Here is a collection of life hacks as they call them that I found online! I have learned so much from these! Which ones are your favorites and will you put to use? Also, feel free to share this post around with your friends and family! Some very useful tips!
We are all fans of freebies, right? I mean that is why we are here! Most of the free things that we get are samples and smaller items. Every now and then there are some great free items like the FREE PEARL EARRINGS. But that is generally the exception. Well there is a way to get some awesome free stuff by referring friends to websites. The one I have done in the past is called NoMoreRack, it is a website that offers cool stuff at a fraction of their normal prices. They have all sorts of things from jewelry to electronics and even clothing.
The way they get the word out about their website is through word of mouth advertising, and they encourage it by offering up rewards for those who send their friends over to their site! Your friends don’t have to buy anything for you to be rewarded either, they just have to simply sign up! You can earn some really great prizes too! Some of the smaller items you can win are a Mini Cupcake Maker, a Homebrew Beer Kit (husbands love this!), coffee maker or cappuccino maker. And the mid range prizes include things like a Wii, Digital Camera or a Kindle Fire. The larger end ones get very nice! They offer up things like a 50″ TV, a Macbook Pro or an iMac! Those are pushing the capabilities of what most people can claim. But on the smaller to mid end, with a decent amount of Facebook friends, it really wouldn’t be hard to claim one of the items!
How to do it? Simple. Sign up for their website and venture over to their program that they call ‘Friendrack’ this is where you will get your code to send people to sign up under you. You don’t have to pay anything to sign up and start earning rewards either. That is the best part. You can sign up using the link below (yes, it is my link, I want to earn some cool stuff too!)
Many people talk about how they want to save more money and live a frugal life, but they have a hard time putting it into play. I have some things that I budget really well and do good saving on, and others that I am no good at all about being frugal. What I try to do though is to save on the less important things so I can spend on things that I like to splurge on.
My weakness is eating at restaurants. I would estimate that I eat out around 90% of my meals, and most of (probably 90% of that) is at sit down restaurants with a waiter. It is just something that I enjoy. I like trying new restaurants, I like a waiter taking care of me, and I love the bonding experience that you can get over a dinner out with friends or loved ones. I also like the fact that I don’t have to do the dishes! While I do look for deals, and sites like groupon or living social have made it a little more affordable, it still gets very expensive. To make up for this, I try to over compensate by being frugal in other aspects of my life.
I make up for my love of eating out by saving in other aspects of my life. One major way to save some money is to not be sucked into impulse buys that you find at stores like Target or Walmart. I see almost weekly on my Facebook friends list where people are posting about spending their weekly $200 at Walmart on junk they don’t need, and I simply cannot fathom that. At one time I could sympathize, as I was a compulsive Walmart-er, often having buyer’s remorse and taking my items back just days later. I had to train myself, by analyzing each item that I was buying and deciding if it was a want item, or a need item. Most of the time, I found stuff I was picking up was a want. I can now go to walmart and leave spending $50 or less, and I go into Walmart probably just once every 2 or 3 months now.
To save money by cutting back on larger impulse items, I often check out an item in a store several times before committing to purchasing it. An example was just a few weeks ago I was looking to buy some new speakers for my television. I found some at Best Buy and I almost picked them up, but wanted to make sure I was going to be happy with my decision later. I went by another Best Buy to check if they had an open one (great way to save money is by buying open box items). They didn’t have one, so I went home to read reviews online. The reviews led me to eBay. I found one that was barely used half of the price!! While I ended up not getting the item at all, that extra step could have saved me nearly 50% on my purchase!
Buy generics! Buying generics can almost always save you money over name brand items unless you have coupons. From working in a manufacturing setting in the past, I can tell you that almost every generic is made by the name brand manufacturer and is the SAME exact item in just different packaging. What I usually do to make sure of this when purchasing generics is to take a look at the ingredients list on an item, if the two are in the same order and most other information about the product on the package is the same, 99% of the time it is going to be the same exact item, just in a different box!
