free things en-US 8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Gym and gym equipment." title="gym interior" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may love running outside, cycling on a greenway or roadway, or <a target="_blank" href="">practicing yoga on your own</a>, all for free. Still, you might also enjoy and benefit from a workout at a gym, lifting weights or doing resistance exercises using special equipment, taking an <a target="_blank" href="">indoor cycle class</a> with friends, swimming in a full-length pool, or running on the treadmill when it&rsquo;s rainy, windy, or freezing outside.</p> <p>Gym memberships can be expensive and may require year-long commitments. But, in some cases, you can use fitness facilities for free. Some freebies are available to anyone, while others are available to you as part of a package deal minus the long-term obligations. Consider these frugal and respectable ways to get access to a gym. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Fitness for People Who&nbsp;Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <h3>1. Work Out on Free Days</h3> <p>Privately-owned gyms often have free classes or days when all classes are free and open to the general public. In my area, friends have told me about freebies at their gyms: a women&rsquo;s-only facility hosts a dance-type class on Sundays, and a CrossFit location holds Saturday sessions at no charge.</p> <p>Such offerings provide a way for owners to give back to the community and, at the same time, attract new members.</p> <h3>2. Sign Up for a Triathlon Training or Running Program</h3> <p>Many personal trainers, triathlon coaches, running coaches, and the like partner with local gyms and Ys to get you ready for specific athletic events. These training programs help prepare you for 5Ks and other road races, challenge events like mud runs, and triathlons.</p> <p>The program fee may include a short-term membership at a local gym or Y, even if most of the training is done offsite. For example, I completed a 12-week sprint triathlon program that included a 3-month membership to the YMCA. Participants paid for the training program but got to use the gym at no additional charge.</p> <h3>3. Get a Free Pass</h3> <p>The YMCA, YWCA, and private gyms often give free passes for a few visits or unlimited ones for a month or some designated period.</p> <p>At the local Y, you might be able to snag a pass on your own or get one from a friend who is a member. Privately run and specialty gyms may be more generous with freebies, allowing you to visit several times in a given month as a way of enticing you to join.</p> <h3>4. Participate in Community Programs</h3> <p>Community outreach arms of local organizations occasionally offer free exercise programs or single sessions to area residents as a way of encouraging healthy habits. Sometimes sessions are held at local fitness gyms and studios, giving you the chance to visit the facility, use equipment, and check out specialty classes.</p> <p>Look for a schedule of programs sponsored by area hospitals, health promotion agencies, parks and recreation departments, and even your own employer. You may need to register for a newsletter or health &quot;club&quot; to hear about the activities but generally these are <a target="_blank" href="">free health resources</a>.</p> <h3>5. Ask for a Gym Membership as a Gift or Benefit</h3> <p>Someone has to pay for the membership but in this scenario, using the gym is technically free for you. If you are hoping to avoid getting stuff that will clutter your home, then you may ask for an annual gym membership depending on the gift-giver&rsquo;s budget.</p> <p>Similarly, consider asking your employer for a free gym membership as an employee benefit.</p> <h3>6. Visit the Hotel&rsquo;s Gym</h3> <p>When you are staying at a hotel, use the gym for free (ditto for a resort). The size and quality of these facilities vary, but you should be able to find cardio and weight equipment.</p> <p>If your job requires lots of travel, consider getting free gym workouts when you are on the road and exercising outside when you are home.</p> <h3>7. Enroll in College</h3> <p>The fitness facilities at many colleges and universities are outstanding. As a student, you will likely have access to these gyms for free. They may include studios for group classes, weight training machines, indoor tracks, basketball courts, swimming pools, and climbing walls.</p> <p>Most schools grant access to full-time students only. But if you are thinking about taking a class, ask about part-time student benefits to see if you are eligible for free fitness services.</p> <h3>8. Get a Part-Time Job at the Gym</h3> <p>Employees at a Y, private gym, studio, or swim club typically enjoy free memberships. You may need to earn a certification and teach classes, or provide administrative or childcare services. This way of using the gym for free isn&rsquo;t the simplest solution but may be a great way to avoid membership fees while picking up some extra cash. (See <a target="_blank" href="">part-time jobs that can get you serious discounts</a>.)</p> <p>Alternatively, you could get a job with a college, university or other organization that allows use of its fitness facilities.