6. FREE WORKOUTS: Forget the costly gym membership. It doesn’t cost a penny to put on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk or jog in your neighborhood. Or check out a workout DVD from your local library. You may also find free instructional workouts in your area. For instance, Lululemon Athletica stores offer free yoga classes weekly. We also searched the Web and found free tai chi sessions from a variety of organizations in several cities, including San Francisco, Omaha and New York.
7. FREE RX DRUGS: Bring in your prescription, and you can get free antibiotics at some pharmacies, including those at Giant, Meijer, Publix, Stop & Shop and Wegmans. You can also get free prenatal vitamins at Meijer and Schnucks.
8. FREE PHONE ASSISTANT: Streamline your personal phone system with Google Voice, a free service that allows people to dial one phone number to ring all your phones simultaneously. It converts voice-mail messages to text that you can go back to and search by keyword (no more Post-It collages on the wall). You can set up different voice-mail greetings for different callers, plus you can easily screen or block calls — all without paying for a personal assistant. Bonus: Even if your cell-phone plan charges you per text message, you can send free texts from your Google number.
9. FREE CASH: Don’t let your short-term savings stagnate. Stash it in a high-yield online savings account such as ING Direct or HSBC Direct. They’re FDIC-insured and were recently paying 1.1%. (For every $1,000 in your account, that’s $11 free every year.) Online interest-bearing checking accounts from ING Direct and Everbank are also a good deal. They pay from 0.25% to 1.46%. Another source of free cash: Some employers will match your contributions to your workplace 401(k) plan. For instance, if you contribute $100 per month, they may toss in another $50. You’ve got to save for retirement anyway, so take the free cash if it’s offered.
10. FREE EDUCATION: Many colleges and universities, such as Johns Hopkins, University of Notre Dame and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, post course material and lectures on their Web sites. You won’t get credit toward a degree, but you can pursue an interest, sharpen your skills or even learn a language. You can also go to Apple’s iTunes U to access more than 250,000 free lectures, videos and other materials from 600 universities, including Oxford, Stanford and Yale.
FREE FINANCIAL ADVICE: Kiplinger.com is a treasure trove of free financial advice, if we do say so ourselves. Our tools and calculators will help you get on the right financial track. Our expert columnists answer your personal-finance questions on everything from general queries to family finances to ethical matters. Plus, we have loads of informative videos and podcasts, top-notch stock and mutual fund analysis, and an active reader’s community.