Consumer Reports ShopSmart says that freebies are a great way to try new products. Just be aware that they're usually samples, and many of them are travel-sized.
ShopSmart says the best places to find free offers are aggregator sites, such as Freeflys.com, Hunt4Freebie.com, and HeyItsFree.com. Facebook is a good place to find freebies, too. If you "like" a company or a brand, it may send you free samples.
Twitter is also worth checking. And check out companies such as Target and Procter & Gamble, which have free sample pages on their websites. But be aware that you're going to have to enter some personal information.
But ShopSmart says don't give away too much, such as your birth date or any health information. All freebie offers require an e-mail address. Create one specifically for freebies so that offers don't clog your inbox.
You have to be patient. ShopSmart ordered 44 items, and only about half had arrived after almost three months.
ShopSmart says that you can also save on movies by joining frequent moviegoer programs, such as AMC Stubs and Regal Cinema Crown Club. Those offer free tickets and free concessions, and waive online booking fees.