According to my husband, I am the queen of getting free stuff! To start, I have a wallet full of punch cards. A lot of the places we eat have punch cards. Every visit you make or meal you eat, can earn you a punch. And after you have, let’s say, 10 punches, you can earn free things. We earn so many free meals, coffees, desserts and so on, just from remembering to use our punch cards at our favorite places to eat. Some places have even upgraded to using phone apps that you scan each time you visit. One that I use is called Belly. The app tracks and rewards you with points that you can feel free to use right away or save for larger discounts. They also email me when places in my area are offering things like free appetizers or free new menu items. Plus, it can tell you what places honor Belly that are in your current area; so you can use it anywhere.
Another way I earn a ton of free money/gift cards is by having a credit card that earns points. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone. You have to be very careful and responsible with your spending. I only use these cards to buy items at the places that issued them. For example I have a GAP card, but I only use it at GAP brand stores (including Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic). The only way to make this option work for you is by making sure to pay the full balance every month! If you don’t, you will loose any money you could make by having to pay the outrageous interest rates that are usually on such cards. Like I said this is not for everyone. I can honestly say that I have NEVER paid an interest rate on my card, but in turn, I have earned hundreds of dollars and special privileges too (like free shipping, returns and alterations).
Another way we save, is by stocking up on items we use daily when they are on sale. We are members at Costco and when items like kitty litter or water are on sale, we stock up on them. A lot of the time we won’t run out of those items until they are on sale again. Plus we also have the membership that earns you 5% cash back every year. The membership is about double the cost of the standard one. But the 5% cash back, usually pays for itself and then some each year. It’s great if you know you need to make a big purchase (like a tv or tires) and you can always down grade the following year if you see it is not working for you.
I have so many ways that I save money on things we purchase. If there is a way to earn or find free items somewhere, I will sign up for it! Most places will even reward you for having a birthday! Free things once a year. You may have to deal with a little fuller of an email box, but just make sure to pick and choose carefully to keep that in check. A lot of companies even have ways to opt out of emails or snail mail but still allow you to earn the benefits of being a member.
I wish I had time to share every way I save or find free items, but that would take all day. I can’t wait to hear about how everyone else does it! Hope there are some new tricks I can learn!