Why look for free stuff? Many reasons:
- Who doesn’t love a cheap thrill?
- The potential savings could be huge if you’re looking for books, clothes, baby items, pet products, or in some cases big-ticket items like electronics, furniture, and appliances. appliances.
- This helps prevent wastage.
Sometimes it’s as simple as filling out an online form to get things like over-the-counter medications, toiletries, wildflower seeds, pomegranate sweetener, antioxidant skin serum, incontinence pads, COVID-19 test kits, Miracle-Gro Fertilizer, or Breathe Right Nose. bands.
Other so-called “free” sites are more about free items if you:
- Use coupons and discounts.
- Pay in advance and then get loyalty program credit or an online discount.
- Jump through several steps, such as creating an account, installing an app, and linking your social media account.
- Enter a drawing for a chance to get the free item.
- Take surveys, then use the points you earn to get “free” items.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with taking surveys; it’s a way to earn extra money. Nothing wrong with discounts either. But sometimes you just want to click on it and claim it.
Keep reading to see some of the sites for finding freebies.
1. Don’t buy anything
The mission of the Buy Nothing Facebook group is simple: “Donate where you live”. Groups are created neighborhood by neighborhood, which means you’re helping someone who lives near you and, maybe, making some new friends.
Offers vary, of course, but some pretty cool stuff is up for grabs in my own working-class neighborhood. Appliances, toys, furniture, outdoor gear, clothing, food, pet supplies, Halloween costumes, Christmas trees… I check the site daily and am often surprised by the variety – and value – of gifts.
Of course, the “value” is in the eye of the beholder. More than once people have offered old pallets or a pile of dirt and are bombarded with requests.
Learn more about “Need something? Don’t buy anything.
2. Good reads
Goodreads, an Amazon subsidiary, hosts frequent physical and digital book giveaways. Visit their gift tab and see what is offered. Note: Although you are not guaranteed to bookmark a book, if you get one it will be free.
Speaking of Amazon: If you’re an Amazon Prime member, check out the “Main Readingwhich gives members access to a changing catalog of e-books and audiobooks.
Not a Prime member? Try this: search for “free” in the books section and sort by “price, lowest to highest”. Some free e-books will appear; look for those marked “instantly available” as opposed to those that are free with a Kindle Unlimited or Audible subscription.
Note: A surefire way to get free readings is to visit the Project Gutenberg website, which has over 60,000 eBooks that you can download or read online, as we detail in “9 Sites That Offer Free eBooks”.
3. Facebook Marketplace
But isn’t Facebook Marketplace for people who want sale Things? Not always. The Marketplace has a “free” section, and sometimes free stuff can be found in the regular listings too.
Erin Huffstetler, who blogs at my frugal home, got great gifts for his family. Two of his best finds are over $1,700 of shiplap siding (for a DIY project) and a hand-tufted wool rug that sells for around $2,000 (and exactly matched the sheets in the master bedroom). See these two items plus other great vintage finds on his site.
“You have to check frequently and be quick on the draw,” Huffstetler told Money Talks News. Since a lot of other people also want free stuff, offering to pick up the items within the hour (or as soon as possible) might tip the balance in your favor.
Along the same lines, you should also check out the “free” sections of craigslist and OfferUp. But no matter where you are looking, be sure to read the descriptions carefully. Someone in my town listed a “used (normal wear)” stove on OfferUp. Scroll a little further to the actual description box and it says: “Oven part not working”. Dealbreaker!
Hip2Save is one of two free sites that Huffstetler checks every morning. Yes, the offers are really good enough to keep her coming back for more.
Some are evergreen, like “Amazon Kindle’s 30-day free trial” or Minted’s “free wedding website and concierge.” But others are not.
Some recent examples: Liquid IV, vitamin C antioxidant skin serum, incontinence pads, COVID-19 test kits, infant formula, SPF moisturizer, soft pretzels, liquid-free laundry sheets, Gatsby chocolate, Vanity Fair subscriptions or Elle, an 8×10 photo print, N95 masks, disposable diapers and toxin-free bamboo toilet paper.
5. Finding Free Stuff
Free search tool is the other site that Huffstetler consults daily. Some are ask-and-get deals, while others tell you how to “stack app sales, coupons, and offers,” she says.
A recent glance at the page showed freebies for coffee, wine, sunscreen, pregnancy test, toothbrushes, seltzer water, cleaning supplies, ice cream , various types of makeup, a Salonpas pain relief patch and a free Taco Bell Mexican pizza.
Two other contenders for the free site:
- just free stuffwhich has existed for more than two decades
- Munchkin Giftswhich has sections for free stuff in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand
6. The Freecycle Network
An old but good, Freecycle.org got a lot of people through the 2008 recession with its offerings. It’s also a boon for those who want to live the minimalist life, as it allows you to overdo it – or outfit your life with only the things you need.
“A great way to get free stuff you might be interested in but someone else no longer needs,” consumer shopping expert Trae Bodge tells Money Talks News.
The choices vary widely, depending on where you are. And while Freecycle was a new idea at the time, it’s been overshadowed recently by things like the Buy Nothing project, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp.
Still worth a look. What someone else no longer wants could be just what your household needs.
A few pro tips
Some free sites are scams in disguise. Stay away from any “free” item that requires a credit card number. Chances are you’ll be charged for items or services you didn’t order, or you may even be the victim of credit card fraud. (It’s easy enough to set up a website to steal payment information from unwitting consumers.)
Say it louder for the people in the back: If it’s free, you shouldn’t be asked to pay.
Some additional practical advice:
Start a new email address. You will likely receive regular ratings from these sites after you sign up. Avoid inbox clutter by sending it to a separate address.
Check the sites frequently. Supplies may be limited, so keep an eye out for the things you need.
Think about sharing. Some people give gifts they don’t need to charity. You can also share with family or friends.
Choose your spots. If you have limited time to spend on free sites, go for things you (or someone you know) can actually use. Scented candles or stickers are fine, but free coffee and pet food provide more bang for your buck.
Keep a calendar. As noted, some “free” things mean getting store credit to refund you the price of an item. These expire, so set yourself a reminder to use it before that happens.
Have fun with it! For example, collect all the free pet items you see, then deliver them to a no-kill shelter. Send for as many stickers as you can, then drop them off at a daycare or afterschool program. Set a goal and start looking.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.