September ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month & How I Got Them

As another month draws to a close it’s somehow that time again, to post an end of the month round up. It’s starting to feel as though Autumn is fast on the approach now which always makes me think the countdown is on to plan Christmas gifts.

Food

I didn’t get a lot of free food at all this month. I struggled to find some items in my usual stores and just haven’t had the time to vary up my shopping trips. Thanks to my favourite food cashback app I was able to try some amazing vegan cake bites and other snacks for nothing this month. One pack of crisps I claimed and gave to a colleague who regularly forgets lunch and is counting the pennies. I love that picking up free items can be a nice way to do a good deed, I sometimes donate free items to foodbank collections in supermarkets as well as I think it’s important to do our bit where we can.

2 x packs of Oggs Bites – one brownie and one millionaire’s shortbread via my favourite cashback app Green Jinn

2 x packs of Beppes Popped crisp snacks – one salt and pepper the other BBQ again via Green Jinn

How To Use Green Jinn To Get Free Food & Save Money On Food Shopping – A Review Of The Cashback App For Food & Household Items.

3 x Greggs sausage sandwiches – via O2 Priority Moments on a Saturday morning. The offer works on sausage rolls, vegan sausage rolls, bacon sandwiches, sausage sandwiches and this month I even saw the new vegan sausage, bean and cheese melt included.

A Review Of O2 Priority Moments – Is It Worth Being With O2 For This Reward App?

Beauty

Bulldog Bamboo razor and two blades via Shopmium. The offer was £6 cashback but as these were on offer in Wilko’s for £6 and due to the way the receipt printed Shopmium refunded the whole amount making it free. For anyone wondering why I claimed this given that I switched to Friction Free Shaving razors earlier this year – I’m picking up free bits over the next few months to either add to friend’s Christmas gifts or donate to local shelters.

How To Get Free Food & Save Money On Food Shopping: A Review of Shopmium – A Cashback App For Food & Household Items

Gilette razor – via Super Savvy Me. I’m intending to add this to a food bank or donate to a local refuge centre.

YSL Black Opium perfume sample – via a sponsored social media advert

Phillip Kingsley 40ml Bond Builder hair treatment – via the Marie Claire Beauty Drawer club. I’m really excited to give this a go as the results images look incredible.

Thierry Mugler Alien perfume sample – via a sponsored Facebook advert

Carolina Herrera perfume and aftershave samples – I believe these came from a sponsored social media post. The Good Girl perfume is one of my absolute favourites.

Valentino Lipstick sample – I received this from being signed up to Vogue Insiders which is a free sampling opportunity. You fill in details of your skincare, haircare and make up preferences and periodically are offered samples that match your likes. I’ve been signed up since last year and this is the first item I’ve received but it’s a great mini size one!

Gifted Packages

Alpha H – I received one of my most exciting gifted packages to date from the skincare brand Alpha H. They kindly sent me their iconic Liquid Gold glycolic acid exfoliant, a cream cleanser and SPF product in exchange for progress photos and filling in their review form. This is a brand I’ve been keen to try for a very long time. At the time of writing I’m 1 week into my 3 week trial period and have experienced zero irritation which I’m impressed with. My skin hated the Pixi Glow glycolic acid.

Beauty By Zero – this brand really generously sent me one of each of the products in their range to try out. I’m really excited by this brand as their packaging is all eco conscious using materials like recycled rubber, glass and bamboo. They’re also really affordable with prices ranging from around £10-13 per product.

Monica Vinader – I’m still blown way by this but I received a voucher to spend on their website which I could use on any item I wanted. I chose two beautiful pairs of gold vermeil sterling silver earrings and have worn them almost every day since. They’ve helped me to fall in love with my jewellery collection all over again and start experimenting with new styles and combinations. They’re made with recycled precious metals and have an eco policy which I found really interesting to read about.

Monica Vinader Jewellery- Eco Conscious 100% Recycled Gold Vermeil Silver Earrings Review

Comments Welcome

Monthly Round Up – The Best Ways I Made Money, Saved Money & Bargain Finds In September

How we are almost at the end of the month baffles me. I’m sure I say something similar every month but this one has really just shot straight by me. Once again this has been a very busy month with little on the money making clear out front but let’s jump right into the round up!

