It’s Freebie Friday! OK, so it’s really Saturday. Today we’re running part 4 of a special series from Kiplinger Magazine and featured on kiplinger.com. So read on for methods 40 to 50 of 70, yes 70, ways to get free stuff from food to a free college education. Enjoy!
Free Grocery-Shopping Assistance – Free mobile apps can help you save money at the supermarket. For example, ZipList lets you organize your shopping lists, recipes and grocery deals in one place. You can create your shopping list online and access on your phone while you’re shopping. Favado automatically matches coupons with items on your shopping list (you can load the coupons to your store’s loyalty card or print them). It also lets you easily compare sales and prices across a range of supermarkets, drugstores and big-box retailers — including Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s — to find the best deals on items you regularly buy. You’ll also be notified when items on your favorites list go on sale at stores in your area.
Free Shopping Apps – Are your key ring and wallet getting crowded? Use the free Key Ring app to store all of your bar-coded loyalty, membership and library cards on your phone. You simply scan your phone at the point of service. Online shoppers can stay organized with Slice, which tracks packages and notifies you of price drops on items you already bought so you can recoup the difference from the merchant.
To help you get the best price, use apps such as Red Laser or ShopSavvy, which scan any bar code in the store and instantly compare prices for the same item online. For in-store coupons, try Coupon Sherpa or RetailMeNot.
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. You also can get your full TransUnion credit report free at any time from Credit Karma, and a free Equifax credit report every six months from Quizzle.com. See Get a Free Credit Report More Than Once a Year for more information.
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 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. To learn more, see Why You Should Try Your Bank’s Mobile App.
Free Retirement Planning – A free tool at Fidelity.com enables everyone, not just Fidelity customers, to estimate future retirement expenses and income. It recommends appropriate investment strategies to generate steady income (with or without using annuities) and provide growth to keep pace with inflation.
Free Checking – This freebie is getting harder to find without having to jump through a lot of hoops. For the best free checking accounts, look to online banks such as Ally Bank and Bank of Internet USA. They give you free ATM access and free online bill-paying, plus you earn free interest (free money!) on your deposits as well. Or check with community banks and credit unions, which you can find at culookup.com or Kasasa.com.
SEE ALSO: What to Look for in a Checking Account
Free Cash – You have to buy groceries and gas anyway, so why not use those purchases to get a little more green in your wallet? Sign up for a rewards credit card and get free money, gift certificates, airline miles or other perks. (Of course, it’s only free if you pay the balance in full each month without incurring interest charges.)
You can get even more free cash when you shop online by starting at rebate portal sites such as BeFrugal.com, Ebates, Extrabux and FatWallet.com. You select a retailer from their lists, and they pay you back a percentage of your purchase price (typically between 1% and 10%).
SEE ALSO: Best Cash-Back Rewards Cards
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.
Free Tax Software and Guides – 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 $58,000 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.
Free Birthday Treats – A number of eateries offer birthday freebies to customers who sign up for their e-mail lists of join their “clubs.” For example, you can get a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday if you sign up for the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club. You can get a free burger on your birthday if you join Ruby Tuesday’s So Connected program. For more, see 10 Great Birthday Freebies.
You can also sign up to score free food on your birthday from a number of eateries, including Cold Stone Creamery, Denny’s and Famous Dave’s BBQ. Search the web for “birthday freebies,” or call your local restaurants to ask whether they offer a deal.
(Freebham Editor’s Note: For a list of restaurants nationwide that offer birthday freebies click on the “Eat” tab on our home page.)