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How to save money on household items

This article will give some pointers on how to save money on household items. While not a definitive guide, it should give some practical ideas on how to free up extra cash, so you can spend on other things. Since freebielist.com deals with freebies, we’ll start with the idea of requesting free stuff to save. Although you’ll need to do this on a regular basis for it to have any real impact, it can be very worthwhile.

Use free stuff to your advantage

You have probably heard the saying, “nothing in life is free”. With the cost of living ever increasing, people are turning to innovative ways to get their hands on household items. One popular method is requesting product samples via the web. Companies launching new products often distribute freebies as part of a marketing campaign, so if you’re in the market for some free stuff, the Web is the place to go. You can save a small fortune on household goods!

What’s available?

Free makeup, magazines, food and drink, fragrances, gym trials and household goods are just some of the types of freebies available. Cosmetics and other beauty products are highly popular, with companies such as L’Oreal, Colgate, Olay, Rimmel running regular promotions.

Where can I find freebies?

Sites that provide a roundup of freebie offers, like freebielist.com, are a good place to start. A number of message boards also focus on freebies and can be a great place to chat about the latest offers and announce your latest deliveries. It is worthwhile searching for freebies daily since new promotions appear on a regular basis. Often samples disappear as quickly as they arrive (usually due to high demand and manufacturers underestimating the sheer number of visitors searching for free stuff).

Common pitfalls

It is important to remember that while so much quality free stuff is available online, scams do exist and it pays to be cautious with any promotion you see online. The first tip is to use common sense. If something looks too good to be true, there is probably some kind of catch.

Secondly, look for a privacy policy detailing how personal information will be used. Most established companies have strict policies in place, but not all sites may adhere to these standards.

Third, only provide as much information as necessary when claiming a freebie. You will usually be required to provide a household address and e-mail contact when completing a request form, so it is recommended that you setup a secondary e-mail account just for use when requesting freebies. By doing so, you can prevent promotional material from mailing lists clogging up your main inbox. Have fun freebie hunting! Just remember to stay safe and follow the advice here.

Use eBay

eBay is an excellent place to find discounted household items, products and the like. Although fairly obvious, many people fail to try auction-style sites and often opt for a more expensive option. Before buying any product online, be sure to price match using eBay. Often you can pick up a great bargain (either second hand or new). This is especially the case for beauty items, clothing, or gadgets such as mobile phones. Just a few things to be aware of:

Be sure to check the feedback rating of the seller (especially the positive feedback rating of items they have sold, and not the rating they accrued as a buyer). By doing so, you can minimise the number of potential problems that may occur. Inexperienced sellers could cause issues for you, so to reduce any unnecessary aggravation, try to opt for trusted sellers.

If the product is being sold in an auction, make a note of the expiry date and ensure you get your bid in good time. It can be helpful to hold out until the last minute before placing a bit, but be aware that others may also have the same idea! Alternatively, you might like to consider the “buy it now” option if available.

Borrow gadgets from friends

Before making a commitment to buying a new product, your friends or family may actually have something they’d like to give away or lend. Of course, there’s nothing quite like owning your own product, available whenever you need it. But if you are strapped for cash and need to save money, asking friends and family beforehand can be a wise choice.

Use recycling sites

Are you in need of new household furniture? Or maybe you’re a student and need to kit out your new digs? Recycling sites are a great way of obtaining items at low cost, or (more commonly) free of charge. Groups are available in the vast majority of locations and most towns have a network where you can either ask for particular items, or advertise products available to collect.

Items can get snapped up rather quickly, so if you are in the market for something in particular, be sure to keep a close eye on your town’s group pages. Visit multiple times a day to keep up to date with the latest postings and be sure to register for the daily digest (where available) to get e-mail alerts. Joining the local Facebook page also comes recommended.

Budget supermarkets

The latest trend for bargain hunters is to shop at budget supermarkets. In fact, the growth of companies like Aldi has compounded the fact that more people than ever are doing part of, or a full shop, at stores like this. Of course, there will always be particular foods that you prefer to get at a local grocer or other large supermarket, but for many items budget can be the way to go. For some foods, the quality is equally as good - if not better - than the “big 4” supermarkets.

Review your household spend

Every now and then, it is worthwhile conducting a review of household costs. This includes your broadband, television package, telephone rental, insurance, energy supply, etc. Researching affordable alternatives can really open your eyes to how prices have changed, and better value deals may be found elsewhere. It is possible to shave quite a bit off your household costs simply by shopping around. Make use of comparison sites wherever possible and be sure to conduct your own research, too. You may be surprised how much you can actually save!