Finding a Way to Get Things For Free

Free = good.  Well, not always, as sometimes we do get what we pay for.  But if you can get something of value for little or no cost, it’s pretty cool.

Januarybe I get a bit more excited that some folks do over such things, but sometimes it just feels great to score a deal.  It’s even more fun when it’s something that required a small bit of resourcefulness to make it happen.

I had one of those situations recently, when I was – of all things – planning to see a movie.  It was an evening of going to dinner and movie, and the latter wouldn’t involve any matinee prices.  Rather, we’re talking about full price theater tickets.  In this suburban locale, they weren’t going to cheap, despite prices at this theater being somewhat reasonable.

So, we were at dinner, and it hit me that a few years ago I had earned some “Fandango Bucks”.  Basically, these are dollars that can be applied to a purchase through Fandango, where you can get movie tickets in advance.  I had earned $15 of credit via a work function from 2.5 years ago, a place where I actually no longer work.  Anyway, it was a “reward” for members of the winning team in some type of strategy team building sessions.  Yeah, we were in a big conference room, divided up into groups, trying to brainstorm a strategy to solve a business issue.

Anyway, I recall that my team had won, and they gave us each this email with a code that we could use to get $15 in credit toward use on Fandango.  The thing is, that was a few years back and I had forgotten about it.  All of a sudden, at dinner, I remembered that this was out there.  I then recalled that I had actually sent my self an email (personal email) with that code, just in case I lost it or left that job.   So, I quickly used my smart phone to check my personal email and guess what – I quickly found the code!

Next step was to go onto Fandango, apply the code, and get my free tickets.  Which, I did! The code was STILL valid after a few years!

The whole thing took Januarybe 6 or 7 minutes.  Don’t’ worry, I wasn’t being a rude dinner companion :)  It was all good.  Actually, it was great.  Thinking of a credit from a few years ago, then being able to utilize it via smartphone in just a couple minutes was cool.  Always nice to see a free movie!

Readers, have you ever been resourceful in getting goods or services free? Is there a recent example of when you’ve gotten something free that was pretty cool to you?

13 thoughts on “Finding a Way to Get Things For Free

  1. Edward Antrobus

    When tablets started coming out, I wanted one. But I couldn’t justify spending the money for one, not even the lower cost tablets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have come out with. That’s money I should be using to pay off debt, not spending the way I did when I was getting into debt!

    So I made it my goal in life to get one for free. Between paid surveys and paid searching, I slowly accumulated Amazon gift cards. Last week, I redeemed points for the last $5 card; it should arrive sometime this week or early next week. Then I will be getting a $159 Kindle Fire completely at no cost to me.

    1. Post author

      Every little bit of savings counts, and can be used toward a bigger goal. Great example, with that Kindle Fire.

  2. Pauline

    I always check for promotions and coupons but lately haven’t score anything exciting. Oh yes, a month of free Amazon Prime to ship my shopping binges overnight while in Europe!

  3. [email protected]

    Getting things for nothing is fine as long as you account for the effort of doing it. And don’t forget the shopkeepers – and cinema owners – who miss out on some income. We have tried Groupon and various voucher schemes. Great if they work and it doesn’t take too long but if you end up queueing or on the phone for half an hour, forget it.

    However good that you could browse your email from your smart phone – I must change over to an IMAP server for my email….

    1. Post author

      John – agreed that effort matters. I’m a big believer in the value of time invested in terms of getting something back. In this case, there was basically just a few minutes of time. So, essentially no incremental time invested to get the tickets!

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