There are so many ways to save money, and as this site grows, I will be posting more and more about not only getting free stuff, but saving money over all as well.
Do you get coupons in the mail or in your Sunday paper, only to throw them away? Have you tried using coupons but gained nothing but $0.50 in savings and frustration, thus giving up entirely? Using coupons can save so much money, you just have to know what to look for and how to use them effectively. It is not an easy task. It is time consuming and tedious work. But, after your first shopping trip where you bring home $200 worth of groceries for $100 (or even less) you will realize that that time was well spent! Then, the more you do it, the easier it gets. You just have to have one huge key to success: patience. Patience truly is a virtue in the “coupon game.”
Couponing, as it is called, is not for anyone who just cannot sit still. There is a bit of work that goes with it, but I will share my steps to success with you, and it will make the process much, much easier.
1. Setting Up: First of all, get your supplies together. Scissors, coupons, your store’s weekly ad (circular), a pen, paper, something to hold your coupons (like an accordion folder, or a binder with baseball card sheets), and a table or somewhere you can sort. Set everything up however you are most comfortable. I won’t lie to you, you will be there for a while during your first sitting of clipping, but after your first time sitting down to do it, it does get faster.
2. Getting Started: What I always recommend is to first look through your circular. Your store will have items sorted out in the circular. For example, if you are looking at a grocery store’s ad, it will have a section for dairy, frozen, meat, produce, hygiene, and dry goods. Look through them to see how it is separated in the ad, and look to see what is on sale. This is what is key to saving so much money. Matching your coupons with sale items will increase your savings so much more than just making a shopping list and deciding which coupons to take. You will find as you go on that sale items and coupons for those items are available around the same time.
After you look through your circular, get your scissors and coupons out. This will be the most tedious part of the process, because you will be doing a lot of clipping. Coupon clipping is incredibly boring, but having music or even the TV in the background will help. But stay on task, it is really easy to let yourself get distracted.
You will see that having looked through your ad before clipping helps, because when you’re clipping out those coupons you will remember seeing some of them in the ad.
As you sort your coupons, if you are beginning, you may find it easiest to sort by how the ad is sorted. After you get more in depth, you may find yourself wanting to sort more meticulously. *You may want to just go to your store one day and take notes of how the store is set up and which aisles hold which products, that way your shopping trips go by quicker.*
Sorting is very important, because it makes the matching process much easier.
3. Matching: Matching. Exactly what you think it is. Take your ad and your coupons and just see what matches up. (VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT BUY SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE IT IS ON SALE AND YOU HAVE A COUPON. It is very tempting because you will be able to say “I saved $X.XX” but you will have spent money that you didn’t need to.)
While matching, I find it easiest to circle what I need in the ad and set that coupon aside for when I go to make my list, but I definitely always will say to do what is best for you. Whatever makes your life easier.
Also, when you find a match, be SURE that your coupon is exactly what is on sale. If it isn’t, then you will find that you won’t be saving anything. You always have to be positive that everything matches up correctly. For example, if you have a coupon for Colgate Optic White and the sale is just for regular Colgate, then you cannot use that coupon. So be sure to check!
4. Making a list: This is where attention to detail comes in. You need to be sure that what you write down is what is on the coupon. Just like when you match and need to be sure that what is on the coupon matches the ad. If you just write down “Colgate” then you will find yourself shuffling through your coupons to make sure you get the right kind. That will take more time than it needs to. So be as detailed as you can be! A lot of people like to type it up on the computer and print out their list. If this works for you, then by all means! Again and again, the theme of couponing is to make your life easier.
5. Everything else: Honestly, aside from actually going shopping and picking everything up, that small list is pretty much all you need to do. But remember to take your time, if you get frustrated then stop. If you have too many distractions, stop. Using coupons is meant to make things easier for you, making your purchasing decisions easier, saving money easier, don’t let any frustration you may have get the best of you. If you do, you will want to quit and won’t want to start up again. And with the amount of money you have the potential to save, you really should just take your time and do it as easily as you can.
