Fabulous freebies of 2013

Kiplinger

View gallery

.
This year's best freebies

(Photo: Thinkstock)

There’s only one thing better than getting a good price on something, and that’s getting it for free.

Our annual list of freebies is packed with more something-for-nothing deals than ever. We don’t allow any useless junk on our list, only quality goods and services that you would happily pay good money for (or perhaps you already are). From free financial services to free technology and entertainment, there’s something here for everyone.

Go ahead. Put away your wallet. We insist!

View gallery

.
Free Tuition

(Courtesy of Berea College)






Free Tuition

You can actually get a free college education at a handful of schools.

For example, Berea College in Berea, Ky., covers the full $20,900 tuition for all students, out of a combination of grants, scholarships and work-study.

Cooper Union in New York City grants a full-tuition scholarship -- valued at $150,000 over the course of four years -- to all students.

And College of the Ozarks in Missouri requires students to participate in a work program rather than pay tuition.

(See more: What you should NEVER pay full price for)


View gallery

.
Free Food at Restaurants

(Thinkstock)

Free Food at Restaurants

Your favorite snack shop or fast-food restaurant may have an annual freebie day.

-- A free Rita’s Italian Ice in March

-- A free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Pretzelmaker pretzel, Cinnabon treat and Starbucks coffee in April

-- A free Haagen-Dazs ice cream in May

-- A free Krispy Kreme doughnut and TCBY frozen yogurt in June

-- A free 7-Eleven slurpee on 7/11 and a Chick Fil-A meal in July

Check with your favorite establishment to see if it offers any freebies throughout the year.




View gallery

.
Free Computer Security

(Thinkstock)

Free Computer Security

You don’t have to pay $70 a year for security software.

Avast Antivirus and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows get good reviews from tech experts and offer basic defenses, including malware protection.





View gallery

.
Free Digital Storage

(Thinkstock)

Free Digital Storage Space

With free online backup storage, you can share files and protect them from computer crashes, theft and natural disaster. Windows Live SkyDrive gives you 7 gigabytes of free, secure digital storage space.

You can also use Amazon Cloud Drive (5 GB free) or Dropbox (2 GB free).




View gallery

.
Unlimited texting

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Unlimited Texting

Save money on your cell phone plan by using a free texting service such as textPlus. It assigns you a free phone number through which you can send and receive texts as much as you want on your Android devices, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.






View gallery

.
Free tech support

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Tech Support

If you have a problem with your computer, head to TechGuy.org or 5starsupport.com for free help. You can search the forums for your machine’s particular ailment or post a question to receive a timely response from the sites’ squad of geek volunteers.

And if these sites can’t help you, visit your device’s manufacturer’s own site for more free resources. Many post user manuals and FAQs to help you solve your dilemma.



View gallery

.
Free flight perks

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Flight Perks

Domestic airlines are stingy with giveaways. But some airlines still offer a few freebies for fliers. One of our favorites: Southwest lets you check two bags for free -- which can save you up to $120 on a round-trip flight. JetBlue lets you check one bag free, plus gives you access to free TV, satellite radio and all-you-can-eat snacks.



View gallery

.
Free passport photos

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Passport Photos

You’ll pay about $15 at the post office to get your picture taken for your passport. Instead, take your photo with your own digital camera, then upload it to ePassportPhoto.com, which will help you size it properly before printing on your home printer. The best part: You can redo your picture as many times as you like. After all, who wants to get stuck with a bad photo for the next ten years?




View gallery

.
Free Language Lessons

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Language Lessons

Prepare for your international getaway with the free foreign language lessons online at FSI-language-courses.org. Or go to Openculture.com for a list of lessons around the Web that you can download to your MP3 player. Your public library may also offer courses or software to help you prepare for your travels.

See all 61 Fabulous Freebies on Kiplinger.com

View gallery

.
Free Diet and Fitness Help

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Diet and Fitness Help

Need help sticking to a diet and exercise plan? At Fatsecret.com, MyFitnessPal.com and SparkPeople.com, you can craft meal plans and count calories, put together a fitness plan and track your progress, and get support and advice from other users.

Some employers offer free diet and fitness help to their employees. These programs may include free gym access, weight-loss support groups and smoking cessation programs. Some will even pay you for your progress. Ask if your workplace has a wellness plan.