Made Money

I sold an item I paid 45p for on eBay and made £5 profit unexpectedly. I have been relisting my eBay items but sadly no one seems interested in what I’ve been trying to shift now for a couple of months. This surprises me as I’ve previously had a lot of luck when clearing out my unwanted clothes with one of the brands in particular. It had been on my to do list for a while to delete all my active listings on Marketplace and reupload them as I find the newer something is the more likely it is to shift. I had several time wasters ask if items where available, keep a conversation going for a short while and then poof into the ether. I had about 4 false starts thinking I’d lucked out which is a shame but not the end of the world.

Saved Money

I’ve started keeping a running list of odd bits I need that aren’t desperate and then buying them whenever I see Top Cashback’s £2 bonus offer. This means as well as getting the average % back on my purchase I’ve also effectively saved £2. I managed to line this up with a bank holiday deal in Homebase to save 20% on the item, get free click and collect plus the usual cashback and the extra bonus. This is definitely something I’m going to keep up.

I met up with friends for a scheduled dinner and managed to knock £9 off the bill thanks to using my Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

I also managed to get £4.40 worth of dairy free yoghurt for £1.60 by using coupons in the free Tesco magazine. It’s a real favourite of mine that I only usually buy when its on offer so this made me very happy. Its the Alpro Greek Style Coconut yoghurt and the best way I can praise it is by saying I don’t usually like coconut much but can’t get enough of this.

Bargain Finds

I feel like it’s been a little while since I found a gem on Marketplace but mid way through the month I lucked out by finding a beautiful metal plant stand with two saucer platforms for 8in pots on the app. It is the perfect colour to go in a space I’ve been sprucing up and I paid a whopping £7 for it. I’ve really struggled to find nice plant stands online for a reasonable price, this one is originally from Habitat and should have cost around £40. It’s in really good condition and matches my style perfectly so I’m really pleased.

Don’t hate me but I also started my Christmas shopping. This was accidental. Whilst queuing to pay in a shop I spotted they had reduced wax melt packs on clearance for 62p. A friend of mine loves them so I grabbed one of these to add to a hamper-style present which will have lots of odd bits and bobs in. The packaging makes them look far more expensive than the price I paid which I love.

I managed two beauty purchases this month but both were dramatically lower than the RRP. One was a product I’d tried a free 30ml sample of and fallen in love with and the other was a brand I’ve been really keen to try. First up I got a 50ml bottle of the REN Evercalm Day Cream for £14.99 instead of £38 from TK Maxx. They had two listings on their website which were identical expect for the price, one was £14.99 and the other £24.99. I opened this the moment I got it home and am really happy I got it. I wouldn’t pay £38 for a day cream but love that I’ve been able to use this at a more affordable price. I almost wish I’d got 2.

The second beauty buy was from Ethique. They were offering a free fully size cleanser far with any purchase and I’m really keen to find a plastic free make up removing balm. I’ve also seen this brand on shelves in Holland & Barrett for months now and been so tempted. I bought a soap mini for £2 and got their oil cleansing balm bar worth £14 for free. I did have to pay a fairly high delivery charge but for £5.60 I was really happy to have both of these to test out. Naturally reviews will be coming.

Comments Welcome

Monthly Round Up – The Best Ways I Made Money, Saved Money & Bargain Finds In August

Well, we’re officially over halfway through the year. How this has happened baffles me. Whilst I had hoped to have a quieter month this month to try and shift some bits on eBay or Marketplace the reality is I’ve been preoccupied with enjoying my summer and remembering a little what real life was like pre the dread C-word in a way that I’ve felt safe.

I made a whopping £0 selling my unwanted items in August but I did score some great, necessary bargains that still make this post worth writing in my opinion.

Bargain Finds

I officially have an addiction to Facebook Marketplace and I’m totally ok with this as it has been saving me a fortune. This month I picked up 3 items of free furniture and in August I found a wonderful statement floor lamp. I was initially loosely hunting for a different style one before coming across this human sized Pixar lamp in a pale green blue colour. It’s magnificent. It was listed as “like new” and I can’t see a single mark on it.

I was chuffed to get it, knowing it was a bargain but I only got more smug from there. I looked the exact one I had up to discover it cost over £80 from the Range. Days later I saw a virtually identical shaped and sized lamp to mine retailing for over £200.

Mine cost me £20.

This month I resisted the lure of the Boots clearance section with strong willed determination to work through my accidentally hoarded stash of beauty products. I’ll no doubt be visiting there next month as I’m one of those people who starts their festive shopping very early to avoid stress and help save me some cash.

