One thing that’s really cool, is nowadays you can actually get a lot of free stuff online. You might have to do a little bit of work to get it, but can still get it for free. It’s a great way to stretch your budget, and try out new products and services.
One of my favorites, is something called sample source. (http://www.samplesource.com/). I’ve actually gotten items from them a few times, and they will send things like coffee, cereal, chocolate bars, toothpaste, and so forth. Sure, they may be small items — but it’s a lot of fun just open your mail and find out you got a goodie box. Of course, the companies that sponsor these items are hoping he might like the product enough to go out and buy it — but in the meantime, it’s still pretty fun. Almost like winning a prize in the mail! (Some Sweepstakes Ninja users have mentioned the fact that they love seeing the FedEx man, because they know they just won something!)
Klout, Influenster, etc, etc.
One thing that’s gotten really popular in recent years, is getting free products simply by talking about them. I’d say the pioneer in this field was a company called Klout, which started about 10 years ago, whereby you would be able to get random freebies based on how many Facebook friends, twitter friends, and so forth that he had — and how much they paid attention to your content. In the last few years, there have been a lot of copycats, or very similar websites.
One of the newer websites, a variation on that model, is something called Influenster (http://www.influenster.com/). If you own a blog, have a YouTube video channel, operate a Facebook group and so forth — which almost everybody does nowadays — you can get free samples sent to your door to review. Of course, they should be honest reviews and afterwards you get to enjoy the sample! You’ll tend to get bigger and better products based on how “influential” you are (i.e., how many people will see your review and be likely to make a purchasing decision based on it). So, it is worth trying out.
In some cases, if you have a fairly large following — you can even contact companies directly to get free products in exchange for review. I’ve personally done that, and it’s been a win-win situation. Companies have gotten increased exposure for their products or services for an honest review, and I’ve benefited from getting a free product. Plus – they usually offer something for Sweepstakes Ninja users too, so they win prizes too!