $250 a year. And for each birthday, members will get another $5 Birthday Reward Cash in addition to earning twice the points per dollar on all purchases during their birthday month!
- Signing up for the Fridays Rewards Loyalty Program means a VIP treatment that includes a free appetizer or dessert to begin with. And if you’re iffy about giving out too much personal information, don’t fret. The sign-up page only asks for your email, phone number, and password. After that, you can start accumulating points (one per dollar spent) towards Rewards Certificates to get free food – which is always good at any time of the year!
- Hometown Buffet already has a special Welcome Offer ready to be sent to your inbox once your membership is approved for their Crave Connections program. There are options on the sign-up page which you can check if they appeal to you, including a senior discount, family discount for kids under 11, group discount, or military discount. Aside from Hometown Buffet, it is assumed that the special offers also cover its sister establishments Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, and Country Buffet.
- If you’re a Jack In The Box fan, here’s your chance to get yummy deals and other great offers just by signing up with your email address or phone number. By doing so, you will essentially be “unlocking” deals via your inbox. The deals typically include food, such as free five pieces of chicken nuggets with any purchase, and more.
- Johnny Rockets has the Rocket E-Club where members can avail of a Movie Meal Deal. This means you can buy your movie tickets at a discounted price (just $9!) whenever you purchase a shake, soda, or entree (typically a burger or sandwich) at selected Johnny Rockets locations.
- Subscribing to Marie Callender’s E-Club means getting the chance to have something nice on your birthday or wedding anniversary dinner. The site also promises a special offer on your next dine-in purchase at any location once your membership is approved. Members will also receive exclusive offers and deals on celebration-worthy occasions.
- Those who like shopping at Old Navy will already know about the instant offers that pop up on the site – whether it is a one-time, limited-offer in-store or online deal to non-members, or an exclusive discount to card members. Their Super Cash scheme is applicable to everything on their site, including their new arrivals. New members are also given a special welcome deal via text, and those who sign up with their email are promised “buzzy sales and other very nice things” in their inbox.
- Outback Steakhouse has a Dine Rewards program open to customers aged 18 years and above. Scrolling through the page gives you an idea of the kind of deals being offered “down under” – including package deals for steak and lobster meals, earning points to be redeemed upon dining in, and significant discounts via their membership card.
- Petco’s Pals Rewards program has “everyday benefits” for its members. For starters, repeat deliveries are shipped for free, and by earning one point for every dollar spent, they will get 5% back every single day! There is a $5 reward once a member reaches 100 points, which they can then use to shop for anything they want at Petco. Plus, there’s a birthday gift for member’s pets.
- By simply joining the PF Chang’s rewards program, a member will instantly receive a 1000-point enrollment bonus. After that, approved members get to earn 10 points per dollar spent on all purchases in selected PF Chang’s branches. When their birthday rolls around, they will get a complimentary appetizer or dessert of their choice!
They also offer a mobile app that is available for both Android and Apple users. This app allows users to get free delivery for orders amounting to $25 and above.
- The Quiznos Toasty Points Reward Program has a simple point system (one point for every $1 spent) that lets members redeem the following:
- 20 points = free regular drink
- 35 points = free combo of chips and a regular drink
- 50 points = free 4-inch sub or half a salad
- 70 points = free 8-inch sub or a full salad
Only one redemption is allowed per visit to a Quiznos store. Just for signing up, members will automatically get an offer of a free small sub with any purchase. Birthday celebrants will receive 10 bonus points on their birthday.
- Radio Flyer lets kids have extra-special birthdays by way of exclusive offers, double product warranties, and free shipping once they become members of the Radio Flyer Family program. There is also a 15% promo code upon signing up.
- Red Lobster allows members to “Eat. Earn. Repeat.” To do this, they must first join the My Red Lobster Rewards program. Membership benefits include exclusive offers and “irresistible rewards” that can be redeemed once enough points are earned. The program uses a points system that goes from Red to Gold to Platinum Membership. Getting to Red means simply enrolling in the program, and by completing your profile you instantly become a Gold member. Platinum members are those who have earned at least 300 points a year.
