Having been an extreme couponer for many years, I figured that there had to be other ways to save and find things my family could use that cost me little to no money. I hate to pay for anything I don't have to! So I searched…….and I discovered the world of free samples.

Right now I spend about 30 minutes or less a day using free samples sites and requesting samples of products. It’s quick, easy and free to sign up, and after a month or two you can receive samples an average of 3-5 times a week for very little time and energy. I love going to the mailbox every day to see what has arrived. Mixed in with all those bills and junk mail are a bunch of freebies just waiting for me! In recent weeks I have received free toothpaste, free diapers, free dishwashing pods, free dog treats, free vitamin samples and even an iPhone 5 case and protective screen cover!

Where to find free samples

There are many great sites out there for free samples. Here are my favorites:

  • Free Stuff Finder: My favorite, by far, is Free Stuff Finder because it is organized, reliable, easy to use, and updated hourly. They screen all of their posts by having real people order the samples so the sources are trusted and less likely to result in someone fishing for your information. 90% of the freebies I’ve received have been through Free Stuff Finder! They also have a wonderful newsletter with a list of all of their top available freebies. The newsletter is a great asset because it helps keep you from missing out on any of their great offers. When you sign up for the newsletter, you are automatically entered into a giveaway for gift cards and boxes of samples.
  • Today's Free Stuff: This is another site that focuses mainly on free samples and free items. I have had a high rate of return on this site — nearly 85%. The site is easy to use and has reliable links and offers. They are also very helpful; if you have a question, all you have to do is ask. The staff responds quickly and is very knowledgeable.
  • Target Sample Spot: On their website, Target offers samples of products sold in their stores. Target Sample Spot is highly consistent, and I have received 100% of the samples I have signed up for. One of the most popular freebies they offer a couple of times a year is the Target "Beauty Bag." This is a small makeup bag filled with 8-12 samples and coupons (but they go fast).
  • Walmart Samples: Walmart’s website also offers samples of products sold in Walmart stores. As with Target, these go really fast. The great thing about their samples is that they always come with a high value coupon. Walmart usually has 2-3 samples available per month.

Unfortunately, there are sites out there that post fake offers, so be careful. Once you find a great site like Free Stuff Finder, stick with it to ensure consistency in your freebies. If you are consistent about requesting samples, you can reap the rewards!

How to get the most out of your free samples experience

  • Set up an email that is just for free samples. That way you can manage offers easily and avoid an inbox full of spam.
  • Get a free Google Voice number. Some companies require you to enter an active phone number in order to receive the sample. A Google Voice number allows you to avoid telemarketers but still provide a valid phone number when required.
  • Sign up for lots of offers, but don't expect to get them all. Samples are usually sent out in groups and sometimes only to certain areas. They can take 4-8 weeks to arrive, sometimes more. Sometimes they just don't show up. It can be frustrating, but it is just the luck of the draw.
  • If you receive samples that you don't want, donate them or save them to include with gifts. I don't wear a lot of perfume, but I have tons of samples I love to include with gifts or in thank you notes to friends and family.
  • I love free samples because in a pinch, you know you have enough to get you by until you can make it to the store. To keep from becoming overwhelmed by all those tiny little bottles, create an organization system. I like to organize all my samples in bins and then use them to get me through the end of the month and save a little cash. They are also great if you travel a lot because most samples meet airline regulations for carry-on luggage.
  • One of the great bonuses for free samples is that they often include high value coupons or vouchers for other free products. So if you like the product, then you can watch for it to go on sale and max out your stockpile with a full sized product at a great price! I love to use these to help build up my home stockpile. You can grab some great deals — I once received a coupon for $7.50 off a product that retailed for $8.00!

I have loved my free sampling adventure. It's like my birthday every day when I hit the mailbox! Get started today and you can be a sampling diva in no time!

This is a guest post by Richel from Blythe, CA
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!