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Honestly, nothing’s better than free stuff.
Costco’s free food samples? We’re there every weekend. Free makeup samples? Perfect for traveling. Free swag with random logos? Have a drawer full.
There’s just something so satisfying about freebies, which is why we searched high and low to find our favorites to share with you. They’re all legit, and you’ll find a little bit of everything — from baby diapers to giant deep-dish cookies to straight-up cash. (Yeah, no one needs another free keychain.)
Warning: When you claim these freebies, your brain might get a boost of happy serotonin. Don’t question it.
1. Free Olive Garden Appetizer or Dessert
I mean, you already get unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden. What more could you want? How about a free appetizer or dessert to round out your meal?
When you sign up for Olive Garden’s e-newsletter, you’ll receive a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert of your choice when you get two entrées. And if you don’t have a buddy to eat out with, just think of this as lunch for the rest of the week!
2. Free Scratch-Off Tickets
There’s something so cathartic about scratch-off tickets, but we don’t suggest spending your hard-earned dollars on them. Chances of winning anything decent are pretty slim.
Instead, why not scratch off some free tickets? We found an app called Lucktastic that’ll give you access to digital scratch-offs. And, yes, you can still win real money — anything from $1 to $10,000. New tickets are added to the app each day, so you’ll never get bored.
3. Free Ice Cream
Our No. 1 rule in life? Never pass up free ice cream. Ever. If you’re a fan of Marble Slab Creamery, download its Slab Happy Rewards app.
You’ll get a free $5 when you sign up and make your first purchase, then you’ll get one point for every dollar you spend. Collect 50 points, and you’ll get another $5 off. Oh, and don’t forget to share your birthday in the app, too. You could snag a surprise birthday freebie, too!
4. Free Credit Score
OK, you’re right. This isn’t nearly as exciting as free scratch-off tickets or ice cream, but listen: Your credit score is important, and when’s the last time you checked yours, anyway? For all you know, your credit report could have an error that’s holding you back. (One in five reports do have errors, according to the Federal Trade Commission.)
Here’s the thing, though: You should never pay to see your credit score. Instead, use a free site like Credit Sesame. In about 90 seconds, you’ll be looking at that three-digit number in all its glory. But if it’s not as good as you’d like, Credit Sesame will give you recommendations on how to improve it.
5. Free Gift Cards
Free gift cards are basically free money. A free $5 to put toward your next Amazon purchase. An extra $10 off your next Walmart run. Absolutely thrilling!
So where can you find legit free gift cards? We like an app called Fetch Rewards because it’s so effortless. Just download the app, take photos of your grocery receipts (all stores qualify!) and earn points. Exchange those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart or Chipotle. Heck, you can even cash out for free Visa gift cards.
Pro tip: After you download the app, enter code PENNY, and you’ll get a free 2,000 points after you scan your first receipt.
6. Free Cash
You’ve heard some stores have price-match policies, right? If an item you purchase drops in price, you can get refunded the difference. But the thing is… who has time to keep an eye on prices?
Good news, though. Capital One has a free tool called Paribus that knows which stores have these policies, and it does all the tracking for you. (Please note: Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.)
All you have to do is sign up with your email address and keep your emailed receipts. Then Paribus will help you get a refund when it finds a price drop on something you’ve bought.
Paribus monitors more than 25 retailers, including Target, Costco and Home Depot, and has found more than $29 million in savings for customers.
7. Free $5 to Invest
Investing isn’t the most titillating topic, but it’s certainly an important one when it comes to your money. So why not use an app that’ll give you $5 to get started?
Enter Acorns. Acorns is an easy-to-use micro-investing app, meaning you can invest small amounts of money. It has a round-up feature that’ll round your debit and credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change for you.
The money adds up faster than you’d think. Plus, you’ll get a nice $5 boost when you sign up and make your first investment.
8. Free Pizza
Say whaaaaa?Yeah, we were excited, too, so let’s cut to the chase.
Create a Domino’s Piece of The Pie Rewards account. You’ll want to make all your future orders through this account, because you’ll earn points on each order that’ll go toward your free pizza. Collect 60 points — free pizza.
It’s as easy as pie. (Sorry. Had to.)
9. Free $20
Love it or hate it, grocery shopping is a necessary weekly chore, so why not earn some free money while doing it?
