There are lots of ways to get free things.
Companies offer free samples of their products regularly. These are often single use sample size but occasionally a company will send a full sized product. These samples most always require you to request them. The easiest way to see if a company is currently offering a freebie is to visit their website. Often there will be a link marked "Promotions" that will take you to a page to leave your information. I recommend visiting the websites of products you really like often to see what freebies or printable coupons they're offering. Many companies have Facebook pages now. When you become a fan through facebook you may bet a freebie or a coupon for a free item.
Occasionally a store's website will offer a free sample of a product they sell. Walmart, Sam's Club, and BJ's Whosesale do this often.
Another way to get free stuff from manufacturers is to share your feedback on their products. Visit a company's website and click "Contact Us" to leave you positive or negative thoughts. I've received free products for contacting a company about expired coupons in the packaging, and when I shared my negative opinion of a new flavor. You could also write to or call the companies. They're contact information is always on the can, bottle, box, or bag. It's been suggested that you attempt contact every 6 months, although I usually only contact them when I have something to share.
Sometimes a new business, or an established business looking for new customers, will offer give-a-way freebies. Things like magnets, baseball caps, travel mugs, etc. Finding these is basically just luck or being at the right place at the right time.
Of course there are coupons for free products in the Sunday paper. Sometimes there are buy one get one free coupons that can be combined with sales and other coupons to get both items free.
Let's say an item is regularly priced at $1.50 and on sale for $1.00. You have a buy one get one free coupon and a coupon for $1.00 off one. If you use both these coupons, you'll get both items free.
If your store doubles or triple coupons and you catch an item on sale it could be free. You're price book will help you decide which store to use which coupon.
You could join a survey or opinion groups and get free things in exchange for sharing your opinion and telling your friends. BzzAgent, General Mills Pssst . . ., Kraft 1st Taste, House Party and SheSpeaks are just a few of these programs.
Before you start signing up for company newsletters, sending away for freebies and joining survey panels consider creating a alternate email address for yourself. Sometime companies sell your email address or a freebie that seems to good to be true is and having a separate email address will save you're having to wade through all that spam.
Another place to get free items is a program called Freecycle. Freecyle is made up of many community based groups and it's purpose is to keep usable but unwanted items out of the landfill.
One last place for freebies is blogs and message boards. Often bloggers and members of certain message boards pass along info on freebies they've found. Check back here every Sunday for a couple of freebies I've found.