There are plenty of ways to cut your grocery bill, but making freebies part of your meal planning is certainly one of the most creative money-saving ideas. Reviewing food samples is also a good way to expand your horizons and find new favourites.
Signing up to a review site or a taste testing club is one of the easiest ways to get free groceries. All you need to provide in return is a review of the product. Usually, your sample product will be delivered to your door.
Here are Australia's best taste testing programs.
Save some money and try new, exciting products by becoming a taste tester. Image: Pixabay.
The Aldi Testers Club is the best value taste testing program at the moment. Each quarter, members of the one-year program receive a bumper pack of ten free Aldi products to review. The packs contain a mix of groceries and household products. Members must review at least half of the items in order to stay in the club.
Does it sound too good to be true? Well, there is a catch. The Aldi Testers Club is limited to 100 members each year, meaning most of the thousands to register their interest will miss out. Keep an eye on their registration page to ensure you have put your name down during the open registration period. The application process is competitive, and they select for those who profess loyalty to the Aldi brand.
Members of the Aldi Testers Club receive quarterly packs of ten free products to try out. Image: Aldi Testers Club.
Woolworths Bunch is a new initiative from the supermarket giant. The Bunch is a taste-testing community, where users can review full-sized product samples and interact with each other online. It is free to sign up, but membership is limited.
In order to sign up to the Bunch, you need a Woolworths Rewards card, which is free to obtain. Once you are accepted as a Bunchee, you will receive emails telling you when new sample products are available. You simply add the offer to your card, and can then pick up the product from a Woolworths store.
In return, you send Woolworths your review of the product. The more active you are in the online Bunch community, the more samples you can receive. The top testers are eligible for one product each fortnight, while newbies can receive a product every two months.
Be part of the Bunch to receive free groceries to taste test. Image: Pixabay.
Brand Power Home Tester Club
The Home Tester Club is the best alternative to supermarket affiliated taste testing programs. Members have the opportunity to try many different product categories, including cosmetics, cleaning products, hosiery, and of course, food.
The website can be a bit confusing, however- the Home Tester Club collects reviews of many products, including some which are not available for testing. Like any taste tester program, you have to sign up and wait for opportunities to trickle through. You will be sent screening surveys which determine your suitability for product trials. For example, a survey may ask if you would share your review on social media, and screen you out if you are unwilling.
Once you have received your free sample, you will be asked to send in your honest opinion of the product.
A selection of products previously sampled by Home Tester Club members. Image: Home Tester Club.
A word of warning before you start signing up to taste test websites- there are many websites which claim to offer free samples, but deliver on little except spam emails and phone calls. The free sample programs listed here are reputable, but in my search for taste testing programs, I came across many which looked suspicious. Before you sign up for freebies, make sure you check the following:
1. What have other people experienced? Look through the program's user-generated reviews on independent websites. Product review websites may attract poor reviews because not many people get samples and shipping takes a long time. However, proceed with caution if there is an overwhelming number of users complaining they did not receive anything.
2. Are the products too good to be true? Legitimate taste testing programs will not be sending you super expensive groceries or bulk packs. They certainly will not be sending you the latest Apple Watch.
3. Are you giving them something in return? A freebie site will require something in return for sending you the free sample. Usually this will be a survey or even a post to social media. If there are no details about what you are supposed to do upon receiving your free product, it is probably a scam.
4. What information do they require? Some sample websites will ask for your phone number so they can pass it on to telemarketers. You decide if dodging some phone calls is worth receiving a free product. Absolutely avoid any freebie site that asks for your credit card details.
Stick to reputable taste testing programs. Image: Pixabay.
Can't get into Aldi, never heard back from WW and hardly anything comes through Brand Power. Other sites lead to scumbags hounding you to the point that you want to smash your phone and unplug the computer.