With food prices skyrocketing, who couldn’t use a few budget stretchers? One way I have found to help my budget is to search the Internet for the websites of the manufacturers of the products in my pantry. Many products have their own dedicated website as well. I often find offers for free samples of products. Sometimes, the sample is for a new flavor or a new packaging of an old one. Sometimes, I will find a sample for a product that my husband and I already enjoy. Even if free samples are not offered, many sites will offer coupons, sweepstakes, or at least the opportunity to sign up for an email alert of future promotions. (It can be helpful to set up a dedicated free email address if you sign up for a lot of these alerts.)
To get started in stretching your food budget with free sample deals, pull any or all items from your pantry. This works best if you work systematically through the pantry when you have some time and if you have your pantry fairly organized. If your pantry is not organized, you may want to tackle that task first. Having your pantry organized is a food stretcher in and of itself since you are less likely to buy duplicates of items that you already have plenty of.
My husband loves Dunkin Donuts’s coffee. He loves it so much that people at his job gave him a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup ornament for Christmas one year. His brother’s family gave him a Dunkin Donuts gift card for Christmas last year. When I went out to register his card at www.dunkindonuts.com, I discovered that he could get a free sample of their coffee as part of their effort to promote their new supermarket packaging. I ordered a sample right away. Dunkin Donuts usually has several other promotions running at any one time.
CoolFreebieLinks (www.coolfreebielinks.com) has a lot of links for samples that your children will actually eat. You will find links for potato chips, chewing gum, and Gatorade among others. There are also links for the older members of your family as well.
TrueLemon lets you add the taste of lemon to your water without having to carry fruit around. They offer a free sample at www.truelemon.com. You can also try TrueLime or TrueOrange.
Chips make an easy addition to that perennial food budget stretcher, the brown bag lunch. You can get a free sample of Pringles potato chips from www.pringles.com. You can also register for updates on other promotional offers from Pringles and from Proctor and Gamble.
While I suggested going through your pantry, it is not the only place that you will find products that you can get samples of. Check your refrigerator and freezer. Moving on from the kitchen, try the laundry room, the bathrooms, and even your makeup bag. For example, you can samples of detergents to clean all those food stains that your family leaves behind. Sign up at www.tide.com for a sample of 2X Ultra Tide with Dawn StainScrubbers.
Getting free samples requires some initial work on your part, but it can be well worth it. The money you save can be much more than that of just the item you didn’t have to buy this week. Free samples can let you try products to see if you like them before you spend any money on them at all. Of course, you can return many items if you don’t like them. That requires more time, effort, and money. Why not skip the hassle? Combined with the followup coupons that you receive from many sites, asking for free samples can provide a nice little return on your effort.