As money becomes tighter across the country, increasing numbers of Americans are couponing and searching for methods of economic conservation. And what better way to tighten the belt than by getting free stuff? And, trust me, there’s a lot of free stuff out there. You just need to know where to look.
Below are 7 Great Things You Can Get for Free.
Many restaurants – chains in particular – offer complimentary birthday dinners and / or desserts. In fact, there’s an entire website devoted to it. Red Robin, Applebee’s and Houlihan’s are just a few of the eateries that help you celebrate your birthday for the low, low price of zero. (For kids, McDonald’s is still the go-to, offering a free happy meal on the youngster’s big day.)
A number of municipalities put on summer outdoor movie series gratis. A good example is the Epic Events series in the Seattle, WA area. Check your local paper to see if your community exhibits outdoor films.
Free trials are excellent ways to test out products and services before blindly spending your cash. Trials can last anywhere from weeks to months. Software like Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, as well as cloud computing and disaster recovery solutions are but a few of the free trials out there. (To give you an idea, a Google search on the phrase “free trial” popped up 741 million results.)
So it’s probably not brand new, but there is a great deal of furniture available for nothing. From the Craigslist “for free” section to the local classifieds, you will find varying degrees of condition and quality. In some cases, it’s even possible to find something amazing on the side of the road.
A peek in your park district circular or the local paper may uncover some interesting, no-cost classes for you. Libraries like the New York Public Library are a particularly good place to discover engaging programs on a variety of topics.
OK, so technically you’re not supposed to gorge yourself on “samples.” But technically, Tom Cruise is sane. So, if you’re looking for a snack – or something even more substantial – check out candy stores, food courts at the mall and grocery store bakeries. All regularly offer examples of their lovely products; most don’t care if you swipe a few extras.
Many museums offer “free days” to the public. Usually, these occur once a week for a prescribed amount of time. They’re a great deal, however, especially for those on a fixed budget.
Other ideas for acquiring free stuff include trade shows (swag central) and signing up for mailing lists like this one that scores you a free Cinnabon Minibon.
Facebook is also a great place to seek out complimentary goods. “Liking” a page can often earn you some reward.
There’s actually a website called Freestuff.com – though you want to be wary of Spam. When someone advertises a “free iPhone!” you’ll want to retain an appropriate level of skepticism.
Katie Fetting-Schlerf is a freelance writer from Seattle whose favorite four-letter word is free.