In the run up to Christmas I’ll confess I’ve been dreadful at keeping tabs of the freebies I received this month. As ever I tend to post things soon after they arrive to my Instagram account but I was swamped with Christmas preparation and rounding up the end of the year in December. Below are some of the freebies I managed to claim with where I got them from.
2020 has been a very bizarre year for everyone. I’ve decided to look back on the positive bits with the best frugal discoveries I made in the last 12 months. Read on to find out more.
I’ve never really been a big online shopper then lockdown hit and I didn’t really have much choice for the items I wanted! This led me to signing up to TopCashBack which essentially works by giving you a small % of your online spend back but this can take a few weeks or months. As they were purchases I was making anyway I decided there was no harm at all in signing up free to this site. For new customers at the time they offered £15 cashback from Superdrug which allowed me to get the haul below for 89p. I’m still using a few of these items now and placed this order in March so it’s saved me a great deal. On top of this £15 I’ve made around £6 cashback but considering whenever shops are open I always shop in person I’m still pleased with this. It funded a pre-loved top so I really can’t complain!
I discovered this through a brilliant account I follow on Instagram – MissyMearro. I’ve posted before about this free app which allows you to get either free or discounted food and drink items. Even with the dairy-free requirement this app has saved me over £20 in less than 6 months. As I live primary only near small supermarkets that don’t often have the items available I’m really impressed with this total. I claimed a few sweet treats to gift friends and other free items I claimed and donated to food banks that I wouldn’t use.
This year I became aware of more birthday beauty freebies I could claim including items from Rituals and SpaceNK which were lovely luxurious treats with a minimal spend. These items were either used for some amazing self care or to bulk out gifts for friends with skincare minis from brands like Drunk Elephant etc. I can’t lie, I sold one of the products I knew I wouldn’t use, nor could I think of a friend who would, for £9 on eBay meaning I actually made £3 profit on my SpaceNK birthday gift.
I bought 3 of my absolute favourite skincare products worth £17 each for £16.50 thanks to a Boots £10 Tuesday offer which stacked with a 3 for 2 promotion, student discount and an online £3 off code. Honestly blew me away and this meant I had a supply of moisturiser for over 6 months. I like to keep an eye on Boots £10 Tuesday deals if there’s something I need just in case the items pop up as there’s some great savings to be had. I 100% recommend downloading the Boots app for gaining maximum points.
Feel Unique Beauty Kit
I so wish I knew about this one sooner. I paid £16.90 for over £49 worth of products through this service including 2 I was really keen to try hence placing an order. Incredible value for money and a great option for a gift for a beauty lover too.
I did so well with bargain beauty hauls this year that I think I’m thoroughly stocked to see me through at least half a year next year which is incredible. If there are any money saving tips I’m missing that you think I should get on board with in 2021 please let me know!
This month has been a very hectic one meaning I’ve been a little slow on the freebie round up! Without further delay here’s a list of the freebies I claimed in November as best I can recall. It was a very successful month for perfume samples which I was particularly pleased with as I like adding them as little extras to Christmas gifts for people.
YSL Black Opium perfume sample – via a sponsored advert with SoPost.
YSL Libre perfume sample
YSL Black Opium, Lancome La Vie Est Belle, Valentino and Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb perfume samples all via SoPost adverts on the John Lewis website.
Urban Decay Lash Freak Mascara. A sponsored Facebook advert floated around that should only have been available in the US. I filled it in without knowing this, contacted them ad they very generously sent me a sample in the post!
Sport FX cosmetics including make up wipes, dry shampoo and 2 full size lip balms. All from joining House of Fraser’s new loyalty club just before lockdown.
Armani Foundation Samples and Deluxe Mini Red Liquid Lipstick from signing up to their website.
YSL Libre, Carolina Herrera Good Girl and Chloe Nomade perfume samples from asking a Debenhams beauty counter nicely back when stores were open.
