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6 Ways to Enjoy Life – For Free

We all like to get free stuff. Free helps you save money, leaving more in the banking – working on your behalf. It’s easy to forget some of the options we have available to us when it comes to getting free stuff. Here are 6 ways to enjoy what life has to offer without paying anything:

1. Home Entertainment: TV Shows

So far, I haven’t had luck convincing my husband to give up the satellite TV (he likes the sports too much). However, I know that if I could convince him, we’d be able to enjoy our favorite TV shows for free. First of all, you can get your local channels for free. Many TV stations also have high definition over the air. So, as long as your TV has an HD tuner on it, you can get local HD TV for free.

You can get access to free TV shows on Hulu.com, and many cable networks provide their TV shows for free online. Watch on your computer, or use your TV or gaming console to help you watch without paying for TV.

If you want free movies, you can try checking them out at your library. Many public libraries offer access to movies, and even TV show series. If you don’t mind paying a little bit, you can rent movies from Redbox for only $1 a night, or pay for an online streaming service that charges a relatively low rate.

2. Eating Out: Free Food

You can enjoy free food at restaurants in a number of ways. Many restaurant chains have “eat free” days at least once a year. You might limited in terms of what you can choose from, but it’s free. You can also sign up to receive free food on your birthday. And, of course, you can also look for “kids eat free” deals. You can avoid paying for your child’s meal if you pay for your own.

In addition to eating free food at restaurants, you can also attend events that provide free food. There are usually plenty of community events that offer free food, or operate on a potluck principle. You can bring something to share with everyone, and then receive free food in return. This can be a fun way to get out of the house, meet new friends, and sample tasty food – for free.

3. Culture and Arts: Museums and Exhibitions

Keep an ear to the ground about free exhibitions in your town. Many communities offer free summer concerts in the evenings, or offer free community plays. There are art galleries and museums that offer free admission. Even they don’t offer free admission year round, there are some that have special days once a week, each month, or every year that anyone can get in free. Check to see what’s available in your area.

You can also take advantage local historical sites. Learn about your area’s history and enjoy a fun family outing. Many of us forget about the historical sites in our hometowns. You can visit these sites, learn something, and enjoy a little local culture. Some historical sites feature demonstrations and activities.

If you live in a college town, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy student exhibitions and recitals. These are often free, and can provide you with a nice evening out. Even if they aren’t free, most of these student exhibitions are very low cost, costing only a few dollars for attendance.

4. Outings: Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Perhaps the best way to enjoy life for free is to spend time outdoors. My son and I love to picnic. We make a lunch at home, then head to the park. After we’re done eating, he can enjoy the playground equipment, and I can enjoy a book on the park bench. And, of course, there are a number of great outdoor activities to enjoy, from bike riding, to hiking, to water activities. Find out what’s available near your home, and enjoy an afternoon in the great outdoors.

You can even go camping for free if you have the right equipment. There are some campgrounds that don’t charge, and others that charge very little. Consider what you can do outside, from nature walks to window shopping in your town’s downtown, and you might find an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

5. Staying In: Family Fun at Home

Staying in doesn’t have to automatically mean movie night with the family. There are plenty of fun and free things to do at home. If you like being outside, go out for a fun family game of baseball, basketball, badminton, hide and seek or croquet. Do outdoor chores as a family. It’s more fun to tend the garden or rake leaves when you do it together.

If you are staying in, you can play games together. Get some snacks out and play board games, or have a game of charades. Put together a puzzle. You can go on a scavenger hunt around the house, or cook dinner together. Even young kids can help with food prep. There is no reason why you can’t do some things together as a family to enjoy your time at home. In many cases, it is these great memories that you can make together that will stick with you and help you enjoy life more.

6. Lifelong Learning: Classes and Books

Learning new things can provide your life with purpose and enjoyment. If you want to learn a new skill, see if you can find a class for it. Many retailers, including Home Depot and Michael’s offer free classes on different subjects. Sporting goods stores sometimes offer clinics and maintenance classes. A local kitchen supply store, and a local grocery store, both offer free cooking classes. If you want to learn something new, check to see what classes are available at no cost to you.