</p> <p>Finally, if you don&rsquo;t want to get a job just to use the gym for free, consider <a target="_blank" href="">bartering services for free classes</a>.</p> <p>Workout for free while you decide your next fitness move. You may discover that the gym becomes an essential part of your regimen. Or, you could find that &mdash; while occasional visits to a new facility are invigorating &mdash; you would rather exercise outside or in <a target="_blank" href="">your home gym</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you enjoyed the use of a gym for free?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle affordable exercise free things gym Thu, 10 Jan 2013 11:36:33 +0000 Julie Rains 962933 at Sitting Pretty: How to Get Salon Services for Free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sitting-pretty-how-to-get-salon-services-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hair salon" title="hair salon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m probably alone on this, but I think I should get my first haircut from a new-to-me stylist for free.</p> <p>Every time I move someplace different, I have to find someone competent enough to cut my hair. The problem is, there&rsquo;s a lot of trial and error (mostly error) involved in that process.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve had so-called hair care &ldquo;professionals&rdquo; spray water in my ears, use the wrong clippers, take my sideburns too high, and square off my forehead. Once a lady cut my ear open with a pair of scissors. Totally not making this up &mdash; and if I leave the place bloody, I shouldn't be expected to pay.</p> <p>If you feel the same way I do and are looking for free salon services, consider these methods to score no-cost haircuts, massages, manis, pedis, and more. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Dye Your Own&nbsp;Hair Without a Beauty Disaster</a>)</p> <h2>Ask Friends</h2> <p>This is an easy avenue for guys who keep a close cut because they can hand their friend a pair of clippers and just let the friend have at it. Anybody who wants a style, however, will need someone who&rsquo;s knows what they&rsquo;re doing. Perhaps you have a friend who has graduated from hair school. If that&rsquo;s the case, ask them for a quick cut. But only ask if they're a good friend, and don&rsquo;t ask often. Your friend may be eager and willing to help you out, but you don't want to take advantage of their kind gesture.</p> <h2>Barter</h2> <p>I make melt-in-your-mouth cookies and pastries, and I have a friend who owns a spa. Coincidentally, he has a sweet tooth, and I enjoy a relaxing massage every now and then. Once or twice a year <a href="">we swap services</a> &mdash; I deliver him a basket of delectable treats, and he gives me a brief massage in return. This barter system works for us, and it could work for you too if you have a service or skill to offer that someone you know in the beauty industry can use.</p> <h2>Be a Model</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a free haircut or style by offering to be a model (i.e. guinea pig) for a local salon. Salons sometimes need willing participants to teach employees new techniques for cuts, color, perms, etc. These sessions are supervised by a professional, so you can rest a little easier, but it&rsquo;s important that you&rsquo;re aware that there&rsquo;s potential for this experiment to go awry. To find these opportunities, ask your stylist if the establishment you frequent ever needs models and volunteer, or check your local classified ads.</p> <h2>Browse the Web</h2> <p>Craigslist is the best resource for getting free salon services that run the gamut. Students in training are often looking for willing participants to practice their hair-cutting, massage, nail care, and other skills. Just like being a model, you need to understand that these are students who are trying to hone their craft &mdash; they&rsquo;re nowhere near perfect &mdash; so you&rsquo;ll need to roll with the punches.</p> <h2>Visit the Mall&rsquo;s Makeup Counter</h2> <p>Whenever my girlfriends have a big event they want a makeover for, they head straight to the mall&rsquo;s cosmetic counter where eager attendants are happy to paint any face that walks in &mdash; for free. These folks will absolutely try to sell you product after the makeover is complete &mdash; and it&rsquo;s not a bad idea to buy something small to show your appreciate for their time &mdash; but try not to get suckered in if you don&rsquo;t know how to say no and mean it.</p> <h2>Go to a Beauty School</h2> <p><a href="">Beauty schools</a> are always looking for models, so it&rsquo;s worth a call to your local school to ask if there are any upcoming spaces available.</p> <h2>Sign Up for a Rewards Card</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll have to purchase a certain number of services initially, but many places offer a free service after you&rsquo;ve reached a goal. For instance, get five <a href="">manicures</a>, get the sixth free. If you&rsquo;re always in the joint, the rewards card is absolutely worth it. Besides, you should be rewarded for your loyalty, and everyone likes to be pampered every now and again.