Here are 12 ways to enjoy the free things in life – and more great examples of the ways you can save by substituting imagination and resourcefulness for money. Is there anything you can add to this list?
Several weeks ago we did a popular article called 10 Things People Buy They Should Get Free. To continue that theme, here’s a list of things you might buy that you could get free.
As you read through this list, remember the point of saving money: to pay down debt or build up your savings!
1. Free cars
Many people want their cars moved from place to place, but don’t want to do the driving. Sometimes these cars are delivered by truck, but often they’re driven – by people like you. If you have a clean driving record, call car delivery companies (one example: AutoDriveaway.com) and read about how it works. Call them and ask what cars they have, where they’re going and when. If nothing strikes your fancy, put your name on a list and let them know where you’d like to go. As for the return trip, you can either fly home or wait at the other end for another drive-away car.
This is a great way to see the country, especially if you’re flexible as to when you leave, when you return and perhaps even where you go.
2. Free lodging
Why stay in a hotel when the nonprofit Couchsurfing.org offers tourists a chance to stay at homes for free? Make friends with the sponsoring families throughout the United States and countries ranging from Croatia to France. You have to set up a profile on the CouchSurfing website, which provides tips on how to find families willing to open their homes to you. Obviously, the digs won’t be fancy, but they’ll be free.
Another way to get free lodging is to home-swap. Check out Best Price for a Hotel Room? $0.
3. Free audio books
Now you can find out for free the fate of Pip in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations or Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice as you drive or jog. Download free audio books from the nonprofit LibriVox.org, which has volunteers recording classics in the public domain – including many Shakespeare plays. You can also volunteer to help by reading. LibriVox will even provide you with free recording software.
4. Free birthday presents
Even strangers will shower you with birthday gifts! Frugalliving.tv has a list of hundreds of business that offer freebies on your special day. You can eat free cake, get free meals – even receive some Happy Birthday serenading. It’s an amazing list – check it out.
5. Free food for kids
Don’t go to another restaurant that doesn’t feed your kids for free. The My Kids Eat Free website offers a road map of where you can save on kids’ meals – just type in a state and city. You’ll pay but your kids won’t at more than 5,000 restaurants across the country.
6. Free samples
Before you go to Walgreen’s and shell out a buck for travel sizes of your favorite toiletries, go to Volition.com or one of many other websites that offer free samples. In addition to soap, shampoo, etc, you might find all manner of interesting things. For example, we’ve spotted circus tickets, a free diet analysis and free advance movie screenings. Other free mega-sites include TheFreeSite.com and freechannel.net.
7. Free TV
8. Free software
You can get free software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and other uses by going to OpenOffice.org. Wish Bill Gates the best as you download your free software at the website that also offers free trouble-shooting. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Check out 5 Best Free Software Programs.
9. Free anti-virus
This one could go under “free software”, but it’s important enough to warrant its own spot on the list. You can stay protected without paying for anti-virus software! Check out our story Antivirus Software is a Waste of Money for more information.
10. Free Speech
Make your voice heard around the world with your own blog – free. Many companies will help you set up your own site at no charge, such as WordPress or Google. They’ll even give you free, easy instructions and a choice of blog templates.
11. Free foreign language lessons
The BBC is on the other side of the pond, but it offers a free 12-week class to learn French, Spanish, Italian or German, gratis. You’ll even get a certificate at the completion of the course. BBC also offers other audio and video courses in the four languages – as well as help in learning more exotic languages such as Chinese, Russian and Greek.
12. Free everything
You have something you don’t want, but it’s too valuable to throw away. You might donate it to charity, but you also might give it away at sites like craig’s list or freecycle. From used furniture to sports equipment, the nonprofit Freecycle Network is set up to help you find free stuff and keep it out of landfills. You’ll be amazed at what people give away.
That’s the end of this story, but just the beginning when it comes to spending less and saving more. Check out 205 Ways to Save, 10 Tips to Save $1,000 by Christmas, as well as the dozens of ideas in our Tips Section! And if you have things you’d add to the list above, share!