A MUM from Essex has revealed how she bagged more than £1,000 worth of freebies in two years – and has shared her tips on how you can too.
Ana Maria Macovei, 29, has managed to get her hands on new mattresses, food, drink, baby products and beauty products without spending a penny.
She’s been applying for freebies on and off over the past five years but began taking it seriously two years ago after having her son, William.
This year alone, she’s bagged a £350 child’s car seat after taking part in a free trial, skincare products worth over £50, a dental water flosser worth £60 and a Logitech Crayon worth £60, as well as lots of food, drink and makeup.
“Since I became a stay-at-home mum I apply for free stuff every day,” Ana told The Sun.
“I don’t just get free samples – I take part in product testing and use cashback apps too.
“Some product testing companies, like food and drink brands, give you full size products to try, not sample sizes, and others give you a voucher at the end of the trial.”
She’s also signed up to product testing sites like TryIt Sampling, Home Tester Club, Clicks Research, Alba Science and Swift Research, which alert her to new tests.
Ana also boosts her income by being paid to take part in surveys, such as Populus Live.
The mum-of-one says her hobby has meant that she hasn’t had to buy any skincare products for at least a year.
How to get freebies
ANA shares her tips on how to get started when it comes to applying for freebies:
- Create a separate email address to use just for applying for freebie;
- Stay away from offers that as you to pay for postage and packaging, unless they are from a reputable company. Otherwise, you’ll end up out of pocket;
- Like as many companies as you can on Facebook, and other social media, as you will often get offers to apply for samples and competitions by doing this;
- Join groups like LatestFreeStuff.co.uk and the Free Stuff Facebook group where freebie hunters share offers that they’ve spotted. It’s also a good way to share advice on ones you should stay away from as there are some scammers out there.
- Keep an eye on your emails as product testing invites need to be answered quickly.
She also regularly enters competitions, even scooping a Simba mattress and pillow set worth £800 last year.
Sensibly, Ana only applies for the goods that she knows she’ll use or that can be given away to friends and family.
She added: “It’s something I really enjoy doing. I only apply for the ones I know I would use myself, or I know I can gift to family and friends.
“Every time the postman comes to deliver the freebies, it feels like Christmas.
“It has been at least a year since I had to buy any skincare products as I get so many samples and full size products to use. This has saved me so much money.”
Last year Ana won a mattress and pillow set worth £800[/caption]
But she also warns that just because you put the time and effort into applying for freebies, it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful.
Ana said: “Companies have a limited number of samples, so the quicker you can apply the better.
“That’s why I check the Free Stuff group few times a day. I also check emails regularly to be able to accept product testing invites on time.
“You should apply as soon as you see the links, as the quicker you apply, the more chances you have of getting it.”
Most read in money
Ana isn’t the only one to take advantage of freebies – Michelle Hughes from Stoke-on-Trent has bagged £28,000 worth of prizes by entering 150 competitions a day.
Meanwhile, another thrifty mum bagged herself a FREE Christmas by winning competitions.
Another mum wins ’90 percent’ of the competitions she enters and has scooped amazing prizes including nights away, hotel breaks and even cash.