Free meals, free health and beauty stuff, free software..we've got it all. We even tell you how to get your hands on free money!
A few months ago, my Foolish colleague Laura Starkey wrote the hugely popular article 15 Things You can Get For Free. It explained how to get everything from cinema tickets and clothes to days out and magazines - all for nothing.
With recession now looming, retailers and restaurants are being forced to work even harder to get our business. And that means there's loads of new free stuff on offer if you know where to look.
Here, I'm going to highlight 20 of the best freebies currently out there.
Before you start.
To get many of the free things listed here, you'll need to provide an email address. Companies typically use freebies as incentives, take your details in return and then bombard you with emails trying to persuade you to spend your cash on their other products.
I'd recommend you set up a separate email address to use when freebie hunting. That way, junk promotional emails won't jam up your main email account.
So without further ado.
Post-Christmas, restaurants are bending over backwards to get bottoms on seats.
- Until February 13th, Italian eaterie Carluccio's is giving away a free main course when you buy another. Here's the form you need to get your voucher.
- Pizza Express is also offering a second, free main course when you buy the first. This deal runs until January 29th; here's how to get the voucher.
- And to complete the Italian trilogy, Café Uno is offering the same deal throughout January. Get your voucher here.
With these sorts of meal deals, just make sure you read all the small print and boring terms and conditions. Many restaurants, for example, don't let you redeem your vouchers at weekends, or on special occasions like St Valentine's Day.
- On a different culinary note, you can grab free cookies, `Treatboxes' and smoothies when you use this voucher booklet from Millie's Cookies. As with the meals out, most of the vouchers work on the principle of `buy something and get the same thing free'.
- Finally, grab a free hot drink at Pret A Manger. Pick up one of its loyalty cards instore, register it online and Pret will credit the card with £2.10. That's enough for one of their coffees or hot chocolates.
Health and beauty
- Get on the way to a new, healthier you with a free health MOT at an ASDA pharmacy. These are on offer throughout January, and include a height, weight and BMI check, blood pressure and diabetes tests and stop smoking advice.
- If it's a bit of pampering you're after, get your hands on a free sample of Olay Total Effects moisturiser here.
- Alternatively, grab a free 4ml miniature of `Sensuous' perfume, by Estee Lauder.
- .Or scoop up a free sample of the `Sweetheart' fragrance, by Ghost.
- Still think we're in 2008? Nab yourself a free wall calendar from Vista Print, and customise each month with a different photo. You'll have to pounce on this one quickly though, as the offer ends on Saturday (January 10th).
- And talking of photos, several specialists are currently offering free prints if you sign up on their websites. A couple of the best deals are from Jessops (40 free prints) and Photobox (50 free prints).
- If you're contemplating a home makeover, visit the Crown website and get five free paint samples from their Pure Paint range. Choose your colours, fill in the form and they'll be delivered to your house.
- And on a more serious note, get a free smoke alarm from your local Fire and Rescue Service. As part of your free Home Fire Safety Visit, you'll also receive valuable fire safety advice, to help protect your loved ones and your home.
Out and about
When you join The National Trust online, you'll get a free pair of binoculars to help you enjoy all the Trust has to offer. You'll also get three months' membership free, because you'll receive 12 months for the price of nine.
Is your computer's anti-virus software up for pricy renewal? Before you shell out, see if you can get the protection you need for nothing - from your bank.
- HSBC is currently offering its online banking customers a free 12-month McAfee Security package. You'll need to log in to find the offer, which is called `Free McAfee Security download'. Barclays is also offering a 12 month free security download, from Kaspersky - just log in and find the 'Kaspersky offer'.
- If you're keen to improve your computer skills, take advantage of the free computer tutorials being offered by Home and Learn. You can grapple with Word, Excel and PowerPoint - and even try your hand at web design and programming.
- Or perhaps you're about to travel overseas? CoolGorilla.com and lastminute.com have teamed up to produce a series of free Talking Phrasebooks. The guides are currently available in French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish - and can be downloaded to Nokia and Sony mobiles, iPhone and iPod Touch models and by Windows Mobile users.
- If your New Year's Resolution is to read some great literary works, you'll like this offer: Borders is currently offering `Buy 1 Get 1 Free' on classic fiction.
Don't forget - keep your eyes peeled and you could even bag yourself some free money!
- Read Fantastic Plastic for 2009!, by my Foolish colleague Alison Hunt, to find out about the American Express Platinum credit card which earns you a whopping 5% cashback.
- .And this article tells you all about the Alliance & Leicester Premier and the First Direct 1st accounts, which give you £100 just for switching to them!
Have you found a freebie that's worth shouting about? Let other Fools know by posting your comments here.
Be the first to comment
Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature