6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies

6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies
6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies. BrilliantlyFrugal.com

Is there truly anything better than getting freebies? If there are, I think they’re very few. Freebie hunting is not only a fun scavenger hunt at times, but it allows me to get the same little hit of dopamine as I would with online shopping, but without spending the money! Do I often get high dollar items as freebies? Not usually. However, I sometimes do score some goodies! These are the 5 Brilliantly Frugal ways to get freebies:

1. Sampler

Sampler sends me the most samples out of the other companies. I’ve gotten everything from tabasco to laundry detergent and snack items from them.

They don’t always have openings for new customers, but they do once in a while. You can check periodically and sign up for an account through their website or the app. Once you have an account, you’ll need to fill out the survey so that they know which offers will be best for you. They have gotten better about sending emails when you’re matched with an offer, but you will want to keep checking back and signing up for new programs in the app or the website once in a while.

2. Sample Source

Fair warning, Sample Source does not have the most modern-looking website. It looked a bit spammy to me when I first saw it. However, several coupon influencers swore by this site and some google searching helped me determine that the site and company where legit! They too do not always have openings but when they do jump on it! They do sample drops, so you’ll want to also follow them on their Instagram or Twitter so that you know when to log in to your account and snag the drop.

3. BzzAgent

BzzAgent fell off for me for a little bit but have started to come around a lot more recently. I get the most invitations but least opportunities from this company now, but they do send full-size and decent freebies in exchange for a review once in a while. I’ve gotten everything from cases of dog food to a new electric Oral-B toothbush! All you have to do to get started is sign up for an account, fill out the survey so they can match you, and link your social medias. Keep an eye out for invitations from them in your email and apply when you get those invites. An invite doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get picked to get the product. I probably only get picked for 1 out of every 10 invites I get.

4. Send Me a Sample

I don’t get a ton of items from Send Me A Sample but it’s one of my favorite ones at the moment, just because they make it so easy! To get started, sign up for an account through their website, or you can ask your Google Assistant or Alexa to “Send Me A Sample” and you’ll be prompted to create one. Once you have an account, you just say “Hey Google, Send Me a Sample” and it’ll ask which one you’d like. You can then ask “What’s available” and it’ll go through what they have available at the moment. Also, follow them on social media to see what’s being made available. I typically get snacks, drinks, and perfume sample options.

5. Coupons!

You can’t get things for free all the time. Things have changed a lot since the show Extreme Couponers came out so coupon restrictions have gotten a lot tighter. It’s rarer than it used to be but it does happen. I usually get completely free items with coupons once every few months. This method definitely takes the most work than the other options, since you have to look through the different apps or the newspaper and then go to the store, but you get more items at once. They’re also usually better because you’re getting full-size items usually instead of samples like what you get from some of the sample companies. Check out my favorite couponing apps here.

6. Buy Nothing Groups

I know. I don’t shut up about the Buy Nothing Groups, but they’re the TRUTH! If you have a local Buy Nothing Project group on Facebook, be sure to join and check back regularly for items that neighbors are gifting FOR FREE. I’m currently in the middle of planning our upcoming wedding. We’ve received so many items from neighbors for the wedding, like mirrors, vases, bachlorette party games, and so many other things that our neighbors were no longer using but we were happy to give away. We’ve returned the favor by gifting our unused or unwanted items frequently as well.

Follow Brilliantly Frugal and othercCouponers on Instagram. I post on the Brilliantly Frugal Instagram periodically when I see a good deal that works.

10 Brilliantly Frugal Tips for Reducing Your Biggest Bills

10 Brilliantly Frugal Tips for Reducing Your Biggest Bills. BrilliantlyFrugal.com

Your Brilliantly Frugal Motto: EVERYTHING is negotiable.

*This page contains affiliate links. Check the Terms of Use for more information. 

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #1: Electric

If you are able to shop for electricity in your area, start by shopping on powertochoose.com. You will need to know your average monthly kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage to know your TRUE rate. Find your average (kWh) by looking at your last few electricity statements to see what you used. You may have to dig around on your electricity provider’s website a bit to find the statements.

Now head over to powertochoose.com, enter your zip code, filter by your average kWh usage, companies with good ratings, and whether you would prefer a company with renewable energy or not. I would also suggest picking a fixed-rate plan to be sure that your rates will not increase. Now, look through the available plans, considering the kWh charge, any new customer signing bonuses, and your current rate charges to pick a new plan!

