Your Money’s No Good Here

“Your money’s no good here.” This is a line from a typical mobster movie. The bartender tells the mafia gangster he doesn’t have to pay for his drinks; he’s covering the cost.

I wish the restaurants I frequent would tell me the same thing. It must be nice to go into a store and pick out what you want, bring it up to the cashier only to have them say you don’t have to pay for your item, it’s free.

We all wish we could get freebies like a mafia gangster does. The idea of killing snitches and laundering money takes the fun out of that career for me though. Instead I visit sites like absurdlycool.com to find loads of freebies. I like this website because it rummages through the web in search of free stuff for me. It’s like a one stop shop.

Below is a list of some more unusual freebies that I have found.

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1. Visit A Museum on Bank of America’s tab.

On the first full weekend of each month Bank of America customers get free admission to more than 100 museums across the country. This is a freebie you can take advantage of this upcoming weekend as a new month starts tomorrow. Visit www.museums.bankofamerica.com to find which museums near you participate in the program. All you need is a photo ID and any Bank of America credit or debit card to qualify. I hope to see some of you at the museum this weekend!

2. Free haircuts, dental work and massages

If you are willing to take on a little bit of risk you can get all of these services for free. Colleges and trade schools are always looking for participants for their students to practice on.

My mom went back to school when my brother and I were in our teens to be a dental hygienist. She took my brother and me with her during a few of her lab days. We got free dental cleanings and free filings. The only downside is that dental students aren’t as gentle as professionals yet.

Call up the local beauty, massage and dental schools to inquire about getting services like these preformed for free by their students. The great part is once you go once they take your contact information and then call you to schedule massages and the like!

3. Free place to stay

Summer is the most popular time of year to travel and visit new places. If you’re road tripping or beach bound this summer consider swapping houses or exchanging homes. Options like these can save you thousands of dollars, allowing you to vacation to places you never thought you could afford.

If you live in a popular tourist destination or big city you can also host visitors. Check out sites like couchsurfing.com, homeexchange.com, intervacus.com to connect with people willing to exchange living quarters.

4. Media Exchange

Do you have boxes of used books, DVDs, and CDs collecting dust in your attic or basement? Why not swap your unused media titles for one’s you actually want to read or watch.

Websites like titletrader.com allow users to exchange books (paperback and hardcover), music (CDs), and movies (DVDs and VHS) with other members from anywhere around the world. When someone wants an item that you have you will receive a notification. Once that person has received his item you will receive a credit with the website, which allows you to swap it for any other item on the site. The more you send out, the more you receive!

If the book or music you are looking for is really old, the copyrights may have expired allowing it to become public domain. That means you can acquire classic novels and musical masterpieces for free — and it’s completely legal. To download any of the classics, like ones by Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, check out Gutenberg.org. They have over 30,000 e-books that you can download for free. Musicians can print sheet music by more than 250 composers, including Wolfgang Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach, for free at mutopiaproject.org.

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5. Exchange Services with Bartering

Get something you really want for free by bartering. Just like the old days before we created paper money.

Use craigslist.org to search for services or items you need in exchange for something in return. Under the for sale section click on barter to list an item/service or search for something you need. My fitness coach frequently barters uses this to get free web design, writing services, business consultations; even free chiropractic sessions! Simply think of what you can provide for free services.

6. Free Airfare

The airline industry routinely overbooks flights. It’s a way for them to hedge their bets against passengers that don’t show up or skip out on their reservations. An empty seat on a plane means a loss in revenue to an airline. Some airlines regularly overbook busy routes by as much as 200 percent. By law, all bumped passengers are entitled to some form of compensation, usually in the form of a free ticket.

All you need to do to get a free ticket is to volunteer when an airline employee asks if there is anyone willing to give up their seat. When you volunteer, they will offer you another flight later that day or the next day. If it is a next day flight they will offer you a hotel voucher as well. If they don’t mention this, make sure to check with them.

Overbooked volunteers are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. To increase your chances of receiving a voucher, ask the airline employee at the gate as soon as you arrive if the flight is overbooked and volunteer to be bumped to a later flight. People traveling alone or with only one or two other people are the most often picked to receive free vouchers. If you are traveling with kids, chances are the airline will not need to bump all of you. Most vouchers expire within a year of the issue date. Keep track of your voucher and make sure you use it before the time is up!

7. Free Music

Websites like iTunes and Rhapsody charge customers to download their favorite tunes to their mp3 player or computer. To get your groove on for free check out Pandora.com.

Pandora will stream any song you like for free from your computer. With Pandora you can hear any song; new or old, well known or obscure. Simply type in the name of any one of your favorite songs or artists into the search box and Pandora will find songs with musical similarities to your choice. It’s a great way to discover new music and artists.

Don’t assume you can’t get an item for free. This list shows you even expensive items like airline tickets can be found for free if you know where to look. I love delivering the unusual, unexpected information to make your life cheaper. Embrace your inner tightwad!

Until Next Week…

Nancy Patterson

     
     
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