The most significant ways to lower your food budget are, of course, to meal plan, to shop sales with coupons, and to stockpile when favorite items are deeply discounted. But there are also a lot of smaller strategies that I enjoy using as well, and one of those is ordering free product samples.
Just this week, I got in the mail two samples I recently ordered: a small sample size of Oil of Olay body wash and a toy car for my 5 year old! In the past, we have enjoyed samples of
- toilet paper
- allergy medication
- vitamin D
- herbal teas
- mouth wash
- lip balm
- Crystal Light drink mix
- Kashi cereal
- feminine hygiene products
- … and the list goes on and on.
I use the toiletry samples to stock my travel bags, and the food samples often make it into my son’s lunch box for school snacks.
So, how does all this save us money? Well, in a pinch, I guess I could prolong buying body wash for a week or two by using up my free samples. But obviously that’s not a huge money-saver.
The real way free samples saves me money is with the high value coupons that most of them come with. For example, my Oil of Olay had $1/1 coupons and Kashi always has $1/1 and sometimes $2/1 coupons! And most of these coupons have late expiration dates — sometimes up to a year! — so I can patiently bide my time until a great sale comes along and then buy full-sized products for free, or very nearly free!
One of the best sources for free samples is Vocal Point, which is a whole marketing venue for a number of different companies and products. Vocal Point has the best high value coupons; in fact, I often get FREE product coupons — which are obviously my favorite!
Vocal Point will send you weekly (or so) emails, and it’s a good idea to take a minute or two to click over to their website and post a comment or answer a survey. Somehow this activity gets recorded and it seems to qualify you for higher value samples.
If you like this small money saving idea, I’ll try to post when fun and kosher samples are available.