With the global financial economy in increasingly dire straits and the UK experiencing the toughest financial squeeze since the 1920’s, the use of free samples, voucher codes and discounts has seen rapid and sustained growth, leading to the emergence of what has become popularly known as “The Freeconomy”. The original online founder of the Freeconomy Community, Mark Boyle, has successfully lived without money since 2008, with the community growing to over 25,000 members across 150 countries.
Statistics now show that UK citizens redeem an average of 1692 voucher codes every minute, whilst 49% search 6 times each week online for free samples and online bargains. Contrary to national stereotypes 12% of Brits admit to consistently haggling for the best price when making a new purchase, with only 1% too embarrassed to use redeem voucher codes and coupons.
Top savings have been shown to be made on food, in the supermarkets, restaurants and takeaways, closely followed by holidays and flights. 25% of the population also claims that thanks to the savings made they can do things they otherwise would not have had the financial capability to otherwise.
The emergence of increased usage of free samples and online freebies has exploded since the first noted usage of wine sellers offering free product samples in the streets dating back to the old world where commerce flourished long before the colonization of America. With little sign of economic recovery coming soon for the United Kingdom it is projected that 2012 will see £30 billion of savings made through the use of free samples and vouchers – a staggering £2.5 billion each month.