It’s a given – we all want free stuff. Everyone wants to get something for nothing. And who can blame you? We already pay for enough things – we might as well get some of them for free. One time I signed up for a company’s newsletter just to get a free box of some new cereal that didn’t even sound good. (I never even opened the box.) But it was free, so I wanted it. And by golly, I got it.
There are a lot of places online that will give you something for nothing, but there are also a lot of sites just waiting to scam you. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference. Here are some legitimate websites that will either give you free stuff or give you the chance to win free stuff:
MyPoints is a points-based online shopping site. Once you’ve created an account (which is free, of course) you can earn points by filling out surveys, signing up for offers (many of which are free), shopping with any of their partner merchants, or even just clicking on a link in an email. Accumulate enough points and you can redeem them for gift certificates to popular stores and websites including Overstock.com, Sears, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, and eBay.
RewardTV is a TV trivia site that gives you points for answering questions about television shows or taking short surveys. The points can then be used to try to win prizes, including video games, DVDs, or money toward your next grocery visit or cell phone bill. Be careful, though – after a period of no activity (probably at least several months) any points you’ve accumulated but not spent will be taken away.
Pogo is a free online game site. You can play anything from bowling to bingo to Trivial Pursuit, either by yourself or against other people, and you earn points depending on your score in each game. Some games even have a jackpot with cash prizes up to $4,999, and if you score high enough during the game you can win a shot at the jackpot. The points you earn can be redeemed for entries in the daily prize drawings; the more points you use, the better chance you have of winning up to $1,000.
– Manufacturers’ websites
Check the websites of your favorite products for free coupons. Advil PM will give you a $2 off coupon just for registering and answering a few questions. Gerber Childrenswear offers coupons and giveaways to anyone who signs up for their Preferred Parent program (it’s free). Pledge gives consumers downloadable coupons just for signing up. These are just a few of the ones you can find – there are many more.
– Radio stations
We all know radio stations sponsor on-air giveaways and contests for listeners, but many also give away (or offer a chance to win) prizes on their website. 98 Rock in Baltimore has a “Freeloader” program where members can earn points and win prizes. Hot 97 in New York keeps a page on their website devoted to contests. And KAFF in Arizona has a web page set up with printable local coupons. Check your local radio stations’ websites to see what they can give you.
– Free software
“Freeware” is a term for software that is distributed without a fee. There is all sorts of freeware on the Internet – programs that will help you with your job, programs that do cool things, and of course, games. Avast and AVG are both freeware anti-virus programs that are on par with the expensive security programs you’d buy in a store.
You can search the Internet for freeware (and find a ton of it) but a couple of good places to get free programs are FreewareFiles.com and FreewareHome.com.
With all of these different ways to find free stuff online, you should be able to get yourself some cool new things. Keep checking those websites and playing those games, and watch the cash and prizes add up.