Brilliantly Frugal Pro Tip: Follow these ^ steps each time your electricity contract is set to expire to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #2: TV

You’ve probably seen this a million times now, but it’s true. If you have cable, you need to cut right now. There is nothing on the cable channels that you can’t watch on a streaming service like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, etc. Hulu even has a live TV option with live sports. Though, if you don’t watch live TV now, there’s no need to buy that ore expensive version of Hulu. Who has time for live TV anymore anyway?! Even when I had cable, I found myself almost exclusively watching my recorded shows on the DVR. Which is basically like watching streaming services with more steps and for more money.

If you aren’t willing to cut your cable, check to see if you can get a better rate with a competitor or at least check to see whether you’re actually using the channels in your current package. If not, you may be able to at least downgrade the package you’re subscribed to and save a little bit of money each month. When that’s not an option, call your cable company to see if they have any current promotions available. Sometimes they’ll at least give you free premium movie channels for 3 months.

Brilliantly Frugal Pro Tip: Review your bills, subscriptions, etc for ways to reduce your subscriptions or ask about promotions once a year for the best savings.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #3: Internet

The major internet companies often work together to keep options limited and prices high for customers. However, shop around once in a while or see if you can bundle services to reduce your bill. It may be worth switching between companies every once in a while when your contract is up to get the “new customer” promotional rates. If you’re lucky enough to have Google Fiber in your area, switch to Google Fiber. It is incredibly fast, reliable, and cheap.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #4: Credit Cards

If you have consistently paid on time, call your credit card companies and remind them of how long you’ve been a good customer. Ask for a reduction in interest rate. Even if they won’t permanently reduce it, they may give you a limit increase or 0% interest for a period of time. If they give you a limit increase, this can help your credit score (read more about that here). If they give you 0% and you have balances on other cards, consider transferring the balances to reduce the interest you will accumulate on the debt. Read more about credit cards here and how to focus on reducing your debt here.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #5: Student Loans

If your student loan payments are a struggle to keep up with or afford, consider switching to an income adjusted or an income-driven repayment plan. You can talk to your student loan servicer about your options. You will pay more interest in the long term, but may help you keep your head above water if you need the help. I have an income-driven repayment plan and focus any extra money I make in the month towards the one student loan with the lowest balance. Read more about paying off debt using the snowball method here.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #6: Cell Phone Data Plan

Get on a good unlimited plan! Do your research! I personally suggest switching to Google Fi.

Pros: Unlimited data. You can sign up for a straight unlimited plan. If you don’t use much data each month, you can sign up for a different plan for less. If you use less than 6 gigs per month, they will refund what you didn’t use as a credit on your next bill. In other words, you ONLY pay for what you use. And yes, they pay CASH on your statement, not “rollover minutes” or “rollover data”. Each line is only $20 per month. They use both Sprint and T-Mobile towers, so coverage is both good AND backed up. If one of them has towers down, Google will auto-switch you to the other towers. It auto switches you to open wifi when it detects it. It encrypts the connection, so you don’t have to worry about security. This keeps your data usage WAY down! I only used about 2-3 gigs per month now. It also includes free international data in over 200 countries.

Con: You have to use one of the few approved phones. Sign up here for a $20 discount on your first bill.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #7: Groceries

Always go shopping with a list and use coupons. The list will help give you an idea of what you will be spending before you even leave the house to go to the store. It can also help you be sure that what you will be spending will be within your grocery budget for the month. Lastly, it will keep you from placing random things in your basket while you shop and help keep down your overall cost.

Coupons of course help reduce your overall bill by helping you save on individual items. Thankfully, couponing is not as time-consuming or laborious as it once was. If clipping coupons from the paper sounds like a lot of work, you don’t have to do that at all!. You can find and print coupons on coupons.com. Additionally, almost every store has an app with digital coupons available. You just need to save the coupons ahead of time when you’re making your list and scan the barcode at checkout at the store. If you shop Target, use Target Circle. You can read more about that here.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #8: Gas

Use the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest gas in your area. I’ve been surprised a few times when I thought I already knew the cheapest gas station in the area only to find that a different gas station is a bit cheaper in the area.

Google Maps will also sometimes show the gas prices when you search for gas stations along your route.

