Mum who saved £25,000 in a year reveals the secrets to bagging freebies on EVERYTHING from food to Mac lipstick

Mum who saved £25,000 in a year reveals the secrets to bagging freebies on EVERYTHING from food to Mac lipstick

A SAVVY mum who saved £25,000 in one year has revealed how you can get almost anything for free.

Lara Joanna Jarvis, who is known for her budgeting tips and tricks, sharing them on her YouTube channel, committed to a “no buy” year in 2019, only spending money on essential purchases.

And with husband Stuart also taking part the pair were able to save £25,000 to put towards their first home together, and in a new video, Lara has revealed how you could save yourself by getting more for free.

Here we reveal her top 20 ways to bag a freebie…

1 Free Mac lipstick

You can get a free Mac Lipstick when you exchange six empty containers, whether that’s an old lipstick or an old blusher.

Just post them to Mac and they will give you a free lipstick of your choice.

This saves so much waste going to landfill and 100,000 pounds of packaging material they put back into new products.

2 H&M voucher

Bag up your old clothing and take it into H&M and they are going to give you a £5 voucher to spend in store.

3 Free photographs

We have so many photos on our phone that we probably never end up printing.

There are several companies that do free photos and you just pay for the postage and packaging.

Snapfish offer 600 free photos – that’s 50 per month, FreeFotos, which is unlimited and FreePrints is up to 45 a month, 500 a year with postage ranging from £1.49 – £1.99.

4 Join product testing sites

This is companies wanting you to test their products and see what you think, it’s great for them but it’s great for you as you get some free products.

5 Match-betting

While this is not actually gambling you need to be hyper aware that you don’t get into the gambling side of it.

You are essentially putting two bets against one result, and whatever the outcome is, you will win.

There’s a lot of money to be made here because different companies offer free bets.

6 Birthday freebies

If you sign up to mailing lists often you can add in your birthday and you will get a voucher sent to you as a freebie for your birthday.

These include Greggs, Pizza Express, Space NK, Ikea and Frankie & Benny’s.

7 Free video calls

No longer do you have to pay to talk to family abroad by using your house phone just go onto Skype or Zoom, Facetime or Whatsapp.

8 Free cinema tickets

You can get two for one deals with Compare the Market, so take advantage of that offer.


These are things that people are giving away for free because they have no use for them. The charity shops are shut and people need to get rid of their stuff in other ways.

One man’s stuff is another man’s treasure.

10 Free workouts

Remember when we used to pay a fortune to go to the gym? There’s a huge amount of free workouts on YouTube.

11 Surveys

Brands want your information, they want your market research – there are so many survey websites that are desperate for your time and in return they will give you free things.

Lara’s money-saving life lessons

  • Ditch impulse purchases – always sit on a purchase for 30 days, you will never still want it
  • Take a food inventory before you do your shop – you probably already have it
  • Shop your wardrobe – You have plenty to wear in your wardrobe 
  • Meal plan – Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!

12 Cashback sites

Quidco and Topcashback are the ones I use every single time I purchase something I won’t buy without making sure I’m not missing out on cashback.

I let it build up throughout the year and come Christmas it can pay for all of my presents.

13 Student Prime

You may not know this but Amazon gives students six months of Prime membership so if you have a student in your house make the most of it.

14 Free audiobooks

You can also get a 30 day trial of Amazon’s Audible but don’t forget to cancel!

15 Now TV

Now, formerly Now TV, is also offering a free trial and there are loads of Sky channels on there.

16 CreditExpert

Get a free CreditExpert account for 30 days and make sure nothing negative is impacting your credit score

17 Olio

Register with the Olio app, it’s free to use and it means that you can give food away if you aren’t going to use it and if you’re struggling you can see whether anybody is giving theirs away.

18 Loyalty cards

These are cards where you’ll have to spend money but they are working the background to get you free things and money off.

19 Plum

By using this app you can set your saving target, as well as your limit, and it will just take out a few pounds here and there to put in your savings.

20 Too Good to Go

Chains and local businesses will often be left with loads of food at the end of the day that needs to be eaten and Too Good to Go allows you to buy that food at an extremely reduced rate.

These are still in perfectly good condition to eat but you will get them for a couple of quid.

For more information on money saving tips and home life you can follow Lara on Instagram or YouTube, as well as checking out her blogs for further details at

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