Top 10 freebies for winter
Mike Kielty reveals 10 top freebies for you to enjoy over the winter months.
With the government cuts looming, and shops starting to put up their prices ahead of Christmas, there’s no better time than now to get your hands on some freebies. Here are 10 free deals for you to enjoy as those dark winter nights draw in.
Free tickets for concerts, cinemas and the theatre
If you are under-26, you can get free theatre tickets through the website A Night Less Ordinary. Hurry up, though, as the scheme is closing down in March 2011.
Free Cinema Tickets UK can let you know about the latest free deals for cinema tickets.
You can listen to free music (including jazz and folk) in the foyer of the National Theatre. Performances are at 5.45pm on weekdays, at 1pm and 5.45pm on Saturdays and at 1.45pm on Sundays.You can also watch the free lunchtime concerts at the church in St Martins-in-the-fields, which are on every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1pm.
Free Gym pass
LA Fitness is offering a free 3-day gym pass when you complete this short online form. They have 80 gyms around the UK and Ireland, so there should be one nearby to you.
David Lloyd health clubs have an offer for new members where they get the first three months (worth £175) for free. Many other gym chains have free 1-day gym passes available, including Fitness First, Virgin Active and Living Well health clubs.
Free Music downloads
Many bands also offer their music for free online. Coldplay’s album Left Right Left Right Left is a freely available online at the moment, for example!
If you fancy hearing some university lectures without paying the huge tuition fees, then you should check out iTunes U. It allows you to download lectures on anything from political philosophy to writing a business plan from top universities like Oxford and Harvard for free.
Many other universities have free recordings of lectures on their websites. The LSE, for example, offers podcasts of talks by figures like entrepreneur James Caan, business journalist Robert Peston and historian Simon Schama.
Free days out
If you're looking for other free (or ultra cheap) events, the aptly-named Free Events is a particularly handy website.
It lists all free events in chronological order so you'll be able to see what's going on next near you.
And if you're lucky enough to live in London, here's a list of some great websites to check out:
- www.thersa.org/events(NB: This site also lists some events outside London.)
You can get a free taster pack from Graze, a new food company that sends out packages of healthy nibbles, which don’t contain any artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. You get the first box for free and the second half price (£1.64).
There are also plenty of 2-for-1 restaurant deals available, for example at Strada. Zizzi has an offer on that allows you to get a second main course for just £1 if you are getting two. You can also get a free chicken if you get a Nando’s loyalty card, which are available in every Nando’s restaurant.
John Fitzsimons highlights the best sites to visit if you fancy a freebie!
Free SIM cards
Lebara Mobile is offering a free SIM card for your mobile phone. It offers cheap calls (5p per minute calls to UK landlines and 10p/min to UK mobiles on weekdays), as well as a free mobile internet allowance of 10MB per day. Vodafone also offers a free pay-as-you-go SIM card, but call prices are higher: 20p/min to UK landlines or mobiles.
T-Mobile is offering a free international SIM card, with up to 200 free minutes every weekend. Calls to landlines or mobiles in the US are just 5p/min.
Once you retire, you can expect a rail card and free bus pass. But finding free travel deals can be difficult, nigh on impossible. But here’s one freebie gem.
If you travel first-class on trains regularly, you may be able to get some first-class trips for free at weekends. Virgin Trains offers a First Class Traveller scheme that allows you and your partner to get a free return at weekends. You can leave at anytime on Friday and, as long as you return before noon on a Monday, you get the trip for free. If you have kids, then they would cost the reduced fare of £10, while under-5s will also be free.
Just be aware that you need to have made at least eight first-class return trips in the past three months to qualify for membership of this scheme.
You can download free versions of computer games online from www.games2download.com. Using this website, you can download a free version of the game, and then if you choose, can go on to pay to download the full game. You can also get free game demos at sites like www.gamespot.com.
Free iPhone apps for office workers
There are thousands of free iPhone apps out there, but some are better than others. Here are some of the free apps that offer the best services for nothing.
The BBC news app is a great way of keeping track with the day’s events. Tweetdeck allows you to organise your different social networking news feeds. The free Skype app lets you make cheap international calls. Free language dictionaries are great for doing any translation work. The free Last.FM app lets you listen to music. There’s also many top-quality free iPhone games, including BMW’s free car-racing app, ‘An Expression of Joy’.
Of course, you do need to fork out for an iPhone to enjoy these freebies... but if you've already done that, you may as well get your money's worth.
Tell us your tips
Have you found any great freebies? If so, let us know using the comments box below!