Brilliantly Frugal Pro Tip: Check the app every single time you need to fill up and you’re low on cash for the best savings since gas prices change so frequently.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #9: Eating Out

Use a loyalty program every single time that you can. You’ll usually rack up points for free items later, get free items on your birthday, or coupons for discounted items frequently. The trick to this is to not eat out more than you normally would. You should go the same amount, just be sure to scan the reward code to keep free items later. Whataburger, Starbucks, and Chick fil a are good examples of fast-food restaurants with rewards programs. Most restaurants also usually give free items or coupons if you join their email list. Ask your waiter about it.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip #10: Car Care

Get your car regularly serviced. I know, that seems daunting or like a luxury when money is tight. However, I promise it will save you a ton of money in the long run. The trick to this is to set aside a little bit of money each month (put it into a savings account on payday if you have to so that you won’t spend it.) Most auto servicing chains like Jiffy lube or Kwik Kar always have coupons for oil and brake changes. Just google for those coupons in your area, print or show the coupon on your phone when you get the service for the discount!

Brilliantly Frugal Pro Tip: Follow Brilliantly Frugal on Facebook and sign up for the email list on our website for notices and alerts about how to save more money!

How to Start Paying Off Your Debt TODAY – Free Download!

FREE Download! Debt Payoff Calculator!

Are you wanting to pay down your debt? Does it seem impossible?

 

IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE! YOU CAN DO IT!

 

Chances are, your debt isn’t even that bad. According to Experian, the average American has $6,600 in credit card debt. Even if you have double that in credit card debt, it is possible to pay it off. You may not pay it all off by tomorrow, but it can be paid off.

 

Paying off debt is a journey, you just have to be willing to drive. Your first stop? This Brilliantly Frugal debt calculator.

 

This freebie will be helpful in calculating your debt. It will also give you a snapshot of your payoff schedule under your current circumstances.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

 

CAUTION:

When I first used the debt calculator, I became very discouraged. I have a lot of debt and it made it seem like I would NEVER get out of the hole.

 

WHAT I FORGOT:

The debt calculator does not take into account work bonuses, raises, promotions, side hustles, income tax returns, inheritances, and budget adjustments.

 

ALSO:

I had to remind myself that the longer my accounts are open and in good standing actually HELPS my credit score (Read the Ultimate Guide here).

 

LET’S GET STARTED!

There are two different strategies for paying off debt; Avalanche (Highest Interest First, a favorite of CPAs) and Snowball (Lowest BALANCE first, my personal favorite).

 

Why Snowball is the best!

Debt Snowball

When using the Snowball method you start by paying off your account with the Lowest Balance First. When you finish paying off that account, you take the payment you were making on that and add it to the next lowest balance. You Snowball it up! This is great because you get instant gratification when you pay off a small balance loan quickly. Plus you get to put bigger and bigger payments down towards your debt.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Let’s say my car payment is $300 per month and I only owe $1,000.

My student loan payment is $100 per month and I owe $5,000.

My credit card payment is $40 per month and I owe $7,000.

 

I will put add any extra money that I have to my car payment to pay off my car FIRST.

Once my car is paid off, I will start paying $400 ($300 car payment + $100 student loan payment) towards my student loan.

Once my student loan is paid off, I will pay $440 ($300 car payment + $100 student loan payment $40 credit card payment) towards my credit card.

You keep rolling your payments into a bigger snowball as you pay off debt until you have a GIANT SNOWBALL to tackle your debt. Snowball gives you the benefit of the snowball effect, but you may end up paying more interest over time than if you were using the Avalanche system.

 

BRILLIANTLY FRUGAL TIP:

If you have two debts that are close to the same balance but have very different interest rates, you may see a big difference in the total interest that you pay if you change the order of the two accounts so that you pay the account with the higher interest rate first. In that case, use the Order Entered in the Table strategy in the Brilliantly Frugal Debt Payoff Calculator.

 

Why Avalanche Saves You More Money

Debt Avalanche

When you use the Avalanche system, you pay off the account with the Highest Interest First. This means that you will accrue and pay less interest in the long run. In other words, you start at the top of the mountain with the worst interest rate account and then move down the mountain to the next highest interest rate account.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Let’s say my car payment has $300 per month and I have a 2.9% interest rate.

My student loan payment is $100 per month and I have a 5.8% interest rate.

My credit card payment is $40 per month and I have a 19.99% interest rate.

 

I will put add any extra money that I have to my credit card payment to pay off my credit card FIRST.

Once my credit card is paid off, I will start paying $140 ($100 student loan payment + $40 credit card payment) towards my student loan.

Once my student loan is paid off, I will pay $440 ($300 car payment + $100 student loan payment $40 credit card payment) towards my car payment.

 

You keep going down the mountain faster and faster with the added money from your paid off accounts. Avalanche will save you more in interest in the long run, but you won’t get the same instant gratification that you do with the Snowball method.