Saved Money

This month I began venturing to eat out in restaurants again after what feels like the longest time. Below are some of the ways I saved money whilst having a much needed night off cooking.

Tesco Clubcard Vouchers – These were converted to cover the bill for Pizza Express minus drinks and as I don’t drink this wasn’t costly. I also visited a Chef & Brewer chain where I enjoyed an entirely guilt free steak and chips as I had Tesco vouchers to cover the cost of my main meal. Without these I highly likely wouldn’t have splashed out so much so this felt like a real treat.

Remembering Money Saving Expert’s Nandos Hacks – yes, there are such things. I learnt ages ago that ordering 1 large portion of fries was cheaper than the price of 2 regular sides and it was rumoured you got more chips. So I decided to test this out with a friend and we both agreed we had more food for less cost. We also opted for the refillable zero drinks as these dodged the sugar tax cost and saved us a few extra pennies. I’m well aware we could have been even cheaper by only having tap water but as this was my first Nandos trip in over 18 months I fully intended to enjoy the whole experience and the little savings all add up.

August ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month & How I Got Them

Last month I optimistically thought August would be a calmer, quieter month for me but it has been far from peaceful in all the best ways. I’ve simply not been on my phone as much to register for sampling opportunities but in true frugal fashion I’ve done very well with saving on any shopping trips I have been on such as picking up free food whilst doing the grocery run. Without further ado below is every thing I picked up at zero cost this month.

Beauty

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream – I’ve been curious about this cult favourite for some time now so was pleased to be able to get hold of a sample of this to try out. I was able to get this via filling out a sponsored social media advert.

Carolina Herrera Liquid Lipstick – I managed to get this after filling in a sponsored advert on Pinterest. It took nearly 2 months to arrive but was definitely worth the wait as the pink toned red is such a beautiful colour. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a lipstick and have quite the collection of glorious minis like this.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – I got 2 sachets of this from a sponsored social media advert. I’ll be saving these up, along with other high end beauty samples, to make a gift for a relative as they love this product and I find it a bit underwhelming.

I’m sorry to say beyond this I totally lost track of any postal freebie arrivals and didn’t manage to pick any up in stores!

Food / Drink

3 x Greggs breakfast rolls – one a week via O2 Priority Moments. I generally tend to pop into town to run errands early in the morning on a Saturday and add this to my list as it’s a completely free treat to start the weekend.

Iced latte from Cafe Nero – again free via O2 Priority Moments on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. I’m slightly disappointed I only managed to grab one of these but did nail how to make a wonderful coconut milk iced latte at home with Aldi’s 69p long life milk so I’m not too upset by this!

Peanut cereal bar from Holland and Barrett – via an offer on Shopmium. Whilst I don’t like peanuts I popped to the shop to browse clearance items and decided to grab this whilst there. I often do this and pass them onto friends or donate to food banks as it’s a totally free way to do a good deed.

Nucao Original Sea Salt chocolate bar – Green Jinn offered £1.15 cashback. I bought the bar on clearance for £1.14 on a whim and was granted the cashback so technically made 1p profit. These bars are very densely nutty.

Sproud Pea Milk – from Waitrose via an offer on Green Jinn. This is long life so I grabbed one to pop in the cupboard. I do this whenever I see long life plant based milks for free on cashback apps as it helps me to save a fortune in dairy free milks.

Mighty banana vegan milkshake – again via an offer on Green Jinn. I find this by far the best cashback app for saving money on dairy free or vegan items.

Meal in Pizza Express – by paying with Tesco Clubcard vouchers

Home

3 x Items Of Furniture – I got all of these free after spotting a listing on Facebook Marketplace. The previous owner was having a house clearance and just wanted the items gone to save them having to pay for a service to take it all away. I’m a huge fan of the mid century style and had actually been looking for one of these exact units from the start of the year so I am absolutely thrilled with this find.

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July ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month & How I Got Them

Somehow another month has flown by and it’s time to write a samples round up post. How we are halfway through the year already is completely beyond me. This month I received an incredible amount of products which I’m both really excited about and grateful for.

Beauty

Mac Mascara – via Boots sampling. I’ve previously tried one mascara from this brand and really liked it so am looking forward to giving this a go.

Paco Rabanne Fragrance Samples – I believe this was also via Boots sampling

Paco Rabanne Aftershave Samples – This was from a sponsored advert. I save up aftershave samples for several months and them gift them to a friend as a little something towards a birthday or Christmas present.

