freebies

Posted: February 15, 2017
28

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

How to Score FREEBIES

When completely free stuff comes around and I get all shaky and happy. I run and tell my husband about the freebie I’m getting and say “do you think it will come with some sick coupons??!?!” and he does this thing where he pretends he doesn’t know me. It’s our game really.  But if you don’t know how to tell legit freebies from fake ones, then you can lose out on the freebie game.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • How to determine legit freebies from spam.
  • Creating another email account.
  • Why companies giveaway freebies & why you want them!

In order to try to save you time from signing up for non-legit freebies, I have compiled a list of ways to tell the cuckoo freebies we love, from the spam we hate.

 How to determine legit freebies from spam

  • First, I screen all offers posted on my site. I make sure they are from legit companies.  Be careful with other deal sites you use, not all of them screen the freebies they post.
  • Make sure the web URL in the address bar includes the name of the company or the brand of product.   The exception is StartSampling which I have used and gotten samples from before.  But most of the time, the URL will be the main company or brand name.
  • Any freebie where you have to sign up for other offers in order to get the freebie is spam and don’t waste your time.  There are too many real freebies out there; no need to do these ones.
  • Beware of trial offers for freebies. If they ask for a credit card number, even if they don’t charge now they will usually charge after 14 or 30 days.   As a rule of thumb I never enter my credit card number or social security number for a freebie! You usually have to enter mailing address and email info – but never more!  *An exception to this is when you are using a promotion code that drops the price of an item you are buying to free, you typically still have to enter CC info.  But that is when you are buying an item, not filling out a form to get a freebie. 
  • Have you seen this before? “This promotion is conducted exclusively by (whateversite.com) and is subject to participation terms and conditions.” Or “Must complete participating gold, silver or platinum offers to get this sample”.  That means it is spam.  Run away!  They are just fishing for your information and are wanting to sell your email address. Yes, people want to buy your email address and spam you.
  • Beware of who is running the site!    Once I saw a freebie that seemed legit, but after browsing the site I couldn’t find any contact information.  Companies want contacted by their customers, no contact info= fake company.  Also, the page you are on may look legit, but I usually browse around new sites I haven’t seen before and make sure it is current, and for example if the company sells a product you can go through the motions of ordering it.  I have seen “fake” freebies before for Gloves.  They said fill out the form to get free gloves.   The site was nice-looking and seemed alright, but if you clicked on any page but the freebie page and tried to order the gloves you couldn’t.  Huge sign of a non-legit spammer site!  Go to whois.com to see how long the website has been up – only for a few days, probably a quick setup trick to get your info then they’ll close down the site.
  • Speaking of spams, read my post on the horrible paypal scams I avoided!

Why would I create yet another email account or Free phone number?

  • Because for most freebies, even legit ones, they are going to ask you to sign up for their email newsletter list.   If you are scoring 5 freebies a day, as we often do, that adds up quickly to a lot of emails you don’t necessary want.  I have a separate email that I sign up for all freebies with and rarely bother checking that email account.  You can get a free email account at gmail.com or hotmail.com
  • Also, set up a free voice mail box online at Google Voice and leave that number as your contact number.
  • Many people have freebies sent to P.O. boxes, but beware as many freebies and deals state they will not ship to P.O. boxes.

Why do companies giveaway free samples?

Most companies spend millions on tv ads and other forms of getting the knowledge about their product into your heads.   Why not use some of that budget and just let you see for yourself? Put the product directly in your hands.   Most companies know if you like  a freebies, you are more likely to buy it later.

Why sign up for tiny free samples?

Many free samples also include high-value coupons.  This is particularly true of new products on the market.   And as cuckoo coupon shoppers we can turn that free sample with it’s attached coupon into a killer deal on a full size product!

Ready to start requesting your freebies?

Scroll through my category of freebie offers

This is part of the“ABC’s of Couponing” series 

Posted: January 10, 2017
17

catalina-couponsPart of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide Let’s break couponing down to be fun and easy, not extreme and time-consuming!

