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Is signing up for free samples worth the time and effort?

Well, considering what came in my mailbox today (see picture above), I’d say a definite yes! I usually spend less than five minutes per week signing up for freebies and my mailbox is a source of constant surprise and fun — and often high-value or free product coupons. For five minutes of my time each week, it’s certainly worth it!

Want to have your mailbox start filling up with fun and money-saving freebies and high-value coupons? Just start signing up for a few of the freebies I post every day. Within 4-6 weeks, you should start seeing free things show up in your mail!

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64 Comments

  • Mary says:

    Awesome ! I got the $5.00 mag.com rebate and several walmart samples today. It is so nice to have something come besides bills 🙂

  • jean says:

    Yes, I think it is worth it. Here are some ideas on how to use your items:

    Donate to Pregnancy resource center, homeless shelter, mission houses, maternity homes, etc.

    Use for camping, especially if you go to Bible camp you can donate the whole load for others who may have forgotten their toiletries.

    Use for yourself, just another way to help save money.

  • Ashley says:

    Yes! I got my free neti pot from NeilMed today, just in time for my allergies to kick in. 🙂 I love when you forget you’ve signed up to receive things and get a fun surprise when you check the mail.

  • Heather says:

    I definitely LOVE getting freebies in my mailbox and it doesn’t take me long at all to fill forms out since I found out about ROBO-form. I heard about it in All You magazine. You just download the toolbar from them and they save your information (name, address, email, phone number, etc.) and when you get to a form you just click one button on your toolbar and it fills out the form for you in seconds. This has made it even easier for me to get free stuff!

  • Katrina says:

    Crystal – I have a question. How were you able to get different Kraft sample kits? I thought it was only one per address?
    As an aside, did your items all come together? I ordered the Mac and Cheese kit and so far I have only received the free product coupon for the mac and cheese; no cracker samples, or deli meat coupon.

    • robyn says:

      @Katrina, your mac and cheese coupon was probably from the facebook free mac and cheese promo not the kit?

    • Crystal says:

      The Kraft Mac and Cheese coupon was from a separate Facebook promotion. The rest of the Kraft samples were from the Summer Sample Kit — they were all included in one sample kit and came in one box.

      • Katrina says:

        @Crystal,
        So, you could have signed up for more than one sample kit? I wish I had known that. Oh well.

        • Crystal says:

          No, it was a limit of one sample kit per household. But you could sign up for the Kraft Cheesy Explosion freebie and the Summer Sample Kit — as those were from two different Facebook pages. Hope that makes sense!

    • julie says:

      @Katrina, I got the same kit as Crystal. It included 3 packages of the wheat thins, 3 samples of the maxwell house lattes, coupon for free hot dogs, and coupon for free barbecue sauce!

  • Rhonda says:

    I love the high value coupons that come with the samples. I tend to save up my samples and use them for stocking stuffers. My kids love them. To me it’s definitely worth the few minutes I spend each week requesting them.

  • liah says:

    I got the mac n cheese coupon also. (The new one is not so good ) like the old mac n cheese, or making my own even better. Got the Free Uncle Bens rice coupon yesterday and my Martha Stewart mag today.

  • Cyndy says:

    Make sure you download Lastpass software (free) as then you can fill in forms online with only a couple of clicks instead of having to type in your information every time!

    wwwlastpass.com

  • betty-jo maxwell says:

    How did you get the maxwell house vanilla caramel latte samples?

  • Tiffany says:

    I love freebies too! I remember how excited I use to get when I would check the mail when I was younger! I always hoped to get something cool and fun! Well now I’m able to get that fuzzy excited feeling again! Only this time I’m almost positive I’ll get at least ONE good thing in the mail a week!

  • Shannon says:

    I had a baby 6 weeks ago and being on maternity leave, I have found a new love of couponing and signing up for free stuff. My husband thought I was crazy at first, but I think he is now enjoying seeing what I get in the mail for free and what I bring home from Walgreens and CVS. This blog is absolutely wonderful!!!

  • I got the same sample as Crystal. It came as a box with three sample bags of wheat thins, caramel latte samples and coupons. There were four different samples you could have signed up for. If yours was different, you probably signed up for one of the other three.
    I totally love signing up for samples. It does make getting the mail fun and it is so worth the short amount of time it takes. Plus, I like trying out the samples to see if I would like buying the item. Nothing is worse than buying the item to find out you don’t really like it.

  • Robyn says:

    I love finding freebies and coupons in my mailbox. It’s exciting to see what’s going to be in there! It’s definitely worth the few minutes it takes. I got my Free Uncle Ben’s Rice coupon yesterday and my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil, Eucerin Lotion, and Suave Shampoo sample this week too. I love it!

