10 Things You’re Paying for But Can Get for Free

Zero Percent

Whoever said you can’t get something for nothing should read the article below, if they were still alive that is, LOL! Check out this list of ten things that you’ve most likely been paying for all your life but could have received for free.

10. Post-secondary Education

College Graduates
Source: Pexels

Many universities offer free learning opportunities via OpenCourseWare (OCW). According to the Open Education Consortium, “an OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality college and university-level educational materials. These materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content. OpenCourseWare are free and openly licensed, accessible to anyone, anytime via the Internet.”

Specific materials include lecture notes, assignments, recommended textbooks, and syllabi. The subject matter for OCW courses includes math, science, marketing, accounting, engineering, public health, legal studies, fine arts, and more.

Some of the schools that offer such learning opportunities include MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Tufts University, Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Michigan, and Yale.

There’s no signup or enrollment, and there are no start or end dates, so you can study at your own pace. OCW courses are ideal for lifelong learners since they typically don’t offer credit or certificates.

9. Healthcare

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Free health clinics can be a lifesaver, literally, for those who are eligible for their services. They offer important medical and dental services, as well as counseling. For example, The Northern Neck – Middlesex Free Health Clinic in Virginia offers the following:

-Physical Therapy
-Chronic & acute care
-Specialty referrals
-Laboratory tests
-X-Rays/CT scans
-Diabetic clinics
-Dietitian services
-Nebulizer treatments
-Flu & pneumonia vaccines
-School & sports physicals
-Patient education
-Dental services 4 days/week
-Oral exams and treatment plans
-Behavioral health counseling
-and more

Another option for free dental care is through a dental school. Keep in mind that the treatment may be performed by students, but they’re typically supervised by a faculty member.

Lastly, the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research sometimes seeks volunteers for clinical trials and may provide study participants with free, but limited, dental treatment for a particular condition they are studying. To find a complete list of these trials, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

8. Museum Tickets

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If you want to take in some culture, arts and entertainment for free, check with your local library. Some public libraries offers free passes to local museums. Here are two examples below.

Miami-Dade Public Library System Museum Pass Program:
-Visit your nearest branch, see library staff or search the catalog and use your library card to check one out
-Pass is good for up to a family of four
-Pass is good for one visit
-Pass is not renewable or available for reserve
-Pass is valid for seven days from the time of checkout and will remain on the customer’s record for the duration of the seven-day checkout
-Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis
-Pass will not be replaced if lost or stolen
-Only one pass may be checked out at a time
-Limited number of passes per branch
-Restrictions may apply, including blackout dates or separate admission to special events/exhibits

Seattle Public Library Museum Pass:
-Free admission to participating Seattle museums
-Reserve one pass to the same museum once every 30 days
-New passes are available each evening after 9 p.m.


Smithsonian Magazine hosts Museum Day every year. Participating museums nationwide provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people. This year’s Museum Day will be celebrated on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Tickets will be available for the public to download beginning at midnight on August 15, 2018.

7. Computer Tech Support

Computer Support
Source: Pexels

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the infamous blue screen of death, those registry errors that result in missing or corrupt .dll files, or important updates that won’t install, the truth is, many folks don’t have the budget or the know-how to take care of these problems. Thankfully, Protonic.com offers free computer support and computer related information online and via email. They have volunteer technicians from all over the world to help solve your computer woes. From software installation to hardware and HTML problems to needing computing terms explained, all you have to do is submit your question to them and they’ll respond via email and through their easy-to-use Web interface.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond their control, the site will soon be closed to clients in the European Union, and could possibly close completely. Alternatives like one-on-one email to and from the technicians, Bulletin Board format, blog format and opt-in membership are being considered.

6. Haircut

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Cosmetology schools sometimes offer free haircuts. For example, earlier this year, local barber students in Verona, MS offered free haircuts for kids at Tupelo and Lee County schools. And, at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology, veterans and current service members can get a free haircut on Wednesdays if they bring in their military ID.