What is a Catalina??

dove-catalina

A Catalina is a piece of paper that prints at the end of your transaction.  There are 4 different types of Catalinas that may print for you:

  1. Dollar Off Coupons: An example would be a “$4.00 off your Next Your Purchase” Catalina.  These can be used on ANY future purchase.
  2. Manufacturer Coupons: Sometimes you may get a manufacturer’s coupon printed out instead.  I usually buy Beech Nut Baby Food for my daughter because it is cheaper.  But Gerber wants me to purchase their brand, so I will always get Gerber Manufacturer Coupons printed out of the Catalina Machine.  Many times we don’t know when or if we will get the manufacturer’s coupons printed out after our order.  Just think of it as a little surprise if you do!
  3. Store Coupons: Target is a great example of this.  Instead of printing out a manufacturer’s coupon for a brand, you will actually get a Target Coupon.  These are great to get because you can use one Target coupon and one Manufacturer’s coupon on each item.
  4. Previews of Upcoming Catalinas: Sometimes you may not get one of the 3 coupons I mentioned above.  Instead, you will get a preview of an upcoming Catalina.  It will tell you when the Catalina Promotion Starts and which products qualify to get the coupon.

 

Helpful Hints on Getting your Catalina to Print

call

  • Make sure the Catalina Machine is on: Before the cashier starts scanning your items, make sure the Catalina machine’s green light is on. If it isn’t, your Catalina will not print. And, if the Catalina machine is turned on in the middle of your transaction, chances are that you will not get it to print either.  So make sure you check that before you start checking out.
  • Double Check the Items you are Purchasing: In order for a Catalina to print, you have to purchase the EXACT sizes, quantities and brand.  If the 11.8 oz Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is part of the Catalina Promotion and you purchase the bigger box instead, you WILL NOT get a catalina printed out.  So make sure you double check sizes, brands and that you purchased the right amount.
  • Call up Catalina: Sometimes you do everything right and the Catalina still doesn’t print out.  What do you do in that case?  Call up Catalina directly at 1-888-8COUPON or email them at ncsc@catalinamarketing.com.  You will need to have your receipt and item handy so they can get the information from you.  If you did purchase the correct brand, sizes and quantities, then they will mail you your Catalina coupon.

newsletter

Where you can find a Catalina Coupon List?

Well, these are hard to come by as they aren’t advertised.  I post them when I find them.

They are not all inclusive, but are great starting point.

Posted: January 5, 2017
66

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

all-about-how-coupons-work-1

Have you ever worried you are costing a store money by getting freebies? Or how exactly getting free items with coupons can be legal and ethical? Let’s start at the very beginning:

Coupon Advertising

Manufacturer’s create food products, beverages, household and personal items.   It costs a lot of money to do ads on T.V. or elsewhere to inform consumers of these products, so another form of advertising for them is a coupon. Manufacturer’s create a coupon for an item to get the word out about the product, and get it directly in the hands of the consumer.  They want you (the consumer) to use the coupons. What a better way to get the word out about your product then having people try it out!

Where do I get coupons?

Manufacturer’s pay for the coupon to be distributed in Sunday coupon inserts, online, or through magazine ad placements.  This is to get the coupon in your hands.  See my video where I show you how to find coupons:

I want to use my Coupons

After you get the coupon in your hands, you create your shopping list and may even choose to use the coupon.  After you scan your coupon on the register, the store takes the amount off the total purchase.  You are stoked – if you follow my site, you may have just scored a freebie by combining a store sale/coupon with the manufacturer coupon! But the store is not reimbursed yet.  The coupon is sent to a coupon clearinghouse to verify it was used correctly.

What is a coupon clearinghouse?

A coupon clearinghouse is a third-party independent of the manufacturer and the store the coupon was redeemed at.  They determine the amount each manufacturer owes each store.  The manufacturer takes the “hit” for the coupon, not the store.  The store should get reimbursed for the amount of the coupon…but…if you scan a coupon on the wrong item, the coupon clearinghouse may find out and decide the manufacturer doesn’t owe the store that amount for that coupon.

Do not copy coupons

If  a coupon is a photocopied coupon, the clearinghouse will know and will not reimburse the store for the coupon.  This means if you use coupons fraudulently, stores don’t get reimbursed and they lose money.  That is stealing from the store!  Some stores have already decided that too many fraudulent coupons are being used, and they have stopped accepting coupons printed from the internet because they are worried they are photocopies and won’t get reimbursed.  So please don’t photocopy coupons; as a general rule, coupons can usually be printed twice online and should never be photocopied.

