The saying goes that the best things in life are free. Sure, things like quality time, love and friendship are most certainly free of charge. But for many of the things you pay for – from furniture to beauty products to groceries – they can also be found free (or nearly free) with a little digging. Here are a few ways to save and even get great stuff for free.
TLC’s show “Extreme Couponing” follows families as they purchase hundreds of dollars of groceries for next to nothing. But for the average person, extreme couponing takes too much time and storage space. Still, coupons are great for items you need or usually purchase. In addition to coupons in the paper and the store circular, many websites help make couponing easier. Here are a few coupon, discount and deal sites to get you started: couponcabin.com, coupons.com, couponmountain.com, thecouponclippers.com, retailmenot.com, offers.com, couponmom.com, thegrocerygame.com and hotcouponworld.com.
To maximize your savings, join your store’s loyalty program, combine coupons with sales, get to know your store’s coupon policies (such as double coupons), and stock up on items you’ll use when they’re a good deal.
Used and gently used items from clothes to furniture and appliances can be found for free when others no longer need or want them. Freecycle.org has nearly 7 million members. Membership is free, and you can watch for free items and also post things you’re giving away.
Craigslist also posts items people are giving away. Simply select your city, find the For Sale section and click on the Free category.
Remember to always follow safety precautions when picking up items.
In addition to items, you can also get entertainment for free. Go to the library regularly for books, DVDs and more. Check when local museums have free days. At home or when you travel, see what tours you can take, such as tours of chocolate factories, ice cream factories and breweries; in addition to being entertaining, tours usually come with free samples!
For more great tips, watch AARP’s “The Cheap Life.”