(See more: 25 Ways to Waste Your Money)



View gallery

.
Free Rx Drugs

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Rx Drugs

Bring in your prescription, and you can get free antibiotics at some pharmacies, including those at Giant Eagle, Meijer, Publix, Schnucks, ShopRite and Wegmans. You can also get free prenatal vitamins at Meijer and Schnucks. Publix, Price Chopper and ShopRite stores give out free diabetes medications and supplies.



View gallery

.
Free Shipping

(Photo : Thinkstock)

Free Shipping

If you love to shop online but hate to pay for shipping, go to FreeShipping.org. The site can direct you to retailers who offer free shipping on every order, big or small. The site also gives you coupon codes to snag free shipping at other retailers.

Many retailers’ sites offer free shipping if you’ll pick up the order at a local store, including AceHardware.com, BestBuy.com, Payless.com, REI.com and Walmart.com.


View gallery

.
Free Kids Meals

(Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Rockets)


Free Kids Meals

Don’t you hate buying a $12 entrée for a picky 6-year-old? Visit KidsMealDeals.com to find restaurants where kids eat free. Better yet, call your local eateries or connect with them on Facebook to find out if they offer kids’ deals. Some do but don’t advertise them, so it’s worth asking.

(Note: Johnny Rockets - ³Kids Eat Free² promotion is good only at participating restaurants.)



View gallery

.
Free Sales Tax

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Sales Tax

Back to school season brings tax-free shopping days in several states. That means residents may be able to avoid paying sales tax on clothing, shoes and other school and office supplies.

Some states have tax-free shopping days at other times of the year. For example, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia have sales tax holidays for energy-efficient appliances. Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia have tax-free days set aside for buying generators and other storm-preparedness supplies. And on the first weekend of September, Louisiana residents won’t pay sales tax on firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. Get more information.

(See more: QUIZ: Outlet Mall…Deal or No Deal?)


View gallery

.
Free Grocery-Shopping Assistance

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Grocery-Shopping Assistance

ZipList lets you organize your shopping lists, recipes and grocery deals in one place. You can create your shopping list online and access on any phone (not just a smart phone) while you're shopping. If you do have a smart phone, you can use the ZipList app to scan items you have at home that you need to purchase, and they'll automatically be added to your list.

You can share the list with family members, and they can add to it. Plus, the site has thousands of recipes, provides recipe recommendations based on ones you've already chosen and will add the ingredients you need to buy for recipes you select to your shopping list. It also shows which items on your list are on sale at local grocers, so you’ll know where to shop to get the best prices.


View gallery

.
Free Credit Report

(Photo: AnnualCreditReport.com)

Free Credit Report

Your credit report can impact your interest and insurance rates as well as your ability to land a job or apartment, so it pays to make sure it’s accurate.

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, no strings attached.




View gallery

.
Free Financial Apps

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Financial Apps

There’s a slew of free apps for your mobile phone that can simplify your financial tasks. Among our favorites are apps from Mint.com to track your spending and investments, Allpoint and Moneypass to find surcharge-free ATMs nearby, Expensify to automatically compile receipts for your business expense report, and Venmo or Paypal to instantly pay your friend back for dinner before you even leave the table. Most banks also have free mobile banking apps that allow you to check your balance, transfer funds and make deposits on the fly.


View gallery

.
Free legal advice

(Photo: Courtesy of Nolo.com)


Free Legal Advice

Nolo.com has been Kiplinger's go-to source for legal information for a long time, and it's still the best. The Web site is packed with free advice on a wide range of legal issues, such as estate planning, buying or selling real estate, managing a business and more.

Nolo is authoritative, yet clearly explains when your situation calls for hiring a lawyer.



View gallery

.
Free Tax Software and Guidance

(Photo: Getty Images)

Free Tax Software and Guidance

Preparing your income taxes doesn’t have to cost a lot. Check out the IRS’s Free File program. If your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less, you qualify for free tax-prep software and filing. If you make more money than that, you can still file for free, but you don’t get the free software.

Have a tax question? Call the free IRS help line at 800-829-1040. Many communities also offer free face-to-face help during tax-filing season, with volunteers at public libraries and community centers. See the IRS’s list of free tax return preparation resources for details.