Store Coupons

Store coupons (coupons released by a store) are not reimbursed by the manufacturer.  The store releases these to attract customers. You can “stack” a store coupon or sale with a manufacturer coupon.  The manufacturer pays the store back for their coupon and the store is the one who takes the hit for the store coupon.

Everyone Wins with Coupons

It’s not all bad news for the stores! Many people uses manufacturer coupons legitimately and stores are getting reimbursed by the manufacturer – plus eight cents for handling.  Manufacturer’s are getting their products in the hands of consumers and are happy their ads were successful.  They hope once a consumer tries a new product, they may try it again even if they don’t have a coupon next time.  Consumers are getting to try products they may have never tried before at great prices.  In the end, if coupons are used properly then the consumer, manufacturer and store are stoked.  Using coupons to score freebies can be done completely legally and ethically without hurting anyone involved!

Posted: August 4, 2011
7

There’s a new $5/1 22 oz. or above purchase of Enfamil Gentlease, A.R. or ProSobee coupon!

Select Enfamil 23.4 oz $21.99 with in ad coupon
Use the $2/1 Walgreens coupon found in the Infant Care Coupon Booklet
Plus, use the  $5/1 Enfamil coupon (Use zip 30303)
Final Price= $14.99

Don’t forget my huge baby samples & freebies list!

Posted: August 4, 2011
5

Nogii Bars Free Sample! Yes, that is Elisabeth Hasselbeck as the spokesperson on there. Love her.

Don’t forget 3 more new freebies that popped up today:

FREE Sample of Purina Beneful Dog Food

FREE Sample of John Frieda Root Awakening

FREE U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Cookbook

Posted: July 28, 2011
4

FREE U By Kotex sample pack! Click “no thanks” to the pop up, and then you will see the form to fill out – it takes awhile to load.  This sample package includes two U by Kotex Click Tampons, one U by Kotex CleanWear Pad and money-saving coupons!

Free sample of Depends

Request aFREE Bone Marrow sample kit. You’ll use the kit to swab the inside of your mouth and then mail it back for FREE and you’ll be on the donor list! How cool would it be to save someone’s life?!

(Thanks, Eeendeavors & free sample freak)

Posted: July 25, 2011
62

Kmart Doubles Coupon Trip

UPDATE: There may be some Kmart’s not participating in the catalina deal, check Coupon Network and click on Your Bucks after you’ve logged in to see if your area is participating!

UPDATE: It looks like to get your catalina to print on the second transaction you’ll need  a filler item!

WOW I need you all to know that I just went to Kmart: BOGO Free coupons ARE doubling AND the Cottonelle deal is BETTER then we thought: Catalinas are rolling, and you only have to buy 2 to get the catalina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please buy the FREE dog and cat food (I added them to the Kmart Shopping List) and donate it if you don’t have a dog!

Here’s an updated Cottonelle Scenario:

Transaction #1

Scan your Shop Your Way rewards card (or the catalina’s will not print!)
Buy 3 packs of Cottenelle 12pk double rolls, $4.99  (look for the Purple packs as shown above with Cars2 mark on them!!!)
Use (3) $0.75 off Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue, exp. 8/28/11 (SS 07/17/11)
Or use (3) $0.75/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper, exp. 1/31/12 (Porque Sabes Ahorrar Compras)
Pay: $10.47 OOP
$4.50 Catalina will print

Transaction #2

Scan your Shop Your Way rewards card (or the catalina’s will not print!)
Buy 2 packs of Cottenelle 12pk double rolls, $4.99
Buy 1 filler item
(crayons are $.25 this week!)
Use (2) $0.75 off Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue, exp. 8/28/11 (SS 07/17/11)
Or use (2) $0.75/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper, exp. 1/31/12 (Porque Sabes Ahorrar Compras)
AND use $4.50 catalina from previous transaction  (this is why you need the filler item)
Final Price= $2.48 for TWO 12-packs of TP!  Stock up price!
AND a $3.50 catalina will print out!

