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What do you do with all those samples?

I get a lot of free samples.  A lot.  So what is there to do with all the packets and little bottles and tubes?

  1. Use them.  I actually like trying out new shampoos every now and then.
  2. Hoard them, arrange them nicely in a basket, and put them in your guest bathroom.  I actually got this idea from a friend of mine who did this with the tiny toiletries and soaps she got from her many stays in different hotel rooms.  It's a great little nicety for overnight guests.
  3. Take them with you when you travel.  When I travel and stay with friends, instead of overspending on travel sizes, I just grab some samples of shampoo and conditioner.  Because they are in one-time-use foil packets, I don't need to bother dragging them home, either.
  4. Welcome or other occasion baskets:  a women's organization in my community used to have me put together welcome baskets for new brides, and I used to load them up with fancy makeup and shampoo samples, as well as other toiletries I got on sale.  Truth is, there are lots of occasions for you to put together nice "girlie" packages.  Another time, we used them in door prize "goodie bags" at a women's organization event.  Here's a link to how another blogger uses samples to make up holiday gift baskets.
  5. Lotion samples: I keep these in my car.  When I'm stopped at a really long red light, I take care of my hands, which could always use a little lotion in our dry Colorado climate.
  6. Detergent samples:  when our washer broke a few months ago, and I had to lug our wash to the laundromat for a few weeks until we found the washer we wanted, instead of dragging heavy bottles of detergent, I took the many Tide sample packs I'd accumulated. I have friends who always wash their comforters and blankets at laundromats, and they use the samples there as well.

Have some more ideas for using samples?  Write to me at frugalskate@gmail.com.

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