Free Tastes Better

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free tastes better Life as MOM

Years ago neither a coupon nor a free deal could sneak by me. It’s like I had a sixth sense. I refused to buy anything that wasn’t free or very very cheap.

That was when we were “gazelle intense” about fighting our debt. Pursing the deals was a way to evade debt. We saved money and we enjoyed good things.

I’ve relaxed on my deal hunting over the last few years. I don’t really clip coupons anymore. But, after last week…. well, I might be rethinking some things. Look at all the free stuff we got in the last week:

1. Nail polish

FishChick5 had her blood tests done. She was pretty nervous, as was I. On the way to the lab, she started talking about her toe nails and their lack of polish. My sister had given her a pedicure on her birthday. Three weeks later, the polish is all gone. Since I’m not as cool as Auntie Jamie, she didn’t think that the polish I have was fancy or sparkly enough. (She’s right.)

I told her that in addition to her “treat”, we’d go get a new bottle of polish after the blood test. She lobbied for two bottles since Jamie does all kinds of fancy, multi-colored designs. I said no — until we got to CVS where she found two bottles of polish in one. Yes, really. They are double-sided.

I had a $3 coupon and — lo and behold — a CVS cash card from a previous purchase. The nail polish, all 2-in-1 bottles, was free!

The register also spit out a bunch of coupons on stuff that I would actually buy, so I’ll be going back. (No, we didn’t eat the nail polish. Don’t be silly. But, it was a price that was easy to swallow!)

2. Starbucks

Next stop, Starbucks. She ordered her regular cakepop and kid’s cocoa. I got my SCMF. The bill? Free with a Swagbucks gift card. (affiliate link!)

Two treats in one hour for FREE? My freebie instincts were waking up.

Free tastes better Life as MOM

3. Burritos

I got home from date night later that evening and FishBoy12 told me that our new (affiliate link!) Chipotle Scarecrow iPad game (downloaded for FREE over the previous weekend) would give us a free burrito once he reached level four. Play on, my son!

I’ve got the fever for free again. I confess. Now, not any old thing for free. But, I realized that my enjoyment of a free thing was a lot higher than my guilt-ridden enjoyment of something I paid full price for.

I’m going to keep my eyes just a little more tuned into sales and specials because it really is pretty fun.

And that guacamole? Yep, it does taste a little bit better when it’s free.

Do you seek out freebies?

Where do you find your deals?


This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

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    1. Yep. The bottles screw on both sides of a double-sided brush. She’s thrilled.

      I don’t know about other games, but if I hear about them, I’ll post them on Facebook.

  1. Can you give any insight on Swagbucks? Feel free to email me. A few months ago I was sick or something, but couldn’t sleep and registered for the site. I’ve seen you post before and I know with your full plate you couldn’t possibly sit in front of the screen all day, but how/what do you actually do on that site that worth the time to accumulate enough points? Again, I’ve only been on it a few times, maybe some pointers might make it more viable. Thanks!

    1. I made Swagbucks my default search engine and installed the Swagbucks toolbar. Now any web searches I do have a chance to award me swagbucks, I can press the “check for swag code” button on the toolbar to see if there’s a swag code somewhere, I get one easy swagbuck every day I visit their site because I have the toolbar installed, and I do the daily poll while I’m there for another one swagbuck. Every now and then I’ll sit at my desk and read a book. Since I’m there anyway, I’ll mute my computer and click swagbucks videos. After watching a few, it’ll earn you a few swagbucks. I don’t earn as quickly as folks who do online shopping, but it’s all easy stuff that adds up to free stuff.

    2. Looks like there are some good replies here in the comments. The biggest way we’ve earned them, besides referrals, is through making it the main search on our family computer.

  2. LOVE freebies! I have a registered Starbucks card that I use over and over that gives me all sorts of free deals and not just the one where you get a free drink for so many paid ones. I have a friend that loves Bath and Body works Vanilla scented stuff and they often send a coupon for a free travel sized container in the mail. So I spend it on vanilla scented products I know my friend loves and save them all up to give to her at Christmas. I also have a Kohl’s card (the noncredit card one) and I get a $5 off $5 5 times a year and often score a free article of clothes off the clearance rack with them. Then there is the JC Penny $10 off $10 that they seem to send out around Christmas time that I again get free clothes with. These are just a few regular free deals I love there are lots of others that pop up now and again. LOVE free!

    1. I just now registered a Starbucks card. Duh. Don’t know why I didn’t do that sooner. And currently Bank of America gives 10% back on purchases there. With our debit card.

  3. Freebies are much harder to come by in Canada. Last week I took my daughter out for lunch at McDonalds. The owner handed me 4 coupons for free veggie wraps. I was amazed when the wraps were actually large, meal sized ones. I was thinking for free they would be tiny.

    In August I took my kids to get free ice cream from a local shop on national ice cream day. I keep an eye out for freebies. It is fun to find them.

  4. We get most of our magazine subscriptions for free. We used to fly frequently and joined all the airline “miles” programs, and now to keep the accounts active our family redeems points and gets all of our favorites for free. Country Living, Sports Illustrated, Money, Food and Wine, Vogue, it’s a great treat that I wouldn’t be able to “pay” for with real money.

  5. I love free stuff! Since this is my birthday month I have gotten all kinds of free items, buy one get one free, and high discount coupons. And not only do I benefit from it, but my daughter does as well. She can partake with me now, and during her birthday month she will get some of the same deals. Lately I have been getting Kohl’s coupons in the mail for $10 off and it with sales and clearance it has helped get some affordable clothing. I love finding deals!

  6. I like freebies but have gotten a little more choosy about them – they have to be pretty easy and not questionable either. Kroger has had e-coupons for free products on Fridays since the summer – it’s quick to download and then you have 2-3 weeks to redeem. Since I’m shopping there anyway, I might as well pick up something to try free. I also keep my eye out for coupons in their mailers or catalinas for completely free products. Sometimes they go to the food pantry , sometimes they go with my husband as a snack for work. Today I redeemed 3 week’s worth plus one mailer coupon to get free popcorn, lunchmeat, breakfast to go and Greek yogurt dip.

  7. I agree completely! Free does taste better! 🙂 Right now, I’m loving the freebie deals every Friday from Kroger and reviewing new Christian fiction books – for free! I love to read, and will happily write a review of a book if Bethany House will send me the latest books for free! Plus, after I finish the books, my Mom and Mother-in-law, get to enjoy them, too!