Are things in life really free? How to snag freebies without getting scammed

I love things that are free. Free food, free products, free samples. Anything is made better when it is free, and I won’t complain too much when I pay nothing.

Good things in life are not always free. There are often little strings attached to bilk you out of your money. But if you are smart, you can reap the rewards of free stuff without draining your wallet.


Ah, samples. The prime way companies lure you into falling in love with their products. At a grocery store- Costco, in particular- samples are free. You wait, fight off other hungry shoppers and finally, you sample deliciousness. No obligation snacking. (My suggestion is to hit up these types of samples on the Saturday before Super Bowl. Just saying.) The stores, however, are hoping that your sample will be good enough for you to impulsively pick up the full size.

Online sampling has taken over. Free shampoo samples, diapers, tampons, deodorant, etc. You name it, you can sample it. But be careful when you do.

When filling out an online sample, know who you are signing up with. If you are entering your information at, there is a good chance you are farming out your info. Make sure it is a trusted Website. You can never go wrong with the manufacturers website. Most manufacturers sites have a privacy policy and won’t sell your information.

For most freebie samples, all you need to fill out on the form is your name, address and email. Do not fill out forms that ask for your credit or debit card information, private health insurance numbers or social security numbers.

Trial Offers

“Sign up for a free 30 day trial!” Yes, that is how they snatch you. If you subscribe for the product, you can cancel after 30 days without any fees. Problem is most people do not remember to cancel their subscription and you are stuck paying the monthly bill.

This goes for the same as rewards memberships. If you pay $5, you get 10 free movies. And every month after that $19 for one movie. Avoid all and any rewards memberships. Getting out of the contract will be more than a headache.

Protect your identity

Like I mentioned before, never give out very personal information about yourself. Don’t make identity thieves think you are asking for it. Free means you don’t need to spend money, so don’t give out your credit card information.

Want to cut down on your email spam? Set up a separate email account just for freebies and consumer products. It won’t clog up your personal email address and you can still get your deals with an alternate email address.

Be smart.

Yes, a deodorant sample is very probable. But a free car or cruise is not likely to happen.

Also, check out the websites URL. It should be a recognizable and reputable site. If it looks fishy, it could be spam or the site could have a virus. Click with caution.

Be smart and enjoy your freebies.