The Internet is not the only place where you can discover free samples. In fact, long before the Web was even invented, product samples were commonplace in a variety of stores. In this article, we showcase the best locations to find free stuff, whether that’s food, makeup, health stuff, or otherwise. Please let us know if you would like to suggest another location for freebies. You may also be interested in our Obtaining Freebies Offline article, which provides more great ideas for getting something for nothing.
Supermarkets have long been excellent places to find samples. When a new product is launched, companies understandably want to drum up new business. As such, they may organise in-store tasting sessions, which often happen in supermarkets. Although most stores don’t provide daily sampling, it is not uncommon to encounter ‘tasting’ stalls on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. Next time you visit the supermarket, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for sampling opportunities.
Another great place to grab free stuff is at health shops – the type of business that provides supplements, healthy food, vitamins and similar items. Free stuff can be found at smaller independent shops and also large chain stores. When the business wants to push a particular product line, they will often serve up samples to customers. This also applies when a new product has just arrived in store.
For makeup, fragrances and similar product samples, head to the large high-street beauty retailers. Many of these stores offer small tester sizes of popular brands, either continuously or from time to time. Although availability can be patchy and is often subject to stock levels, it is still worth asking at your favourite beauty counters. Try department stores and large high-street names, such as Boots. Many smaller and independent shops also offer freebies, so don’t forget about these either.
We are big fans of farm shops here at FreebieList.com. Not only are they places to find quality food produce, they are also popular for freebies. Independent farm shops out in the countryside are great places to start, but those situated within garden centres can also be an excellent source of free stuff. Head down to your nearest location and see what you can find free of charge. You may be pleasantly surprised at how superior the taste is when compared to supermarket goods.
One way to (almost) guarantee freebies is to visit the opening of a new store. Depending on the nature of the launch and the type of store, typical items available can include: t-shirts, sweets, balloons, bags, pens, etc. Food stores often serve up free samples for visitors to try. Coffee shops may offer free drink promotions, or “buy one, get one free” for a limited period. One way to find out when new stores are opening is to keep a close eye on the local media, either online, on social networking sites, or by reading the local press.
Similarly to farm shops, food markets are ideal places for netting some free stuff. If you like food and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy market, you will soon discover various stalls to sample excellent cuisine. Many towns and cities have specialist food markets throughout the year (or even on a regular basis), so it can be well worth visiting to try out different types of food. Your local newspaper or council website will be able to provide details of forthcoming events.
Banks and building societies
If you are a young person, you may be able to claim freebies at your bank. Young savers can benefit from free money boxes, statement files and other perks when opening a new account. Students who open up a dedicated ‘student account’ can enjoy the luxury of discounted rail fares and vouchers to spend at popular high-street stores. Take full advantage while you can – it’s unlikely your bank will ever be quite as generous!
Village fairs are a popular day out for many people, and aside from all the fun and games on offer, you can often claim free stuff. In many cases this will be samples of food and drink, perhaps donated or cooked by organisers. You may also find other freebies, such as free entertainment for the kids. Every fair is different, but one thing is for sure: freebies are guaranteed.
Bakeries, delicatessens and sandwich shops can be another source of free food. Although not every outlet will offer freebies, many locations do (often with the intention of letting you try a product you otherwise would not). Sample trays can usually be found on the counter, so feel free to have a taste. Polite notice: it is good practice to purchase something after tasting!