How to Get Free Stuff – For Newbies

How to Get Free Stuff – For Newbies

There happens to be a wealth of free stuff that is available online, which is all up for grabs. This includes tangible items as well as digital goods, including free services and/or software. Companies are always gearing up to give away quality samples of their products, so if you are willing to give up some of your time to request these free goods, you will start to see items showing up in your mail box on a regular basis.

A Pinterest post on how to get free stuff for newbies with an image of free beauty samples

When you are thinking of getting started, it is best that you read this FAQ’s as it will give you lots of valuable information on freebies for newbies.

While working through, you will see that we are completely family friendly, meaning that your security and safety will always be our number one priority. Everything that you find has been completely checked before hand to ensure that it is legit and we will never send out any unsolicited emails to our visitors. You will not even have to put in an email address prior to entry, all you have to do is surf your way in!

It is well worth it to follow us on both Facebook and Twitter so that you will get alerts whenever the new freebies come out.

Think about setting up a free, secondary email address.

Setting up this secondary email address will allow you to sign up for all of the freebies and newsletters that you want, without you having all sorts of emails inundating your regular email box. There can be a great deal of promotional information, coupons, newsletters and more that will come from the companies that you are requesting the freebies from. To easily solve this problem, all you have to do is sign up for a secondary account and it will keep your regular email box from getting completely cluttered. It will be well worth it for you to set up the new account and if you happen to enter a lot of contests and sweepstakes, this will be very helpful.

There must be some kind of a catch. How is all of this stuff free?

There is a catch to this, but it is something that is not bothersome in any way. The catch will be that you will usually have to opt in to get information sent to your email box, which will put you on a mass mailer list. If you want to be able to get a real life freebie sent to your home, you will also have to give out your address for delivery of the sample products. For the most part, people who sign up for a lot of freebies will not have a major issue with getting all sorts of junk mail at their homes after the sign up process. Keep in mind that not all websites are going to be fully safe, even if they say that they are. It is always best that you remain cautious. If an offer looks like it is too good to be true, it probably is.

Will you be getting spammed? Probably not, especially because the websites that we list are vetted before hand and swear off spamming. Spam is basically unsolicited email contact and none of the sites that we list do this.

How long is the wait time? Well, it will depend on what companies are sending out and if they have a set schedule for sending out their freebies. For the most part, you will see that the normal timeframe is about 28 days, with some occasions that may call for a bit longer wait time. Some samples will even arrive as early as one week after submission of your request.

There can be some instances where you and someone else that you know signed up fro the same samples, yet only one of you received one. This could be due to any number of reasons. Some companies will only have a certain supply of samples to send out. Once they are out, they will not be able to send anything else out, even if they had requests. The key here is to keep trying, as a lot of companies will replenish their supplies and then the freebies will start getting sent once again.

*This is a sponsored post



Recipe: Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

I wish I could take credit for these Red Velvet Pancakes, but this recipe has been put together by the Chef’s at Gousto.

Recipe for making Red Velvet Pancakes with photograph of pancakes topped with cream and chocolate shavings

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

For the pancakes:

  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
  • 130ml milk
  • A couple of drops of red food colouring
  • 30g dark chocolate chips

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 120g cream cheese

To serve:

Chocolate sauce and chocolate shavings

How To:

Step 1: Grab a bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add the eggs, honey, veg oil, milk, and food colouring.

Step 2: Beat the wet ingredients together then stir in the dry ingredients until you have a batter. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

Tip: Don’t over-mix your batter! It will make your pancakes less fluffy (and no one likes a limp pancake).

Step 3: Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan. Ladle in 1/6 of your batter then sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top. Cook for 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on top of the pancake, then flip over and cook for another 2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Tip: Use medium heat until the pan is hot, then reduce to a medium-low. Blasting the heat will burn your cakes (or crêpes). Once they’re cooked, keep them warm under a tea towel.

Step 4: While your pancakes cook, mix the cream cheese and remaining honey together. This is your sweet, cream cheese frosting.

Step 5: Serve your pancakes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Then add a good drizzle of chocolate sauce over the stack. Enjoy!