 

BRILLIANTLY FRUGAL TIP:

If you have two accounts that are very similar in interest rate, but one balance is lower than the other, switch the order so that you pay the lower balance account first. This way you get that gratification of paying off the debt faster.

 

MAKE A DECISION

Decide whether Snowball or Avalanche will work best for you. Avalanche is sometimes the best decision for saving money in the long run. It was not the right fit for me though. When I started working on paying down my debt, I had high balances. If I had started on my highest interest rate account first, it would have taken me 5 years before I paid off my first account. That was too long for me to wait to see my reward. Instead, I decided to start with my credit card account which had 0% interest at the time and an $800 balance. I was able to pay it off it just three months and I felt great about paying it off! It helped me stay motivated to work towards paying off one of my student loans.

Once you’ve decided which method will work best for you,

START CALCULATING

 


REEVALUATE PERIODICALLY

You should redo your calculator at least once a year. So many things happen in a year that can change the debt calculator. Your pay will change, your budgets will change, and your balances will change. It is also possible that your minimum payments may change, and your interest rates may even change. Take the time to redo the spreadsheet and see where you are. Don’t forget to celebrate your progress, and evaluate how well you are doing.

Paying off debt is a journey. Make sure to take time to look back on where you’ve been. Stay focused, keep working, and don’t give up.

 

REMEMBER:

 

DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED!

THIS IS NOT FOREVER!

YOU CAN DO IT!

5 Brilliantly Frugal Apps to Save Money While Shopping

5 Best Apps to Save Money While Shopping

5 Brilliantly Frugal Apps to Save Money While Shopping

5 Best Apps to Save Money While Shopping

*This page contains Affiliate links. See the Terms of Use for more information.

I have a confession to make. I am an extreme couponer. Saving the most amount of money possible when shopping is so important because I LOVE SHOPPING. I would love to teach everyone to extreme coupon, but the truth is that most people would love to save money while shopping without being extreme. So consider this the lazy girls guide to saving money while shopping! These 5 apps and chrome extensions are my FAVORITE easy (read lazy) to use to save money on grocery and online shopping. Download them to start saving NOW!

#1 HONEY

Save money on ALL online shopping! And earn cash back!

This is my all-time favorite chrome extension. I have saved SO MUCH money. Download the extension, set up an account and Honey will AUTOMATICALLY apply coupon codes to your checkouts when you shop online. If it can’t find any coupons, sometimes you earn HONEYGOLD anyway. Honey Gold can be cashed out for gift cards (including Amazon).

Sign up through THIS LINK!

 

#2 MYPOINTS

Download the App AND the Chrome extension for full benefits.

The Chrome extension is similar to Honey. It will add coupons to your check out and give you cash back! However, it won’t do it automatically. It’ll pop up prompting you to opt-in for the coupons or cash back when you get on an eligible site, so make sure that your pop up blocker doesn’t block Mypoints.

Download the app for additional points! The app lets you take surveys, watch videos, and click through emails to earn points towards gift cards.

Earn bonus points by signing up through my link here.

#3 IBOTTA

Save money on store shopping!

This app lets you save coupons and then redeem them by taking a photo of your grocery receipt. Simply go shopping, as usual, check the app, save coupons, snap a pic of your receipt, and see the savings added to your account! You can cash out for gift cards once you have $20 in your ibotta account.

Sign up here to get a $10 welcome bonus!

Or use code 34xkg.

This app sometimes has coupons for online shopping as well! I’ve seen coupons for H&M, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond and more!

#4 CHECKOUT 51

Save money on store shopping!

The Checkout 51 app works exactly the same as the ibotta app. Use both to score twice the savings! That’s right! You can claim coupons twice for the same item when you use both Ibotta and Checkout 51 for double the savings! You can request a check from Checkout 51 once you have $20 in your Checkout 51 app.

Download it here.

#5 The Target App!

Save money shopping at Target!

I love shopping at Target! You know all of those memes about people who go to Target for just one thing and come home with a cartful? Those are me. Those memes were made about me. So I definitely do whatever I can to save money at Target. Que the Target App!

The mobile coupons and Cartwheel deals make saving money at the register SUPER easy! My favorite feature is being able to scan the barcode of an item while I’m in the store to see if a coupon is available! If there is, it automatically gets added to my Target Wallet. At checkout, all you have to do is have the cashier scan the barcode in the Target Wallet and BOOM! INSTANT SAVINGS! How brilliant is that?

Start downloading NOW!