A few months ago I wrote a post questioning whether signing up for free samples was worth my time. I decided I would track my time spent signing up for the free samples to see how much time it actually takes.
Here are a few of my facts and figures.
- I was able to complete the form to receive the free sample 90% of the time. The other 10% the free sample was either unavailable or the web page timed out.
- It took me an average of 1 minute per sample to fill out the online form. I know many people use Roboform (costs money) or allow their browser to autofill their information but I didn’t use these methods.
- Only once did I not receive my receive my free sample.
- I received a ton of junk email. This is why I used an email address specifically for samples. About 80% of the email was truly junk but the other 20% contained coupon codes or special deals.
- The free samples often came with extra coupons. My best free sample was a small box of Kashi cereal that included a coupon for a free box of cereal plus several $1.50 off coupons.
So was it worth my time to sign up for all these freebies?
I have to admit it was exciting every day to check the mailbox for the latest gift! But it was hard for me to remember to sign up for free samples. On the days I was persistent I spent about 10 minutes signing up for samples, but I would go for a week at a time and not sign up for anything. I believe if you had about 15 minutes a day to dedicate to looking for freebies you would be very successful.
I learned a few things that helped make finding free samples easier.
- Subscribe to your favorite blogs either in a reader or via email. Then the deals are delivered to you every day, you don’t have to search for them. The blogs I used in this experiment were: Money Saving Mom, Mommy Snacks, Bargain Briana, and For the Mommas.
- “Like” your favorite companies on Facebook. Many times these companies will promote their freebies via their Facebook accounts so it will appear in your live feed.
- Create a separate email for your samples and freebies. This will keep your personal inbox from being filled with all the newsletters you signed up for to get the free samples.
- Sign up for programs that notify you when free samples are available. My Savings, FreeFlys, CoolSavings.com, Baby to Bee.com, Home Made Simple, My Points, and Betty Crocker Newsletter are just a few of the numerous sites that offer multiple freebies for subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a survey, or submitting your email address.
- If you like to eat out, don’t forget to sign up for your favorite restaurant’s mailing list. My husband and I rarely pay full price for a dinner out since our favorite places are always sending us coupons.
I don’t think I will ever be a free sample die-hard, because I don’t have an extra 15 minutes a day to spend signing up for all those great freebies. But as Christmas gets closer I will probably sign up for more offers since free samples make wonderful stocking stuffers and goodies for gift baskets.
How about you, is your mailbox stuffed with freebies or would you rather spend those extra 15 minutes a day doing something else?