View gallery

.
Free Fishing

(Photo: AvidlyAbide)

Free Fishing

Grab your pole and hang a "Gone Fishin’" sign on the door. Most states have free fishing days when you can fish without a license, saving you about $7 to $30, depending on your location. You’ll find a list of states and dates at TakeMeFishing.org, or check with your local fish and wildlife agency for details.

Many locales let kids fish for free year-round. The age cutoff varies by state but is usually in the teens.



View gallery

.
Free Museums and Parks

(Photo: Esther Westerveld)

Free Museums and Parks

Many top-notch museums, galleries and zoos offer free admission year-round, including the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Others, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, let you in for free on certain days of the week or month.

Bank of America cardholders can gain free admission to more than 150 museums on the first full weekend of every month.

Our national parks boast some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, and some don’t charge entrance fees, including the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway. Plus, on several days throughout the year, you can get in free to all national parks that usually charge admission. Here’s the free-admission schedule.



View gallery

.
Free E-Books

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free E-Books

At Gutenberg.org or the University of Pennsylvania online books page, you won’t pay a cent to legally download thousands of books whose copyrights have expired, including War and Peace, Moby Dick and Little Women. You can also search for free e-books at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes.com and Kobo.com.

For newer titles, check out your public library. Or join a free online lending community such as ebookfling or ebookexchange. You list your Kindle and Nook ebooks on the site (the publisher has to have chosen to enabled the title for lending), then you swap ebooks with other members. Borrowers have 14 days to read the book.


View gallery

.
Free Music

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Music

Get your groove on with free music streaming services, such as Pandora.com, Grooveshark.com and Spotify.com. You can access them online, or install their handy apps to take the tunes on the go.







View gallery

.
Free Tutoring

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Tutoring

Tired of trying to teach your kid the difference between sine and cosine? Ask your school or local library whether it provides free tutoring services, or access to free online tutoring such as Tutor.com and SkillsTutor.com. These sites off tutors in a range of subjects and let students and tutors communicate online.




View gallery

.
Free Education Apps

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Education Apps

Like it or not, kids and technology are drawn to each other. So why not use that magnetic power for good? For elementary-age kids, check out the iTooch app for math, science and language arts activities, the MeeGenius app for reading, and the free PBS Kids apps for educational games and videos. For middle schoolers, try the Blanks app for vocabulary, and Khan Academy app for math and science videos. And for high schoolers, Brightstorm ACT Prep or Kaplan’s SAT Flash Cubes apps can help your teen prepare for college-entry exams.


View gallery

.
Free Résumé Help

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Free Résumé Help

Whether you’re applying for an internship, searching for your first job out of college or polishing a seasoned résumé, you can get free help with your job hunt. Stop by a One Stop Career Center (a service provided by the U.S. Department of Labor) in your area. Trained staff can help you with resume writing, interviewing skills and online job searching techniques. The centers also offer job training programs, or they can arrange on-the-job training and apprenticeships with local employers.

You can also watch for workshops at your local library, community center or college.


More from Kiplinger:

10 Best U.S. Cities for Cheapskates

QUIZ: Warehouse Stores….Deal or No Deal?

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • First Trump press moment was a catastrophe and puts US lives at risk: Analyst

      The first full day of the new U.S. presidency was a "catastrophic" moment for President Donald Trump in terms of media relations, an analyst told CNBC.

      CNBC
    • The Clintons are hatching a plan for their comeback

      The Clintons are already plotting their comeback, a new report details. Hillary Clinton is looking for a path to return to the political fray, as both she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, examine how the former secretary of state suffered the most surprising, epic political defeat in recent memory, Politico reports. “[D]espite the grave disappointment, resilience is in the Clintons’ DNA. So, while I certainly don’t expect to see them trying to assert their authority, I think there will be natural and welcome opportunities for them to engage,” said Mack McLarty, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff. Hillary Clinton is receiving briefings from her former campaign manager, Robby Mook,

      New York Post q
    • Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid Brought Every Sheer Shirt They Own to Paris

      After walking at Givenchy’s combine menswear and couture show in Paris, the two models joined the brand’s creative director, Riccardo Tisci, for dinner. Bella wore a completely sheer turtleneck bodysuit tucked into a black mini skirt with just an oversized black bomber jacket providing some coverage, then finishing off the look with a pair of thigh-high white patent leather boots. Likewise, Kendall also chose something very transparent – a black fishnet long sleeve crewneck top worn under a white knit tube top – and kept the ensemble seasonally appropriate thanks to a black fur jacket, leather pants and strappy heels.