There is more, you can try “Extreme” couponing, which is getting as much as you can for as close to free as possible. Couponing at department stores, or warehouse stores, using coupons at stores like K-Mart or Wal-Mart. I like to start out at the grocery store. Everyone goes grocery shopping, so why not start where you know you have to go already?
There are a few important details, always always always check the fine print on the coupon, always know the coupon’s expiration date, know your store’s coupon policy. The coupon policy is important, because even the cashiers don’t always know the store’s policy, so there are just things that you need to remember.
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will answer anything I can!
More people than ever are getting credit cards in which to use to make their purchases. Credit cards allow people to make both large and small purchased and pay them off over time. Some people may use them often, while others may reserve them for emergency situations. In addition to offering people credit on items they wish to buy, many credit card companies now offer rewards programs. These programs vary by card provider, but can offer consumers cash back, merchandise, free airline tickets and even free hotel stays. For those who use credit cards, choosing a card with a rewards program can help them earn items just by using their card, even allowing them to take free vacations and trips.
The Escape by Discover Card allows consumers to build up points quickly. 1,000 miles for the first two years are given for each month that the card is used. These points can not only be redeemed for flights, but can also be used to save on hotel rates and even rental cards. The Escape by Discover Card is perfect for credit card users who are looking to save money when traveling, sometimes even getting flights or hotel rooms for nothing!
For those specifically seeking free or discounted hotel stays, the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Card may be the right credit card for them. Users can earn Hilton HHonors bonus points for each dollar that they spend at various retailers and can also get extra points for using their card in participating hotels. Bonus points are also given if $1,000 is spent in the first four months, helping consumers earn points towards their hotel stays even faster. Hilton HHonors points can then be redeemed for free nights at Hilton hotels all over the world.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is one credit card that allows users to earn airline miles towards free flights. For every dollar spent on the Capital One Venture Card, they receive two miles. These miles can then be redeemed for a flight that they wish to take or towards other travel expenses. Users can redeem their cards for any destination on any airline for the dates of their choice. For those who wish to earn free airline miles, this card is the ideal choice for them.
Another popular airline points rewards card is the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card. This American Express card is taken at many different locations, allowing a user to purchase the things they want. With every dollar spent, the consumer receives one mile towards their trip. 30,000 miles are given if $500 is charged on the card in the first three months of usage. This card allows users to quickly rack up miles to fly anywhere that they would like to go.
The rates and fees of credit cards vary, so it is important that a consumer research each credit card with travel rewards to find out which one best suits their needs. Those who use credit cards, or those who wish to start, can earn free travel rewards by selecting one of the many cards that reward consumers for charging their purchases, whether they are large or small. By doing this, consumers can easily earn money and discounts towards their travel expenses, allowing them to go on free or heavily discounted trips just by using their card.
Just wanted to give everyone a heads up, but the coupon for the free RocketFish Stylus Pen from Best Buy is a fake. I found out when I went to check out for my pen today. The coupon was ringing up as a phone card. They were nice about it, and I called to talk to corporate about it too, they verified by looking at the coupon location that it wasn’t on their website. I am not sure how it is posted, as the coupon is on a bestbuy.com domain, but they wouldn’t take it. I just wanted to let you all know so you can destroy the coupons and not waste the time trying to claim this offer. Also let anyone know who may have printed this coupon out.
I am not sure what anyone gets out of making fake coupons, seems rather pointless, but I guess some people have no life. If you have any questions, or if you had an experience trying to use this coupon, please post it in the comments. Would love to hear from everyone.
Whether we like it or not, there are people online that are always looking to run a scam. It makes us each more cautious when doing business online, but it shouldn’t make us completely untrusting of the internet. I have been approached with probably 10’s of thousands of scams in my 15 years online, and with a little homework, I have never fallen for even 1 that I didn’t get my money back on.