Burts Bees Lip Balms – Burts Bees really generously offered 2 lip balms to anyone on Instagram who shared a photo of their existing Burts Bees products using specific hashtags. I received two full sized tubes of their balms in the post a couple of weeks later. I’m a serial lip biter when stressed so always have a huge stash of lip balm so these are hugely appreciated!

Bite Beauty Mascara – via Boots sampling. Mascara samples save me a lot of money on make up so I’m always grateful when I can pick them up!

Chanel Liquid Lipstick & Perfume Sample – via the Boots apps. Under the events section of my inbox there was an invitation to pick up a Chanel goodie bag with zero spend required. I believe this was account specific so not everyone got it. I also had an offer to pick up a free sample from Elizabeth Arden but sadly there are no counters for this brand locally to me.

Space NK Birthday Gift – I got 4 mini products from amazing brands like Sunday Riley, Drunk Elephant and REN for free with no purchase required by being an NDuldge member. It’s free to sign up to this loyalty scheme and a fantastic way to try new products. I picked my gift up in store.

The Body Shop Birthday £5 Voucher – I received a £5 voucher for being a member of their Love Your Body club which I really recommend joining.

PR or Gifted Packages

I am always incredibly grateful to receive packages like these. When I first started my blog in the midst of the chaos of lockdowns in 2020 I didn’t see this coming at all so never take it for granted. A huge thank you to the individuals and brands which sent me products and have given me the opportunity to try even more self-care goodies. I appreciate every one of you.

Peace Out Skincare

I’m really humbled to receive this 3 product set from Peace Out. I was in no way obligated to share or review but naturally will be as I love testing out new skincare and sharing my reviews. First impressions are how much I love their holographic packaging with the message “make peace with your skin”. This really resonated with me as I used to feel like I was waging war against my spots when I was younger and found that real skin acceptance and trying not to nuke my face was life changing!

Avene Cleanance Cleanser & Moisturiser

These were really kindly passed on to to me by Kara Olivia Beauty as she found they didn’t quite suit her skin. To stop them going to waste she generously posted me them to try out. I’ve used the Cleanance Comedomed moisturiser before with no complaints and am one week into using the gel cleanser.

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF Products

Via La Roche Posay’s online skincare community I won a package of 3 SPF products. I believe I won this by uploading a photo to their gallery of my favourite of their products. I’ve previously tried a sample of their infamous SPF50 facial sun protection so am looking forward to opening a full size bottle to road test. Naturally in time full reviews will be on their way.

The Acne Pharmacist Gift Swap

I’m lucky to count Lydia, who is behind the amazing account The Acne Pharmacist, as a very good Insta-friend. Not only is her content informative and inspiring but she’s also incredibly supportive and always makes me laugh. We decided to have a little gift box swap. She sent me some wonderful vegan chocolate, non alcoholic cocktail cans, a conditioner bar and some new skincare products to try out. Regular readers of my blog will know just how perfect this package was given that I don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat dairy, am trying to make eco switches and frankly, I’m addicted to skincare. In return I sent her some dairy free chai latte cans we’d spoken about, some beauty and skincare samples and cans of Kombucha which I knew she’d enjoy far more than me.

Food & Drink

2 Litres Mighty Pea Milk – via the app Green Jinn. This stuff is long life, dairy free and whilst it isn’t my favourite milk it’s nice on cereal and I’ve totally got used to it in hot drinks. It retails at £2 per carton and I pick it up whenever I see it on cashback apps. So far I’ve got 8 stashed away in the cupboard. Once open a carton lasts me about a week so I’m covered for the next couple of months!

2 Vegan Sausage Rolls & A Sausage Bap – via Greggs and O2 Priority Moments. As this offer is available on a Saturday morning I tend to time running errands with this deal when it suits my schedule. It’s a nice mid morning treat. Sadly due to my intense work schedule lately I’ve missed out on the free Cafe Nero drinks this month but hopefully next month should be able to get back on those as I have some time booked off work!

2 Tubs Alpro yoghurt – via Green Jinn which meant I had some very cheap breakfasts. These cashback offers saved me £4.20 on a weekly essential I’d have bought anyway so this is amazing.

2 Vegan Probiotics / 1 Vegan Milkshake – again via the incredible Green Jinn app. I claimed the probiotics from Waitrose and the milkshake via Tesco. I love these apps for being such a great opportunity to try new products and they save me so much money on dairy free items.

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