50 Freebies You Should Take Advantage of


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Freebies are everywhere. Restaurants will hurl free food at you for your birthday. Retailers will unload free samples on you just for your loyalty. Yet there are myriad everyday freebies available to consumers even when it isn't their birthday. The purpose is the same: to get people to try goods and services while building customer and brand loyalty. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but here are the dozens of items you get for free either way.
hiker with backpacks in Zion National Park
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There are four days when you can get into national parks for free: Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on Jan. 15; the first day of National Parks Week during the third week of April; National Public Lands Day on Sept. 22; and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
waiter carrying a tray of craft beer in glasses
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This one is easy: Take a brewery tour and be 21 or older. The Samuel Adams brewery in Boston offers beer at the end of its tour, as does the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery in St. Louis, the D.L. Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the Coors brewery in Golden, Colorado ... actually, many of the more than 6,000 breweries in the U.S. make beer samples a staple of their tour.
woman holding shipping box
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If you're thinking of buying an item online, but don't want to pay the shipping cost, there's no need to. Sites like FreeShipping.com make it clear where free shipping and returns can be found, while other sites never charge for shipping.
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Proving that data is the new currency, sites like Mercury Magazines will pay for your subscriptions if you give them a little data about your line of work, the company you work for, and the industry you work in. That demographic data is worth more to them than wholesale subscriptions will ever be.
box of free CDs and DVDs
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There is some actual sharing going on in the sharing economy. Sites like Freecycle.org and Craigslist's "free stuff" section regularly have free offerings that either require a little maintenance or transportation.
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Sure, 7-Eleven will give you a free drink for downloading their app, but you can also get a free Slurpee every July 11.
credit report with score
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Yes, you are supposed to have access to a free copy of your credit report once each year. That said, there are a lot of sites out there that say they'll give you one, but are just looking to take more of your money. AnnualCreditReport.com is one legitimate source.
Godiva chocolate bars
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There are four "chocolate day" holidays (July 7, Sept. 13, Oct. 28 and Dec. 28), which is really confusing but presents a lot of opportunity for free chocolate. However, joining Godiva's rewards club gets you a free piece of chocolate each month.
little girl having her meal with pleasure
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So many restaurant chains offer free kids' meals that parents should never have to pay for them. MyKidsEatFree.com is evidence of that.
famous Chick-fil-A Cows
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Each year, Chick-Fil-A's "Cow Appreciation Day" rewards customers who wear any sort of cow apparel by giving them a free entree. You can wear a mask, you can wear a shirt with cows on it, or you can dress in a full cow costume. This year, on July 10, any of the above gets you free food.
selection of Halloween doughnuts
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On Halloween, many businesses give out all sorts of freebies beyond candy. Free custard, cookies, doughnuts, and kids meals abound just because it's the holiday.
army dad talks with his kids before his deployment
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On Nov. 11, veterans are offered free meals at LongHorn Steakhouse, Golden Corral, Applebee's, and other national eateries, but they also get free admission to some ski resorts and amusement parks and free haircuts at Great Clips.
hand holding Target gift card
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Not only will retailers give away gift cards and other items to entice shoppers on Black Friday, but restaurants will offer freebies, and state parks will open their gates for free on Black Friday.

women shopping in Sephora store
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Loyalty programs at Ulta Beauty and Sephora will give you free gifts on your birthday. But other companies, like Walmart, will send freebies a lot more often (though you'll have to cover shipping).
glass full of fresh iced tea with lemon in artistic splash
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Back when Starbucks still had Teavana (now defunct), it was crazy about National Iced Tea Day (June 10). However, other retailers and even the Disney parks still celebrate by doling out free iced tea.
father and son having fun while shaving in bathroom
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Thinking of joining a club like Harry's, but don't know about the quality of their products? Well, Harry's will send you a razor and shave gel to try for $8. If you don't like it or don't want to continue, they'll refund the cost completely. The Unilever-owned Dollar Shave Club, meanwhile, offers a similar money-back guarantee.
young mother browses down baby aisle in supermarket
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Walmart will send along a free box of sample baby products to consumers who apply. Their Sam's Club stores often do the same, depending on availability and time of year. Meanwhile, Similac, Gerber, Pampers, and Honest, are also companies that will send free formula, food, and diaper samples if you just ask.
Kind snack bars
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If you spot someone being kind, you can send them a free coupon for a Kind snack bar.
woman and girl in museum
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The Smithsonian Institute provides free admission to participating museums on Sept. 22, but Southern California, Oregon, Northern California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and other areas keep their own calendars for free museum admission.

young pharmacy customer asks pharmacist questions about medication
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Publix and Meijer supermarkets offer some prescription medications for free, but many retailers with pharmacy departments offer assistance programs.
father fly fishing with son
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Yes, you typically need a fishing license if you want to go fishing. However, many states offer a bunch of dates for fishing without a license. TakeMeFishing.org lists all of them.
woman selecting eyeglasses in optical store
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If you're over age 65 and lack private insurance, Eye Care America offers free eye exams and a year of care for any diagnosed eye disease.
woman putting make up
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Sites like DealNews and Mr. Free Stuff distribute free samples that manufacturers once used to send either through the mail or with newspaper deliveries. Toothpaste, granola bars, whitening strips, baking supplies, and other items need a test audience. You could be it.
people working at a hardware store
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Why buy tools for a job you'll do once or twice when AutoZone, certain NAPA locations, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and local tool libraries will lend them to you for free?
3D printer
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Need kitchenware, musical instruments, or even tech kits that you may not need more than once? Various communities are adopting the "Library of Things" approach and stocking libraries with 3D printers, wetsuits, sewing kits and guitars with the knowledge that patrons may eventually need certain items, but they don't need to own them.
reading eBook on a small digital tablet
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Most people with an e-reader or tablet have likely found the public-domain titles at Gutenberg.org already, but Amazon Prime members who aren't taking advantage of free access to e-books are wasting a big portion of their service. Also, just about any public library should be able to lend you e-books.
group of mature college students taking class in library
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Yes, a community center or library will often offer free or inexpensive classes, but so will retailers like Sur La Table, JoAnn Fabric, REI or Home Depot.

