Though some of the people featured on TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates can go a bit overboard and are sometimes disgusting, they often have gems of wisdom as well. So far, we’ve gotten valuable lessons on saving on movies, nose-to-tail dining, and saving water, though in ways less extreme than these Extreme Cheapskates. In this clip, Kate shows us how she uses free sample offers to never have to pay for toiletries. It may be a little extreme and unrealistic to only use free samples for toiletries, but they can at least supplement your current products, keeping your household budget low.
As you can see from Kate’s bounty, these are name brand products that just happen to be in smaller packaging. But with many toiletries, those free samples can last quite awhile. For example, it looks like she has a year’s worth of deodorant. Yes, it may not be your favorite brand, but if you’re not picky about your deodorant, why not stock up on various brands? It also gives you the chance to try new brands or brands you may not have tried before.
Here are a number of ways to get free samples:
- Department stores like Walmart and Target send out free samples on a regular basis. Check their websites for more information. Some of these sites offer a quick survey and free samples will be sent based on your answers.
- Free sample programs, like P&G Brand Sampler, SheSpeaks and Vocalpoint. You sign up and join the community for access to free samples and product reviews.
- Many companies send free samples if you’re willing to give out your email address for a newsletter. Create a free email address for just this purpose, so that you aren’t giving out your personal email address.
- Some companies use social media like Facebook or Twitter to advertise free samples. Some will require you to add applications or like the company – you can always remove the applications after you receive confirmation that your free sample is on its way.
- Hotel toiletries are an excellent bounty, though they aren’t exactly “free,” as they are part of your room charge. But you can stock up on shampoo, lotion, and soap this way. Housekeeping often gives you more than you need, so you might as well take that home.
Free samples are great for traveling, as well as home use. They take up less space in your luggage and can usually fit in the carry-on clear plastic bag for liquids. If you end up with more free samples than you know what to do with, or if you end up with many of a brand you don’t like, you can always donate the samples to a local shelter.
Even if you don’t use free samples for all of your toiletry needs, you are still more likely to save money. For example, maybe you are looking to find a new brand of shampoo but don’t feel like buying a bunch and trying them out. The free samples will let you try the different brands at no cost, and you can then find the brand you like the best without spending money on a series of shampoo trials.