What can be a better deal than free? In one of the latest Hot Shopping Tips podcasts, my partner Mandy Walker and I rave about our favorite stuff you can get for nothing, nada, zippo! Here’s how to get the best freebies in four steps:
1. First, make a list. Jot down all of your favorite stores and restaurants, including clothing boutiques, fast-food chains, yogurt shops—you name it! Then visit their websites.
2. Next, check websites for loyalty programs and sign up! You might get sign-up bonuses and birthday freebies, too. Here are a few tasty examples:
For more birthday freebies, check out the great list on Heyitsfree.com.
Also check websites to see if the store has an app. You might get freebies just for downloading it. For example, Pinkberry frozen yogurt gives you freebies for getting the app. Yum!
3. Get free services just for shopping. At Sephora and Ulta, if you spend a certain amount you can get free makeovers. Some services, including skin-care consultations at Sephora, are totally free with no strings attached. At many clothing stores, you get free alterations for items you buy. The list includes Athleta, Club Monaco, Nordstrom, Lands' End, Madewell, Uniqlo, and many others. (Some stores have restrictions; for example, sale items may be excluded.) And at major department stores, including Nordstrom, Macy's, and Lord & Taylor, you can hire free personal shoppers to help you pull together some great new outfits or even buy a gift.
I once got a 2-hour makeover at Sephora in NYC. I knew I was going to spend at least $50 so I figured why not? The makeup artist gave me some great tips on making my skin look glowy—totally worth it!
4. Finally, find out about free classes! In addition to personal makeup consultations, Sephora offers free classes—check online for times and locations. Some Michaels stores offer art classes for kids and Home Depot does DIY clinics. Lululemon has free yoga classes. And of course Apple and Microsoft stores have all kinds of great classes, including making videos and organizing photos.
Don’t miss out on all of the great freebies out there! Check the websites of your fave stores and restaurants now! You might be surprised at what you can get for just shopping around!