Meagan is the author of the blog Frugal Fun & Fortune, where she writes about saving money, giving to others, delicious Vegetarian recipes, simple living, and her life adventures. Her greatest passions include chasing after God wholeheartedly, social justice, being a good wife to her sweet hub, books, and music. Visit her blog to have FUN while saving money!
If you’re a dedicated couponer, you have probably learned by now that freebies are EVERYWHERE. You can request them as samples on a daily basis, use coupons that have no size restrictions to pick them up at the store, or even stack coupons and sales to snag full-sized freebies quite regularly!
At some point, every couponer ends up asking oneself WHEN to stop grabbing the freebie deals and WHAT on earth to do with all of those seemingly pointless trial-sized items. My personal opinion is that if it’s convenient enough to fit into your normal shopping routine, and you can get it for free, go ahead and buy it. Why? Because there is always somebody in need…
(I must stress the “if it’s convenient” factor. I definitely don’t advocate driving 20 miles out of your way just to snag a deal on something you’ll never use. I like to keep things reasonable. And sometimes, I don’t feel like going to the store to grab more freebie items that I already have a HUGE stockpile of in my donation box. In those cases, I will forego the trip. I am not, by any means, one of those crazy couponers that takes it “too far.”)
So what to do with all those freebies??? There are endless options. Here are some of my favorite ways to put my freebie items to use, both full-size and trial-size:
1. Try them out yourself. Isn’t that one of the greatest things about couponing? We get to try new products for FREE all the time! Why toss a freebie item aside, just because we’ve never tried it or think it won’t be any good? Some of my favorite products are those that I discovered by couponing to get them for free. Otherwise, I never would have thought to try them in a million years!
2. Give them to your friends or family members who are either in need or could just really use them. Some examples might be a friend or family member in college, who is living on Ramen. Or maybe you can give all those free diabetes monitors to a friend who has diabetes? Or perhaps you have a friend who is pregnant. Take her the free baby magazines you have signed up for, as well as all the free baby items you are getting.
3. Use them when you travel. Trial-sized items are great for traveling!
4. Use them in guest bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s so nice for a guest to come visit at your home, and have a wide array of great trial-sized products to choose from in the bathroom!
5. Use them in gift baskets. Trial-sized or full-sized items make GREAT additions to gift baskets. My two favorite types of gift baskets to make are baby shower baskets and bridal shower baskets. For the baby basket – throw in free diapers, wipes, magazines, shampoos, bubble baths, lotions, and much more. For the bridal shower basket – make a huge “cleaning supplies” basket. Somebody did that for me when I got married, and it was one of the most useful gifts I received. It’s just not something you think about in the rush of getting married and starting your lives together.
6. Donate Donate Donate. I could go on forever about this one, as I’m sure Jennifer could too (Saving and GIVING). 😉 This is a huge passion of mine. To me, couponing is such a blessing. It can allow anybody to give, no matter how small of an income you’re living on. Couponing allows all of us to give out of what we have in HUGE ways. Just about anything you get for free with coupons can be donated: food, bath and shower items, cleaning supplies, first aid and medicine, diabetes supplies, feminine care products, pet supplies/food, etc. Need some ideas for places to donate? Try nursing homes, food banks, animal shelters, woman’s shelters, homeless shelters, thrift stores, and more! Just about any of those places are ecstatically thankful to receive donations.
7. Barter. I’m kind of joking on this one, but not entirely. Many people take bartering very seriously. For me, it’s just kind of a fun thing. My sister and I have a system worked out. She comes over every now and then to spend time with me and help me clean the house (we both love to clean, so it’s something fun we can do together). In return, I let her venture upstairs, check out my gigantic stash of top-of-the-line razors, and pick one out for herself. Sometimes I throw in some really snazzy neon-colored Kotex By U feminine products or some awesome shampoo. 🙂 It’s really a great deal we have worked out.
How do you feel about shopping for and collecting a stockpile of freebies? Where do you draw the line? And how do you like to put all those freebies to good use?
*Photo Credit: Kirsty Andrews