Saturday, December 02, 2006

How to Get Something for Nothing

There's truth behind the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Some freebies require that you register your address, which may bury you in junk mail. Others require your time or energy. However, for the intrepid bargain hunter, true deals make exciting prey.  
Overall Warnings:  
If you join grocery store savings clubs and give your address, be aware that you've volunteered your personal information, which will be used for marketing and sales purposes. 
Search the Web for "free stuff." You'll find Web sites that index online freebies from manufacturers and retailers.
Arrive at rummage sales, garage sales, flea markets, farmers markets and library book sales an hour before closing to find drastically reduced prices or freebies.
Shop the nurseries at jumbo retailers in the autumn. Some stores give away dormant perennials (if they don't know better) that will rebloom in the spring.
Become a mystery shopper or participate in survey groups to get free meals, products or services and, possibly, even a paycheck. Search online to find opportunities in your area.
Attend the grand opening of new stores for free samples and giveaways. Many stores take a loss in freebies on their first day to attract customers.
Go on factory tours. You'll often get free samples of whatever the factory makes, be it ice cream, tortillas or peanut butter.
Call customer service if you have a legitimate complaint on an item. You may get a replacement product, plus freebies to keep you happy.
When making a large purchase, such as a computer, sofa or big-screen TV, ask the salesperson, "What else will I get if I buy this here?" You may discover rebates, offers and giveaways.
Volunteer for concerts, athletic events and other fund-raisers for charities and nonprofits. You'll find plenty of free food, T-shirts and products donated by corporate sponsors.
Get free diapers, formula mix and baby food by disclosing your address to third parties when you register for baby gifts or sign up for new parent services.
Listen to radio stations that give away tickets and other prizes to listeners. Use speed-dial and multiple lines to better your chances when you call in.

This how-to guide is part of posted in the geek's blog.

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