Free Trials

Our readers love things that are free. Sometimes that means savings thosands on a free trip. Other times it may mean just a few bucks. I am going to try to keep a list up of free trials and other small wins for my most frugal readers. Please note that generally these trials require you to be a first time user. Please comment if you see any errors or additional flexibility provided by the merchant. Note that I may receive a commission on some of these links, so please do click through directly and support this site.

Amazon

Product prices, trials and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

  • Try AmazonFresh Free Trial
    Generally available in major metropolitan areas. Requires Prime (if you don’t have Prime, Amazon may give you a simultaneous free prime trial, not sure what happens if you have tried prime before). After trial costs $15/mo for Fresh (along with requiring Prime) plus costs of groceries. There is a delivery fee on small orders (though rare that you would ever want to order so little, minimum free order size in my region is $35). Also, they encourage you to electronically tip the driver (personally, I think that should be priced into the cost instead). In my opinion, grocery costs tend to be inline with a mid-priced supermarket though often not as good as Trader Joe’s and Market Basket. However, you save hours of time by avoiding the store, so it is a no brainer for me. They used to package with dry ice and free coolers that would allow items to be left on the porch for an extended period of time. They now (as of early 2019 in the Boston market) provide minimal cooling (though they use frozen bottles of water, so free water) and state that you should plan to put the food away at the end of the delivery window (generally a 2 hour period). A bit less convenient than before, but a logical cost cutting method. I have subscribe to this service for a while now and still do as of June 2019.
  • Try Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial
    This is a 30-day trial of Amazon Music Unlimited (~ 50 million songs). Amazon provides a nice collection of music with Prime for free (~ 2 million songs). I find Prime music to be good enough for background music and exercise – somewhat equivalent to Pandora. Amazon Music Unlimited provides the full catalog of music where you can play any song on demand – fairly equivalent to Spotify. If you are an audiophile if 2019, you will need some type of full catalog music service. A few are listed below. Also, check out Consumer Report’s analysis for more info
    • Amazon Music Unlimited: ~ 50 million songs, $7.95 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) for individual Prime members, $12.41 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) for family (up to 6 people) prime members paid annually
    • Spotify: ~ 35 million songs, $10 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) individual / $15 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) family (up to 6 people)
    • Apple Music: ~ 50 million songs, $10 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) individual / $15 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) family (up to 6 people)
    • Google Play Music All Access: ~ 40 million songs, $10 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) individual / $15 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) family (up to 6 people); provides an easy way to add your own audio files to google’s streaming servers
  • Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
    1 month trial. Kindle Unlimited provides free reading of 1 million ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. This is a great deal if you are just looking for simple fiction books to pass time. Not so great if you are looking for specific books. But who can say no to a free trial. I have used this subscription off and on for my wife.
  • Create an Amazon Wedding Registry
    This isn’t a free trial, but a free service. A much bigger selection and often much better value than the traditional William Sonoma, Bloomingdale’s, etc. registry. I used this for my wedding and was even able to get some power tools, try that at Bed Bath. They have now added a completion bonus program with a 20% discount (for prime members or 10% for non-prime members). I wonder how many people will use the registry for a private vow renewal ceremony to leverage the completion bonus, however, they require that you have over $500 purchased from your registry to get 20% off up to $1,000 (i.e., up to a $200 discount) or purchases over $1,000 to get 20% off up to $1,500 (.e., up to a $300 discount). Also need to create the registry at least 30 day prior to your event. And you are only allowed to get married once every 2 years! See all of the terms & conditions here.
  • Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
    30-day trial. Audible is best when you tend to look for expensive audiobooks. I tend to sign up when I have a few books I want to buy at once, leverage the discounts (there are ways to buy additional books at a disocunt once you use your monthly credit) and then cancel. I have recently purchased:
    • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (unabridged) $41.99 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • Washington by Ron Chernow $48.96 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick by McKinsey $19.95 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • The McKinsey Mind by Ethan Raisel $25.20 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • American Military History by Wesley Clark $34.95 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • Particle Physicals for Non-Physicisists by Great Courses $34.95 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • The Nature of Matter by Great Courses $34.95 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern)
    • Inferno by Dan Brown $42.00 (as of June 10, 2019 at 12pm Eastern) The monthly fee for 1 credit (1 credit = 1 book) is $14.95, a lot less than many of these books cost. While a member, additional books are either 30% off or often you can buy packs of credits at steep discounts. For example, in May of 2019, I purchased 3 extra credits for $35.88 (or $11.96 each).

Ride Sharing

  • Uber
    This link will give you access to whatever the current referral bonus is. As of June 2019, you get $2 off each of your first 3 rides. Alternatively, you can type the referral code UBER-FTG when you sign up to get access to this bonus.
  • Lyft
    This link will give you access to whatever the current referral bonus is. As of June 2019, you get $5 off your first ride. Alternatively, you can type the referral code DAVID22328 when you sign up to get access to this bonus.

Food Delivery

  • Uber Eats and enter EATS-UBER-FTG
    This will give you access to whatever the current referral bonus is. As of June 2019, you get $5 off each of your first order.

Fitness

  • Split Fit and enter DAVID611
    This will give you access to whatever the current referral bonus is. As of June 2019, you get $15 off your first session. SplitFit is currently (June 2019) in the Boston Metro area and provides very cheap (currently $25/session) group fitness training (up to 4 participants). The deal is extra special when you happen to be the only one that books that session and you end up paying $25 for private personal training for an hour (most local gyms charge around $100 for the same thing).

Travel

  • Airbnb Host
    If you use this link to sign up as an AirBNB host, you will get an extra $40 after you complete your first reservation. I hosted a condo full-time on Airbnb between 2013 and 2015 and easily made twice as much as I would have renting out the condo as a long-term apartment. Airbnb is also great for renting out a condo/house while you are on vacation. I did this a few times and once made enough to pay for most of the vacation. Though if doing the latter, you will need to figure out how to wall off your stuff (locked closets and the like) and make sure that you are clear with the guest that it is a primary residence as they will have less access to storage space, your pictures will be on the wall, etc. You can also rent part of your place (e.g., a guest room) while you are there, but I haven’t tried that. Also, be careful when allowing for Instant Booking and whom you rent to. I would not allow for Instant Booking on a primary residence or shared setup as you will probably want to investigate the guest a bit more. It may be ok when you are Airbnbing the whole place full time.