Looky Here

Now what do you think all these things have in common? Yes, they are groceries and they do appear to reside somewhere in my house…ok, time’s up. The total price for all three items was $0. Yup, they were all free. Did ya guess that? Really? You know me well.

The cereal and the pita chips I received in the mail. The peanut butter was procured at Target with a free coupon that I received in the mail. Pretty cool, huh? So how did I get these items from free. Well…since I like ya so much I’ll tell ya.

The Fiber One cereal came from being a member of the generall mills online community Pssst. Yes, that it’s name. I signed up for this club a couple of years ago with the promise of freebies and coupons. And then I waited and…waited. I began to think it was a waste of my time because all I seemed to be getting was a survey every once in awhile. But, this story does have a happy ending because within the last year the offers started rolling in.

First I got a coupon for a free package of Yoplait smoothie mix, then came a coupon for Yoplait yogurt, and then this baby came in the mail. Now, it didn’t come randomly, I got an email with an offer to request the freebie. I figured it was going to be an individual size box, boy was I surprised. So, if you’re interested in the program, sign up here. This is one I do recommend.

The next thing I got in the mail was the Kashi Pita Crisps and this one did come randomly. One day I got an email from Kashi advising that I should be receiving a sample in the mail. Wha??? Pleasantly surprised I expected a little sample packet. When the full size box came in, I was astonished. How awesome!

Now, I think I’ve figured out how I ended up getting this freebie. A long time ago Kashi had a free granola bar offer. When I went to request it, it required me to join the Kashi online community. What the heck, I figured it was worth it for the free granola bar (plus I could always unsubscribe later). There was a box to check if you’d like to receive futures offers. I signed it, not expecting much and lo and behold kashi lived up to the promise. In the past, they’ve sent me offers through email, like the Pssst one above, where I needed to request the item. But this was the first time I actually got an item sent to me without asking. I love it!

The peanut butter last was a request through Target. Occasionally, Target.com will offer free samples. They’re usually pretty decent (one time I got a makeup bag filled with beauty samples and a full size lip balm). About a month ago, they offered a Jif To Go sample. I figured, like the pita crisps, I would just get a small sample. Imagine my surprise when I received a coupon redeemable at Target (my second home) for a full size product. Double awesome!

Now, Target does offer samples randomly and there’s no initial sign up like with the other companies. I would recommend checking out either of these websites. They’re both good about posting free offers when they become available.

I’m sure you must be thinking that there has to be a catch. Honestly, the only things the companies request of you is your feedback. Pssst will send an email with a short survey to complete and Kashi just asked me to rate the product on their site (literally just letting them know thumbs up or thumbs down). It’s a small service for a big reward PLUS the more feedback you provide the more freebies they’ll be inclined to send. Sounds like a win win to me!

So, my unexpected windfall last week inspired me. First I prepped some accompaniments for my peanut butter.

Then I made ricotta zucchini dip for the chips. (btw, if you try it reduce the lemon zest, it’s a bit overpowering.)

As for the cereal, well there wasn’t much I could do but try it. And…um…well they can’t all be winners. Although if you like an overpowering blast of artificial sweetener paired with a hint of bitterness, you’ll love it. I think I’ll stick to my pita crisps and dip.

Yum!