The Internet is a treasure trove of free samples, offers and deals. You can score anything from perfume to furniture, if you know where to look.
Gumtree has a Freebie section and a Swap/Trade section where you can claim someone else's trash or get rid of your own unwanted stuff by placing a free ad. This is an invaluable resource for people who are moving out of home for the first time – it seems like, at any given time, someone in Australia has a couch to get rid of. You will also find furniture, tools, pets, renovation supplies and loads more. The only caveat is that you are responsible for picking up the item.
OzRecycle is an online recycler's community that gives people a chance to grab unwanted junk for free; in doing so, users are minimising the amount of rubbish ending up in landfill. The site advertises everything except pets and is for personal, and not commercial, use only. Users can also post requests for items they need.
Companies love to give out free samples to entice potential customers, organisations host competitions with huge prizes for free advertising and many websites thank new members with a free gift. It's hard to keep track of all these offers, though, which is why it's good to sign up to a freebie newsletter.
Before you do so, you should organise a new e-mail account that you will use specifically for your freebie websites. Most of them will bombard you with deals and offers once you've given them your address so it's best that it's not clogging up your main e-mail account.
There are thousands of freebie directories out there. These can also clog your inbox with spam so that new email account should come in handy here.
Freestuff.com.au is probably one of the best Australian sites out there. There are twenty different categories and everything is neatly displayed. They also list competitions and paid survey opportunities.
Totallyfreestuff.com claims to be the largest online directory and is crammed full of offers, but the plain interface can make it a little hard on the eyes.
IFree.com.au is a much nicer looking site with more than twenty different categories. There's some good stuff, but also a lot of junk.