      People
    • Tom Brady’s Big A– Sideline Coat Draws Hilarious Comparisons

      Kellyanne Conway isn’t the only one getting called out for her cold weather attire.

      The Wrap
    • Sweet thank you card from ball girl to tennis pro Jo-Wilfried Tsonga goes viral

      There isn't always room for niceties in the world of professional sport, but French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has bucked the trend. You might remember him helping out a ball girl who was in tears after being struck by a ball at last year's Australian Open, stopping the match to accompany her off the court. SEE ALSO: Tennis pros: Don't hit ball kids 'cos your hopes and dreams will be dashed Here's a video of the moment to help jog your memory. Well, twelve months on, the ball girl — real name Giuliana — penned a thank you card to the Frenchman, which he shared on Facebook while back in Melbourne for the tennis tournament. "Dear Mr Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you for helping me out on court during your round 2 match of the Australian Open 2016," the letter reads. "I'm not sure if you remember me but I was the ball girl you escorted off court. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for all the times when you asked for the ball but I didn't service it to you or acknowledge you." The card revealed Giuliana had a virus on the day that also affected her hearing and vision, hence inhibiting her performance on the court. The expectations for these ball kids are understandably set quite high. "Thank you so much for the kindness you showed me. I really appreciate that you were able to see that I needed some help and were kind enough to escort me off court," Giuliana added. She signed off the card with her name and her ball kid number, #180. At the time, Tsonga told reporters that he "didn't do anything special" by helping her off the court, but he did thank Giuliana for her letter Sunday. What a guy, hey. BONUS: Lazy sea lion decides this car roof is a great place for a nap

      Mashable
    • Carly Fiorina reacts to the Women's March on Washington

      Former presidential candidate suggests on 'Sunday Morning Futures' that demonstrators give the new president time

      Fox Business Videos
    • Father and son accused of rape want ‘only law book that truly matters’ at their trial: The Bible

      A father and son accused of raping a teenage girl over a three-year period and keeping her shackled in a basement have made it clear that they don’t have faith in the law or in the people who practice it. When they face an Ohio jury as they defend themselves against criminal charges that carry long prison sentences, they will rely on one book: The Bible. Timothy Ciboro and his son, Esten Ciboro, both of Toledo, are each charged with multiple counts of rape. The trial is scheduled to start this week, months after the girl, who is Timothy Ciboro’s stepdaughter, managed to unshackle herself and escape while her alleged abusers were gone, authorities said. During a hearing Friday, the Ciboros made

      Washington Post q
    • Reggie Bush Name Dropped in His 'Alleged' Baby Mama's Divorce Papers | B. Scott

      We told you a few weeks ago that Reggie Bush ‘allegedly’ had a baby outside of his marriage, but now we’ve learned the woman claiming to be his mistress is married — and her husband wants a divorce. via TMZ: As we previously reported, a Miami nightclub waitress named Monique claims Bush (who is also married) sperminated her last year and approached him about child support. The baby is due in February.  Now, we’ve learned Monique was married at the time of the alleged tryst — and her husband is PISSED. He’s filed for divorce and it’s clear from the docs he’s convinced Bush is the father of her unborn kid.  He’s named Bush several times in his divorce papers and is demanding she hand over any documentation

      B. Scott | lovebscott.com q
    • 7 Make-Ahead Casseroles That Guarantee Easy Weeknights

      Dinner is always doable when you prep one of these make-ahead casseroles during the weekend. And they taste so much better than takeout.

      The Cheat Sheet q 32 min ago
    • Trump claims 1.5 million people came to his inauguration. Here's what the evidence shows.

      On Saturday, President Donald Trump excoriated the media for — in his view — massively understating the size of his inaugural crowds. “I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field,” Trump said at a speech Saturday afternoon at the CIA. “We had 250,000 people literally around in the little ball we constructed.” In other words, 250,000 people had been given tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, which is what the Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Ceremonies told CNN.

