Friday, May 20, 2011

I Love Samples and Freebies

Really, I do! They've been helping my budget tremendously in the personal care department. Just in the last week alone off the top of my head I've used:

  • Philosophy Senorita Margarita Shower Gel - Sephora sample, used up.
  • Ojon Reverse Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner - Gift bag samples, used up.
  • B.Kamins Sunbar SPF 30 - Sephora sample, several days worth left (face only).
  • La Mer Moisturizer - Deluxe sample, can easily stretch it a couple weeks in warm weather.
None of which I have budget room for at the moment. I've been working my way through my stash of body products in my bathroom (I started a while ago), and I'm actually starting to get to the end of the stash in some areas! It's very gratifying, the underside of my sink no longer looks like a war zone, but at the same time it means that when I do start getting pay checks again the first one is going to have some personal care shopping on it.

But, since I don't know when that will actually happen *sigh*, I'm going to stretch as long as I can on the samples and freebies :) I still have:
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil - Sephora sample, several days worth
  • Korres Wild Rose Mask - Sephora sample, several days worth
  • Clinique City Block Sunscreen - Sephora sample, several days worth
  • Kevin Murphy Easy Rider Styling lotion - Gift bag sample, one use
  • Bamboo Shine Shampoo, Conditioner and Cream - Gift bag sample, one use
  • frizz Shampoo and Conditioner - Gift bag sample, one use
  • Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner - Gift bag sample, one use
  • Amika Oil Treatment for Hair - Gift bag sample, one use
  • Phyto Repair Serum for Hair - Gift bag sample, one use
  • Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner - P&G sample, small bottle
  • Olay 2-in-1 Daily Facial Cloth - P&G sample, one use
  • Crest 3D White Strips - P&G sample, one use
  • Crest 3D White Toothpaste - P&G sample, two uses
  • Glide Pro Health Dental Floss - P&G sample, two uses
  • Pringles Baked Wheat Sticks - P&G sample, one use
  • Too Faced Eye Love Pallet - 500 point Sephora perk, full 8 shade pallet
  • Givenchy Play Eau de Toilette - 100 point Sephora perk, 5ml
If my hair wasn't long I would probably be able to get multiple washes out of each sample, but it is. I'll get multiple out of the Head & Shoulders sample. My hair is frizzy/curly too, so I only wash it every 3 or 4 days, which means I should be able to get some decent milage out of these samples. The Head & Shoulders, Olay, Crest, Glide and Pringles samples all came out of a free Proctor & Gamble sample package that I signed up for a little while back. Thanks for the heads up on that Pear! It also came with $8.50 worth of dental health manufacturers coupons which don't specify that you can't use them on sale items. Sweet. I'll be doubling up on those.

Almost every single one of these samples I got just by asking for it. A couple of them I didn't even ask for, the sales girls just thought I might like them, so they made one up for me! I'll take that. For the most part, you won't get what you don't ask for. It's worth asking. They know they're more likely to make a sale if you like a product, so letting you try a little for free is worth it for them.

Some of the samples I got simply because I've spent so much money there. Ouch eh? Sephora has a Beauty Insider program, where you get 1 point for every 1 dollar you spend, which can be redeemed for freebies. They have a rotating supply of little samples for 100 points, and larger freebies for 500 points. It's almost shameful to say that I've gotten 2 of the 500 point perks in the last couple years :s That's a lot of money, even though it's been from a combo of acne care, makeup and hair care.

If you spend a LOT of money there *cough* they'll bump you up to their VIB program. Basically, you get e-mailed extra coupons and promotions (like the free makeover I got the other day), and at the check out they usually have extra stuff they throw in your bag. Those hair care gift bag samples were thrown in one of my shopping bags, I didn't even ask for them. Since they go of the sales results from the year before, I'll be part of the program until the end of December.

Even if you don't frequent a store very often, sometimes its worth signing up for the free programs just for the freebies and coupons.

I'm finding the best part about using all of these freebies and samples is that even on a tighter budget I don't feel deprived. They let me test drive something "new" without spending money on it. When my budget loosens up a bit I may purchase some of them, but until then I get the allure of the "new" on the price of "none".

Do any of you use samples or freebies? Where do you find them?


Ven said...

I like the freebies at Planet Organic. They have samples for tasty foods to try like quinoa or couscous salad.

Cassie said...

Good call on Planet Organic! I wish I could do more of my grocery shopping there, I just find it to be quite expensive (and tempting!)