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How to score freebies without a lot of effort

To quote one of my free-lovin' music idols, Janis Joplin, "Nothin' ain't nothin', honey, if it ain't free."

I think she was talking more about peace, love and happiness rather than free fast food and beauty samples. Either way, nobody can argue with the awesomeness of a $0 price tag.

If you learn the tricks of the trade, you can score all sorts of free stuff in the mail or with printable coupons. It's a great way to sample a product before investing in the whole thing, which can potentially save you a lot of money.

A disclaimer: If you want to learn to be a pro freeloader, understand that getting free stuff often costs you in other ways. Meaning, it will take time to find the deals or write product reviews in exchange for the free stuff, and often if you register with freebie websites, you're pretty much guaranteed to receive a slew of annoying emails every day.

Free freebies

The best freebies are offered with very little asked in return. For example, Sears Auto Center will perform free tire rotations through Saturday. Find the coupon at retailmenot.com.

Also, McDonald's is giving away free McCafe coffee during breakfast hours until April 13. No purchase is necessary.

Use social media

Another way to score free coffee is to like Seattle's Best Coffee on Facebook.

Just click "like," fill in your address and they'll send you a free sample of their gourmet ground coffee.

Several other companies will offer samples and other free goodies on Facebook to build a loyal social media audience.

Offers I found on Face- book were Garnier Fructis' samples of Marvelous Oil, a new line of hairstyling serum.

Mrs. Dash, a seasoning mix company, is promoting its products on Facebook through a 10-week giveaway campaign.

Sample sites

The Internet has no shortage of websites that offer to send consumers free product samples and, of course, some are better than others. Mysavings.com keeps an updated list of free samples, and often they'll link to printable coupons that can be redeemed in stores.

Startsampling.com seems pretty scam-free, as well.

Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest cleaning and beauty product manufacturers, also has a sample program at pgbrandsampler.com. Register and you'll be able to sign up to receive several sample packages in the mail a few times per year.



Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.

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