Tag Archives: free

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?

Free is Good – So Use Your Library!

So many of us truly enjoy saving money.  Not just the big picture, important aspect of having enough money for retirement or other necessary expenses.  We also like to have those frequent “successes” in terms of saving money on different purchases or expenses.

It that’s something you enjoy, why not visit the local library? Really, it’s easy to save money by using the library, as I’ve discovered.  Or, rediscovered is a better way to put it.

Personally, when younger, I didn’t care to go to the library.  Honestly, it was a place that was only someplace I might go if I wanted quiet in order to get things done. But looking to the library as a place of value, where I could save money? No, not so much.

However, it’s been the last 6 or 7 years when I’ve rediscovered the benefits of the library.  At the time my new-found discovery started, I was commuting over 75 minutes to work each way.  Yes, that’s 2.5 hours round trip, and on a good day at that.  Needless to say, I was spending far too much time in my car – certainly more than I wanted to!  There was only so much of the radio I could listen to.

That’s when I got the idea to look for books on tape.  For better or worse, my car at the time actually had a cassette option in addition to CD (yes, an older car!), so I had a chance to choose from both types of media.  Upon visiting the local library, I was happy to discover a wide range of good options that I could listen to.  The commute went from being horrible to being…well, at least much more tolerable!  I actually learned some things, and remember some key points from some of those audio books.

That got me to have a new appreciation for the library.  Here are a few things I’ve gotten from it:

New Release Books

Yes, I’ve been able to read some new releases – ones that I could have otherwise bought at a bookstore.  If you have a reader, you know that these things still aren’t cheap.  If you want to go “old school” with a hard-copy book, the library is a good option for a free read.  You might be surprised at the quality of the offerings at your library.  Of course, if you want older books, I’m guessing most libraries have plenty of those too :)


My local library offers a really good selection of DVDs. Sure, it’s not like I’m getting the benefits of streaming – and choosing from home.  But if you want a wide range of movies, including many great titles and some relatively recent hits, my local library has it.  I can keep the movies for 1 week, and I think I can could renew longer if nobody else has a hold on a particular title.


There has been one class I signed up for, so I suppose this hasn’t been one I’ve leveraged too much.  But I can see how this can be of major use to people depending on the class or seminar offered.

A  Peaceful Place to Work

This has been helpful.  Once in a while, I’ll leave home to get work done outside.  While I like a coffee shop for this, the library is a good alternative as well.  Why? Well, you get free wi-fi, peace and quiet, and you don’t have to spend a penny.  Alternatively, if you did want to bring in a glass of coffee, my library doesn’t mind.  So, you have choices.

The best part? Of course, it’s all free! No additional costs incurred, other than driving there.

Readers, do you ever try to enjoy your local public library? What do you find to be the best benefits of the library for you?