Probably most common scam type that will apply to the visitors of Julie’s Freebies is going to be ordering items and never receiving them. This one can usually be avoided with a little knowledge and some research. First thing I do when ordering online is check to see if the site I am going to order from appears reputable. I look up reviews online, search for their site name on Google and check out comments on their Facebook page. Once I establish from some homework that it is a good site, I proceed. Doing this one step will eliminate most scams!
The second thing that I do is make sure to pay with either a credit card, or PayPal. I decide based on what the site takes, and what goods they are selling. Some goods aren’t covered under PayPal buyer protection such as virtual goods. If you have an issue with an order you place with PayPal, make sure to file a dispute within 45 days, no matter what the person sending you the items may say. If someone is making excuses after 30 days still, the dispute will either get them in gear to get your order out, or they will just quit responding. Whatever you do, DO NOT CANCEL A DISPUTE UNTIL YOU GET WHAT YOU ORDER! With a credit card, depending on the card, you can have more time to dispute a charge. It isn’t as easy as the paypal disputes, but they work as well. If you have issues with something you buy online, do not hesitate to use one of these options, they will save you money!
Not only do people get scammed when they buy items online, but also when they sell as well. There are many scams that run through sites like Craigslist. Many times if you put something up for sale you will get inquiries about shipping an item. NEVER ship an item through Craigslist. Often time’s people will pay, and what do you know, they will send too much money via cashier’s check, and then request the overage back from you. Too many times it happens where someone actually does send the overage back, and the person selling the item can end up without their money and without the item they thought they sold. Easiest way to avoid this, is again, just simply do not ship items on Craigslist. When I buy or sell on Craigslist, and I have bought everything from computers to TVs to furniture to cars, I meet in a public place with lots of traffic. A busy grocery store can work well; you just want to make sure others are around to be safe as possible. I have never had any issues buying or selling there, but I always keep my guard up and use common sense.
Other ways people get scammed online is when they go to try for an online loan. While there are many great resources to get a loan, there are some not so great ones that prey upon people’s financial hardship to make a quick dime off of a bad situation. Never send upfront money for a loan online! One great resource to check out for loan scam information is over at Direct Lending Solutions on their loan scam page.
The best advice is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you ever come across something you have questions about, feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to get back to you and let you know my opinion. I am a bit cynical when it comes to online dealings, but it has saved me lots of money!
Have you seen sweepstakes online to enter, and maybe tried a hand full of them only to never win and then give up? Many people have gone through similar thing with sweepstakes, and I am writing this up to help some of you to win some great stuff. I have won a lot of great stuff with my technique, and hopefully some of you will as well. In the past year I won countless gift cards and event tickets, a vacation to Mexico, and various electronics including a 52” tv.
Patience – The first thing is the same with getting freebies. Be patient. Patience pays off, and it will take a lot of it to get into a sweeps rhythm. Once you win the first item, the patience gets much easier to come by.
Enter enter enter – I cannot stress this one enough, and it is the biggest key to winning. Enter as many sweeps as you possibly can. It is one of the most boring and time consuming things to do, but you cannot win if you don’t enter. Some weeks I don’t enter anything as I don’t have the time. Other weeks I enter 100+.
Check the odds – While it is impossible to tell the odds on a sweepstakes, you can judge a bit and figure it out. The more popular and advertised a sweepstakes is, the harder it will be to win. I typically stick with Facebook ones, and I try to find ones with smaller amounts of fans so the odds are much higher.
Make entry easier – As I mentioned earlier, I sometimes enter over 100 sweepstakes in a week. This would be impossible if it weren’t for some automation to it. Keep in mind that in most sweepstakes, using a computer program to do entries will disqualify you. What I do use is Google Chrome. It has all of my information stored in it, and fills in almost every entry in for me.