Here’s a list to give you an idea of what each membership tier offers:
- My Red Lobster Rewards membership
- Special offers and savings
- All the benefits from Red membership
- 75 points for completing your profile
- Earn one point for every $1 purchase
- A reward earned at every 125 points
- A free birthday reward on your special day
- A special catch reward four times a year
- Insider information
- Bonus point offers throughout the year
- All the benefits from Red and Gold memberships
- Earn twice the points on to-go orders on the Red Lobster website
- Free unlimited games on the table-top device in-restaurant
- Easy access to selected promos
- Sephora offers its “Beauty Insiders” (what they call their members) a menu of birthday gifts to choose from while supplies last. For this year, there are four options: something from Milk Makeup, Sol de Janeiro, a Briogeo mini-set, or something from Jo Malone London. A Beauty Insider is eligible to redeem one birthday gift per year, with VIB and Rouge members also eligible for surprise online-only gifts. Redemptions have to be made two weeks before or after your birthday, or any time during your birthday month.
Members can also browse through rewards even if it isn’t their birthday – they can earn points for every purchase, and once they reach 750 points, they can get their purchases shipped for free. The more points they earn, the more beauty products they can get for free!
- Smashbox encourages customers to join their Smashcash loyalty program in order to earn points, perks, and presents. Once you’ve signed up, you automatically get 50 free points to start with, and 15% off on your first order. There are exclusive birthday and anniversary gifts awaiting members. Successful referrals will also earn a member and their friends 20% for every $50 purchase.
There are three levels to the Smashcash membership, with corresponding perks and benefits:
Level 1 – FAB!
- Annual spend on qualifying purchases – $0 – $75
- Earn points for every dollar spent – 1 point
- Free samples with order – 2
- Free shipping and returns – standard with every order
Level 2 – FIERCE!
- Annual spend on qualifying purchases – $75 – $250
- Earn points for every dollar spent – 1 point
- Free samples with order – 3
- Free shipping and returns – 2-day with any $60+ order
- Birthday gift
- Anniversary gift
- Early access to product
Level 3 – FEARLESS!
- Earn points for every dollar spent – 2 points
- Annual spend on qualifying purchases – $250+
- Free samples with order – 4
- Free shipping and returns – overnight shipping with any $90+ order
- Birthday gift (“bigger and better than Level 2”)
- Anniversary gift (“bigger and better than Level 2”)
- Early access to product
- Free gift wrap
- VIP concierge service
- A Mega gift
- The Starbucks Rewards program lets coffee lovers earn stars per visit at many Starbucks branches. Members can collect a star on almost any purchased product within just a couple of visits. A dollar purchase can already earn two stars using the Starbucks app or a gift card. There are also Bonus Stars, special offers, and games offered in the app. A Double Star Day means twice the number of stars per single order! Food and drink items can be redeemed as rewards in selected stores.
- The Body Shop’s loyalty program is called the Love Your Body Club. It gives members the chance to earn points whenever they shop, and redeem them for rewards. For every hundred points earned, members are rewarded with $10 to spend on either their favorite Body Shop products, or to donate to chosen charities and organizations. There is also a $10 birthday reward, along with invitations to exclusive members-only parties and sneak previews of new collections.
- The Old Spaghetti Factory has a kids’ birthday club which is available to children who are 12 years old and younger. There is a free special kid’s meal on the child’s birthday, plus a free treat on their half-birthday! For adult customers, there is also the Factory Family Club which also offers birthday rewards and half-birthday treats, plus special offers throughout the year.
- The Tony Roma’s Email Club gives out special offers to members throughout the year. In fact, they promise a special offer just for joining. There is a 50% discount welcome voucher that needs to be immediately downloaded upon registration, and which can be used on your second main course. There is also a BOGO (buy one get one) promo or a 20% discount as a birthday treat. Members will receive e-vouchers and savings offers on a regular basis.
- Wing Stop succinctly calls its membership program ́The Club’. Members get a free food gift on their birthday (the deal is valid 7 days before or after your birthday) and, as a bonus, free fries just for successfully signing up.
- Anyone who has a Victoria’s Secret Angel Card can enjoy such benefits as significant discounts and treats on their birthdays and half-birthdays. They employ a three-tier system, with each tier having their own set of benefits and perks:
- Earn Angel Rewards – $10
- Free shipping
- Perk of the Month
- Birthday treats
- Earn Angel Rewards – $10
- Free shipping
- Perk of the Month
- Birthday treats – $10
- Half-birthday treats – $10
- Angel Card anniversary – 15%
- Earn Angel Rewards – $15
- Free shipping
- Perk of the Month
- Birthday treats – $15
- Half-birthday treats – $15
- Angel Card anniversary – 20%
To upgrade your Angel Card holde status, you have to spend at least $250 (Angel VIP) or $500 (Angel Forever) on qualifying purchases. Status can be maintained by spending $250 (Angel VIP) or $500 (Angel Forever) for each rewards program year.