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to get salon services for free? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Sitting Pretty: How to Get Salon Services for Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty barter free things haircut manicure salon Wed, 15 Aug 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Mikey Rox 950574 at Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family at park" title="family at park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are like most people, you may find it difficult to save money because you feel like you will miss out on all the good things in life if you are pinching your pennies. Sure, fabulous meals out, exotic vacations, stylish clothes, and cool gadgets are nice to have, but they can really rack up the bills. The good news is that by making a few small changes, you can enjoy the same quality of life you have always had without giving your wallet a beating. Here are a few examples. (See also: <a href="">25 Frugal Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h3>Set Up a Card-Less Bank Account</h3> <p>ATM cards are ridiculously convenient. They allow you to take out money any time of day or night, whenever and wherever you need it. However, this also makes it tempting for you to spend that money wherever and whenever. There are many banks that allow you to operate on a no-card basis, so you can only deposit or withdraw money directly from a teller or, in the case of a high-yield online savings account, only via an online transfer.</p> <p>With these accounts you must physically go in to a bank to withdraw money, or wait a few days for the transfer to go through. This makes it more difficult to withdraw the funds, so it may prevent you from making impulse purchases. In addition, many card-less bank accounts have lower withdrawal fees and offer higher interest rates, so you may actually save more.</p> <h3>Host Nights in Instead of Going Out</h3> <p>A night out could cost you an arm and a leg in restaurant bills, <a href="">movie tickets</a>, overpriced drinks, taxis, or cover charges. On the other hand, staying in can be very inexpensive and just as fun. Invite people over to your house for a movie night, throw a BBQ or a potluck dinner, or just relax with a bottle of wine and good company. There are plenty of things you can do in the comfort of your own home that are enjoyable, yet cost next to nothing.</p> <h3>Get Fit Without the Gym</h3> <p>We all know that going to the gym is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, but <a href="">gym membership fees can also be wildly expensive</a>. Besides, who wants to stay cooped up in the gym when you can be enjoying the great outdoors? Think about ditching the gym membership and taking up cycling, walking, or hiking, especially if you live in a walkable neighborhood. If the weather is not great, invest in a yoga mat and some exercise DVDs that you can do at home. The amount you save on one month of gym fees will easily cover the costs of the DVDs and mat.</p> <h3>Scour Your City for Free or Discounted Events</h3> <p>There is nearly always something cheap to do if you know where to look. Search online listings or in your local papers for interesting events that do not cost anything to attend. Many festivals, outdoor concerts, and cultural events do not charge admission. In addition, many <a href="">museums, art galleries, and theaters offer special deals</a> on certain days of the week. For a completely free outing, take a trip to your local park for a picnic or an afternoon gathering instead spending money in restaurants and coffee shops.</p> <p>Cutting back on spending does not mean you have to cut back on fun as well. There are many ways you can have a good time without spending a cent. All it takes is some creative thinking and slight lifestyle changes, and you can enjoy life while watching your savings grow.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">David Ning</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Banking Entertainment Lifestyle debit cards free things game nights gym things to do Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:36:08 +0000 David Ning 935143 at 25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Kids at the playground" title="Kids at the playground" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parenting is hard work. Keeping little ones (with little attention spans) occupied is often half the battle. It doesn't take long before children run to their parents looking for things to do.</p> <p>If you aren't careful, keeping kids busy can put a major dent in the pocket book. Having a go-to list of frugal ideas to keep your kids entertained is key. Otherwise, you'll be unprepared for those two little words &mdash; &quot;I'm bored.&quot;</p> <p>Check out this list of 25 ways to entertain your child for free. (See also: <a href="">Entertain&nbsp;Your Kids Without Breaking the Bank</a>, via Parenting Squad)</p> <h3>1. Play Make-Believe Games</h3> <p>Kids love sailing seas, conquering kingdoms, and rescuing princesses from the dragon's lair. Have fun with your kids in an imaginary world!