It’s nothing to be ashamed of: we really do go the extra mile to get freebies, or simply to get more value for our money. We got some moms to share their secret tips! Check out how many of these you already do, and, who knows -- you might even get some pointers and use them to your advantage when the need arises?
1. A water bottle in the bag On a day out, who wants to spend P25 or more every time you feel thirsty? Multiply that by the number of family members you bring along with you, and you’ll easily save close to P100. (Tip: Get a cute and handy water bottle you wouldn’t be ashamed to lug around.)+
2. A visit to the department store’s makeup section Almost always, you’ll get an offer for a free trial or, if you’re lucky, a makeover. Selected branches of The Body Shop also do free 5-minute makeovers. Do this on a day when you and your hubby are scheduled to go out on a date, or when you’re attending a reunion with friends.
3. A value meal + extra rice A mom of two would save much from having her little ones share in a chicken and spaghetti meal – just don’t forget to order extra rice! One kid could get the spaghetti, and the other one could get the chicken and rice combo without you having to spend for two separate value meals.
4. A sneaky refill Keep original containers of products such as soy sauce, sugar, or salt. When you have consumed the contents, try out the supermarket-branded version of the product. If you find that there is little or no difference with the branded ones, by all means use it and slash a big amount off your grocery budget!
5. A coffee top-up You’re waiting for friend at a restaurant and you’re almost out of coffee. Blame it on those small white coffee cups! To make your drink go a long way, ask for a half-cup of hot water and pour it on your often-too-strong brewed coffee. Voila! An extra serving of coffee for free.
6. A bulk-shopping trip Shopping frequently can put a dent on your budget. But if you carefully compare the prices of some items versus those at regular supermarkets, you’ll see that it’s more economical to buy them in bulk at S&R. Bring along a sister or shopping buddy with whom you can split purchases!
7. A scheduled shopping trip Which brings us to the next tip: If you have a frequent shopper or rewards card, find out if there are certain days when you can earn more points, and schedule your shopping trip then. Shopwise Wise cardholders, for instance, earn ten times the number of points they would earn on a regular day if they shop every first Wednesday of the month.
8. A free drink/entreé for answering a survey At Starbucks, you can be randomly chosen to answer an online survey about their products and services. A code is generated after you complete the survey, and all you need to do is present the receipt with the code to get a free drink on your next visit.
Chili’s customers can claim a free plate of nachos or buffalo wings on their next visit if they answer a quick online questionnaire and fill in the generated code at the end of the survey to the receipt. That’s at least P300-worth of food that you won’t have to pay for.
9. A free trial (courtesy of a friend) Selected salons, gyms, and places that offer yoga classes encourage their customers to bring a friend on their next visit so more people can try out their services. Find a vanidosa friend or a health-conscious kumare who can get you to try these sessions for free!
10. A bonus inside the magazine Have you ever come across those scratch and sniff pages inside fashion magazines? These usually come with a free sample – if you collect enough, you won’t need to buy another bottle for quite sometime. (Imagine the variety of scents you can collect, too!)
11. A twist on leftovers Cooked too much adobo? Flake and fry them the next day for sinangag rice, or add some carrot strips and green beans for a quick stir-fry. Do the same for inihaw na liempo or even fried chicken! No one needs to know your dinner tonight is actually a replay of yesterday’s lunch.
12. A potluck party Eating out can get expensive, so suggest a potluck party for your regular moms’ night out. Bring a small dish of baked pasta or a salad and save hundreds of pesos (depending on the restaurant you usually frequent). You don’t even have to make it yourself – bring a store-bought embutido you can just reheat before the party.
13. Multi-tasking beauty products Why buy two products when just one can work just as well? Case in point: there's no need for a separate lip color and blush-on if you get a lip-and-cheek tint instead. A beauty oil does the job of a face cream, a body lotion, and a leave-on hair moisturizer, as it can be used to moisturize the face and body (for elbows and knees), and keep your hair shiny.
14. A late lunch If you don’t feel like joining the office lunch rush anyway, take a break around 2 p.m., when some restaurants offer a heavy merienda meal for a fraction of the price of a regular meal (think Max’s lomi or pancit with cake slice on the side – and a drink to boot!). These promos usually last until 6 p.m., so you can do the same for an early dinner.
15. A free carpool ride You and your neighbor go to the same grocery store on the same day, anyway, so why not take turns bringing a car? Do the same on play dates for the kids and nights out for the parents. Save on gas, toll fees, and parking!
16. A special discount on three-day sales Tip: SM Advantage cardholders get exclusive discounts (on top of those offered to regular shoppers) when they shop during the first two hours on the first day of a three-day sale.
17. A teabag in the bag Keep a teabag in your bag’s pocket and save a few pesos the next time you eat out. Just ask the waiter for a cup of hot water and subtly put in your teabag. Do the same for dessert another time: Pack a small brownie to go with your coffee or tea.
18. A credit card + rewards Maximize the rewards offered by your credit cards. BPI credit cardholders, for instance, are entitled to a free fastfood meal with a single credit card purchase of at least P2,500. Other credit cards such as Citi Rewards Card lets you earn points upon purchase (a point for every P30), and you can use your accumulated points to pay for future purchases.
19. A postpaid call and text promo Even postpaid subscribers can avail of a mobile plan that you can customize according to your usage. At Smart, a P400 subscription entitles you to 500 minutes of calls to Smart, Talk N Text, Sun, and PLDT landline numbers; 2,000 text messages to all networks; and 150MB worth of mobile surfing for a whole month. (You can change the promo you subscribe to every month.) Imagine how much this would cost on a regular pay-per-use plan!
20. A (lucky) happy hour If you’re going out for a drink tonight with your friends, head to an establishment with a buy-one, get-one offer on a margarita, or a beer bucket for P200, which you can split or share with your companions.
21. Gourmet coffee + filling snack When you want to indulge in an occasional cup of gourmet coffee, get it from J. Co. Each order of coffee comes with a free honey-glazed donut.