      Vox.com q
    • Mike Francesa’s Super Bowl tradition is on life support

      “Audio time” is apparently over. Mike Francesa’s long-running Super Bowl contest is ending months before his WFAN show does. Newsday reported on Monday morning, the day the contest traditionally begins, that a lack of sponsorship is behind the cancellation. “As of now, we’re not doing the contest,” WFAN’s vice president of programming Mark Chernoff told the paper. “There is a possibility of a sponsorship; if that happens, we will be able to do it.” It is possible a sponsor now steps up with news of the cancellation being reported. Francesa would give out five ticket packages each year. The contest started as “Mike and the Marquis” with Chris Russo, and Francesa did it solo after Mad Dog left

      New York Post q
    • Amex is moving on from Costco

      This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and...

      Business Insider
    • Tom Brady wore a giant coat against the Steelers and we loved it

      Sorry not sorry. Tom Brady is trying to keep warm on the sidelines of the AFC Championship in this little big number.Of course, we cannot confirm that this is Brady and not eight children stacked on top of each other pretending to be an adult professional football player.It looks like this contraption has a hood on it, too, so it’s possible he could disappear completely inside, becoming nothing more than a mass of Patriot-themed nylon and polyester insulation. ...

      SB Nation q
    • Best app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time

      Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up fast. Here are the latest and greatest apps on sale in the iOS App Store.

      Digital Trends
    • With Trump renewing vow to renegotiate Nafta, here's some of the most vulnerable companies

      The president's call to rework or scrap the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, in place since 1994, has far-reaching implications--from candy companies to railways.

      The Street q
    • More Amazing Photos You Missed From the Women's March in Washington, D.C. (70 photos)

      On Saturday, women, men, children, and even pets , from all walks of life, on all seven continents ( yes, including Antartica ) joined together in solidarity for the Women’s March. While the marches took place in cities worldwide, Washington, D.C. was the epicenter for the movement, where hundreds of thousands descended upon the city in attempts to stand up not only for women’s rights, but for human rights, and to send a message that climate change is real, and it is up to us to stop it. High estimates for D.C.’s march state up to 680,000 people rallied on the streets of the nation’s capital. The crowds were reportedly so large , that folks couldn’t use the original protest route, and instead they clustered in the streets, marching to the White House, dispersing through the capital, a sea of pink cat-eared hats and picket signs. No arrests were made . It signifies that, even though many say the country is divided, there is still clearly a lot of unity still in the land. Click through the slideshow above to see some of the sights from the demonstration. Related: Princess Leia and Wonder Woman Emerge as Icons in Women's Anti-Trump Marches Pink Pussy Hats Unite Millions at Women's Marches Around the World Follow us on Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.  

      Yahoo Style
    • Texas mall shooting: Good Samaritan guns down suspect after botched robbery kills bystander

      The shooting occurred moments after two suspects attempted to rob the Kay Jewelers at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio just after 3.30pm, police said. Two bystanders tried to intervene, leading to one being shot dead by one of the suspects. The other bystander, who was licensed to carry a concealed firearm, shot and wounded that suspect, Police Chief William McManus said.

      International Business Times UK q
    • 'Mariah's World': Mariah Carey Convinces Boyfriend Bryan Tanaka to Stay on Tour with Sexy Lap Dance

      Plus, seven more can't-miss moments -- crowns! weed brownies! homoeroticism! -- from the latest episode of the diva's docu-series.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • 7 fascinating facts about living in the White House

      U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) greet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania for tea before the inauguration at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. While the eyes of the world were trained on Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, a team of staffers was working behind the scenes to turn the White House into a home for the new first family. The first family will have a staff of 96 full-time and 250 part-time workers to make sure their time in the White House runs smoothly.

      Yahoo News
    • Did Karen Pence and Her Blue Dress Steal the Show at the Inauguration Ball?

      All eyes were on the presidential procession during President Trump’s inauguration, and that includes getting a first look at some of the fashion choices of the new first family. However, it was Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, who according to some observers stole the show in a dazzling blue number at the evening inaugural ball.

      Yahoo Style