We like using a free cash-back app called Ibotta. With Ibotta, you can earn cash bonuses on certain items you buy — from ketchup to Cheerios to Bud Light.
When you sign up, you’ll become eligible for a $20 bonus. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get it:
- Download the Ibotta app using the link above.
- Create an account.
- Shop, and photos of your grocery receipts.
- Redeem 10 offers within 14 days, and you’ll get that $20 bonus.
You can cash out via PayPal or Venmo as soon as you hit $20. Easy! Plus you can keep earning free money on all your grocery hauls. (We talked to one woman who earned more than $400 in a year!)
10. Free Baby Stuff
Calling all expecting parents! Yeah, diapers are expensive. That’s why we suggest creating a Target Baby registry where you can get more than $100 in free baby stuff.
And keep this in mind: You can get any items remaining on your registry for 15% off when you’re less than eight weeks from your due date.
11. Free Caribou Coffee
Addicted to coffee? Same.
The good news is, you can get a free coffee when you become a Caribou Perks member. Create an account, then after you make your first purchase as a Perks member, you’ll get a free beverage!
12. Free Makeup Samples
Makeup is super expensive, so you never want to dive in with a new product or brand until you know your skin won’t freak out. That’s why this free makeup sample kit is so nice.
Everyday Minerals is giving away a custom kit — yup, you choose your own shades and colors. Just head over to its site, choose your preferences and order. And if you’re not into the kit, you can always opt for free eyeshadow samples!
13. Free Baby Shoes
Nothing’s cuter than baby shoes, and an online independent retailer called Little Wanderers is giving away some adorable pairs for free. All you have to do is find the pair you like — high-top sneaks, anyone? — and enter the code PENNY1 at checkout.
14. Free IHOP Pancakes
Breakfast for dinner, anyone?
Sign up for MyHop (that’s IHOP’s loyalty program), and you’ll get a free stack of pancakes. Once you create your account, you’ll get an email with your coupon.
A few tips: Be patient for the email; we received it several hours after signing up. Also take note of the expiration date, which was two weeks out for us.
15. Free Printed Photos
These days, hardly any of us print our photos. Heck, you probably have at least one empty picture frame somewhere in your house.
If you want to preserve your memories (Instagram won’t stay trendy forever), you can get your photos printed for free with Free Prints. Each month you get up to 85 free 4”-by-6” photos, which will get delivered straight to your door.
16. Free Deep-Dish Cookie
Have you been to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse lately? You know, the place that serves up Pizookies, those giant warm cookies in a deep dish — topped with melty ice cream?
Well, when you sign up for BJ’s rewards program, you’ll get a free Pizookie. Additionally, you’ll earn a point for every dollar you spend. Once you hit 100 points, you’ll get a $10 reward. Oh, and you’ll snag another free Pizookie on your birthday.
17. Free Bagel and Shmear
Welcome to the Shmear Society! OK, that sounds a little weird, but Einstein Bros. Bagels has a pretty legit rewards program. When you sign up, you’ll get a free bagel and shmear (or cream cheese).
Plus, you’ll start earning points — two points for every $1 — good for more freebies. It’s super easy to join, and who doesn’t need a good carb kick?
18. Free Baby Leggings
More adorable baby clothes! Head over to BabyLeggings.com, and pick out your favorite pair of leggings. At checkout, enter the code PENNY1, and you’ll only pay for shipping!
19. Free French Fries and a Drink
Up until this point, we’ve tried to avoid including freebies that require you to buy something, but we’re making an exception for this… because who doesn’t want free fries?
When you sign up for Arby’s email list, you’ll get a free drink and order of fries when you buy one of its signature sandwiches. Plus, once you’re on Arby’s email list, you’ll get coupons and other special offers.
Who else is craving a roast beef sandwich right about now?
20. Free Coupons
Before you head to the grocery store, tap into a ton of savings with free Betty Crocker coupons. No, these aren’t just coupons for cake and brownie mixes. You’ll also find coupons for cereal, cleaning supplies, yogurt, baby food — you name it.
When we checked, Better Crocker was offering 45 coupons worth up to $55.90 in savings. Opt to email them to yourself or print them.
21. Free Chips and Guac
If you frequent Chipotle and aren’t a rewards member, what are you doing?! The good news is, once you sign up and place an order of $5 or more (carnitas burrito anyone?), you’ll get free chips and guac.
Pairs well with an icy marg.
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