5 Avenues to Easily Get Free Stuff

by Emily Guy Birken · 21 comments

get free stuff

In this economic climate, everyone is trying to stretch a dollar as far as it will go. But what if you don’t have to spend anything at all to get the things you’d buy anyway? The following is a list of websites and services that can connect you to free items:

1. TotallyFreeStuff.com is a clearinghouse of freebie offers from all over the internet. The website is updated daily with new free offers—everything from DVDs to cleaning supplies to stickers to calendars to books to music to anything else you can think of. The site asks surfers to report suspicious or scam offers, so that they can keep the site as problem free as possible. When you find a freebie you want (which will probably happen multiple times on your first visit, considering the volume of great offers), you simply provide your address and wait for the free stuff to show up in your mailbox. It’s really that simple.

2. Freecycle.org is an excellent way to both find items you need and keep items you no longer want out of the landfills. When you sign up for the Freecycle group in your area, you are able to post both want ads and offerings, for free. Common big-ticket items seen on Freecycle include beds, exercise equipment, sofas, television sets and kitchen appliances. It can be somewhat difficult to snap up a popular item—like a working television—but patience and persistence pay off in Freecycle. Freecycling etiquette requires that you pick up the item yourself, but since you’re paying zero dollars for your new sofa, that seems like a small sacrifice.

get free stuff3. In the mood to watch some TV? Check out Hulu for free television episodes and complete films. There’s no need to rent, subscribe or otherwise pay for your televised entertainment.

4. Directory assistance is useful, particularly if you need the information on the go. Unfortunately, at up to $1.50 per call, it can really add up that total on your cell phone bill. The free solution is 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411). You will have to listen to a 20 second advertisement before receiving your information, but it’s certainly worth it to spare your phone bill.

5. PaperBackSwap.com is the perfect solution for avid readers on tight budgets. Once you sign up with the website, you can post paperbacks, hardcovers, textbooks and audio books that you own and are willing to part with. When someone claims one of your books, you mail it off (you do need to pay for shipping), and earn a credit for any book available on the site for free. Other than the cost to ship the book to the requesting member—and with the post office’s low media mailing rate, this is a very low fee—this service is completely free.

Even if there is no such thing as a free lunch, there are plenty of other freebies out there, as long as you’re willing to look. Have you used any of these services? How do you rate them? Any others you can think of that you want to share?

Editor's Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.

Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Andre Lamba says:

    Need some advice!
    To give you all some context, I started “investing” in index funds years ago and so far so good in terms of gains. However, I realized that one of goals is to attempt to retire at an earlier age. I’m currently 25 and would like to retire in about 15 years. Expenses are around $1500 per month. I have about $20k+ invested in index funds (S&P500).

    I started considering building a dividend stock portfolio this year, investing ~$2500 per month for a total of $30,000 by the end of the year. This could allow me to build passive income from dividends and potentially achieve early retirement.

    I’d like to know your thoughts on this.

  • Carina Plant says:

    I have to check these out. Thanks for the recommendations. Another I would add is Referral Codes, I have personally found it useful in saving money on Walmart deals and Uber.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      Referral codes sound interesting but I tried to search for the website and nothing that looked like it came up. Can you tell me what the actual website is so I can check it out?

  • Emma says:

    Paperback swap sounds awesome. I’ll have to give it a shot, but maybe won’t be mailing hardcover anytime soon since they are so much heavier!

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      You make a good point about the cost of mailing hardcover! I wonder if you get much more credits with hardcover because of that?

  • Priswell says:

    Google has shut down their 411 text search service. Best to use Google Maps for address and phone searches now.

  • Watch Repair says:

    Appreciation. The catalog look grand. Don’t overlook Craigstlist. My co-worker be devoted to departing on present to find complimentary material.

  • Appliance repairs says:

    TotallyFreeStuff is a bunch of free crap. And free-411 is worse than GOOG-411. And no 20-second advertisement.

  • Stacia J says:

    Along with PaperbackSwap, there is also a swapadvd.com and swapacd.com . Both are awesome and are great ways to get rid of your dvds & cds you no longer want and to get others that you do. I use the swapadvd on a weekly basis 🙂 Gotta love Freecycle…

  • monisha says:

    i don’t think 1-800-free-411 works anymore, but my friend says she texts google & they txt back the #. click here for an article about it: http://sms411.net/2006/07/google-via-sms/

  • Jamie says:

    Bookmooch.com is another great site for (almost) free books. It has a few differences from paperbackswap that some, like me, prefer and others don’t. Check it out.

  • Kelsey says:

    I’ll have to try some of these, and Hulu is awesome for TV & clips.

  • Eleny says:

    I really like PaperBackSwap.com it is a great way to cycle out the books I have and to get titles I am interested in.

    I have not had luck with Hulu.com.

  • Joe says:

    As to #4: you still call 411? Even if you’re out and away from your computer, can’t you look up information on the internet using your cell phone?

  • SavvyYoungMoney says:

    Thanks. The list looks great. Don’t forget Craigstlist. My co-workers love going on there to find free stuff.

  • Ann says:

    I have watched things on hulu since I don’t have regular television reception in my home. Usually watch DVDs but sometimes it’s fun to see other stuff. I am a member of FreeCycle and have gotten some great stuff from there. I’ve also been able to get rid of things I no longer need but which still have plenty of life in them. Once I was able to get a dishwasher which, once the soft food disposer and spray arms were cleaned out, worked like a new one.

    The great thing about FreeCycle is that the groups are centered in your area so you don’t have to sort through a ton of stuff from people who are great distances away.

  • Hunter says:

    I think this is worth exploring, thanks for the resource.

    Although, my gut is telling me to be guarded. Is anything really free, and do we need more stuff?

    I suppose you could argue that the cost of promotional offers for “free” stuff is built into the cost for everyone else. If you can get something of real value for free, then why not?

  • MoneyNing says:

    Actually there are many legitimate sites that will list out all the free sample opportunities from major manufacturers. For sample, Walmart and P&G regularly send out free samples as product testing and marketing so not everything is a scam.

  • Emily Guy Birken says:

    @KM, there are some offers that are too good to be true on that site, but TotallyFreeStuff.com gives some pointers on how best to use the site without getting spammed and junkmailed. You do have to do a lot of sifting to find things you want, but it’s certainly worth looking through.

  • KM says:

    The first one sounds too good to be true. I would assume they sell your information and the crap you get in junk mail is an annoying payment for the stuff you get.

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