More Pancake Tips from Gousto’s Senior Chef Jordan Moore:

  • Use a non-stick pan.
  • Add the mixture to a really hot frying pan.
  • Add a little more oil between cooking each pancake.
  • Use butter, coconut, or rapeseed oil for frying.
  • Spread the mixture out in the pan as quickly as possible.
  • Always add the liquid to the flour gradually, and keep whisking to avoid lumps.
  • When it comes to gluten-free flour, the best ones to use are rice, buckwheat, or coconut flour. For dairy alternatives for milk, you can use almond, rice, soya, or coconut milk.
  • If age-appropriate, adding protein like nuts and seeds to your pancake will help to maintain your blood sugar, keeping you fuller for longer.

Don’t forget to check out our other Pancake Recipes which include a Simple Pancake Batter, American Pancakes and Pancake Kebabs all of which are delicious.

Side Hustles Diary Week 2

Side Hustles Diary Week 2

Following on from last week, I’ve managed to list a few more things on Vinted and have had a few sales this week. I keep seeing Vinted hacks on TikTok and one of these is not to list everything at once, but to drip feed your listings so that they nudge the app towards you as and when you list new items.  This feels much more manageable anyway so I’m going to give this a go.

Side Hustles Diary Week 2

Money Savings Challenges

I’ve been putting money into the #365DayPennyChallenge but would like to start some others maybe for holidays and other bits that we want to do.


I signed up for this a little while ago, but haven’t really done anything with it. However, this week I’ve downloaded some of the games. It makes a huge change from surveys which I’ve got really bored of doing.

I’m still on the waiting list for Prolific for surveys but still haven’t heard anything back.

Mystery Shopping

I signed up for which is a mystery shopping site, and straight away a task was available.

There’s a huge big building development close to me and the assignment is to make a phone call to book in an appointment and then make an appointment to visit the show homes. This job would pay £55 and it sounds great, but I was a bit nervous to take it in case I forgot the questions that I needed to ask. I’ll keep an eye on it to see what else is available and will let you know. If you fancy signing up for this

This Blog

I feel like there’s so much more that I can do with this blog. It has a good steady stream of traffic even when I feel like I’ve neglected it for a while so I’m sure that there are some opportunities that I could explore to make some additional cash.

Tracking my Side Hustles

I’ve set up my spreadsheet for this year and will update the tracker at the end of each month with any earnings I may have.

You can of course keep track of my Side Hustles by following me on TikTok and a list of all the Side Hustles I’ve tried so far you can find here.


Recipe: American Pancakes

American Pancake Recipe

This is the first time that I’ve tried and cooked American Pancakes so I’m looking forward to trying something new.

Simple American Pancake Recipe


What you will need:

  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 35g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 125mls Buttermilk
  • 25g Butter (melted)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 8 Thick slices of streaky bacon
  • Maple Syrup

How to make American Pancakes:

Sift the flour, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add in the sugar, mix, and make a well (hole) in the centre.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add the buttermilk and melted butter.

Pour this into the well of the dry ingredients and gradually whisk together.

Put the batter in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat a large frying pan and add a little bit of oil.

Spoon in dollops of the mixture making sure that there is a little bit of space between them. This will depend on the size of your frying pan.

Cook them for 1 – 2 minutes until they start to bubble on the surface, turn and cook on the other side until golden.

Keep them warm in the oven whilst you batch cook the rest of the pancakes.

In a separate pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the bacon rashers until crisp.

Serve the pancakes in a stack with crispy bacon and maple syrup on top.

Alternatively, you could have these with fruit and maple syrup as Ryan did.

If you enjoy Pancakes then maybe take a look at my Simple Pancake Recipe of these easy to make Pancake Kebabs which are great to make with the kids.

Simple American Pancake Recipe

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups – What’s better than a recipe that you don’t have to cook. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like cheesecake or if I do they haven’t mentioned it. What’s not to like, Yummy creamy topping on an even yummier biscuity base (which if you’re the one serving you get to have extra – servers rights) and fruit. Fab combination!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups RecipeWhat you will need:

For the filling

  • 150g White Chocolate
  • 25g Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g Cream Cheese
  • 25g Icing Sugar
  • 50mls Double cream, whipped
  • 1 Punnet Strawberries

For the base:

  • Half a pack digestive biscuits
  • 50g Butter, melted

For the base, put the biscuits in a freezer bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

Put 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray and add a spoonful of biscuit base to each case. Put into the fridge to chill whilst you prepare the topping.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

Melt the white chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once all the ingredients are melted, take off the heat and stir to make a smooth mixture and set aside to cool.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

In another bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar (sifted) and cream until smooth.

Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipes

Take about half the punnet of strawberries, wash and chop off the tops and cut into very small pieces before adding them to the cream cheese mixture.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

Top the biscuit base cases with the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Top each cheesecake cup with a quartered strawberry and serve.

And there you have lovely little scrummy White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups Recipe

Next time I make these I’m going to use Silicone Cupcake Cases so we can reuse them time and again.


*This post contains items I have been gifted as well as affiliate links which means I receive a small payment if you make a purchase following one of my links at no extra cost to you.

Side Hustles Diary Week 1

Side Hustles Diary Week 1

If you’ve been following me recently you will know that I’ve been dabbling in side hustles to see if I can make some extra money. If you weren’t aware then pop over to my TikTok Account to see what Side Hustles I’ve been trying.

You can see the full list of Side Hustles that I’ve been trying – Some of which are great and other’s haven’t worked for me which I will keep updated as I find new ones.


So this week I’ve been cracking on with the decluttering that I started a while ago. It’s amazing how much stuff we have that we haven’t used for ages or had completely forgotten about. We’ve done some sorting and some of it will be going on Vinted and Facebook Market Place, some to charity shops and some will need to go to the tip.

I’ve got a bit bored of doing surveys, but will keep an eye on them and do the odd one when I have a spare few minutes.

Money Savings Challenges

I’ve restarted the #365daypennychallenge and am planning to complete this by the end of November so that we can use it at Christmas. You can print off the FREE tracker sheet here – #365pennychallenge

I’m going to start some other money saving challenges as well, but haven’t quite decided what these are going to be yet.

As well as making money, we’re going to be more mindful in our spending so that we can use the money on experiences and family time rather than random ‘stuff’. So meal planning is one of the ways we’re going to do this. Aside from the money saving, it does a lot for the sanity when you don’t have to decide daily what you’re going to cook every day. This can be as simple as writing it down on a piece of paper, or you can download my Meal Planner Pack and either fill in online or print off and stick on your fridge.

Tracking my Side Hustles

Every month I’m going to track the money made from side hustles. I need to do this for tax purposes as a self-employed person, and if side hustles are something you’re considering then make sure you find out about any taxes you will need to pay.

I’m going to track my earnings using the Side Hustles Savings Tracker I bought from Savvy Jamie which is currently £4.

That’s it for this week as it’s the first full week that the kids have been back at school so it’s been a bit hectic.

I would love to know how you make additional income.

#365daypennychallenge Money Saving Challenge


So it seems that everyone loves a little challenge so why not try the #365daypennychallenge with me.

I’m hoping that 2022 will be the year that we finally buy a house, but I also think that we really need and deserve a family holiday after the last couple of years which have been pretty shitty for most of us.


So what is the #365daypennychallenge?

Essentially you save a small amount of money each day starting off with 1p and increasing it by a penny each day. The best way to do this is by buying one of those tins that you can only open with a tin opener to save you from dipping into it for car parking change or similar.

I’ve created a #365daypennychallenge tracker sheet which you can print off and mark the days as you save.

We don’t stick to the chart as such, we just pick an amount each day and cross it off. So, for example, one day I might add in £3.65 and the next I might choose 10p. This works also if you’re a bit short of cash say towards the end of the month.

Print off your #365daypennychallenge Tracker Sheet.

I would love to know if you have any other fun ways of saving money.

Happy saving!

365 Day Penny Challenge

I also have a Chip account which is an automatic way to save small amounts of money directly from your bank account.

Turkey Cacciatore

Leftover Christmas Turkey Cacciatore

Use up your leftover turkey to make this simple Turkey Cacciatore pasta dish. Hands up if you’re craving a ‘normal’ meal after the Christmas binge. I love turkey and all the trimmings as well as all the cheeses, crackers and stuffing but there has to come a point where normality makes an appearance. This is a great way to use up that last bit of turkey in a non-Christmassy way.

Recipe for Leftover Christmas Turkey Cacciatore

Turkey Cacciatore

  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 3 x 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • A splash of Red Wine Vinegar
  • Around 500g Leftover Turkey cut into chunks
  • 2 Balls of fresh mozzarella
  • A handful of breadcrumbs

How To:

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in the olive oil until the onion is softened.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and oregano. Season and then simmer for around 20 minutes until the tomatoes thicken.

In an ovenproof dish, add the turkey and pour over the tomato sauce. Shred the mozzarella over the top and pour over the handful of breadcrumbs.

Put in the oven for around 20 mins on 200 degrees until the cheese is gooey and golden.

Serve with either pasta or jacket potato.

Easy Breadcrumbs:

An easy way to make breadcrumbs is to toast a couple of slices of bread. Rub over a garlic clove and drizzle with olive oil before putting in the oven for around 15 mins. This should be easily crumbled with your hands or add to a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin.

Enjoy x

*This post was originally posted in December 2019 but it’s a good one!


15 Christmas Cracker Jokes

15 Christmas Cracker Jokes

Who doesn’t love a cheesy joke at Christmas? Hence 15 Christmas Cracker Jokes. I thought I would add this in as although a lot of the jokes that you get in crackers are pretty naff, they always have the kids in stitches and are repeated well past Christmas even if they get them a bit muddled. Get ready for a belly laugh.

15 Funny christmas Jokes that the kids will love


1. What does Santa do with fat elves?

He sends the to an Elf Farm.


2. What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?

A Christmas Quacker!


3. What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?



4. What do you call a snowman in summer?

A puddle.


5. Why was the snowman looking through the carrots?

He was picking his nose.


6. What do you give a dog for Christmas?

A mobile bone


7. What do you call a snowman party?

A Snowball.


8. How does Jack Frost get to work?

On his Bi-icicle.


9. Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?

Santa Jaws


10. What do snowmen have for breakfast?



11. Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?

A mince spy!


12. What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?

A Holly Davidson


13. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?



14. What did one snowman say to the other?

Can you smell carrots.


15. What did the snowman say to the aggressive carrot?

Get out of my face!


Cheesy enough for you? I’ve tried all of these out on my seven year old daughter who thought they were hilarious. We’re making our own Christmas Crackers this year so we’ll be using some of these to use on the rellies.

Lisa x

Our Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas Traditions – when you’re a kid you don’t really think about the things that you do each year at Christmas as it’s a given. It’s not until you’re an adult and have children of your own that you realise that it’s these traditions that make Christmas special. It’s those things that our children will remember.

A Pinterest Pin with colourful Christmas trees with the wording Our christmas tradtiions

My Childhood Christmas Traditions

I was born and brought up in a little village called Rishton in Lancashire and my Nan would visit us most years from Exeter, Devon where we live now.

We always looked forward to my Nan coming as she would always bring us treats.

Every year without fail my Nan bought us all a new dressing gown, slippers and pyjamas (nightdresses for us girls). Looking back they were really old fashioned grannyesque nightdresses with quilted dressing gowns with material buttons. My sister and I always got the same but in a different colours or patterns.

We always went to Sunday school and took part in whatever crafts and carol singing they were doing.

My Nan was an amazing baker and whenever she visited she always made various things including jam rolypoly. We all fought over being the helper and would play with the biscuit scraps for ages

The Christmas number one was always something to be anticipated. We used to listen to the radio for the top 40 countdown every Sunday whilst my mum ironed our school uniform, and Top of the Pops was a much watch. Of course you had to watch it ‘real time’ which I know is quite retro these days.

A trip to Rays – this was a local shop that sold a bit of everything. Growing up with a single mum meant that it was always up to my Nan to make sure that we bought our mum a Christmas present. So we went to Rays to choose something. I remember buying her this like picture frame on a swivel stand (a bit like a mirror) that was full of coloured sand that you tipped up to create sand patterns. It was really naff but my mum said she liked it.

Christmas films – any Christmas films that were on the TV (all four channels) were something that everybody looked forward to. Santa Claus the movie and Home Alone were my absolute faves.

We had an Advent Calendar that was shared between the three of us. It wasn’t like the calendars are now. There weren’t even any chocolates in the doors. It was pictures that represented Christmas such as a Christmas Tree, a mince pie, the Three Wise Men etc. We had to take it in turns to open the doors, and we loved it.

