The folks here at Account417 are freegans (not the dumpster diving, plate scraping, wild foraging types; the always-looking-for-ways-to-get-things-for-free types). We can hear the word “free” from miles away and have been known to accept freebies that we will never use (Meow Mix Paté, anyone?). So, we thought we’d share some of the tricks we’ve learned over the years:
Movie studios offer free advance screenings at theaters across the country. See what free movie screenings are happening in your town by visiting the Wild About Movies and Gofobo. Many big theater chains run a free family festivals, screening free G- and PG-rated movies on weekday mornings during the summer.
If you’d rather stay at home, you can watch your flicks for free on Crackle.com or Hulu.com, which have tons of free movies to choose from (with limited commercial interruption). Check out our blog entry on this here.
Beauty schools offer free haircuts year round as practice for their students to sharpen their skills (just the ones who are ready to tackle a real head of hair). Check out http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/ for a list of places around the country that do this. Call ahead and get details.
Free Cultural Stuff
Museums, zoos, aquariums, historic sties and galleries usually offer at least one free day during the year. Just search google for “free days” for an area attraction in your city to find out when and how to get in for free.
Free Miscellaneous Stuff
Stop dumpster diving and search for free neighborhood giveaways at Freecycle.org, where you can search for free household giveaways – from art supplies to furniture, used video games and more. You can also post for things you want.
The best place we’ve seen for perfume samples is Sephora. Just go in and ask for samples of any perfume you want and they will give you a vial that lasts for a few weeks. This goes for most major department stores as well. Free perfume samples are also given out by Lacoste, Escada, Armani, Hugo, Calvin Klein, and many others on their websites. Use these tactics right and you’ll never have to pay for perfume again.
If you haven’t ditched your cable or satellite yet, there’s more reason than ever to do it. Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Roku, Apple TV and HD antennas will give you more entertainment than you’ll know what to do with (at a fraction of the cost).
Most major department stores offer free 20-45 minute facials. All you have to do is ask. You may need to make an appointment if you don’t want to wait, but walk-ins are usually welcome. Just steel yourself to say no to the hard sell.
Free Samples of Anything and Everything
Manufacturers offer free samples of everything from shampoo to cough syrup to bumper stickers. Check out heyitsfree, sweetfreestuff, or shop4freebies. You will have to give your address and it may increase your junk mail, but many give you the option of deciding whether you want them to send you promotional stuff. We’ve been doing it for a year or so and we’ve gotten tons of free stuff without much extra mail.
Free Birthday Meals
Many restaurants offer free meals or free desserts on your birthday. Some require you to sign up for their e-mail program, but with many you can just walk in. The best we’ve seen is Benihana, which gives you $30 to spend anytime during the month of your birthday. Look here and here for listings of places to get free birthday stuff.
Where do you get free stuff? Share it with us by leaving a comment.