Saturday, August 27, 2011

Frugal Living - Facebook

Some people love Facebook and others hate it and find it absolutely useless.  However, it can be very valuable to your budget.

There are various Facebook groups that post free or discounted offers.  Some of my favorites are Hey It's FreeSisterly SavingsWoman Freebies and Teen Freeway.  (Come on, I have a tween kiddo).

These groups post links to free offers, coupons or giveaways.  For those of us in rural areas, not all the offers are useful, but many are.  Your freebies can range from a sample size of something, which is a great way to try a new product before you spend money on the full size version, or coupons for free products.  I have gotten free yogurt from Dannon and Yoplait, full size bottles of shampoo from Pantene and Herbal Essence, packages of Tide stain releaser, and my favorite freebie was the day Fed Ex showed up at my door.  Skinny Cow had sent me 2 full boxes of the new candy they were introducing.  It was beautifully packaged and had ice packs in it to keep the candy cool so it didn't melt.  Who wouldn't like free chocolate delivered straight to their doorstep?

When we moved our son into his first apartment for 6 weeks before college started, we loaded him up with free items and introduced him to the Hey It's Free page.  He had handfuls of samples of shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and other toiletry items.  It saved us money and it was easier to transport for both him and us.

Another way to use Faebook is to "Like" the page of your favorite products.  Virtually every company has a Facebook page now.  If you like their page, you will be notified of new products coming out, and often times are free giveaways for the new products.  It's an incentive to get you to try it.  Other times you will find coupons for items.  Companies try to reward you for being a customer to keep you as their customer.

One word of caution.  The coupons, especially for free items, vary greatly.  Sometimes they are mailed and other times you print them from your computer.  As to whether or not a store accepts the coupons is hit and miss.  There are frauds with internet coupons so not all stores will take them.

A final word of advice... set up a separate e-mail account that you use to sign up for your freebie offers.  Many companies tend to send you more e-mail than you want (and make sure to opt out of e-mails if possible) so having an account just for these e-mails is helpful to keep your in-box from filling up with junk mail.  You can get free accounts from Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail.  Your in-box will thank you for it!!

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