Get Free Stuff
By Steve Gillman
Yes you can get free things online and off, and yes, sometimes
there are strings attached. For example, when we were at universal
studios I got a free backpack. The catch? I spent six minutes
filling out a credit card application. On the other hand, we
ate pretty well for free on free sample days at local food stores
when we lived in Tucson, and there really weren't any strings
attached. Here are some other easy freebies.
Somebody in Hawaii, Costa Rica or Colorado is just waiting
for you to come and stay in their house while they are away.
You may have to water the plants, and even get the mail for them,
but you get to stay in a beautiful home in a sunny place. Sometimes
you even get paid for these vacations. The only catch is that
to find these opportunities, you may have to subscribe to one
of the newsletters that list them.
We camped in our van for ten days at Williams Landing, east
of Tallahassee, Florida, on Lake Talquin. It's a beautiful place,
with hot showers. Our cost? Zero, and you can stay up to two
weeks. There are free campgrounds scattered around the country.
Ask an RVer about this, or buy a Woodall's directory from any
large RV dealer. Camping can be an essentially free vacation
if you do it right, because you may spend less than if you stayed
Some libraries now carry movies on DVD, and most at least
have documentaries. We have even seen music videos on DVD in
one library. The only cost is the time to get a library card.
Want to go to free concerts? Most festivals have some free
musical entertainment. The National Cherry Festival in Traverse
City, MI, for example, has free entertainment every night during
the week-long festival, including many recognizable bands and
(often) a Beatles tribute band. Go to any search engine and type
in "festival" and the name of towns around you to find
More Ways to Get Free Stuff
Most states give away free road maps. Some give away free
legal forms too, like statutory wills. Check the state's online
Free dental x-rays are available at some dental colleges.
You have to be patient, as the students are just learning, but
an experienced technician is always with them. You get the x-rays
to take to your own dentist, which can save you $30 to $80. Some
schools charge a small fee.
Some utility companies offer free energy audits. They come
to your home and find the places where you are wasting energy.
Some even give you a free kit for caulking windows and weather-stripping
You can get free, confidential business advice from a business
expert via email. Go to the website of "SCORE" (Service
Corps of Retired Executives). These are successful business executives
who volunteer their time to help others in business.
Some restaurants offer free dinners on your birthday. Others
offer a free birthday cake. Many bars will buy your first drink
for you if it's your birthday. How do you find the ones that
do this? The same way you always discover how to get free stuff
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