The only thing we like more than getting a deal is getting a freebie. And we're not talking about those buy one, get one free deals, either -- we mean a true, no-purchase-necessary freebie.
So where should you go to find all this free stuff? There are websites like FreeStuffTimes and IHeartFreebies that aggregate free sample offers, and we also try to bring freebie offers to your attention on our Free Stuff page. But if you'd rather go right to the source, there are several retailers and companies that regularly give away freebies. Here are a few.
No, IKEA doesn't give its furniture away for free, but the Swedish furniture store is almost as famous for its food as for its hard-to-assemble bookcases, and it's often willing to give away food for free if it gets people in the door. Usually that takes the form of a free breakfast -- this past weekend, for instance, shoppers could come in Saturday through Monday before 11 a.m. and get a platter of eggs, bacon and hash browns, plus a cup of coffee, on the house.
The usual price of that breakfast is only $1.78 (99 cents for the breakfast and 75 cents for the coffee), so it's not as if you're making out like a bandit here. To keep up on all the free food offers from IKEA in the future, bookmark the retailer's special offers page.
We know, Panda Express has its share of detractors, but if there's one thing to be said of the Chinese fast-food chain, it's that it tends to be fast and loose with the freebies. It seems every time Panda Express launches a new product it offers up a coupon to get a free serving of the new menu item. And while it has received complaints in the past for the tiny portions it serves for these promotions, you can't really complain about something you got for free. To keep up with all these offers, follow Panda Express on Facebook.
Kmart's website has what may be a freebie fiend's dream come true: The SampleCenter. Every week the retailer links to a number of manufacturers currently offering samples of their products, and this week there are links to samples of Emergen-C powder and Purex laundry detergent, among several other things. Put the site in your bookmarks and check back on a weekly basis to see what you can get for free.
[Also see: No-Money Makeovers for Your Home]
Amazon's Kindle Store
You won't get bestsellers for free from the Kindle store, but there are still thousands of e-books that you can have for free and watch on your Kindle, computer or other device with a Kindle reading app. There are a few ways to navigate the loads of free books there, but the best way might be to visit the bestsellers list, which includes the top 100 best-selling free e-books. You can also sort by genre so you can see, for instance, the top 100 free e-books on cooking and get loads of free recipes.
While you're there, make sure you check out the Amazon Appstore. Every day, users of Android devices are presented with a different paid app for free.
Bath & Body Works
We asked Erin Huffstetler, a veteran deal hunter and editor of the About.com Frugal Living Guide, where she tends to find a lot of freebies. She pointed to Bath & Body Works, noting that the fragrance and soap shop tends to give away a free sample on its Facebook page whenever it launches a new product.
Earlier this month, for instance, the retailer had a coupon for a free travel-sized item up to $5 in value. For more of the same, follow Bath & Body Works on Facebook.
Huffstetler also reminded us of a recurring freebie we found last month: Every Tuesday, Sears Outlets give a coupon for one free item of clothing. To get the deal you'll need to be a Shop Your Way Rewards member, and since it's good in stores only, you'll probably need to live near a Sears Outlet to take advantage on a regular basis. Also note that while the original program was something of a free-for-all (no pun intended), there are now extensive terms: The coupon is only good for clearance items (denoted as such by a green or yellow tag), and you can't get outerwear, leather coats, dresses or Levi's merchandise for free.
Still, that's a free article of clothing for free every week. To get the coupons, follow Sears Outlet Stores on Facebook.
Giveaway of the Day
If a weekly freebie isn't good enough for you, how about a daily freebie? That's what you'll get at Giveaway of the Day, a daily deal site that presents you with a free software download every day.
You won't be getting Adobe Photoshop on here, or the latest PC games -- what you'll find, rather, are simple software tools such as PDF converters or a program that can easily turn a video file into a DVD. Many of them might be of no interest to you, perhaps because you already have a similar program on your computer. But it's worth putting in your bookmarks to see what they have to offer you.
You can always count on free sample tables at Walmart. And if you're a serious freebie hunter, you can coordinate your Walmart run to fall on a day when your favorite food maker or other company has set up shop there. The retail giant has a special page on its website that lists which events are taking place in Wal-Mart stores in the foreseeable future. This week, for instance, expect to see Kraft set up at the Bright Ideas station, where it will be sampling four new cheese offerings. There's no cheese like free cheese.
Walmart isn't the only big retail chain that regularly has samples for its customers -- Target regularly lists free samples on its website, and unlike Walmart, you don't actually need to set foot in the store. Just visit the Target "Sample Spot," click on any samples you'd like to receive, then answer the applicable survey questions and punch in your address for home delivery. Just make sure you check the page on a regular basis -- the samples sell out fast.
Want to know which retailers have the best samples in stores? Check out MainStreet's roundup of the best retailers for free samples.
Finally, here's one for the ladies: Huffstetler tells us that subscribers to the Victoria's Secret catalog get coupons for free panties throughout the year. Play your cards right, and you'll never pay for underwear again!
While we're on the topic, it's worth noting that Victoria's Secret frequently throws in a freebie with select purchases. Earlier this month, for instance, it offered small boxes of truffles with all purchases of more than $75, and right now when you make a purchase of Victoria's Secret Pink merchandise and use the coupon code LIVEPINK, you can get a free tote bag. That's not a freebie in the strictest sense of the word because a purchase is necessary, but if you're shopping there anyway you should take full advantage of whatever they choose to throw in.