Cle De Peau Beaute 5ml moisturiser – I believe from a sponsored social media advert.
Dior 3 Fragrance Samples – via the Boots app
Armani My Way Fragrance sample – I assume from a sponsored social media advert.
My Clarins Re-Move Exfoliating Power – from a sponsored Facebook post
I’ve been an avid beauty freebie collector now for nearly 2 years. It’s saved me a small fortune and I’ve been able to use some brilliant brands like Chanel, Givenchy etc all without paying a penny. Below are some of the ways I collect beauty freebies: Sign up to Glamour Beauty Club to receive free… More
This marks my 100th post on my blog, I honestly can’t believe I’ve hit this number already! The last round up of best beauty bargains I posted was around my birthday month so decided a post like this was long overdue. I got very lucky with beauty bargains and freebies just before Lockdown 2.0 kicked in so decided to share them with you.
I purchased this straight away for a gift with a specific recipient in mind who loves high end beauty and I love a bargain so it was perfect! L’Occitane were offering a free tin with 2 mini hand creams in worth £7 with any purchase and 15% off. I purchased one of the cheapest items on the website and with the discount code it was £3.40. Delivery into store was free and I got incredibly lucky that this arrived the day before we went into Lockdown 2.0. Gift wrapping was also free and the parcel included a card with personalised message as well as 3 skincare samples all in a lovely bright yellow bag. I couldn’t be happier with this for a present and almost wish I’d order 2 lots now!
Charles Worthington Full Size Hair Products – Boots
I’ve got into the habit whenever I’m in Boots or Superdrug and time allows to just have a good browse. Last month I saw full size bottles of Charles Worthington hair conditioner with an RRP of £7.99 for just £2. I took 2 bottles to the till and was told they were on a 3 for 2 offer so I grabbed a 3rd. With 10% student discount I paid £3.60 for £23.97 worth of hair product. These will make the perfect addition to some beauty hampers I’m making for friends and also for me to keep the price of hair washing super low!
House Of Fraser – New Loyalty Club
I saw HoF were offering free beauty bags to those who signed up in store to their new rewards scheme. Images of the bags I saw online included a full size can of dry shampoo and as I needed a bottle of this anyway decided to claim whilst picking up my L’Occitane order. Inside was a dry shampoo, 2 full size lip balms, a box of beauty wipes and a Guerlain sample. I needed a new lip balm as well so was really pleased with this considering they had an RRP of £5 each. The whole bag of products was worth around £16 and some items will be added to Christmas gifts.
Feel Unique Beauty Kit
I was so impressed with this I wrote an entire post on it with the details of the huge savings I made. I was also pleased that the packaging was entirely recyclable as an added bonus!
This will forever be a brand close to my heart as their Double Wear foundation transformed my confidence when my acne was at its worse and thought of leaving the house without make up terrified me. I paid a grand total of £5.50 including shipping for everything in this image. The pencil sharpener I purchased, the bag and deluxe samples a gift and the 2 sachets were an addition at the checkout.
I’ve always preferred to shop in store as opposed to online but realised that due to the current pandemic I’ll be in shops significantly less this year. This led me to the idea of putting together gift hampers for Christmas presents as I can pick up odd bits as I see them when out and about. Hamper style gifts or goodie boxes are really easy to put together on a budget so thought I’d share some of my ideas for things to include and ways to save. Whilst I don’t plan on filling boxes entirely with freebies as gifts they can make presents look far more impressive without it costing anything.
Note: The image at the top of this post is a goodie box I put together to give a friend who needed a pick me up and cost me less than £2 – my Christmas boxes will be far more impressive!
Boxes + Wrapping
Most shoe shops will give away boxes for free so I often cover these with my own wrapping paper. Reusing delivery boxes can work well too. I always keep any packaging from gifts or online orders such as tissue paper or brown paper to reuse. I often recycle cards into gift tags or will write directly onto the paper-covered box lid with a coloured pen. Recycling bits like this is good for the planet and when working to keep costs down.
