Budget cuts, unemployment and rising prices are putting increasing pressure on household budgets. Which? Money experts round up 10 ways to get free stuff in time for the Easter holidays.
Free blockbuster movies
If you want to see free film previews, then sign up to SeeFilmFirst and Momentum Screenings. The sites send emails with opportunities to see films weeks advance of their actual release. There are also loads of sites where you can watch movies online for free. These include Blinkbox, Crackle and Indiemoviesonline. The movies may be a little old but there are some great films available.
Get free product samples
There are many websites that pull together the different free sample offers currently available. Covering everything from tampons to Fairtrade tea, sites such as Freebielist contain the latest free sample offers.
Increased competition in the computing market means you often don’t have to pay for expensive software – free alternatives will often meet your needs just as well.
Quite often many personal finance software packages have free trials and basic versions you can download for free. Similarly, free security software such as AVG Anti-virus free edition 2011 does well in our tests.
If you pay data download charges on your mobile, smartphone or laptop, there are plenty of retailers that now offer free Wi-Fi in-store, helping you cut the cost of surfing the web. McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Pret-a-Manger are amongst the shops that offer free Wi-Fi.
There are even apps and websites that list local Wi-Fi networks. For more details, read our guide to Wi-Fi hotspots.
Free GCSE and A-Level education software and resources
With GCSE and A-Level seasons rapidly approaching, buying revision guides can be a costly business. There are several websites that offer free revision guides, or point you in the direction of further free educational resources, whatever the subject you’re studying.
Swap your clothes with someone else
Known as ‘swishing’, swapping your unwanted clothes with other people is all the rage since the credit crunch. There are parties around the country where you can swap your trash in the hope it might be someone else’s treasure. Primarily aimed at women, the idea was popularised a couple of years ago by the BBC show Twiggy’s Frock Exchange.
Websites for anyone organising or looking for a swishing party include Swishingparties.com. For more details, read our guide 10 ways to cut the cost of clothes shopping.
Get free services and training by swapping your skills
Ever wanted to learn a new skill? Check out the Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) in your community. ‘Offered’ and ‘wanted’ lists are created, through which scheme members swap skills or services in a way that suits both parties. For example, DIY could be swapped for cookery lessons, or childcare for language lessons.
To find a LETS group in your area, visit LETSLinkUK, the body supporting all UK LETS schemes. For more sharing ideas, read the Which? guide 10 ways to save by swapping and sharing.
Spring is here – play tennis for free
If you’re a keen tennis player, find your nearest free court by searching online at tennisforfree.com. With peak-time tennis court hire costing £10 on average, playing for free could save you £520 over the year if you play once a week. For more details, read our Ways to save on getting fit advice guide.
Grab freebies through sites like Freecycle
It’s worth checking out community freebie sites like Freecycle.org and SnaffleUp.co.uk, whose aim is to keep a whole range of usable items out of landfills. Because you can get something for free without giving anything in return, these aren’t strictly swapping sites. However, it’s always best to try and give something back to these communities if you’re able to.
Free tickets for TV show recordings
Television studios give away free audience tickets for many TV recordings. So if you’ve always wanted to watch Alans Carr, Davies and Titchmarsh do their thing, register with websites such as applausestore.com, sroaudiences.com and tvrecordings.com.
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