My Mum used to pay weekly for a food hamper for Christmas which was delivered in these huge polystyrene boxes. They were full of all sorts of what we considered ‘treat’ foods. We had ham in a tin which you had to open with a little key that came on the side of it. It came out of the tin in a huge blob like mass and was covered in jelly. It makes me cringe when I think back to it, but we really enjoyed it at the time. There was a cupboard in our lounge where all the good stuff was kept – boxes of biscuits, the Christmas Puddings and mince pies, bags of nuts and the tubs of twiglets and crackers.

Creating our own Christmas Traditions

When Ryan was born we had to make our own traditions, based on what we enjoyed of our own childhood christmases.

I love the idea and thought behind the Christmas Eve Boxes, but it wasn’t heard of when Ryan was little, but we had our own things that we did every year without fail.

Christmas Pyjamas

Every year the kids get new ones to wear on Christmas Eve. In the last few years, it’s been matching family pyjamas which I really like. I’ve yet to convince Chris to wear matching pyjamas but one of these days we’ll get him to do it.

Christmas Eve Just Us

Christmas Eve is definitely a hot chocolate and Christmas movie day. We quite often have takeaway or pizza and snuggle up on the sofa ready for a solid few days of non-stop eating. We don’t make any plans with friends or family on Christmas Eve as it’s OUR day as a little family. Something we’ll carry on for as long as we can.

Christmas Decorations

I love seeing all the colour coordinated glamorous looking trees, but I love our tree. Our Christmas decorations have been collected over the years or made by the kids an mean so much more. We buy a new Christmas decoration each year so we’re building up quite a collection. I feel quite nostalgic when we unpack these as we remember where they came from or who made them. We always decorate the tree to cheesy Christmas music whilst eating Christmas sweets and chocolates.

Writing Father Christmas a Letter

The kids love doing this and then we make a special trip to the post box to post the letter off. It’s such a lovely thing to do each year.

Father Christmas visit

Who doesn’t love to take the kids to see Father Christmas. We’ve been to some lovely ones and also some not so lovely ones over the years. I think we missed a couple of years as Isabelle was terrified of him. The worse one we went to was one that just ended up being a photograph opportunity that you could buy for an extortionate amount of money and we were shuffled along like an Aldi checkout.

Christmas Stockings

Where do you put yours? We started off by putting it at the end of Ryan’s bed l, but one year he was terrified about Father Christmas being in his bedroom so we started putting it outside his bedroom door and we’ve carried this on. The kids all have different stockings. Ryan who is a fully fledged adult these days has a knitted one that stretches so much that you can fill it with quite a lot, and we still fill this up for him each year.

Christmas Crafts

We always do a few Christmas Crafts in the lead up to Christmas. This includes making Christmas Bisuits, decorations, cards and other handmade presents. The kids always enjoy this and like to choose what crafts they do.

Christmas Day Outfit

We always have something new to wear. We do get dressed for Christmas Day, I know a lot of people like to stay in their comfies, but I like something with a bit of sparkle in it.

Elf on the Shelf

We now do the Elf on the Shelf, but be warned. Once you start it, there’s no going back. You can find loads of inspiration online for what you can do that range from really easy to putting in a ridiculous amount of effort. My only advice would be to plan this as its the absolute pits when it gets to 10pm and you’re have to think of what to do with the Elf!

Christmas morning always starts the same way. I’m always awake first and I either noisily make my way to the loo to wake the kids up or send the dog upstairs. I then make Chris a coffee and myself a cuppa before the kids pile onto our bed with their stockings. I should at this point mention that even the dog gets in on this as well. He has his own stocking and you’ve never seen such an excited dog! This is probably my favourite part of the day when the excitement is at its highest. We then make our way downstairs for the present reveal.

Christmas Market

We have a lovely Christmas Market in Exeter and we make two separate trips. One with the kids (a nightmare) and one on our own (total bliss).

I enjoy these things far more than the whole buying and wrapping presents which I find quite stressful. I love seeing my children’s faces on Christmas morning but the pressure to spend seems to get more intense every year.

What traditions do you have with your family?

Updated post – Originally posted 30/11/18