Food & Drink Freebies
About a month ago I signed up to the cashback app Shopmium which offers free or discounted food providing you buy the exact product they list from a specific supermarket. Once purchased you scan your receipt and once approved you receive the money back via PayPal usually in less than a week. In the last 4 weeks I’ve picked up 2 packets of posh new McVities Digestives, a box of Toffifee and a sharing bag of chocolate pretzels for 75p for the lot. I plan to add these to gift boxes. The affiliate referral code “g2ye4k” will earn you a free tube of Pringles for signing up to Shopmium.
I tend to apply to most beauty freebies via sponsored social media adverts whenever I see them because chances are if they’re not suitable for me I know someone they’ll work for. I’ve managed to get some really generous sized samples in the last few months including 3 5-10ml Chanel skincare samples that came in a little gift box. Any mini bottles, such as a 5ml anti-ageing serum from La Mer, given they’re worth quite a bit, I shall add to a box for an appropriate recipient. I’ve also got quite a collection of designer perfume samples so am keeping them in their little cards to pop into boxes. I’ve written a whole post on how to get beauty freebies which can be found here.
I’m thinking about using the Feel Unique Pick & Mix service if they have any good samples as I’ve previously seen full size face masks from OhK! which are usually worth £5+.
Superdrug and Boots For Bargains
Superdrug and Boots often mark down products on the normal shelves with heavily reduced prices. It can take a bit of time wandering the shelves but I’ve got into the habit of looking if I ever have anything to pick up from there. I’ve recently seen boxed travel sets of shampoo and conditioner marked down to clearance prices of 49p in Superdrug. Downloading the Boots app is a brilliant way to get really cheap deals as they often have offers like £2 worth of points for buying an item from a specific range. I’ve used these twice recently to get a Ted Baker body spray effectively for free and some Botanicals face wipes for 24p after the points offer. Both items will be added to gifts.
I always browse the TK Maxx beauty clearance section as I’ve previously picked up boxed Nails Inc nail varnishes for £1 when they retail for around £12. Recently I’ve picked up Molton Brown travel conditioner sets for less than £2 for 3 mini bottles in a gift bag. Accessorize 70% sale is another place to get some brilliant gift bargains. I’ve recently taken to browsing the homeware aisles of my local supermarkets when doing my weekly shop and seen some great clearance offers on items like candles, reed diffusers and mugs.
ItemsTailored To The Gift Receiver
I always try to add as much of a personal touch to gift hampers as possible such as adding favourite chocolates, favourite scented toiletries or items with prints I know they’ll like. Stores like Primark have lots of branded Disney, Harry Potter, Friends etc items which can be good gift additions. I also like Tiger, The Card Factory and Neon Sheep for lots of little bits like themed stationary for a reasonable price. Last year I made the most of the 3 for 2 promo on New Look’s socks as lots of the prints were perfect for friends whilst being in inexpensive addition to their overall present.
Poundland For Cheap Branded Treats
As a student without much money I did a paired down version of gift box gifts for people. I found Poundland really good for sweet treats as they even have brands like Thorntons which are usually more expensive. I raided the individual hot chocolate sachet section in Tesco which were around 30-40p each. Amazon Prime also often has posh chocolate bars for a very reasonable price delivered free, during lockdown I ordered 2 large bars of Green And Blacks for a gift for 89p each. Individual sachets of face masks are another low cost option. Poundland also have branded make up for £1, I’ve recently seen Bourjois and Rimmel products, last year I bought full size Toni and Guy hair products for £2.
Charity Shop Finds
It is possible to find brand new items in charity shops. My local charity shop recently had a boxed Christmas set of Yankee Candles which was in perfect condition. Items like this are a great way to support local charities whilst keeping costs down. I personally have no issue with second hand items so have previously asked for pre-loved books for gifts as I’d rather have more “used” ones than less new ones. If you know friends or family share the same mind set as me this is a good tip to go for.