  • Ashley says:

    Yes! I love getting the free samples! Not only is it fun to try things for free, but it has saved me from the disapointment of buying that product because I found out for free that I didn’t like it!

  • Debbie says:

    I gotten quite a few things on the mail by signing up using the links you post. Yes, it’s definitely worth it! Here’s a list:

    full bottle of Pantene
    Ritz crackers sample
    box of samples (sample showcase)
    coupons galore
    $2 added to my dunkin donuts gift card
    and other things I can’t remember what they were anymore!

    Thanks, please continue posting!

  • Amber B. says:

    I’m always afraid to sign up for freebies because I’m afraid I will get tons of junk mail. Has anyone had this problem? Does the company send you more than the freebie, do they also send you tons of ads or sell your contact information to third parties? If they ask for your phone number, do you get calls from solicitors? Spam email?

    • Melissa says:

      @Amber B., Make up a “junk” email address. I actually have two extra emails – one for my mystery shopping and one for samples, registrations, and other forms. I do not give a real phone number, and have never had it be a problem. I just have to remember to check my “freebies” email periodically, since sometimes you have to click links to activate your membership and actually get the samples.

    • Chelsea says:

      @Amber B., I have given out my real number and have yet to receive a phone call, but I am on the “Do Not Call List” so maybe that has something to do with it. I’ve never considered using a fake number, but it’s not a bad idea, I might try it. Usually, when I get a sample, it comes in a little box with an insert about the product, and a coupon, sometimes more than one. I do not receive additional junk mail. I do get emails though, which usually go to spam. I love getting freebies because I donate them to the military, they love getting traveled sized items over there!

  • My only concern is all the packaging. The frugal part of me wants to sign up for anything that’s free, but the “earth-friendly” part of me winces when I open the box with little boxes wrapped in plastic inside of it. As a result, I’ve stopped signing up for _everything_ and cut back to just things that I actually think we’ll use.

    • Meghan says:

      @Princess Leia, I feel the exact same way; I was signing up for all kinds for freebies, then realized how wasteful that is……just getting freebies for the sake of getting freebies seems to only be focusing on one thing–frugality–instead of being a good steward of resources as well.

      • Preparedmom says:

        @Meghan, I totally agree Meghan and Princess Leia! Many samples come wrapped and then wrapped again! The cost to the environment often greater than the savings. And in my quest to lead a simple life I find the clutter of sample sized freebies to be not so simple.

    • Crystal says:

      I agree. And I’ve mentioned often how my policy is to only sign up for things we’ll use. There’s no point in signing up for stuff we won’t use!

    • Adriane says:

      @Princess Leia, I just ran into this last night! I received a sample of contact solution, and it came in a sturdy cardboard box (in addition to the little box that solution usually comes in at the store). I kept the box, and will use it to send a couple of little things to my mom that I’ve been waiting to send. So I got the solution, a great coupon, and packaging material…all free!

    • Sarah S. says:

      @Princess Leia, I, too, have found that free samples often come in packaging that I can reuse for something else. For example, around Christmas I got a Kashi granola bar in a cool-looking triangle shaped box, so I reused the box to wrap a small gift. Also, a few weeks ago, I got one of the U by Kotex samples in a box with a colorful polka-dot print on it that I reused to package a birthday gift. I just covered up the address and it was good to go!

  • Molly says:

    I haven’t had to buy feminine products in months! It has definitely saved us money.

  • Marla says:

    Today I ran into my mailman and he showed me the P&G sampler box that I’d ordered had arrived. I said “Oh, you know by now that I love ordering free samples!” He laughed (and made a silly comment about being on the computer ordering them a lot). I LOVE getting free samples in the mail.

  • Caroline says:

    I got the same Kraft sample pack today! We’d already finished dinner but my almost 2 year old helped me open the box and when he saw the Wheat Thins, he had to get back up in his booster to try them! I got Eucerin and Suave yesterday. I save things like that for when we have visitors that forget their toiletries. Stocking stuffers are a great idea too. I also got the new Home Made Simple coupon book and a Rouge coupon book, plus the Staples rebate for paper a few weeks ago and my March SCR from Rite Aid. Great mail day!!

  • jan says:

    I’m also not so fond of the waste of packaging- i have pretty much stop signing up for freebies.

  • Erin says:

    Yeah, I agree that freebies are worth it. Not so sure about the Kraft one, though. I got it, but I spent a *lot* of time on that one. The site was so slow.

