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Choosing your FREE samples

April 12, 2012
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When I first started couponing, I was amazed at the myriad of FREE sample offers. Toothpaste, feminine products, juice, instant coffee, popcorn…the list goes on and on of this oasis of samples that I found myself swimming in. If a Facebook freebie was scheduled, I would set a phone alarm to make sure that I was the first in line to get the FREE allergy medication. Then, something happened. I found myself wallowing in piles of FREE samples for products that I didn’t use. Yes, it was nice to find so many little surprises in my mailbox, but very soon I became overloaded with products that were wasted in my stockpile.

On the heels of coupon popularity, a new phenomenon has risen online, one that we affectionately like to call, FREE sample mania! More than ever, companies are using social media, coupon blogs and email campaigns to give away FREE samples of their products to a limited amount of users. When you first start out on your journey of saving it can be difficult to know which FREE sample offers to take advantage of. Here are a few tips I learned along the way:

1. Only take FREE sample offers for products you will use

Do you brush your teeth with toothpaste? Good! Grab that freebie offer. Do you have a dog? No? Then let someone else have that free sample of dog food. Only spend your precious time on products that you use or are interested in trying. Keep in mind that most FREE samples will arrive with high value coupons so even if it’s a go-to product for your family, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the FREE sample offer in hopes of a great coupon.

2. Fight selfishness

Let’s face it, sometimes we couponers can be a little bit crazy when it comes to savings. All we have to do is see the word FREE and our hearts beat fast, our palms get sweaty and we race to the website to eat it up. Fighting selfishness while looking for FREE samples is simple: if you don’t need or use the product, then let someone else have the sample.

3. Be fair

Most sample offers are one per household. I know many couponers who skirt around this rule by entering their address, their mother’s address, their mother-in-law’s address, the lady-down-the-street-who-is-tired-of-stockpiling-your-mail’s address…you get the picture. If an offer says one per household, then respect the rules and sign-up for your ONE freebie.

4. Resist entitlement

This may seem like an odd title to include in a FREE sample article but I feel that it’s important. Let me explain: many of the best FREE sample offers are now offered via Facebook. While this is a great way to reach the masses with sample offers, time and again we have seen websites crash from too much traffic that has resulted in many frustrated coupon users. Remember that a FREEBIE is just that: FREE. Like a birthday present, no one is entitled to receive one. Be happy for the FREEBIES that work and shrug off ones that you can’t get your hands on. In the long run, you’ll be a much happier coupon user because of it!!

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