Super-Saving NOT Super-Sizing

By ERIN TURNER

We had the pleasure of spending this last weekend at our friends’ lake cabin and when I realized I had forgot my shampoo I was delighted to find a basket filled with small little trial/sample sized bottles of a variety of shampoos, lotions and body soaps!  Not only did I think about how hospitable that basket was for guests, it also got me thinking about the cost savings of those mini bottles vs. a mega-sized bottle.

Our society has earned the titled of “Super-Sized Nation” because of we demand large portions — not only our food, but also our household supplies.  How many of you have a Costco size shampoo bottle of Pantene or Dove in your shower right now?  It’s not a bad thing, but it may not be really helping out our budget.  (Stay tuned for my blog about Costco shopping coming soon.)

If you stay in any hotel these days, your room will more than likely be supplied with a small bottle of shampoo and conditioner.  Do you leave those behind when you leave?  Well, you shouldn’t because you have paid for them in your room rate.  Take them home and either use them or like my friends have done, put them in a basket for your guests.

Most stores have a “travel or trial” section.  You can find everything from bandages to mouth wash in this area.  The prices of these items usually range from 49 cents to $1.99.  Now, when you match that price with a coupon for $1 off, you just got that bottle for free!  Be sure to look at your coupon though because sometimes they exclude trialsizes.

If you stop at the cosmetic counter in department stores, you can usually find some free samples of perfume, cosmetics or skin care.  Manufacturers developed these samples as a way to get their product into homes, so they are more than happy to share these samples with the public!

Another way to score some free samples is to search the internet.  Check the website or Facebook page of your favorite items.  Many sites offer a free sample of their product when you sign up for their site.  I signed up for Proctor and Gamble and every 3 months, I receive a package in the mail with samples of various products PLUS coupons for other products.

Here is a short list of some sites which offer free samples.  More often than not, you’ll need to sign up and possibly agree to receive their free newsletter but you can cancel it at anytime.  Check out these sites:  sampleville.com, shop4freebies.com, sweetfreestuff.com.  Once you sign up with these sites, you’re mailbox will soon be loaded with free samples and usually coupons for those products as well.

You may be thinking this sounds crazy.  But if you’re like me, I like a little variation in my shampoo, body wash and such.  To use a mega-sized bottle for months and months gets boring!  I love using the little bottles because 1) I use it for about week (depending on the product) and I don’t get bored and 2) I get to try out various items which I may never have bought normally.  And it’s all for free…it’s a win-win situation.

It may not be “American” to have small portions in this nation of Super-Sizing but by using free samples and trial sizes, your wallet will end up needing to be super-sized because of all the cash you will be saving.   And hey, that’s what living in the “Land of the Free” is all about, right?

Here are some links to help you get started living the “Free Life” and don’t forget to share your freebies with your guests.  They will think you are a hero when they find a basket full of fun items to try.

Free Sample of Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser – (biore.com)

Free Sample of Flexitol Heal Balm – (flexitol.com)

Free Sample Pack of Eco Bag Pac Garbage Bags – (ecobagpac.com)

Free Sample of Pristine Skin Care – (pristineskincare.com)

Free Sample Persimmon Tea – (naturalpersimmon.com)

Free Sample of Rachel Ray Just 6 Dog Food – (switchtojust6.com)

Coupon for Free Kerrygold Cheese – (surveymonkey.com)

 

Enjoy this blog?  You might also like Erin’s previous posts on Back to School Shopping on a Budget,  Discount Shopping Deals…Even on Vacation,  Orchard Homes Country Life Club Celebrates 100 Years and 10 places to Hunt for Coupons.   AND, be sure to check out the “Missoula Save it Club”  on the home page of MakeItMissoula.com (See the Daily Missoula Fix buttons in the left navigation bar) for savings updates throughout the week!

Back to the Save It blog home page.

Click here to see the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian.  Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques and trying to maintain a well-run, happy and organized home for herfamily.