“There is no such thing as a free lunch”, or so the saying goes. But sometimes, you can genuinely get things for free. Here we have compiled a list of 5 opportunities you can take advantage of to get something for nothing.
Browse Facebook Marketplace
Very often, sellers on Facebook will list an item for free. Zip. Zilch. They just want it gone. I have done it myself when we bought a new TV. The old TV was in perfect working order, but it had some scratches and scuffs on the stand and was around ten years old so wasn’t particularly desirable. I could maybe have got £50 for it but I just wanted to cut all the hassle out and was feeling generous so I decided to just list it for free on Facebook marketplace.
A tip if you are trying to get an item for free – you need to be as flexible as possible. The donor wants zero hassle, so you need to be willing to pick the item up as soon as possible and be as amenable as possible to their demands. In the example above, I had people messaging me asking if I could drive the TV to them, if I could hold it for a week or if I could send them more photos. The answer to all of the above was no. It’s free! Take it or leave it.
Often, manufacturers will want to get their products out into the hands of potential customers to try it out. That’s why there are regularly testing stands in Supermarkets these days. Sites such as https://www.free-samples.co.uk exist to help you sign up to receive samples straight to your door, so you often don’t even need to leave the house!
Also, not many people are aware of Amazon samples. Anyone with an active amazon account can sign up to request to receive free samples through the post, you just need to register for these in your account preferences – see here for more details about how this works.
Make sure you are signed up for each and every loyalty programme available at the places you shop. Points can add up quickly. For instance, we do our weekly shop at Sainsbury’s spending on average £100 per week. By signing up for the Nectar loyalty scheme (and also applying for a Sainsbury’s credit card which rewards additional nectar points for purchases) we have been able to accumulate savings worth £190 in a year. Bear in mind that this is on purchases we would have made anyway, so it is literally free money.
If you buy a coffee a couple of times per week on your way to work, scan your loyalty card. You were going to buy that coffee anyway. If you regularly need to buy nappies at boots, pick up their advantage card and scan it. You get the gist.
Take advantage of your local library
The modern library is an amazing place. Gone are the days where libraries were stuffy, cold buildings where you could borrow a dog-eared book on how to learn origami in just one year. Nowadays you can rent DVDs, video games, browse the internet and of course, borrow books, and it is all free. In a sense, you are paying for the library’s services as they are funded by your council tax – so you might as well get your money’s worth and make sure to use the services available.
The vast majority of subscription-based services offer a free trial, to allow the user to give the service the once over and check that they like it before committing to spending cold hard cash each month on the service.
For example, at the time of writing, Netflix offers 30 days free. The only catch (if it can even be called that) is that you need to remember to cancel the trial before the 30 days is up to avoid being charged, but as long as you can remain vigilant on that front then there should be no problems. You can take advantage of as many different services as you like for 30 days. And, if you can spare 10 minutes admin time each month you could register a new email address each month and sign up afresh. I can’t guarantee this will work for all services as some may limit the number of subscriptions based on your credit/debit card number if this needs to be provided at the time of sign up, but it may be worth a try.
A little bonus tip here – if you use a compatible email service such as Gmail, you could utilise the plus address system. That is, you can just add a plus symbol after your regular email address and any letters or numbers, to generate infinite variations on your email address that will just land in your regular inbox. E.g. if your email address is Barrysmith123@gmail.com, then using any of the following would also send emails into your inbox – Barrysmith123firstname.lastname@example.org, Barrysmith123email@example.com, Barrysmith123firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about this here – https://gmail.googleblog.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-your.html