  • Jenny H. says:

    Thanks to your site and a few others, my mailbox was almost the same as yours today. Made a long day a little happier at the end, even if the hubby will consume most of it. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    I got my Kraft kit today, too! Love getting freebies! My kids always ask, “what free samples did we get today, Mom?”

  • Sarah says:

    Five minutes a week? Seriously? You post a LOT of freebies, and it takes me a lot longer than five minutes a week just to keep quickly browse through the posts to see which ones I may want to pursue. What’s taking me so long?

    • Crystal says:

      Well, I don’t count the time I take to post them, just the time I take to sign up for them. My trick is that I only sign up for the ones we’ll really use and the ones which have a very simple form to fill out.

  • t says:

    I think I get less than 25% of samples I sign up for. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas?

    • Jaime says:

      @t, I’d say I get over 75% of the ones I sign up for, but like Crystal, I only sign up for things I know I’ll use and those are usually from large reputable companies that have the supplies available to fill all the requests. If you sign up for a lot of samples from smaller companies, they probably got overwhelmed by the number of requests and couldn’t meet the demand. 🙂

    • KB says:

      Yes–I sign up for all kinds of freebies and never get them–I hate to say it but I have a feeling my mail person is enjoying more of them than me

  • Jen says:

    Also using an autofill helps so u don’t have to type all your info out, google has it on there toolbar. It only takes me longer if therea a survey with it or the site don’t let you use auto fill.

  • Nichole P. says:

    I like the sample size items for when I travel on airplanes – most of them are under 3 ounces so they are easier to carry on!

  • MJ says:

    I agree, I usually just spend a few minutes at a time requesting the freebies and samples. If it’s a super complicated form or the website it problematic I usually skip over it.

    Another good source of freebies is product testing! I’m not going to get rich with it, but I recently got $20 to try a cosmetic product for a week, got a 40 count box of trashbags to try and today, got an email that I was being shipped a free FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer to try! Sometimes I go months and don’t get anything and most just give product, not cash, but it’s still worthwhile when it’s something I’ll actually use.

    • julie says:

      @MJ, Where do you get information for testing products?

      • MJ says:

        @julie,

        Julie – various places. The cosmetic one was through a Johnson & Johnson advisory panel I signed up for awhile back online. The trashbags were through viewpoint forum. The foodsaver was from All You Magazine, I had signed up for their email list, they periodically send out opportunities to sign up for stuff, this is the first time I’ve actually been selected!

  • Carrie says:

    I got the Kraft Sample box today too!! My 6 year old and I had the wheat thins for a snack today and they were yummy! Love getting surprises in my mail box.

  • julie says:

    I love getting the samples and think it’s well worth the time. It seems every day I get one or two samples of something. I never order samples of things that I will not use – unless I know someone else who will use them. It makes my time between buying certain things much longer!

  • CJ says:

    Looks like everyone is receiving the same Kraft pack no matter which one we signed up for. I expected the mac and cheese and lunch meat but got hot dogs, BBQ sauce, etc. Still a great freebie though.

  • Natalie says:

    I love getting samples of things we already use. My mailbox was so full the other day with all sorts of goodies! Definitely brightens my day 🙂

  • Daryl Ann says:

    Going to the mailbox every day is fun! Love those samples and the coupons that are often included with them! Thanks so much!

  • Kristy says:

    got my renu contact sample in the mail today hoping i get my kraft one soon

  • I love signing up for free samples! Here’s a look at what was in my mailbox last week
    http://www.thecouponchallenge.com/2010/05/mailbox-monday-0510.html

  • April K. says:

    My kraft sample box arrived today. I think I picked the backyard camping one. I had 4 wheat thins, 3 pack lattes, 1 free Q for Oscar Myer lunch meat, and 1 free Q for Mac N Cheese.

  • Sarah S. says:

    I love getting freebies in the mail! I always love getting home from work and seeing what showed up in that day’s mail. The small packets and bottles of shampoo and body wash are GREAT for traveling.

  • shab says:

    I got my sample today only,I have a question to qualify for the rebate do we have to purchase products worth $30 before coupon or after coupons.
    Thanks.

  • samantha says:

    Definately worth sending off for freebies, not only can you try products you may not want to buy without trying first, a lot of them come with coupons. I have been a freebie hunter for a few years now and I cannot imagine why anyone with a Family and Internet access would not do the same 🙂 I’m just starting getting serious with the couponing too since we had our son 9 weeks ago, things get tight buying the diapers again, so any freebies, coupons etc help!

    I have to thank you also, with out people like you who do post about such things, the rest of us would go without 🙂

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