Freebie Friday: treat yourself for free

facial mask. spa studio shot

As the winter chill arrives and the long dark nights settle in, we all need cheering up. This can be an expensive business, as the cost of all that chocolate, alcohol and pampering toiletries adds up. Fortunately, we have found a way that you can get it all for free.

Freebies galore from Jamie's Italian
If you sign up for a Gold Card at Jamie's Italian, you're in for a stack of freebies. If you show your card when you arrive, each time you visit, every member of your party will get a free taster. These are smaller than a starter, and won't make a dent on your appetite, but are a great way to start a meal.

In addition, if you visit in the fortnight leading up to your birthday, or the fortnight after it, you'll get a free birthday treat - as long as you spend £30 on food between you. The treat can vary, but is usually a free bottle of prosecco and a free chocolate brownie - complete with a candle. And if that isn't enough, there are monthly freebies available for any month when you're not celebrating a birthday.

If the idea of a birthday treat appeals, then the users of have put together a list of loads of great birthday freebies.

Free cucumber products from Boots
If you're on the O2 network - even if you have a pay-as-you-go sim that you only ever use to access the freebies, then you can get a freebie from the Boots Essentials cucumber range. You can choose from the cleanser, toner or mask, and get it completely free when you show the app at the checkout. The deal is due to last until 26 October, but these do tend to run out early, so it's worth going as soon as is practical.

Free Argan Oil
The deal hunters at Latest Deals have spotted that you can get a free sample of natural and organic Argan oil from Simply Argan Oil. You won't get an enormous amount in your sample, but this is pricey stuff, so it's worth applying for. It's best known as being brilliant for your hair, but it can also be used as a massage oil or even in cooking - if you have enough of it left over.

Free Belgian Chocolate
If glossy hair doesn't constitute enough of a treat, then the Latest Deals bargain hunters have also tracked down a free sample of Callebaut's finest Belgian chocolate. It's worth pointing out that this deal is intended for chocolate making professionals only, so it's up to you to decide whether you qualify for this one.

Free beer
Quidco is offering free Goose Island IPA from Sainsbury's. The deal is open until 18th October, and all you have to do is sign up to Quidco, buy the beer from Sainsbury's, take a photo of the receipt featuring all the key information, and then upload it via the site or the app, and the cash back will come back into your account. The beer usually costs £1.95 - so it's a great freebie

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This takes time, but once you know the cost of a phone call, putting the dryer on, or a bag of potatoes, it enables you to judge far better how much you can afford to consume.

Once you know the base price, you are in a position to keep your eyes open for a better offer. If you see a discount you can judge for yourself whether it actually constitutes a bargain. For bigger things like utilities it enables you to do a proper price comparison and see if you can cut your bills.

Don't just assume that the premium range is better, try the every-day brand, or even the basic version and see if you spot the difference. Likewise, consider trading down your supermarket from one of the big players to local markets or discounters like Aldi.

If you plan what you buy to match what you actually cook and eat then not only will you be able to budget far more effectively, but you'll also waste much less and find your money goes further without you having to try.

If you can't think of a way to get your meat for less, consider a vegetarian day once a week. If you can't find petrol any cheaper, then work on making your driving as efficient as possible. The more you can think of clever alternatives the less you will have to make painful cuts to make ends meet.


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