My preferences – I prefer Facebook contests as I feel it is one of the easiest types to win right now. In addition they have an app that MOST people running sweepstakes use, and I know it pretty well which makes entry very easy. Occasionally I enter other ones I see, and I certainly should start looking outside of Facebook for opportunities to win prizes, but with the ease of Facebook and the lack of time I have, those really work out the best for me.
Things to look out for – Most sweepstakes put you on a mailing list, so make sure to make an email just for entering that you check often (it is how a lot will let you know you won). Another thing is that you do have to give a phone number when entering. I get regular calls from illegitimate companies saying I won cruises or something else. I haven’t ever got very far with them, some may be time share offers, others may require some fee.
If you have to pay ANY money for a prize, it is likely not a legitimate prize. There are some rare instances I can think of where money is required, but off the top of my head all I can think of is paying tax title and license in order to get a motor vehicle registered into your name. If you come across a prize that requires you to pay, feel free to shoot me a message using the contact form, and I will look it over for you and give you my opinion on it.
If you have anything to add to this, leave a comment below!
This is probably a little beginner guide that I should have written right when I started the site, but alas, better late than never! I thought I would put together some tips for claiming as many freebies as possible as I have seen a few people disappointed that they haven’t received any free items yet.
1) Be Patient
The first step is really patience. Some freebies can take months to arrive, and some, as disappointing as this may sound, never show up at all. I would say that probably most of the time the people giving away the free items are simply overwhelmed with the response. I have seen some items where there are 20,000 items available and they can be completely gone in a matter of hours. It depends on the items, and where all they get posted online. I get a lot of freebies in the mail (usually several a day) but I don’t think that is a normal amount. With updating this site all day long, I usually catch items right when they are made available, and most of you all probably have a much more exciting life than me and don’t sit around and wait on free stuff all day!
2) Make an e-mail address just for freebies
This is one thing most people should do. If you are going to be claiming a lot of freebies, make an email just for them. Usually when you sign up for a free item, you are also signing up for an email list from the source of that freebie. If you are claiming a ton of them, you will quickly be overran with emails and find it impossible to catch up. I use an email address that I have just for sweepstakes and freebies and it is a method that I have found that works well. I don’t have to make up email addresses when a form asks for them, and I can always confirm my email quickly if it is needed.
3) Beware of fake freebies
There are an awful lot of fake freebies out there who just want to grab your email address and never send you a free thing ever. It is sad that people would do that, but they do. Here at Julie’s Freebies we try to vet each and every one of the freebies that we post to make sure that they are all legitimate offers, in addition, we sign up for EVERY SINGLE item that we post here.
Here are a few of the steps that are taken to ensure items are legit. If a company we do not know, or don’t recognize, we start by Googling the site. We check to see where else it has been posted. If a site has only been talked about on other free stuff sites, it is usually spam. We go even a few steps further. If a website with a free offer has a phone number, we call it. Fake offers are usually disconnected numbers. We also look up addresses on free offers. If you are signing up for an offer and it is from a big manufacturing company, their address isn’t going to be some shopping center, it will be a warehouse 9 times out of 10. We also look up the owner’s name of domain names, how long their site has been around as well as PageRank and a few other factors. Basically, we strive to make sure the offers that are posted, are ones that you can claim safely.
4) Don’t get discouraged
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get everything you order. We don’t, and no one does. It can be frustrating if there is an item that you REALLY want to get, but just be grateful for the opportunity to get so many great things at no cost.
Overall, I just love getting free stuff. It makes checking the mail so much fun, and instead of getting nothing but bills you can get some great products to try out. When I first started with getting free stuff, I was doing it just because I have always liked checking the mail. It didn’t take long to realize that trying out so many different brands and products would be so awesome. It is amazing how I go through stores now shopping, items that I have tried for free always pop out at me, and I have found some awesome brands that I now buy on a regular basis.