Last Updated Sep 26, 2011 2:29 PM EDT
My first list of year-round freebies, which I published more than a year ago, continues to attract readers. So, by popular demand, I've collected several more free products and services available to consumers every day. Enjoy!
Free Kids' Food
Many restaurants will let kids eat for free on certain nights of the week. I found a pretty comprehensive list at FrugalLiving.TV: On Mondays, for instance, you can get free kids' meals at IHOP, Denny's, Pizza Hut and TGIFridays. Accompanying adults, of course, need to order too -- and pay full price.
Rewards clubs sometimes offer monthly freebies -- often with no cost to sign up. Signing up for Godiva's Chocolate Rewards Club, for instance, will get you a free piece of chocolate each month. (Godiva, of course, hopes you'll buy more -- but you don't have to.) Want more? By shopping at Lindt stores and signing up for Lindt's Chocolate Connoisseur's Club, you can earn points toward free chocolate. Newsletter recipients also get invitations to tasting events.
Save $10 per download by borrowing e-books from your local library, two-thirds of which now offer e-book borrowing. You can also borrow eBooks for free from Barnes & Noble's LendMe service, via Amazon's Kindle (which also offers free downloads of classic books), Project Gutenberg and Daily Lit, among other Web sites.
I mentioned this last year, but am repeating it again here, since the offer is still good: Participating Lululemon Athletica stores across the country offer complimentary yoga classes, with instructors pushing products to the side to turn the stores into yoga studios. Find a class near you.
Free Flu Shots
CVS Caremark, in a partnership with Direct Relief USA, has announced it will be continuing its free flu shot program this year for community clinic and health center patients who don't have health insurance. Here's the list of participating clinics and health centers where you can obtain your free flu shot voucher.
Check with your local hospital or health department for other ways to obtain a free flu shot. For example, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department recently began offering free flu shots for children ages 2 through 18 who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover flu vaccinations.
Check in with your local massage therapy schools or clinics to see if students are offering free massages. For example, the Illinois Valley Community College's Advanced Massage Therapy class of licensed massage therapy students will host a free massage clinic for those with certain conditions -- such as diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic pain -- during certain days this month and next.
At the more than 1,000 Publix supermarkets located in the southern United States, the pharmacy departments offer free one-time supplies of some generic medication. One example: a 30-day supply of Lisinopril, which is used to prevent, treat, or improve symptoms of high blood pressure, certain heart conditions, diabetes, and certain chronic kidney conditions. You can also get a free 14-day supply of generic oral antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin and Ampicillin. ShopRite pharmacy, a chain spread throughout in the Northeast, also offers a free one-time supply of antibiotics and diabetes medication.
Free How-To Tutorials
If you want to know how to put on a birdcage wedding veil (I did last week), or how to mount your new Pottery Barn shelves to the wall (the directions weren't clear), you can search YouTube, HowCast and VideoJug to find thousands of free how-to videos.
Free Credit Scores
While sites like CreditKarma and Quizzle can help you access to a ballpark estimate of their credit score, it's tough to get your actual FICO score for free without paying. One new exception: If you are denied a private student loan, small business loan, mortgage or credit card -- or even given one but with a less favorable rate -- the lender must provide you with a letter explaining why, and include the credit score it used to arrive at its decision. The new rule took effect on July 21.
Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter/farnoosh
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