5 Tips for Finding Freebies
That Can Stretch Your Budget
As the cost of food, travel, education, and mortgage payments rise, you may find your household budget shrinking each year. The cost of living can be even more challenging as your children grow but your budget does not. However, there are a few ways you can ease the pinch of a tight budget, such as taking advantage of freebies for services you use often. From your local grocery store to your favorite clothing retailer, finding deals on free merchandise can be simple if you keep a few tips in mind during your search.
Track Free Offer Days
Some food retailers offer a freebie day once or twice a year. For example, 7-11 offers free slushees every year on July 7th to promote the company. If your favorite ice cream or cake shop has a downloadable app, you can use it to receive reminders about which days you can take the kids out for a free cone or other tasty treat. The app might also alert you to special deals and savings that are only available to registered members.
Signing up for a membership to your favorite restaurant can pay off on your birthday. Many offer free meals on your special day, which can lower the overall cost of dinner out with your family. Signing up for a membership can also earn you points toward free merchandise or meals, and this can yield significant savings at retailers you visit often.
Frozen yogurt shops, ice cream stores, and other retailers might have a punch card program available. For every dollar you spend, your card is marked. After so many punches, you receive a free item. This loyalty rewards program can help you rack up free items, especially if more than one person in the family uses the card. These cards generally do not expire, so you can carry them with you and take advantage of the savings, even if you have not visited the retailer for some time.
These programs are commonly known as “bucks” or “store cash” freebies. Stores like the pop culture chain Hot Topic and department store Kohls both have popular versions of this offer. While you have to spend money to earn the cash, you can build up points toward your store cash if you shop there at least a few times a month.
For example, if you have several teenagers in the house who enjoy shopping at Hot Topic, its store bucks, which are known as Hot Cash, offer $15 off on a future purchase of $30. For every $30 you spend, you receive one Hot Cash card. The retailer then sets a certain date where you can use as many cards as you wish toward one purchase, which can add up to significant savings and free items the next time your kids want clothing or pop culture merchandise.
Be Proactive About Finding Deals
While all these deals can help you stretch your budget, most of them will not simply fall into your lap. To find them, ask retailers what kind of rewards programs they offer and how they track your savings so you can earn your freebies. Even services such as insurance companies might be able to offer you these programs, so it is a good idea to talk with your local insurance agents about whether you qualify for them.
Raising a family and controlling your budget can be a challenge, especially when the cost of living seems to be rising constantly. However, knowing where to find freebies and how to take the best advantage of loyalty programs can help you save money and give you the opportunity to treat yourself and your family without overspending.