Expert Interview with Heather Hernandez on Freebies and Coupons for Mint

As the head of Freebies 4 Mom, Heather Hernandez finds a lot of deals for what parents need most. Heather was kind enough to take a moment from her busy life and talk about what's a good freebie and when to get them.

Why are freebies so important to moms?

Moms work hard juggling a long to-do list every day, so it's nice when I can help them get free rewards from major brands and retailers that mail out free samples. Getting a freebie in your mailbox can brighten your day. It can also help you stretch your budget because some freebies are full-size products, and most freebies include money-saving coupons.

What are some challenges to saving when you have kids that people may not expect?

Saving money when you have kids can be challenging because your time has more constraints on it. When you're caring for your kids, you may have less time to work, less time to research ways to save and less time to do household chores or errands. I think the goal for most parents is to save money where you can with the time you have available. If you've got 15 minutes to plan for a trip to the grocery store, you can use that time to look at an app that provides digital coupons or cash rebates to help plan your grocery shopping trip.

What makes a good freebie for you?

The best freebie is a full-size product of something you would normally spend money on at the store. But most freebies are sample size, and many include a coupon to save on purchasing the full-size product if you like the sample. Freebies are a great way to discover new products and try them for free before you commit to purchasing them.

Conversely, what might make a freebie not worth using?

Some freebies are for products you would never use or they are products you don't want. I recommend only requesting freebies that you need and you'll use. If you end up with freebies that you don't need, please consider donating them to charity.

What apps or tools might moms make use of to save more when shopping?

Find out if the grocery store you shop at has their own coupon app that allows you to clip digital coupons to use at the store. I also recommend rebate apps that help you get money back for buying participating brands. A few rebate apps to checkout are: Ibotta, Checkout 51, Saving Star and Jingit.

What savings strategies do you think should be more popular with parents, and why?

Sometimes the best way to save money is to simply say "No" to a purchase. That means being able to say "No" to yourself, your spouse, your kids and your friends. It's amazing how hard it is to say "No" sometimes because we feel pressured to buy for various social and emotional reasons. I'd love to see more parents talk about making a conscious decision not to purchase something. Declining to make a purchase might mean doing without, accepting a DIY alternative or waiting for a period of time. This is a great opportunity to teach our kids the meaning of limited rewards for hard work, inventing alternatives and the virtue of patience.

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