child's hand holding US passport with map background
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No, you don't have to go down to a post office or some weird shop by a courthouse to get a passport photo taken. If you take a photo with your own smartphone or digital camera and upload it to ePassportPhoto, they'll size it for you and make a copy you can print at home.
Dunkin' Donuts hot coffee cup
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International Coffee Day falls on Sept. 29, with Wawa, Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Cinnabon, and Tim Horton's all giving away free coffee.
woman eating cheeseburger at restaurant
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National Cheeseburger Day (Sept. 18) dates back to the early 1920s, but places like Champp's Kitchen + Bar, Habit Burger, Johnny Rockets, and Rally's will still give you a free cheeseburger to mark the day. You'll need a pass code or a spot on their email list, but it'll be free.
Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts half dozen box
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The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day, and big doughnut chains including Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Tim Horton's all play along by offering customers a free doughnut.
woman choosing laptop at store
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If you live in Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon, skip ahead: You already know your state has no sales tax. However, a handful of other states hold sales tax holidays that ostensibly give buyers a break, especially before the start of the school year.
woman looking in mirror, at her earrings
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The folks at Ashley Jewels will give you free jewelry, but there's a catch. The free jewelry is typically made on behalf of charities and charitable causes. While you can just snag a free piece of jewelry in the name of "awareness," Ashley will likely ask for a donation as well.
pile of firewood
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There are lots of people who'll haul your pre-cut cords of firewood for a sum of money, but if you'll chop it yourself or you aren't particular about the condition of that wood, Craigslist teems with free firewood in many areas. Our advice: Always give it a look a few days after a windstorm. And be sure to store it outside to avoid bringing any unwanted wildlife indoors. 

red concert tickets
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If you have spare time to contribute to a group like RockCorps or HeadCount, you can see big-name shows without paying a dime.
smiling at paper being shredded
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At the tax deadline, businesses give away free cookies, document shredding, massages, and more to help taxpayers unwind and celebrate the end of tax season.
senior couple doing finances with laptop on table in home
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Those with income below $66,000 have the option to file their taxes for free with the Internal Revenue Service's Free File software. The program's website can also help you find free state filing options.
happy family having fun at the cinema
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Even with streaming biting into theaters' bottom line, there's still a way to get a movie screening for free. AdvanceScreenings.com gets you into advance screenings of films yet to be released, a privilege once reserved for alt-weekly newspaper readers and radio contest winners. All you have to do is check the site for free screenings in your area and sign up.
dog happy about getting food
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Rachael Ray's Nutrish brand is offering free pet food samples. Purina, Whimzees, and Supreme Source have also recently offered free product samples. It pays to follow pet brands on social media to find their best freebies.
photo prints
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With prints getting increasingly rare and home printing technology meeting most people's needs, Shutterfly is willing to give 50 prints away just for signing up for its app.
young Asian girl holding pretzel in NYC
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Pennsylvania's pretzel-minded politicians dreamed up National Pretzel Day more than 30 years ago and made it official in the early 2000s, but it's basically an excuse for shoppers to line up at Auntie Anne's, Wetzels, or various other mall pretzel outlets.
comic books for sale
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Started by a California comic book shop owner in 2002, Free Comic Book Day is filled with events, games, cosplay, and, of course, free comic books. Just go to a local comic shop on the first Saturday in May and claim your free issue.
Ben & Jerry's
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Can you people agree on one day? National Ice Cream Day falls on the third Sunday in July (as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984), but Haagen Dazs Free Cone Day was May 8, Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day was April 10, and Dairy Queen's was the first day of spring, March 20. Seriously, just pick one date for all of this.
Rita's Italian Ice
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It was snowing in many places in the U.S. on the first day of spring this year, but that didn't stop Rita's Italian Ice from giving away free servings -- as it does at the beginning of every spring.
IHOP restaurant exterior
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The date changes yearly (it was Feb. 27 this year), but IHOP has given away stacks of free pancakes as part of its National Pancake Day celebration for years now. All it asks in return is that customers consider giving to children's charities on that day.
Key Lime Pie
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National Pie Day on Jan. 23 (not to be confused with National Pi Day on March 14) can mean free slices of pie to consumers, but just about no national chains take part. Your best bet is to look to local businesses.
woman eating pizza
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Your best bet for free pizza is Feb. 9, National Pizza Day, when Pilot Flying J, Round Table, and even Baskin Robbins give away samples of their various takes on pizza.
hand cleaning glass window pane with detergent
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When all of social media is a focus group, companies that produce cleaning products can basically give freebies to anyone. Hunt4Freebies is stocked with welcome boxes of household products, while Mr. Free Stuff and MunchkinSandwich offer free samples from brands like Cascade, Finish, Tide, 3M, and Scotch Brite.
mother and her daughter eating donuts
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Keep these in mind for next year. The National Restaurant Association notes that 92 million Americans have a meal out on Mother's Day. That makes free doughnuts at LaMar's Donuts, free tickets at Medieval Times, free strawberry pie at Shoney's, and free fro-yo at TCBY especially valuable freebies.
woman holding a peanut
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There is a small army of entrepreneurs out there who would love it if you never went to a convenience store again. This is why NatureBox, Graze, and Try The World send their first mixed box of snacks for free.

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