Help, I’m a free samples hoarder!

warehouse sales

Freebies, they seem harmless (& beneficial) enough. That is ’til one day, you find yourself dustin’ off the various envelopes of expensive eye creams and mini-containers of shampoos, looking at the expiry dates, and tossing them directly into the garbage bin!

I haven’t reached that point of throwing my free samples out just yet, nor do I want to. However, my freebies are beginning to pile up…and I only have one face to try all this stuff on.

So here are some ways to use up your freebies, before they have to get tossed:

1. Don’t sign up for freebies if you can’t use ’em. This sounds obvious, but I have signed for both Poise/Depends and K-Cups despite neither having bladder leakage nor a Keurig coffeemaker.

2. Share the wealth. With the dozen free K-Cups that I received, I “donated” them at a school where I was doing some volunteer work as they had a Keurig machine in their staff room. Since I don’t use my dishwasher, I gave my sister my Finish detergent.

3. Store freebies in a visible area, including a see-through bag/container. Much like leftovers, if you can’t see your freebies, you won’t use ’em!

4. Bring your free samples on vacay! Sample bottles of shampoo/conditioner are GREAT ’cause they don’t take up a lot of luggage space. Testing out sample potions ‘n lotions is also great when you have some downtime.

Furthermore, if you are going to a destination such as Cuba, consider bringing extra samples to leave for the maid!

5. Stash some freebies in your purse. Have samples like packets of dental floss or a hand cream that you got for free? Go through your samples to determine what you can take with you when you’re on the go!

6. Don’t forget those freebies on that special occasion! If you’re going out and have a bit of prep time, go through those samples to use up items like foundation, primers, moisturizers, etc. <– Not recommended for those who have sensitive skin!

These are the tips that I've come up with thus far for my growing collection of beauty-related samples. How do you keep on top of your freebies and ensure that they get used up??

31 responses to “Help, I’m a free samples hoarder!”

  1. X says:

    Do you know how much travel sized items go for these days? At LEAST a dollar, more often 2. I have at least $20 worth of travel sized Head and Shoulders, at 2 bucks a pop.

    They’re great for stocking stuffers, too.

  2. Amanda says:

    I went on a 5 week vacation all on freebie lotions, shampoos, conditioners, tooth pastes and flosses. I guess that may be a sign that I have too many.

    It is also great to donate them to local shelters!

  3. Rachele says:

    A friend of mine saved all the ‘free samples’ for a niece’s birthday party… The niece was 27!! She bought a piñata, filled it with all the samples, had all the , Mom’s, sister’s, and cousins participate in breaking the piñata. Everyone got something, she said it was the best birthday present ever!!!

  4. Lori says:

    I save them for my daughter’s stocking (the ones I don’t use).

  5. Femme Fatale says:

    Love that pinata idea!

    I just use them right away so they don’t pile up.

  6. Kary says:

    i like the stocking stuffer idea 🙂

  7. springbreeze says:

    I have a basket just for samples in the bathroom. If there is anything in the basket it gets used.

  8. Benji says:

    I use them as stocking stuffers, or in a basket for guests in our guest bathroom.

  9. Linda Peters says:

    I save them and donate to the Christmas boxes at the local library for needy families.

  10. LIsa says:

    they are great to give to your local women’s shelter as well. We collect them at work from the mail in freebies and whatever anyone brings back when they stay at a hotel while on vacation.

  11. abbasgirl says:

    Just so you know, you can use K-cups with a regular machine too. You just have to open the cup and pour the grounds into your own filter as you normally would.
    My suggestion for the rest of your stuff in the box would be to stop buying regular sized products and just use them up.

  12. LAR says:

    Take to Mexico or Cuba on vacation and give to cleaning staffs at hotels It will bring them to tears……….

  13. Lauren says:

    The Ronald McDonald House, or if your hospital has a Ronald McDonald Family room can make use of them. Toiletries, laundry detergent and such. It was a blessing that the room had them when our baby was in hospital, the occasional opportunity to shower I could dash there, grab some samples they had and shower 😛

  14. Canmore mom says:

    Where are u getting k cup samples? Would love some of those! I have stopped signing up for samples. Most of the p&g stuff, I don’t even use so no point having it collect dust

  15. mojo says:

    I usually use all the stuff right away. Or I use the sample shampoos for camping and my swimming bag. I have donated items to the food bank. They will take new personal products like soap, shampoo, toilet paper and so on.

  16. Ciel says:

    To the not using dishwasher comment-it’s recommended that it be used at least once per week. Otherwise, a seal inside will dry out and cause leaks etc. Just a thought to think of running the machine weekly as preventative maintenance.

