Friday, September 02, 2011
Free Alternatives for Everyday Items | Family Economics
I have found several free alternatives to pricey items over the years. I’ll admit, for some of these items I have chosen to actually pay more money due to upgrades, but many of them were just plain free -- with no strings attached either! Here are a few of hidden gems I use:
• Internet. There are many business establishments that offer free Wi-Fi. Whenever I'm out and about, wififreespot.com is a great place to check for nearby places offering free Wi-Fi services. Many libraries also offer free Internet services. When you arrive, be sure to check at the customer service desk to see if you need a code to get online.
• Phone. There are many free voiceover Internet phone plans available for free, including Skype and Google Phone. Many also have mobile applications you can use for your smartphone, too. While you may already have mobile applications on your, these benefits can come in handy for areas where you don't have phone service, are roaming or are traveling internationally.
• Cable. If you don’t have cable service at home, you can still be able to enjoy cable television. By logging onto websites that feature online video services such as Hulu.com, you’ll be able to find many network television programs that can be streamed on your computer. You can't watch them live, but at least you can catch up with some of your favorite shows.
• Unlimited texting. With the purchase of the iPod for our son, we knew he was missing something that the iPhone couldn't provide that mostly every child wants—texting. Luckily, this wasn’t an issue. After a quick search in the Apple App Store, we found several texting apps that worked just like the real thing! They are totally free with optional paid versions. For us, the free version worked just fine.
• Online Storage. Are you concerned that your precious photos will be lost forever if your computer is on the fritz? Using reputable online storage sites like Dropbox, Photobucket and Flickr are great ways to have photos stored beyond your home server. You can upgrade the various plans for more storage if necessary. Some sites even offer referral storage credits when you refer friends. Why not share a good, free thing?
• Music. You can listen online to many radio stations now while working at a computer. However, you cannot save any of your favorite tunes that may pop up to your personal drive. Did you know that Amazon.com has hundreds of free songs to download? iTunes also offers a free song each day, along with other free downloads.
What are some free items you take advantage of for everyday things?