Now if you are a cuckoo coupon shopper read on:
Use the 5 of the codes from the packs to receive a $10 prepaid visa from Kimberly-Clark. *you must buy the packs with the Cars 2 markings on them to get the codes!
Final Price if you do this deal twice and get the $10 prepaid visa & count the remaining $3.50 catalina= $.55 MONEYMAKER

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Kmart Double Deals this week! 8 Freebies!

Posted: July 22, 2011
0

People often ask how I find so many freebies. One way is by visiting My Savings Freebies page.  For example, I just saw on My Savings that today Tide is doing another giveawayat 3pm Eastern Time for their Tide Stain Release. Like Tide on Facebook and click the ‘Challenge’ tab. There will be 10,000 samples.   I got this last time and the packet came with a bunch of stain releases! That’s a great deal.  They also have printable coupons.

But what is different about the My Savings site?  They have a call-in freebie section! So if you are out of printer ink, you can’t print more freebie coupons, you can checkout this section for companies who offer freebies/coupons if you call them!  This is something new to me and I can’t believe I didn’t know there was a list of places you could call companies to request your freebies and coupons as well.  There are a lot of magazines on that list too.

Review sponsored by My Savings – thoughts and opinions are my own

Posted: July 20, 2011
19

>I hope this isn’t a pricing error! Amazon has a full/queen down comforter + 2 pillows for $22.93 shipped! SOLD OUT

This includes 2 down stuffed pillows and the comforter! 3 – Pc. Comforter with Pillows Set, FULL/QUEEN Amazon deal! (Comforter measures 86? x 88?, each pillow measures 20? x 26?)

Description: Luxurious 3 – Pc. Comforter with Pillows Set. American – made with real feather / down fill, BIG BUCKS OFF! A Comforter with edge-to-edge premium quality and feel, plus a pair of Pillows! Soft 230 thread count, 100% cotton cover that’s downproof; 95/5 feather / down fill, treated with a Comfort Down process, is naturally lofty, warm and breathable; Each Pillow is 20 x 26″, weighs 1 lb., 12 ozs. Dry clean only. State Size. Twin measures 68 x 86″; Comforter, 30-oz. fill, weighs 4 lbs., 9 ozs. Full / Queen measures 86 x 88″; Comforter, 40-oz. fill, weighs 5 lbs., 4 ozs. King measures 86 x 102″; Comforter, 50-oz. fill, weighs 6 lbs., 9 ozs. Order your size before bedtime tonight! 3-Pc. Comforter with Pillows Set

Posted: July 14, 2011
17

I went to get the  mail and there were no freebies and no netflix.   I am used to getting freebies nearly every day!   How about you?

I was thinking about how to tell if a freebie is legit or not, and came across a list of non-legit freebies from Gimmie Freebies that is awesome.  How do you know if a freebie is legit? Here is my post on what to look for – real freebies.

Oh and did you hear about Netflix raising prices? Some people are pretty mad about that. We really don’t use ours that much for streaming I think we’ll cancel that.

Posted: July 12, 2011
10

The site is slow !

Freebie #1: Head over to Vocalpoint and enter your zip and then login to see if you qualify for FREE Mott’s Applejuice. Here’s what mine said “Look for your Mott’s for Tots treat to arrive by mail in four to six weeks.

Freebies #2: Go over to the Vocalpoint Free Salad page and click on the Free Salad tab in the upper-right hand corner.  Enter your zip code to see if you qualify.

If you don’t have  a Vocalpoint account, I’d recommend getting one because they do some good freebies.

Posted: June 20, 2011
8

Sign up or login to your Vocalpoint account and go to the Downy page see if you qualified for this deal! FREE Full-Sized Bottle of New Downy Unstopables can it get better then that?  Maybe… I didn’t qualify so I may never know hehe.  Let me know if you qualify!  I have qualified for most deals in the past, so I’m not too sad I missed out on this one.

UPDATE: GONE

Don’t have a vocalpoint account? They are free and we get great freebies through them, so you may want to sign up for Vocalpoint.

View more rewards programs deals!

Thanks, Cha-Ching on a shoestring!

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