15 Things You Can Get For Free
Laura Starkey proves it is possible to get something for nothing.
Yes, you read it right. Here’s how to get 15 fabulous things for free!
1. Cinema tickets
My colleague, Szu Ping Chan, recently explored ways to cut the cost of visiting the cinema.
Of her tips, this was my favourite: register with a couple of special film websites, and you could get tickets to see new films for free before they're even released!
Tickets are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so you have to be quick off the mark -- and there may be more screenings in some areas than in others, at the discretion of the companies distributing the films.
2. Tickets for TV
Whether it’s Strictly Come Dancing, Later... With Jools or Top Gear that takes your fancy, you can register interest in all of them online.
Competition for tickets can be strong -- so I’d recommend putting your name down for every show you’d like to see, in the hope that you’ll bag free tickets for one of them.
3. Days out
If you live close to a city, there’s bound to be museums, galleries and parks you can visit for free. When I first moved to London, I was astonished to find that the British Museum doesn’t charge for entry. Nor do the National Gallery, the Tate Modern and the Science Museum!
You can find out what museums and galleries are near you -- and look for pricing information -- here.
Join FreeDVDClub and you’ll receive a classic film of your choice free. All you have to do is provide your email details and some information on your interests.
It’s likely you’ll receive lots of additional free offers after doing so -- many of which you may not be interested in. However, the site is easy to unsubscribe from.
LastFM is an above-board music site that offers hundreds of free downloads every week.
Elsewhere, iTunes (though normally not cheap) offers a free track weekly. I love these, as they’re often songs by up and coming artists.
And if you’re staying connected to the web, why not plug in your earphones and try Musicovery? It’s a great site that will create a mix of music for you according to your mood -- once again, it’s free.
6. Make-up and skincare advice
Go to your local department store and quiz the people behind the beauty counter about make-up colours, textures and skincare -- then take their free advice away with you.
When it comes to moisturisers and the like, a clever tactic is to ask the person you’re dealing with to name a product’s active ingredients. This will make it easier to track down a cheaper version.
Oh, and don’t forget to blag a few samples!
7. Haircuts and colours
All over the country there are trainee hairdressers seeking models. You can become one by contacting your local school or college, or finding out where your favourite chain of hairdressers trains its future workforce.
Obviously, you accept a free haircut at your own risk -- but in my opinion the threat to your mane is often less serious than you’d imagine.
Tutors should always be on hand to supervise students, and you should be told what sort of new look you’ll be given before the cut starts.
Why keep clothes you don’t wear, when you could swap them for ones you want?
9. Magazines and newspapers
Many magazines and newspapers now have an online presence, too. Why not bookmark your favourites in your browser instead of forking out each time a new issue is released?
A favourite online mag among the boys I know is Catflapmag. Apparently, it’s not about cats at all -- it’s about football!
Join your local library, and you could have access to thousands of books for free. Alternatively, use a book-swapping site such as ReadItSwapIt or Bookmooch to trade your old, unwanted books for different titles.
The internet is another wonderful resource for finding free copies of classics. I used Gutenberg to download an entire copy of H.G. Wells’s ‘War of The Worlds' today -- it didn’t cost me a penny, and took about 3 seconds.
If you’ve taken digital photos but haven’t got around to printing them, why not visit PhotoBox? Right now, you could get 50 prints for free.
12. Computer virus protection software
Free software to protect your PC from viruses is available from websites such as Avast. ZoneAlarm offers free firewall protection, while Trend Micro’s HouseCall virus scanner is also available at no cost.
13. Debt advice
As the credit crunch continues to bite, some people may become increasingly worried about their debts.
If you’re able to, why not make your debts (temporarily) free? Opt for a 0% balance transfer credit card and you’ll get an interest-free holiday of up to 16 months -- breathing space long enough for you to make a real dent in your debts.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy a few of these.