If you’re a little leery, however, about getting your hair done by students, Holly Leshovsky, Master Educator at Aveda Institute, offers some advice on what you need to know before you go:

-You should go to your appointment with multiple photos, plus the right words to accurately describe what you’re looking for.
-Don’t be afraid to explain your hair to your stylist, even if you’re not directly asked.
-If you’re on a tight schedule, let your hairdresser know ASAP.
-If you’re halfway through your cut and starting to get worried, speak up!
-If your haircut is over and you’re not happy, you should still speak up — there’s probably a way to fix it.
-It’s more than OK to ask to speak with an instructor.
-Want to give it a shot but still a little cautious? Test the waters with a less-permanent treatment.

Another way to get a free haircut is to become a hair model. Many hairdressers are looking for models. If you sign up to become one, you’ll receive a complimentary cut and style. At Ouidad salons, these services are performed by an expert stylist under the supervision of a professional Ouidad Educator. To get started, you’ll need to fill out a questionnaire on the website. If you need a stylist closer to home, you can visit the Be My Hair Model website. BeMyHairModel.com is a classifieds-style website for hairdressers looking for hair models and is available in the U.S. and the UK.

5. Restaurant Food

Boy Eating
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Many restaurants offer a “Kids Eat Free” night. These specials are mostly unadvertised, but you can learn more about them through MyKidsEatFree.com. You can use the website to search by city for restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials. There are currently 5,361 restaurants in the site’s directory. They recommend that you call ahead and verify that the offers are still valid. MyKidsEatFree is available in Canada, too.

4. Lodging

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Couchsurfing.com is a service that helps you find a place to stay for free while traveling. Here’s how it works:

-Step 1: Create a Couchsurfing profile
-Step 2: Search for the city you plan to visit and browse locals with couches available
-Step 3: Send a Couchrequest for the dates you plan on visiting

For your safety, it’s recommended that you look through profiles and references, get to know potential hosts via the website’s messaging system, and make sure the hosts have a verified payment method, home address, or mobile phone number.

Events are part of the deal, too. Couchsurfers organize events in 200,000 cities around the world. These events provide an opportunity to participate in fun activities as well as meet new friends.

3. Television

Watching Tv
Source: Pexels

While once free, the conversion from analog to digital signal forced many people to turn to paid services like cable or satellite for TV entertainment. But, did you know that you can watch TV for free–or, at least for whatever you pay per month for Internet service (which is probably a lot less than cable or satellite)?

Yahoo View lets you watch and stream the latest episodes of current TV shows, movies, and documentaries for free online. Genres include anime, comedy, drama, documentaries, game shows, international, kids & family, news & information, and reality shows. Popular shows include The View, American Ninja Warrior, Saturday Night Live, Naruto, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Voice.

2. Phone Calls and Text Messaging

Phone Call
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FreedomPop offers a free monthly mobile phone service for customers who prefer smaller plans. You must sign up for the free trial, but you’ll be able to downgrade to the free plan for continuous free service. This must be done within 14 days.

Here’s what you’ll get:

-ZTE Prestige 2 Smartphone
-Charger, battery, setup guide
-200 minutes, 500 text, 500MB data

If you already have a phone, you can take advantage of their “Bring Your Own Device” program.

NOTE: A one-time activation fee of $19.99 is required.

Additional free options:
Skype to Skype calls
Google Voice — You get a free phone number for calls, text messages, and voicemail. You can use the apps on smartphones and computers, and you can link your number to any mobile or landline number. You’ll need a Google account to get started.

NOTE: Google Voice is only available in the U.S.

1. Internet

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Juno and NetZero are two dial-up providers that offer free Internet access. They are both owned by United Online and offer the following:

-Surf the Web free for 10 hours a month
-Thousands of access numbers nationwide
-Email with Mobile & Web Access from any Internet-connected PC or mobile phone
-Multiple email addresses

FreedomPop offers free 4G wireless Internet service. The free service is available if you downgrade to the basic plan after the 30-day free trial. Unfortunately, FreedomPop is not available in all areas, but a quick check on the homepage will tell you if your location qualifies. Here’s what you get if your location does qualify:

-Free trial of Premium 2GB
-Free trial of Premier
-Free Internet hotspot
-Charger, battery, setup guide
-Free 4G LTE data every month
-Works with any WiFi compatible device
-Change plan anytime
-Downgrade to basic free within 14 days for continuous free wireless Internet

Once you downgrade to the basic plan, you’ll get 200MB/month.

NOTE: There is a one-time activation fee of $9.99.


Do you know of any products or services that are free but are mostly unadvertised? Share it with our readers in the comments section below. Thanks!