From basics such as food and clothes to enjoyable things like travel and entertainment, an incredible majority of the items people waste money on can be yours for free, at least under some circumstances. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and a whole of flexibility. Moreover, if you’re willing to make certain sacrifices, you can cut much of the costs down to zero. Of course, not all of these cost-cutting solutions would work for all. However, you can save a good amount of money if you can find a way to use even one or two of the below-mentioned tips.
Try extreme couponing for free food
One of the biggest items in most household budgets is food. While it may not be possible to bring the cost down to zero, you can surely use some tips and tricks to get food for free in certain situations. Extreme couponing is one such way to get great discounts on food items. It basically involves combining multiple coupons, instead of using just one, to get major discounts on items. People who have mastered this technique often tend to get most of their items at no cost at all or even get a cashback that they can use to buy other products.
Host a clothing swap party for free clothes
Although clothing isn’t a big expense for most Americans, an average household spends thousands of dollars on clothing each year. Most of us have clothes lying in our homes that we don’t need or want. Instead of throwing them away, gather your friends and family, and have a clothes-swapping party. This way you clear unwanted items from your closet and have new-to-you clothes that your friends and family don’t need for free. After swapping, any items that get leftover can be donated to a charitable clothing drive or thrift shops.
Try these alternatives to travel for free
More than food, transportation accounts for a bigger chunk of the average person’s budget. The expenses include gas, oil changes, and auto insurance. Instead of driving around in your own car, here are a few alternatives that you could try to get a ride for free.
- Take free public transportation: Many U.S. cities and smaller towns have free public transportation for commuters.
- Consider slugging or casual carpooling: some cities with high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes allow vehicles with more passengers to access the faster driving lanes. To gain access to such lanes, most solo drivers offer free rides to others during the morning or rush hours. You can check out the areas where commuters pick up co-passengers for slug-lines and catch a free ride to work or home.
Get a free cell phone plan
An average American spends close to a thousand dollars a year on cell phone plans. If all you need is a basic phone plan for emergencies, there are a few ways to get it for free. TracPhone offers SafeLink Wireless Lifeline for applicants whose income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty level. It’s a free 1-year cell phone plan, after which users have to re-qualify or switch to a paid plan. If you don’t qualify, you can still get free cell service through FreedomPop. The phone plan provides you with 200 minutes of monthly talk time, 500 messages, and 50MB of data.
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