</p> <h3>2. Go to the Library</h3> <p>Libraries are chock full of wonder for kids. Books, activities, and story times are all part of your local library's calendar.</p> <h3>3. Play With Animals</h3> <p>My kids love heading to the local pet store and playing with the puppies.</p> <h3>4. Go to a Local Park</h3> <p>The park is a great place to let kids run around and rid themselves of pent up energy.</p> <h3>5. Make Sidewalk Art</h3> <p>Grab the chalk and allow your imagination to run wild. The other day my four-year-old daughter said, &quot;Draw me and you together, Daddy.&quot; I was glad to try!</p> <h3>6. Make Kites and Fly Them</h3> <p>Take a look around your house to see what materials you have available to <a href="">make a kite</a>. Then go outside, and let your kids fly them!</p> <h3>7. Head to the Beach</h3> <p>If you can put up with getting sand in your car, head to the beach. Kids love playing in the sand and water!</p> <h3>8. Put a Puzzle Together</h3> <p>Puzzles are a great way to keep kids occupied. Sit down with them, and do it together.</p> <h3>9. Find a Spot to Watch the Sunset</h3> <p>We have a lake by our house that offers some great views of the sunset. Find a place in your area to take your kids to watch the magic of a sunset.</p> <h3>10. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard</h3> <p>There's something about sitting by the fire that kids love, and you can <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=how%20to%20make%20smores&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CDwQFjAB&amp;;ei=j72iTqi5IKn00gHdzay2BA&amp;usg=AFQjCNG4kHMUxn86KR-7_e13ZChA3QskFg&amp;cad=rja">make s'mores</a>.</p> <h3>11. Play Soccer or Some Other Sport Together</h3> <p>Head to the park, or play in your own backyard. You can kick the soccer ball around, or grab another ball and play some catch.</p> <h3>12. Make a Picnic Lunch</h3> <p>Throw a picnic lunch together, grab a blanket to sit on, and head off to a park for a little picnic lunch.</p> <h3>13. Go Fishing</h3> <p>There's something about fishing that kids love. Grab poles, find a pond, and cast those lines! If you don't have fishing poles, learn to <a href="">make your own kid's fishing rod</a>.</p> <h3>14. Plant a Garden</h3> <p>You can make a <a href="">garden box </a>or even an herb garden if you don't have much room. Your kids will really enjoy watching the veggies sprout up, knowing they played a part in making the food.</p> <h3>15. Play Board Games</h3> <p>Kids love to play old favorites like Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land. Check out this list of <a href="">classic kids' board games</a> to play, or you could even make up your own games to teach your kids about things like <a href="">personal finance</a>.</p> <h3>16. Rent a Movie From the Library</h3> <p>Libraries have a host of free movies that your kids will love. Take a trip and let your children pick out a great movie. Here's a list of the <a href="">50 best movies for kids</a>!</p> <h3>17. Go Hiking</h3> <p>Put on those hiking boots, and find a trail at a local forest preserve! Your kids will love going on a nature walk.</p> <h3>18. Go Swimming</h3> <p>Got a friend with a pool? Head on over to their house and have a swimming party. Or take a journey to your local community center for a dip.</p> <h3>19. Have a Dance Party</h3> <p>My kids love it when we crank up the music and have a little dance party. Need to fill a kid-friendly playlist for a dance party? Check out this list of <a href="">top kids dance songs</a>.</p> <h3>20. Volunteer at a Non-Profit Organization</h3> <p>You get to impact others' lives and teach your kids some valuable lessons at the same time. You will need to check with your local organization to see if they have any rules about bringing your kids, or check out this site for <a href="">volunteer opportunities near you</a>.</p> <h3>21. Draw and Color Pictures</h3> <p>What kid doesn't love to draw and color? All kids are budding artists, so grab crayons, markers, and paper and let them doodle until their hearts are content! If you're looking to teach your kids how to draw, check out this great site to help <a href="">learn how to draw</a> step-by-step.</p> <h3>22. Make Finger Paint</h3> <p>I don't know why, but my kids love to finger paint &mdash; I guess because it's one of the few times we encourage them to get their hands dirty! You can try your hand at some <a href="">homemade finger paint</a>, and let your kids get a little messy.</p> <h3>23. Play with Play-doh</h3> <p>Play-doh is always a favorite among children. The smell of a freshly opened container of Play-doh is nostalgic for many of us. Sit down with your kids, crack open a thing of Play-doh, and have some fun! Here's a site for some creative <a href="">Play-doh ideas</a>, or a video about <a href="">making things with Play-doh</a>.</p> <p>If you're thinking about making your own, try this <a href="">recipe for making Play-doh</a>.</p> <h3>24. Ride Bikes</h3> <p><b> </b>Hop on those bikes, and take a ride around your neighborhood. Don't forget the importance of <a href="">bike safety</a>!</p> <h3>25. Go &quot;Exploring&quot; on a Night Walk</h3> <p>Occasionally we'll take our kids on a night <a href="">walk</a>. We let them have some flashlights and pretend we are &quot;exploring.