When you’re trying to pay down debt and build savings, every penny and dollar saved adds up. Figuring out how to get what you need for free or cheap can go a long way to help you on your mission to save.
The key to getting stuff you need for free or cheap is to be willing to spend some time and effort getting those things. You also have to get creative. When you’re able to do those things, you’ll be able to get most of what you need for a lot less than what you’d pay retail.
How to Get What You Need for Free or Cheap
Here are some ideas to get you started om your quest for free and cheap stuff.
Ask. A simple question is sometimes the easiest way to get what you want. If you need free delivery of a new refrigerator to your home, ask. If you need an endtable for your living room, but are short on cash, ask family and friends if they have one they are willing to give to you. The worst that someone can say is “No.” But they may say yes. Be respectful, be polite, and ask for what you need, you just might find yourself rewarded.
Check out Freecycle. Most communities have a local Freecycle group, where folks post things they’re getting rid of for free. Visit these online groups regularly and snatch up the goods. And be sure to give away some of the stuff you’re not using. It’s good karma.
Borrow it. If you can’t get it for keeps, then borrow what you need. Check with family and friends to see if they’d be willing to lend you the item you need. Search out options in your community – such as your public library, a local church group, or a tool lending library to help you get what you need.
Barter. Swap something you don’t need for something you do. Or offer up a skill you have in exchange for an item. Bartering with friends and family in your community is a great way to get what you want without putting up any cash.
Volunteer. Volunteering is usually its own reward (as it should be!). You get to help out a cause and feel good doing it. But helping out can have some unofficial perks that allow you to stretch your budget. For example, if you volunteer to usher at an event, you may get free tickets for that event. Help out with a big spaghetti fundraiser, and you just might get sent home with some leftovers. Never volunteer with the idea that you’re owed something. But be aware that there may be a few perks to loyal helpers.
Take advantage of free samples. Companies often give out free samples in order to get their products in front of new customers. Use these free samples and product giveaways to stretch your budget. Those free samples of shampoo mean you don’t have to buy shampoo as often.
Let loyalty be rewarded. Sign up for loyalty programs for stores you visit often and for companies whose products you regularly use. Grocery stores and gas stations often offer rewards programs. Sign up for programs like Kellogg’s Family Rewards or My Coke Rewards to earn free products, high value coupons, and other free stuff. Even if you don’t buy a particular product that has a rewards program, you can still ask others to save the points for you or visit your recycling center to gather up the points.
Take advantage of credit card rewards. I’m not a fan of debt, especially credit card debt, but used properly, credit cards can help you save money. Put major purchases on a rewards credit card and pay off the bill in full when it arrives. You’ll earn cash back or other rewards to help you stretch your budget. I’ve cashed in credit card rewards for everything from cash for Christmas gifts to a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
Use coupons. Savvy coupon clippers know that with a bit of legwork, it is possible to get items for free or cheap using coupons. Use a smartphone app like Favado to help you find and use coupons to get groceries and household goods for next to nothing.
Sign up for services like Swagbucks. You can earn free gift cards and cash just by surfing the internet using Swagbucks. You can also earn money taking online surveys or signing up for services like MyPoints. You’ll spend just a little bit of time earning your rewards, but you won’t have to have spend any money getting what you need.
These are just a few ideas you can use to get what you need for free or cheap. What are some ways you save on the things you need?
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