I know that I'm going to sound ancient, but does anybody remember "S&H Green Stamps?" When you would shop at participating stores, you would get adhesive stamps that you had to stick into a book. When you got enough stamps, you could redeem it for merchandise at a Green Stamp Redemption Center. The "stamps" went electronic in 2000 and is now called S&H Greenpoints.
At one of my jobs when I was in my 20s, I had my boss tell me it was a requirement that I wear pantyhose. I found out about the "Silkies Hosiery Service" and knew it was a service I needed!! Every five weeks, I received three new pairs of pantyhose.
It was similar to "green stamps" where every time I made a purchase, I would get points. Once you got enough points, you could redeem it for merchandise. I was able to get a vacuum cleaner and a kitchen clock among other things. The company is still around and ships out pantyhose to your home, but I'm not sure if you can still accumulate points for merchandise. I always thought it was kind of cool to tell people I got my vacuum cleaner from wearing pantyhose!!
Earlier this year, I called Nestle to ask how long I could use chocolate chips I had in my pantry. They sent me a free cookbook and some coupons. I bought some rice cakes a few months ago that were burnt. I let the Quaker Company know and they sent me two coupons each worth $4.00.
When the hubby turned 60 in November, I went to my favorite grocery store and bought two candles, the number 6 and the number 0. I hadn't realized when I bought the 6 that it was broken in half. I sent the company who manufactured the candle an e-mail and they wrote me back saying they were sending me some free coupons. I used the coupons to get two tubes of holiday decorating icing - each would have been $2.99.
Just about every company out there has a website. A lot of times, all you have to do is give an e-mail address. If you don't want to have a bunch of e-mails clogging up your personal e-mail account, open up an account through Yahoo or a similar company which has free e-mail and only use it to receive coupons and freebies, that's what I did :)
If you are a regular user of Facebook, there are multiple coupon groups that will send you "alerts" when things are free or at a reduced rate. I'm getting a free one-year subscription to Family Fun magazine from an offer I saw on Facebook, no strings attached! Try calling or e-mailing a company when you have complaints or praise and see what happens. It will be the best five or ten minutes you could spend and you might just get something for free!!
To read more from Cathy, visit bountifulplate.blogspot.com