&quot; Any time kids use their imaginations, they're content.</p> <p><em>What other frugal ideas do you have to entertain children?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jason Topp</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Family cheap things to do with kids children free things Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:00:22 +0000 Jason Topp 758890 at How to Visit Museums for Free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-visit-museums-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="People at a museum" title="People at a museum" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re into art or archeology, spacecrafts or handicrafts, there&rsquo;s a museum for you &mdash; and you may be able to visit a museum that interests you for free. (See also: <a href="">How to Have a Frugal Vacation and Still Treat Yourself</a>)</p> <p>Some museums are always free, including some of the most popular museums in the country, such as the <a href="">Smithsonian's</a> National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, and National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In fact, most of the Smithsonian&rsquo;s 19 museums and the National Zoo are free.</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t live near the nation&rsquo;s capital or aren&rsquo;t planning a visit, don't worry. Chances are good that a museum near you has at least certain days or times when admission is free.</p> <h3>Search for a Free Museum Near You</h3> <p>A quick internet search is one of the easiest ways to find free museums in your area. Search &quot;free museums in&hellip;&rdquo; and then the name of your city. When I did that for Chicago, which is close to where we live, I found several blogs and other sites that had comprehensive lists of museums that have free days.</p> <p>Here are the best sites I found for the scoop on museum free-days in the five largest cities in the country.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">New York</a></li> <li><a href="">Los Angeles</a></li> <li><a href="">Chicago</a></li> <li><a href="">Houston</a></li> <li><a href="">Philadelphia</a> (No listing of free museum days could be found, but this site shows you all of the city&rsquo;s museums and their websites, so you can check for free offers.)</li> </ul> <p>While searching for these, I also found these popular kids museums that offer free or deeply discounted admission on certain days and times.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Children&rsquo;s Museum of Indianapolis</a></li> <li><a href="">Children&rsquo;s Museum of Houston</a></li> <li><a href="">Boston Children&rsquo;s Museum</a></li> <li><a href="">Brooklyn Children&rsquo;s Museum</a></li> <li><a href="">Minnesota Children&rsquo;s Museum</a> (St. Paul)</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="">Association for Children&rsquo;s Museums</a> can help you find children&rsquo;s museums in other cities.</p> <p>You could also start by finding out what museums are near you by searching for the name of your city and &ldquo;museums.&rdquo; After finding a museum that interests you, go to its website and find its &ldquo;Admission&rdquo; page. If the museum offers free days, you&rsquo;ll usually find the info there.</p> <h3>Free Museum Visits in Your Wallet</h3> <p>Many libraries offer card holders free passes to nearby museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and more. Check at your local library so see if this option is available.</p> <p>If you have a Bank of America credit or debit card, the company&rsquo;s <a href="">Museums on Us</a> program gives you free access to many museums, zoos, and more on the first full weekend of each month.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re a member of a museum, check to see if it has a reciprocity agreement with other museums. Premium members of the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, have free access to 16 other museums in the U.S. and Canada.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re on active duty with the military, National Guard, or Reserve, a proper ID card will grant you and up to five family members free entry to your choice of more than 1,000 museums around the country through Labor Day via a National Endowment for the Arts program called the <a href="">Blue Star Museums Initiative</a>.</p> <h3>&quot;Visit&quot; Museums for Free</h3> <p>One final free option for those who love art museums doesn&rsquo;t even require leaving the comfort of your home. Google&rsquo;s <a href="">Art Project</a> provides no-cost online access to some of the world&rsquo;s finest art museums, including New York&rsquo;s Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Frick Collection; London&rsquo;s National Gallery and Tate Britain; the Uffizi in Florence; Amsterdam&rsquo;s Van Gogh Museum; and more.</p> <h3>The Price of Free</h3> <p>Keep in mind that free admission doesn&rsquo;t mean you won&rsquo;t spend anything on your visit. At most museums, you&rsquo;ll pay plenty for <a href="">parking</a>, special exhibits, audio tours, and food.