Two of the things I miss the most about living in the US are free samples and coupons. It’s not that they’re nonexistent in Germany; it’s just that they’re so rare they might as well be.
So you can imagine that I was quite excited to stumble across this post which contains links to all sorts of freebies for pregnant ladies and new mamas. I wasn’t able to sign up for all of them, but I have been really pleased with what I have received.
Here’s a rundown…
Hands down, the best goodies have come from dm’s babybonus program. If you don’t know dm, it’s the German version of CVS or Walgreens. This store offers your normal drugstore fare plus a great selection of baby items including clothing. Each location has a changing table in it with complimentary wipes and diapers. I haven’t seen parent-oriented service like that anywhere else in Germany save IKEA.
I love that dm has two different welcome packets – one for when you’re pregnant and the other for after the baby has arrived.
Items received from the dm pregnancy welcome packet (Willkommens-Paket zur Schwangerschaft):
- 10% off your purchase, no minimum
- A full size tube (150ml) of massage cream for prego bellies
- A coupon book with savings on diapers, wipes, and other baby products as well as toiletries and pregnancy items (valid for more than 6 months)
Items received from the dm babybonus welcome packet:
- Soft rattle toy
- Orthodontic pacifier
- Samples of moisturizer and body lotion for mama
- Sample of dm’s diaper rash cream for baby
- Another (thicker) coupon book with similar savings to the pregnancy one (also valid for more than 6 months)
The next best box came from real,-. You can read about how I love real,- here. I first received a letter confirming my enrollment in their familymanager program that included only two coupons, one for baby gear and one for baby clothing. I was a bit disappointed until I found a surprise from real,- in my mailbox right after Big Foot was born.
Items received from the familymanager Hallo Baby welcome packet:
- Samples of Pampers wipes and one diaper
- Purple Pampers baby socks
- An iron-on logo to decorate a baby onesie and provide free advertising for real,- (ha!)
- A lotion sample for mama
- A coupon book with in-store savings on baby and household items (valid for more than 3 months)
Though I tend to frequent dm more, Müller is another great drugstore that also sells office supplies, department store perfume, toys, and entertainment media (CDs, DVDs, electronic games, etc). I can attest that their Mein Baby program is well worth the five minutes it takes to sign up. Though I wasn’t given any free samples, one could argue the contents were quite a bit more valuable.
Items received from Müller’s Mein Baby mailing:
- Coupon for €5 off €20 (not limited to baby items and no expiration date)
- The biggest coupon book I’ve ever seen in Germany with savings on pregnancy, baby, household, and family items as well as toys (valid for more than 6 months)
Honorable mention: Pampers Village. The website states that if you sign up, you will receive coupons, newsletters, and a free box with items in it from the maternity ward where you give birth. I never did receive the box, but perhaps the fact that I didn’t actually end up on the maternity ward after Big Foot was born had a little something to do with that. However, I did receive coupons, and I successfully stacked a manufacturer’s coupon and a dm coupon when purchasing Pampers diapers. Score!
If you’re actually signing up for all these freebies, I’d recommend skipping the registration for HiPP’s Mein Baby Club. I only received a sticker to hang in the window of a car I don’t own and a coupon for 20 euros toward an account for the baby. I thought that was rather generous… until I read the fine print. In order to claim the money, I had to appear in person at the bank to verify all my information as well as the baby’s. I understand that the company would like to know to whom they are giving their money (and that nothing is ever really free), but what new mama has time for an extra trip to the bank of all places??
Anyhow, it’s been great fun to sorta kinda coupon again. I’ll take all the savings I can get! If you’d like additional links to baby freebies in Germany, check out this blogger’s list. Meanwhile, I’ll keep checking my mailbox for more money-saving goodies!