The 10 best ways to get free stuff

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Hey, if the government is handing out free cash to basically anyone who asks for it, why shouldn't you get your fair share? Free stuff has become the buzzword of the moment, with everyone searching the web, twittering away, and lining up for hours to get pancakes, coffee, donuts or anything else offered for free.

Walletpop's "Loose Change" video team recently visited downtown Manhattan where the art of scoring freebies actually has turned into art -- a store-front art installation called The Free Store, which has been doing a bustling business and has people on the street talking. After the jump, you'll get WalletPop's 10 tips for scoring freebies!

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  • Visit WalletPop's Fantastic Freebie every day: Yes, it's a bit of shameless promotion, but we offer a great editor-selected freebie every day. Don't underestimate the power of a limited supply of freebies -- once you start looking on the Web, you can be easily overwhelmed, so it helps to have somebody you trust sorting through these offers. We have help from Coupon Cravings and Deal Seeking Mom and our regular team of bloggers in this endeavor.
  • Follow these 20 moms on Twitter: If you haven't joined up for Twitter yet, this could be your enticement. There's a whole entourage of bloggers who have teamed up to provide deal news on a breaking basis. If you follow this group, you'll find out about all the best offers as soon as they are available.
  • Ask for a freebie: You'll never know until you ask, and that's a lesson that our bloggers have learned over and over. You can get discounts galore these days just by asking, ranging from price-matching to simple hand-outs. Blogger Josh Smith even got free storage boxes, just by asking around.
  • Get free drugs: The free antibiotic movement is growing, and now many drug stores and supermarket pharmacies are offering generic antibiotics for free. All you have to do is fill your RXs and you'll walk about feeling much better!
  • Visit a museum: Many big companies sponsor free nights at museums, and the deals range from huge national ones, like Bank of America's first weekend of the month offer on a large selection, to smaller ones in your own town (like Target sponsoring the Brooklyn Museum of Art on the first Friday of the month in my neck of the woods). It's likely that any museum in your area has some free admission hours, so find out and plan ahead.There are also other free concerts and shows, like Jay Leno's upcoming event in Detroit.
  • Free samples: If you're willing to try something new, you can get free samples by mail from many different manufacturers. You can wait until you see an offer on a deal site, or you can head to a site like for a place to try a bunch at once.
  • Shop wisely: With some store coupons and discounts, you can actually get the price of the item you want down to $0.00. DealSeekingMom explains it like this: For example, Cottonelle Toilet Paper is $0.99 for a 4-pack at Kroger. There are several $1 off and $0.50 off coupons that will make it free after coupons. (The $0.50 coupon doubles at many stores.) Often you can purchase the trial sizes at stores like Walmart and Target for free after a coupon as well.
  • Barter: True, bartering is not truly free because you have to give something to get something, but there are a lot of sites out there where you can recycle your stuff and trade. At the Free Store, which we visited in our video segment, the artists encouraged people to bring items in order to shop, although it wasn't required. Check out Craigslist and Freecycle for other opportunities.
  • Do good: Charity workers spend a lot of their time helping others, but sometimes they can also help themselves! One program in San Fransisco offers the use of Zip cars for free to people doing good works for others, like driving seniors to doctors appointments.
  • Sign up for retraining: The sour economy has put a lot of people in the market for job retraining, and you're going to start to see a lot of offers to get retrained for free -- either sponsored by the government or by private corporations like Microsoft. So if you're feeling iffy in your job, do something about it by signing up for classes or seminars.
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