  17. Dayanara says:

    I try not to sign up for freebies I don’t think I will use (or know someone who will) as a rule. Mainly because of the waste factor, free is good, but if I just end up throwing it away why bother?

    When my shampoo/conditioner freebies build up I will take them all and dump them into my dispenser (we have one of those wall mounted things for the shower) instead of using the big bottles.

    Right now I have a huge excess of toothpaste samples, just waiting on our current tube to finish to start using those. But been offering them to friends whenever they come over, hehe. They just look at me funny.

  18. Karen says:

    I dont get that many free samples – but when I do I put them in our office for clients to pick up. We work with unemployed and less fortunate individuals so it is nice when they can get shampoo, toothpaste and any daily essentials that they just dont have the money to buy. Wish I could find more freebies to sign up for – havent had much in the past

  19. Kevin says:

    When I order free samples, I order stuff I can’t use as well and give them to my local foodbank for needy families. Also I give them to the local Red Cross and Salvation Army for needy persons. Since I can’t give money, I feel I’m still giving back to my community.

  20. amy says:

    I use mine for gift baskets.

  21. Amy4562 says:

    There is a basket at my work to drop off free samples and stuff from hotels. Someone at my work brings it to a local women’s shelter. So I always stock up at hotels, but quickly drop them off in the basket.

  22. Diane says:

    I put some out in a basket when I have guests sleeping over. It’s a nice welcome gift just in case they forgot something. I think it’s a cute touch.

  23. Theresa says:

    Great ideas.

  24. kerry says:

    i gave some away last xmas,and the rest i try to use on a weekly basis…

  25. Deb says:

    I absolutely agree with those that donate them to others. Between food banks, shelters, drop in centres, community health centres and any type of centre that sevices low income/marginalized/homeless individuals…. there are many places that would appreciate these. I collect them every time I’m in a hotel and add those my stash that I donate.

  26. Sandra says:

    I usually wait tillI have quite a few then I bag em up and take them over to the local hostel and that way all the homeless people that stay there can get good use out of them, like have a nice bubblebath, wash and condition their hair then use some nice face cream and a perfume sample to top it all off, I’m sure it makes them feel real good, especially when it’s all something they would probably never be able to buy for themselves, and it makes me feel good knowing that I help put a smile on someones face 🙂

  27. Shonna says:

    A couple times a year, our work collects personal care sample items which are given to a local Woman’s shelter. We don’t encourage peeople to sign up for freebees just to get the freebees – but the ones we collect definatley go to good use.

  28. Brock says:

    Why not take them to a retirement/nursing home as well. Pensioners love free stuff!! And maybe they could use the Poise pads?

  29. Kay says:

    I’m a little surprised at all the sample taking when people don’t “need” them. The samples are for us to try out so we’ll buy the regular size. When you ask for samples or take them from the hotels, you’re contributing to pollution, even if you recycle. Recycling takes resources, too. I have bottles from years ago that I refill and only use the hotel’s if I run out .{Okay, also if I feel I’ve had a bad stay. :o) }
    It looks like our group alone is using thousands of little bottles. Can we tone it down, and leave all the suggestions for the rest of the world to do?

  30. Tina says:

    Okay the free samples that you get in the mail are things that the companies want you to try before you buy..normally you people sign up for them..i don’t understand why you would not use a new free product that just came on the market? Like the unstopables i sign up for or the P&G brandsampler etc..they aren’t meant to sit in your people must be very rich..cause i use mine up. I collect them and try them out – if i like something i will purchase the product – but if you have doubles of something you don’t like sure – give it away to the shelters or foodbank etc..But remember don’t let it sit there…everyone uses things like shampoo, soap, laundry samples i don’t understand why you would leave it for a hotel maid when they get all the freebies they want..duh…but I actually sign up looking for these samples and love them…especially the tidepods won’t be giving them away…i’m not loaded with money, but try to help out when i can but the samples i use up all the time.

  31. Tina says:

    Also i wanted to add becareful…when organizations give or we request these samples and are happy they arrive in our mail boxes…they are try before you buy but if everyone started just giving them away to the homeless or just the food bank then WE WILL NOT HAVE FREE SAMPLES, AS COMPANIES WILL SHUT IT DOWN FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ACTUALLY WANT TO TRY BEFORE THEY BUY…and in this expensive world i or others can afford that..i suggest…that if you want to give these things away, why not buy them the full-bottle verson and keep the samples for yourself?


  • RSS Hot Canada Deals

  • Recent Comments

  • Did You Know?

    Smart Canucks is Canada's first Canadian shopping deals blog and has been operating since 2005!

  • Join Mailing List




    Find Deals by Brand!