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09-04-2009, 04:14 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
- outside Philadelphia, PA
- Blog Entries
10 More Great Things You Can Get For Free
1.) FREE TOUR GUIDES
To get a real feel for a city when you're traveling, team up with a local. The Global Greeter Network organizes volunteers in several cities worldwide to show you around, give you the inside scoop and answer your questions. Tours can last a couple hours or longer, the service is free, and there's a strict no-tipping policy.
Cities include New York, Houston, Chicago, Paris, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Toronto and more.
2.) FREE CULTURE
You can visit many museums, galleries and other attractions nationwide for free, on special discount days or during certain hours. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Some top-notch attractions are free every day of the year, such as Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, the Baltimore Museum of Art, St. Louis Science Center and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. And many college campuses host free concerts and student art exhibits.
3.) FREE FINANCIAL PLANNING
At Voyant (planwithvoyant.com), you can get a free personalized picture of your finances without shelling out thousands of dollars for a session with an adviser. You can map your financial goals, such as buying a home or saving for your kids' college, along an interactive timeline, and test what-if scenarios quickly.
It may not replace the service of a financial planner, but it's a helpful way to get a general idea of your finances and benchmark your progress. And did we mention it's free?
4.) FREE RECIPES
Not sure what's for dinner? The Web is your oyster. Allrecipes.com and Epicurious.com are perennial cook favorites. Together, they boast more than 100,000 recipes.
You can search by ingredients, meal or occasion, read user reviews, watch cooking-demonstration videos and even save your favorite meals in virtual recipe boxes. Who needs to spend money on cookbooks?
5.) FREE CHARITABLE GIVING
You don't have to give money to help those less fortunate. Volunteering your time won't cost a dime. Search for opportunities in your neighborhood through VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org or NetworkForGood.org. Donating blood is another great way to give for free.
Or click your support. At TheHungerSite.com, you click a button and advertisers donate a penny or two to charity. At FreeRice.com, you answer quiz questions, and for each one you get right, sponsors donate rice through the United Nations World Food Program. These seemingly small donations can really add up.
6.) FREE PLACE TO STAY
Traveling? Consider trading spaces. Hospitality exchange Web sites are growing in popularity. You can network to trade homes with someone who wants to visit your town, or even take turns hosting each other.
Some popular sites that specialize in connecting members with free places to stay include CouchSurfing.com, HomeExchange.com and IntervacUS.com.
7.) FREE WORKOUTS
You don't need to shell out for a gym membership to stay fit. Walking or jogging in your neighborhood doesn't cost anything. You can also hit your local library to check out free fitness DVDs, from aerobics to yoga.
To encourage public health, some cities have free outdoor gyms for teens and adults at local parks. For instance, at several "Fitness Zones" around the Los Angeles area, residents can use free equipment for strength training, flexibility and cardio workouts.
8.) FREE MUSIC
For a free way to get your groove on, try Pandora.com. Type in a favorite song or artist and this online music-streaming service will play similar tunes it thinks you'll like. It's a fun way to discover new music. You will have to listen to the occasional ad –- but they're super-short and infrequent. Pandora gives you 40 free hours of listening per month.
Slacker.com is another good (and free) music-streaming site. You'll also have to listen to a brief ad here or there, but there's no time limit on your free listening.
9.) FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE
Save a buck or two and dial 1-800-GOOG-411 next time you need directory assistance. Google's free phone service will connect you with the business you're looking for, and there are no ads to listen to. However, it doesn't offer residential listings yet.
You could also dial 1-800-FREE-411 for business and residential directory assistance, but you may have to listen to a short ad.
10.) FREE E-BOOKS AND SHEET MUSIC
When copyrights expire on books and music, the masterpieces become "public domain." That means you can get your hands on classic texts and sheet music for free -- and it's completely legal.
For instance, at Gutenberg.org, you can download more than 30,000 e-books, including works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and James Joyce. At Google Books you can search the text of seven million books (even those that are still under copyright). And at Mutopiaproject.org, musicians can print sheet music by more than 250 composers, including Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Joplin.