There are SO many free rewards, but I wanted to compile a list of free free stuff that you may not be aware of. If you frequent an establishment a lot, make sure you sign up for their rewards program (like we order Domino’s every Friday night and earn free pizzas. I used to order Papa John’s for the staff at work on the weekends I worked, so I racked up all sorts of free pizzas). Also, I can not stress this enough, your communities have so many free events and services, it is worth digging into.
Chattanooga library seeds and tool rental: Always check your local libraries. Libraries are so important to communities and do so much with so little (all libraries are seriously underfunded in my opinion). Chattanooga has an amazing library and even rents tools! They also give out seeds for your garden.
Hoopla: Also through the library, this is a great app for audiobooks, ebooks, movies, and music. Our library sets a limit on how much you can “check out” because the library has to pay a little for each item that you select, but it is usually within the range of 5-10 items per library. I just use it for audiobooks, so I have no issue only using 5 downloads.
Cross-stitch and Embroidery Patterns – I’ve mentioned this before, but you can get free patterns from the DMC website. They’re usually large projects, but are beautiful!
Coursera: Are you looking to learn something new? Expand your knowledge of a subject? Try out a possible career change? Coursera has plenty of free courses to get those mental juices flowing. I’ve taken a course about nutrition for children and some engineering courses. They vary in length and are taught by world class instructors. (edx.org is also a good site for learning, I love getting free Harvard classes).
Local college lectures: Local universities/ colleges always have free lectures to attend. I remember when I was in Architecture school, most of the attendees for evening lectures (that we got extra credit for) were alumni or just local citizens (very few students). So if online learning isn’t your thing, check out your local college!
Home Covid Tests: Hopefully this free service doesn’t stand the test of time (i.e. we get out of a pandemic). However, in the meantime, you can order up to 8 free Covid tests from the US Post Office. Home tests are so easy and getting them mailed directly to your house to have when you don’t feel well is super helpful.
Sephora: This isn’t really a “service” per say, but if you really like a perfume but want to try it out for a few days, you can ask for a small sample size. It’s enough for a week or 2 depending on how liberally you apply it. It’s handy so you don’t make an expensive purchase (because perfume is expensive) and get home and try it and hate it.
Starbucks coffee grounds: I love putting coffee grounds in my garden to amend my soil. I drink enough coffee that I have no issues getting enough grounds for my use, but I know the local Starbucks keeps a bin outside with a scoop for coffee grounds if you need them. If your coffee shop doesn’t have something similar, then just ask them and they’re usually more than happy to give you grounds. (On a side note, human hair is a great way to keep deer and other vermin out of your garden, so the next time you get a haircut, ask your stylist for your hair! My neighbor just goes to the salon and gets random hair, but I can’t do that…).
Birthday goodies: if you don’t mind being signed up on several email list/ rewards apps, lots of places give free goodies on your birthday! An easy way to keep your email from being too much spam, some people create a separate email just for their birthday emails and check it during their birthday month. I sign up for email lists that I actually frequent the establishment, so I don’t mind getting their emails (some have great deals!). Typically, if it makes you download an app, I skip it. If you’re interested in one, definitely head to their websites because some have conditions (for example, Starbucks requires you to have joined the rewards program at least 7 days prior to your birthday and have made 1 star earning purchase). Here is a list of some nationwide stores that have birthday promotions:
- Sephora – You usually get to pick 1 or 2 items from their “birthday list.”
- Ulta Beauty – I’ve never gotten their birthday gift, so I’m not sure how it works.
- Redbox – $2 off (which is almost a free movie)
- Aveda – nourishing oil
Lots of food options:
- Auntie Anne’s – free pretzel. They also have a sweet deal of a free pretzel after your first $1 under the rewards program.
- Buffalo Wild Wings – free wings
- Chicken Salad Chick – free original Chick Meal
- Krispy Kreme – free dozen glazed donuts
- Publix – free bar cake
- Nothing Bundt Cakes – free bundlet
- Subway – free 6″ sub
- Dunkin Donuts – free coffee
- Panera – free pastry
- Moe’s Burritos – free burrito
- Starbucks – free beverage or food item
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