My first time in Los Angeles, I was walking by a popular lunch spot in West Hollywood called Joan’s on 3rd. I saw a bunch of people crowded around a plate of samples. I navigated my way into the middle of the scene, had my fingers inches from the small bite-sized pieces of yumminess, and then was told that this was a food tour.. and I was asked to please back away from the food.

I think my love of freebies stems from growing up with a parent, let’s just say it rhymes with lad, who had a tendency to be frugal about certain things. I learned to NEVER buy food at movie theaters, amusement parks or anywhere else where the prices are completely jacked up. Especially, hotel mini bars; I once took a bag of M&Ms from there and was able to throw a few back before I got harshly reprimanded and feared my hands were about to be cut off. Similarly, ATM fees are a total waste of money, as is not looking for a meter with money in it first, before parking.

So, with this type of mentality, of course, free is best! Whoever said “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” well, I’ll show them. If you’ve ever seen the show “Episodes” on Showtime, you know that the character Beverly dies for a good freebie. When Matt LeBlanc (played by Matt LeBlanc… you should really watch it if you don’t know what I’m talking about) invites Beverly to a gifting suite–a place where celebrities are given freebie after freebie–she is in her ultimate heaven. I too, have been to a gifting suite. Not as a celebrity, but as an escort;we are the girls in black dress and high heels, lugging around duffel bags of free gifts for our assigned celebrity. As the day goes on, the duffel bags feel more and more like it contains the body of a pre-Biggest Loser contestant in it. But, the upside was at the end of the event, a lot of the vendors would give away free items to the escorts. Hell, yeah it’s worth it!

My favorite place for the aforementioned free lunch is at a farmers market. I try to avoid eye contact with vendors while I help myself to tons of free samples.  I wish I could afford to spend ten dollars on dip but unfortunately at the moment, these samples will have to hold me over until my income increases.

 I am not one who should ever play the lottery, since the odds are never in my favor (I totally would get picked for the Hunger Games), yet there’s no harm in entering contests. Some sites, like Poshly, have tons of giveaways you can enter daily. Does this cause me to have an email box filled with tons of junk mail? Of course. Is it worth it on the off chance I win one of these giveaways? Uh, doy.

I wrote an article for a fitness blog about the best Valentine’s Day treats that won’t break your calorie budget. Well, how could I write about products I’ve never tried? A freebie-fan’s dream come true, I discovered that by contacting companies that I wanted to write about, I could get myself a ton of free samples! I felt like I was living in Dylan’s Candy Bar! The only downside was by eating multiple chocolate bars a day, even though they were dark chocolate, I totally broke my calorie budget. And it was totally worth it. Because I did it for free.

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