7 Ways to Score Free Stuff

We've explored the world of freebies a couple times on Financially Fit from free vacations, to free yoga, to free cell phones. And yes, there's more! Here's another round up of totally free offerings that can potentially help you save you thousands of dollars a year.

Free Media, Language Classes & Children's Events
What magical place houses all of the aforementioned freebies? The library, of course! When was the last time you visited yours? These days, the library has become the best destination for free content, but also free classes, ebooks, family events and WiFi. Likewise, your local YMCA or college may offer a variety of free classes to members.

Online Courses

"You can learn anything in the world online for free from the frivolous to the serious," says Jody Rholena, senior editor at Consumer Report's ShopSmart Mag. She recommends AcademicEarth.org if you want to tap into lectures from Ivy League professors on anything from art to architecture. There, you can even take courses for free. Meantime, if you want to learn every day fun skills like how to play charades to juggle, check out HowCast.com.

Free Pantry and Medicine Cabinet Goods

Retailers often give away free samples of their latest products, hoping you'll try it, love and buy it. Online freebie directories include ThunderFap, TotallyFreeStuff and AbsurdlyCool offer things like free floss, vitamins, coupons and from fee samples of medicine cabinet items, coupons and even some groceries. The catch is that you have to register with these sites and, at the least, provide your email address. "Getting the freebie here does come with some strings. You get the product; [retailers] get your information," says Rholena. Her advice: If you're signing up for any of these free product giveaways, set up a special email account to help keep all that information separate from your personal account. Also read through the company's privacy policy. "I know they're long but take a quick scan through there and just make sure that you're giving your information to a legitimate organization," she says.

Free Cosmetics

Walk into any Sephora store within 14 days of your birthday and receive a free gift - usually a sample size of the store's latest product -- when you show your Beauty Insider Card, which is Sephora's free rewards card.

Free Meals

Find free meal deals for the family at sites like HeyIt'sFree.net and if it's your birthday, check out EatFreeOnYourBirthday.com for a list of restaurants offering giveaways on your special day. For example, I learned that if I join the Birthday Club at Baskin Robbins, I can get a free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream on my birthday. Parents note: some participating Chili's restaurants offer a "Kids Eat Free" promotion on Tuesday evenings with the purchase of one adult entrée, birthday or not!

Free Odds and Ends

For free household items such as used paint, furniture, TVs and maybe even kayaks, check out the neighborhood giveaway site Freecycle.org, where you can also post for free things you want. Score even more free household stuff by hosting a party for a sponsor. Sign up at HouseParty.com to receive a hosting package full of products, cooking tools and party decorations.

Swap for Freebies

Bookmooch.com is a great place to trade old books for new ones and maybe score free college text books.Swapstyle.com is a free fashion site where you can swap clothes and accessories with its growing community of 47,000 members.

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