Photo (cc) by TheCulinaryGeek
The spring semester starts today for many college students, and next Monday for most of the rest. And since college students like freebies just as much as everyone else – but don’t want to work as hard as everyone else to get them – here are a few smartphone apps that are free, easy and save money. And you certainly don’t have to be a student to appreciate that.
1. Free ice cream
What’s better than ice cream? How about free ice cream? There’s a chance to snag a free cone every year, as well as an app that ensures you never miss out. The Ben & Jerry’s Scoop of Happiness iPhone app not only keeps you up-to-date on new flavors and helps you find store locations, but it also counts down to one of the most important days of the year: Free Cone Day. (That’s sometime between March and May – it keeps moving.)
2. Free burgers (and more)
The term “starving student” exists for a reason. If you can relate, there are probably few things you wouldn’t do for a free meal. The Happy Star Rewards app is a mobile rewards program that allows frequent Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s customers to earn everything from free charbroiled burgers to movie tickets and even Blu-ray players just by checking in.
Every time you check into a store, you’re offered the opportunity to spin the “Wheel of Awesomeness.” Every spin wins, but the more often you go, the better the loot. Awesomeness, indeed. If you value free burgers and other freebies above healthy arteries, this app is for you.
3. Free Internet
Nothing is worse than sitting down at a cozy coffee shop, opening up your laptop to work on a term paper, and discovering you have to pay to use the WiFi. If you’re in need of free WiFi but aren’t sure where to find it, WeFi for Android will locate and automatically connect you to the nearest hotspot. Find a new venue? It also allows users to map additional locations and help support a growing free WiFi community.
4. Free product samples
Probably my favorite of the bunch, the I Love Free Things app rounds up freebies and giveaways across the Web and lists them all in one place. Within a minute of downloading this app, I learned that I could go to Sears and get a free apparel item, or head over to Arby’s for free fries.
Sometimes you have to “like” a company on Facebook or fill out a questionnaire in order to access the free item, but often, it’s as easy as visiting the retailer and asking for it.
5. Free books
While I certainly appreciate a classic, I am not a Steinbeck fan.
There, I said it.
If only I had a smartphone in college, I would’ve never needed to spend money on novels I didn’t want to read. With the Classicly HD app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, users can access 26,416 books and audiobooks from their mobile devices all free. “The Ultimate Library” boasts a 5-star rating in the iTunes store and only costs 99 cents.
Don’t get me wrong, this app is a must-have for voracious readers of the masters like Twain, Shakespeare, Wilde, and Fitzgerald – as well as students forced to read Steinbeck by the state.
When it comes to saving money, it’s the little things that really add up. These apps probably can’t save you enough money to move out of student housing this semester, but at least you won’t be living care-package-to-care-package anymore.
More app ideas: