Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources


Release Date: 06/11/2013

ShopSmart Uncovers Fabulous Freebies

A guide to enjoying summer treats, activities and more for free; Plus, three ways to avoid freebie traps that can cost money

SS-Cover (7.13)YONKERS, NY — There’s only one thing better than a bargain, and that’s a freebie! The July 2013 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from Consumer Reports, uncovers ways consumers can score a variety of stuff without shelling out a dime including many food and activity options for adults and kids this summer season. 

“If your budget is tight, there’s lots of products and services you can score for free,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “But, beware, some offers really are too good to be true, so make sure to check the details if the freebie requires you to sign-up and share personal information or a credit-card number.”

Great Summer Freebies

ShopSmart has uncovered dozens and dozens of ways to score free stuff in six categories: skills and services; snacks and more; classes; fun times; books, music and more; and other surprising stuff.   Below are some warm-weather suitable products and services from different categories that adults and kids can enjoy without paying for them: 

  • Bowling.  Head to to register little ones to enjoy two daily games of bowling all summer at participating alleys.  Some places even throw in a free shoe rental.

  • Internet Service.  Want to stay connected while on the go this summer?  The Wi-Fi Finder app (free for Android and Apple) finds no-charge connections nearby.

  • Frozen Treats.  Head to Ben & Jerry’s on Father’s Day (June 16th) to see if dad can get a free scoop of ice cream.  Stop by 7-Eleven on July 11 to score a free Slurpee.

  • Kid Food.  Search the KidsMealsDeals app (free for Android, Apple and BlackBerry)  daily to find nearby no-cost bites.

  • Movies.  A few independent theaters and chains, including Clearview Cinemas and Cinemaworld, screen movies for kids; seating is first come, first served, and some theaters require a paid adult admission.  And, as the temperatures heat up, many cities turn parks into movie theaters with sunset film screenings.

  • Outdoor Skills.  Get out and enjoy the weather.  Some REI locations offer no-charge instruction on bike maintenance, mountain-climbing prep, and a lot more.  Check a local store for more information or go to

  • Park Visits.  More than half of the country’s national parks are free and all will be free on August 25th in honor of the National Park Service birthday.  Check online for other free days offered throughout the year.

  • Workout Sessions.  Stay in shape this summer with no financial commitment.  Check online to see if a municipality offers group fitness classes at their local recreation centers and parks – as some do.

Paying a Price for Free Stuff

Free stuff is awesome, but ShopSmart advises consumers not to be lax with their personal information to get it.  Here are three things to do when signing up for freebies:

  1. Read privacy policies.  Consumers shouldn’t provide information they aren’t comfortable sharing and be especially careful when it comes to children.  For example, with birthday clubs, it may make sense to use initials instead of full names.

  2. Check the fine print.  Freebies aren’t free if consumers are required to sign up and pay for something else.  The Federal Trade Commission cautions that certain companies that use payment info to sign consumers up for stuff make cancelling extremely difficult, hiding the info in tiny, out-of-the-way type.  Watch for prechecked (opt-out) boxes on sign-up forms.

  3. Use a credit card.  If payment info is required, use a credit card.  The Fair Credit Billing Act makes it easier to stop payments.  Check statements after cancelling. 

About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and Target. ShopSmart is available by subscription at  

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.