YOU can get free things every day if you know where to look.
When it comes to saving money, you can’t beat getting stuff for nowt.
This week we explain where to find freebies, including cash, food and face cream.
The money you save can be spent on bills, saved or even put towards a treat.
APPS like Olio and TooGoodToGo tell you where to get free or cheap leftover food from local cafes and restaurants.
You can also use your birthday to blag freebies and discounts from high street chains. You usually need to sign up to newsletters, loyalty cards or apps.
Bryony Lewis, 37, is a mum of two who lives near Portsmouth with husband Dan, 36, an engineer, and their kids Theo, five, and Isabelle, three.
She uses Olio to get free food and Facebook Marketplace for children’s books.
Bryony, who runs T & Belle, selling parenting essentials and gifts, said: “I often get free bread. It might be near its end date so they can’t sell it, but I freeze it and use it for toast.
“We’ve had lots of frozen food which is good to keep for a rainy day.
“I picked up some free flowers using the app which really brighten up my house. I wouldn’t usually buy them so this felt like a real treat.”
Don’t forget to make the most of free trials. Spotify offers three months free.
New Amazon users can get a 30-day Prime Video trial.
Remember to cancel or you’ll be charged £9.99 a month for Spotify or £7.99 for Prime.
You can also get free books in return for reviews from readersfirst.co.uk.
And each week, there is a prize draw where you have a chance of winning a free copy of a book.
You can even see your favourite TV shows being filmed, including Britain’s Got Talent, with judge Amanda Holden.
Toys and furniture
WEBSITES such as Freecycle, Freegle, Nextdoor and Facebook are great for finding freebies in your local area.
You are only supposed to sign up to your nearest area on most sites, but if you live on the border it’s worth looking at others close by.
The trashnothing.com website allows you to search multiple sites and areas at once.
And Gumtree has a “freebies” section which is worth bookmarking and checking regularly.
It’s also worth noting that towards the end of car boot sales, sellers often give away items for free rather than lug them home again.
You could then even sell these items online to make money from them if you don’t need them.
Mum-of-three Elisa Bray, 41, regularly uses freebie websites to find bargains.
The writer, from London, who is mum to Clara, seven, Theo, five, and Louis, 14 months, said: “I found two lovely slides for the children on Freecycle.
“I have no idea how many children have used them before us, but my three all love them. They don’t care that they’re not brand new.”
She has also picked up baby clothes, along with a fridge and fridge freezer — all without spending a penny.
Elisa says: “I’ve always liked buying things second-hand. I feel really bad about waste and hate to see all the stuff that ends up in landfill.
“I have three children and with a big family you accumulate a lot of stuff.
“Raising them is not cheap, but I’ve saved hundreds of pounds.
“When we no longer need it, I pass it on to someone else.”
Beauty and toiletries
GET free beauty products by becoming a product tester.
In return, you’ll have to review the items — and some firms will give you cash or vouchers on top.
The best websites to join include Clicks Research and Toluna.
Freebies have included products from big-name brands such as Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop and L’Oreal.
The free items aren’t guaranteed though as they are allocated to members based on who the company wants to target.
Boots has its own “volunteer panel”, which you can apply to join — but not everyone gets accepted. See bootsvolunteers.com.
Getting your hair cut by a student at a hairdressing college is often free.
Use trusted hair salons such as Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy.
You need to book early — and be aware that it will take longer than usual to get your hair done.
WHETHER it’s finding lost cash, checking your benefits or claiming free money from your bank as a bribe, there are tons of ways to get extra pounds.
Ask your local council: As part of the Household Support Fund, they have money for struggling people.
You could get cash or vouchers for super-markets. Some parents can get up to £150 towards school uniform costs.
Find grants: You could be eligible for free money towards a new fridge or even help with energy bills. Visit turn2us.org.uk.
Switch bank accounts: HSBC is currently offering £170 to open an account. You’ll need to meet criteria including switching over two direct debits and pay in £1,500 within 60 days.
Free travel and childcare when looking for work: The Restart Scheme helps support those on Universal Credit and certain other benefits who are looking for employment. Ask your work coach for more information.
Find lost accounts: Visit mylostaccount.org.uk to track down lost accounts and savings. The service is run by UK Finance.
Holidays and gadgets
FANCY a free holiday or swanky gadget? If you’ve got some spare time then you could win big through competitions.
You’ll need to systematically enter hundreds of free competitions.
Use websites such as HotUkDeals, MoneyMagpie, MoneySaving Expert and LatestDeals to find ones to enter.
Set up a dedicated email address to avoid spam in your main inbox.
You may also want to use an auto-fill tool for your website browser to help speed up your entries.
For example, competition queen Polly Klidaras has travelled the world and made thousands of pounds in prizes.
The 63-year-old, from Kent, says: “I’ve been extremely successful. I’ve won trips to the Maldives and Australia, to name a few.
“Last year, I won a sell-out PlayStation 5 for my grandson after entering a prize draw on the back of a pack of Doritos.
“I joke that comping is my job but I do actually put a lot of work into it, it’s not just luck.
“It’s changed my life, because I never would have been able to afford all these trips.”
And it’s not just holidays and tech gadgets, either.
The semi-retired exam invigilator adds: “The one prize I regret selling on is a piece of artwork by Damien Hirst.
“I reckon that has increased in value significantly since then as he’s become more famous.”