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20 Freebies For Your Home, Garden AND Furry Friends

How to save on pet food and so much more!

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Pets Freebies, garden freebies, home freebies, illustration, aarp, girlfriend
Hye Jin Chung
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The Girlfriend is celebrating its 100th issue today! And we couldn't have done it without you. So we're rolling out 100 things you can get for free in 2019. Enjoy! Because everybody needs a Girlfriend.

We love our pets and consider them part of our family. But owning one can be costly business. Also pricey: maintaining a home and garden. Fortunately, these freebies can help.

1. Try it before you buy it! Check out the Feed Pet Purveyor if you want to sample a new brand of pet food or treats for your furry friend.

2. Everyone knows how much a trip to the vet can set you back. But you can set up a free pet health exam at your local VCA Animal Hospital by filling out this VCA form.

3. Join the Petco Pals Rewards Club, and your pet will enjoy a special treat and message on their birthday. Even better, Petco offers free 30-minute dog-training classes (scroll down on the site to "Our Programs") at select locations. PetSmart will also send a birthday surprise to your pet if you sign up for its rewards program.

4. You can nab a free Pet Safety Pack, which includes an ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center magnet and a pet rescue window decal, by filling out the ASPCA's online form.

5. Many restaurants will give out a free treat to your pet. All you have to do is ask. They include Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, Dunkin' Donuts, Sonic and Tim Hortons. Pet can also STAY FREE at a variety of hotels, including Red Roof Inn, Kimpton Hotels and Aloft Hotels.

6. You can score free PetsWorld training and potty pads, as well as free pet waste bags.

7. If you want to really spoil your dog, take your pet to a free pet event. You can visit dog shows, parades, festivals or fund-raisers. Just go to BringFido, and you'll get a complete list. You can also find dog-friendly beaches, as well as the top dog-friendly hotels and restaurants worldwide. There's even a long list of pet sitters and services.

8. K9-Cuisine is another company that generally will give you free dog food samples and treats.

Home and garden

In addition to pet freebies, here are 12 other freebies to help you trim costs when it comes to your home and garden.

9. Planning to redesign or remodel a room? A free online room-design application can help. And you don't even have to know anything about home-design software. A few to check out are Floorplanner, 3Dream and the Roomstyler 3D Room Planner.

10. And if you're having trouble choosing a color? Try a free online color tool — such as My Perfect Color, ColorSnap or Paint Colors Critique Corner.

11. Speaking of planning, you can also utilize free online tools to plot out the contents and layout of your next garden. You might want to check out Smart Gardener, Plan-a-Garden or the Online Kitchen Garden Planner. You can get a free 2019 Gardener's Idea Book here — while supplies last.

12. The Freecycle Network is a grassroots nonprofit that allows you to give and receive free stuff in cities and neighborhoods across the country. The idea is to keep good stuff out of landfills. A quick check of what's available in the Washington, D.C., area turned up a free bedroom, IKEA shelves, a crib and a whole host of other free household items.

13. You can also get free items for your home and garden on Craigslist just by going on the site and searching for, well, "free stuff."

14. Want free seeds? You can get them by joining a seed exchange. There are online groups that help facilitate such exchanges, including this Free Seed Exchange on Facebook.

15. Looking for a hacksaw or a hammer? Instead of buying a tool, why not borrow it? Search for a local tool bank through the site

16. To visualize how wallpaper will look in your home, order a few free wallpaper samples. On Walls Republic, you can order five free samples. Wallpaper Direct also offers free samples so that you can try before you buy.

17. Few experienced gardeners shell out money on brand-new plants. Most know to ask friends and neighbors for extra cuttings and seeds. It's the only way to go!

18. Home Depot offers do-it-yourself classes for both adults and kids — for free. You can learn how to do everything from installing a ceiling fan to refreshing the look of your walls. Michaels craft stores also offer classes for both adults and kids. Some are free and some are available for a fee.

19. Tired of spending money on mulch? Check with your city, as many offer free mulch in the spring. You can also shred your fall leaves (run them over with your lawnmower) and spread them throughout your garden. Or save your grass clippings and do the same thing.

20. When it comes to household products, many companies offer free samples. And there are plenty of sites to find them. You might try, Hunt4Freebies or FreebieBlogger.

And here are other freebies — just for you!

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