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also best to check with the museum directly before you go just to be sure their free offers are still available.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Visit Museums for Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Matt Bell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment free things museums things to do Fri, 29 Jul 2011 10:36:22 +0000 Matt Bell 629786 at 4 Reasons Why You Should Support Your Local Library <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Library" title="Library" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With municipalities struggling to stay afloat financially, public libraries are among the first institutions to feel the pinch.</p> <p>At least 19 states have cut funding to community libraries in the last year according to the <a href="">American Library Association</a>. More than half reported reductions greater than 10%, and in many places, state-level cuts are compounded by similar cuts at the local level.</p> <p>Increasingly, it's falling to local library boosters to cobble together funding and devote time and energy to keeping facilities open.</p> <p>Perhaps the ease and ubiquity of technology has tempered your reliance on these long-cherished institutions. But local libraries continue to provide an array of key services to community members. (See also: <a href="">Duh...Libraries</a>)</p> <p>Here are four reasons why you should consider supporting libraries.</p> <h3>They Spur Economic Investment</h3> <p>It might sound strange to think of libraries as an investment, but studies indicate they're crucial economic engines. A Univeristy of Pennsylvania study found that the Philadelphia library created more than $30 million worth of economic value for the city in fiscal year 2010. A key stat among the findings &mdash; nearly 9,000 businesses wouldn't have been started or nurtured without resources respondents first acquired at the Free Library of Philadelphia. &ldquo;Until now, there hasn&rsquo;t been a way to know exactly how much we help in dollars and cents,&rdquo; FLP President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon said in a news release. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re an integral economic engine for the city of Philadelphia.&rdquo;</p> <h3>They Help People Find Jobs</h3> <p>Public libraries offer a suite of free resources to help unemployed or under-employed citizens find gainful employment. Free classes boost education or even teach people how to craft a resume or prepare for an interview. Free Internet access and computer usage allows people to hunt for jobs, interact with potential employers, and prepare applications.</p> <h3>They Help Working Women</h3> <p>Women are far more likely than men (72% versus 58%) to have visited a library in the last year, according to the ALA. Working women, working mothers, and women aged 18 to 54 are the most likely to fall in that group. Those same demographics are also likely to have a library card.</p> <h3>They Open Doors to Education and Entertainment</h3> <p>Public libraries host free <a href="">book clubs</a> and movie nights, and even have passes for local museums so that card holders can avoid entrance fees. They offer free or inexpensive computer courses, language courses, writing courses, and even after-school learning programs for children.</p> <p>Public libraries are an economic and social lifeline for millions of Americans, and there are myriad ways to help libraries, from making donations to writing letters of support to elected officials.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Reasons Why You Should Support Your Local Library" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Chris Birk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Frugal Living articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Job Hunting free job search help free things public library women Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:24:12 +0000 Chris Birk 582369 at How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="People in a movie theater" title="People in a movie theater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="199" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know this sounds amazing, and there's a kicker &mdash; you can see these movies in theaters for free BEFORE they're released to the general public!</p> <p>It sounds too good to be true, but it can be done really easily. For the past year or so, I have been attending movies in theaters before they've been released. I pay nothing to see them, and to top it off, there are often no previews, so 100 minutes actually means 100 minutes.</p> <p>Some movie studios provide free screenings of movies. They do this to build interest in a movie, to do research, and to allow the press to review it. If people have a good experience, they'll tell their friends and write positive reviews.</p> <p>These are the same movies you can see a few weeks later for $12 a pop. Over the past six months, I've seen <em>The Green Hornet</em> (awesome movie!), <em>The Next Three Days</em>, and <em>Limitless</em>, among others, all a few weeks before they were released to the general public, and all for the family friendly price of &quot;on the house.