30 Ways to Save: Finding Freebies

Fresno, CA, USA -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At the Revue coffee house in Fresno's Tower District, you can get wired off the caffeine or the free wi-fi. It's one of several hotspots around town that offers free internet access to patrons.

That keeps Fresno city college student Ashley Yarbrough coming back: "That's pretty much the main reason why I come here because they have the free internet, it just makes things convenient, you don't have to wait at the library for someone to get off the computer."

Speaking of the library... A reminder: everything from the library card to computer access is always free. To find the nearest free wi-fi hotspot near you, search your city at www.wififreespot.com

The internet is a treasure trove of freebies. You just have to know where to look.

For example, Microsoft's Office software for your home computer will cost you over $100. But you can get a free software package at www.openoffice.org that includes word processing, making spreadsheets, and creating presentations.

At www.gutenberg.org you can download more than 25-thousand e-books, including works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and James Joyce. When copyrights expire on books, they become "public domain" which means you can legally get the classics for free.

The BBC www.bbc.co.uk/languages offers free online language courses. Choose from among beginner courses in French, German, Italian and Spanish, just to name a few. Brush up on your conversation skills before your next vacation.

As for free furniture. Consider joining your local freecycle site. Membership is free. Just go to www.freecycle.org to look for your local group, register, and soon you'll be receiving e-mails telling you what's "offered," what's "wanted," and what has been "taken." Teva Ingrassia, Freecycle member: "I've been involved with Freecycle for about two years and we've gotten everything from the smallest toy for our son to furniture for our living room, exercise equipment, really broad range of items."

Finally, ask your favorite restaurant if there any meal promotions. Acapulco in Central Fresno advertises kids eat free Tuesday.

Sometimes, there really *is* such a thing as a free lunch..


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