&quot; (See also: <a href="">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a>)</p> <h2>How to See Movies in the Theater for Free</h2> <p>It's a very simple process, you just need to know where to look. There are two main sites that I frequent &mdash; <a href="">GoFobo</a> and <a href="">Film Metro</a> &mdash; though I'm sure there are others I haven't heard of. Some of the screenings will be available to you, in which case you just need to reserve and print your tickets (each reservation typically comes with two). For some movies, you'll need an RSVP code first. A good place to look for those is <a href=""></a>, where people enter city and movie-specific codes for others to use.</p> <h2>What to Know Before Attending a Screening</h2> <p>There are several things you should keep in mind for these screenings:</p> <h3>1. Reserving a ticket doesn't guarantee you access to a movie.</h3> <p>For most movies, people enter on a first-come, first-served basis. I usually find that getting to the theater 30 minutes early is plenty.</p> <h3>2. Not every movie will be available.</h3> <p>I've never been disappointed by the selection, but when movies are free, it's a little difficult to complain if something's not perfect.</p> <h3>3. It might not work in rural areas.</h3> <p>If you live in the middle of Montana, it's unlikely that there are a lot of screenings in your area. I live in Washington, D.C., where free screenings are very common.</p> <p>Enjoy your new knowledge, and feel free to go crazy with the popcorn and soda. When you save $20+ on a movie, there's no harm in <a href="">splurging a little on the snacks</a>!</p> <div align="center"> <p>If you're looking for more ways to save on entertainment, including local restaurants and stores, get the 2012 Entertainment Book, with coupons valid immediately!</p> <p><a href="" target="_top"> <img src="" width="300" height="250" alt="Save on all the things you love to do!" border="0"/></a></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</em></p> <p><script src=""></script></p> </div><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Daniel Packer</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Entertainment articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment cheap dates free things movies Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Daniel Packer 531141 at Feeling Poor?: Things I Forget About that Don't Cost a Thing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/feeling-poor-things-i-forget-about-that-dont-cost-a-thing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Stack O Dough" title="Stack O Dough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here in America, <a href="" title="How rich are you?">we&#39;re rich.</a> Sometimes, I hear that and file it in the same place that I filed the eat-your-dinner-there-are-starving-people-in-China lines from my childhood (I learned, early on, to smile and say, &quot;Great...can we send them this?&quot;). But <a href="" title="Photos of poverty">it&#39;s true</a>. We have the dubitable priviledge of managing our money, simply because we have more than it costs to buy our basic food and clothing. In our everyday lives, we have so much that we forget about. Here are a few of the hardest ones for me to remember.</p> </p> <p>1. I have space. Some have more than others and many have more than me, but I have space and I like that. I get to control what goes in and out of it, and what it looks like.</p> <p>2. I have the leisure to pursue the things I like. I only work 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, and the rest of the time is mine. Right now, I&#39;m training for a sprint triathlon and taking an art class, and I&#39;m thankful for the time to do that.</p> <p>3. I&#39;m paid a fair wage. So <a href="" title="Worker wages">many people aren&#39;t</a> (scroll down to Table 1). I happen to work for a nonprofit that can&#39;t pay top dollar, but I&#39;m compensated fairly. I don&#39;t have to work 6-day weeks to make it work. </p> <p>4. I am respected for doing my work and doing it well. I don&#39;t have to deal with being underappreciated, forgotten, or treated poorly. People care about what I do, but they also care about me as the one doing it.</p> <p>5. I have choices. While everyone&#39;s choices matter, more wealth equals more choices. And more choices often mean more empowerment and greater general satisfaction with life (when they don&#39;t mean more distraction and more frittering time away and more indulgence). For me, they&#39;re usually good, and I&#39;m glad I have them.</p> <p>6. I have easy access to good medicine. As someone who grew up getting sick a lot, this one is important to me. If I&#39;d grown up in a 3rd world country, there are illnesses I very well might not have made it through. </p> <p>What are the hardest &quot;item of wealth&quot; for you to remember? </p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Feeling Poor?: Things I Forget About that Don&#039;t Cost a Thing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle free free things no cost things I'm thankful for Tue, 17 Jul 2007 17:00:21 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 850 at