Even if you can’t attend a free class, you can get access to free books. The Gutenberg Project offers free books for download (most are classics whose copyrights have expired). You can also find many free audiobooks online, and free ebooks. And, of course, you can find almost anything at the public library. Many libraries even offer ebook rentals.

What’s your favorite free way to enjoy life?

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Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
I thought I was on a site regarding bank deposit deals. I must be mistaken.
  |     |   Comment #2
IMHO, the old format, before Ken took in a partner, was preferable.  At least I did not have to read Mirand(i)atribe then.
  |     |   Comment #3
I for one disagree. I found it infomative. It takes a few seconds to read and I find the above comments rude. How many things that you have read on this forum is directed only to your personal needs. Many of them eliminate by being certain states or areas of the country or other reasons.

This superior attitude is one reason we are a country of selfish uncaring people.

  |     |   Comment #4
  |     |   Comment #5
Totally agree with Anonymous #3. Even if this post is not useful for Anonymous #1 and #2, it may be useful for other people. The blog is not just written for you only. There is no need to be rude here.
  |     |   Comment #6
Nope, #1 and #2 are right on.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Ken, these "throwaway" articles lessen the credibility of your good work elsewhere on the site.  I don't come to your site to read fluff like this.
  |     |   Comment #7
I don't want to be rude, but I agree that this article is not in keeping with the point of this website for me, and not the reason that I come here.  The internet is full of posts like this, and good information like Ken's is hard to find, especially when it becomes diluted.
  |     |   Comment #8
If you are not interested in an article don't read it if you are interested then read it, not a big deal either way. It wouldn't stop me from visiting the site.
  |     |   Comment #9
The way I understand Miranda's article is that it may not be exactly helping us find better CD rates but ask yourself WHY we are searching for higher rates.  It is because we want or need the extra money!  Since we can't get higher CD rates, I think she is trying to show us ways to live on "lesser" income.  Soooo in a sense her article is appropo for this site.  Of course, I would prefere to see an article showing me where I can get even 3 - 4% CD interest but since that is a pipe dream for a while, I see no harm in her sharing how to live on "less" money.  However, I think most of us are already doing what she suggests.  You can't spend what you don't have unless you want to go into debt and "I" don't believe in debt!   So maybe Ken could have a special day for such articles like Miranda's and anyone who isn't interested can avoid the blog on that day.  But I am only open to learning all ways to "save" money!   If we can't do it in the banks with CDs then I am ok with such articles like hers. 
  |     |   Comment #10
Good article with some interesting points!
  |     |   Comment #11
How come Miranda is not blocking these posts like before, what gives?

Miranda, on a serious note, please stop posting: irrelevant. outdated. uncommon sense, well known tricks, public knowledge, stuff we all know about, stuff we can all find online and anything not connected with money.

On a positive note, your ideas are welcome as long as you stick to the guidelines above.
debbie fan
  |     |   Comment #12
how come she no longer has articles and why is there no picture of jeremy just my cinco centavos
pithy banter
  |     |   Comment #13
miranda does an excellent job if all you naysayers can do better start your own site
  |     |   Comment #14
KEEP UP THE GOOD work miranda i know that there are many who enjoy your commentary  right rhett breaker 19 jiffy jeffy pilcer
  |     |   Comment #15
I'm with the 'I dont read and participate in this blog for such posting's" crowd. Always liked the spartan financial talk on the site, and how everyone shared the same goal- maximize where to invest money in the safest way possible.  This type of post is common in magazine blogs. I hope it's not an indication of where this blog is headed.
  |     |   Comment #16
It is amazing that most posts were directed at attacking and criticzing.  I am not really supporting MM or against her.  I think we are already way off if we do that, folks.

Personally I think that we (meaning those who live in this era) are way way to much on material matters (money, CDs, retirement savings, RCAs - yeah, I am in it, too, deals, stock market...).  There is the other (much more meaningful) side of living which includes cultivating our inner beings, families, socierty, our next generation, and real meaning of life.  Thus we become a shallow group of poeple who love to criticize and just want be cranky toward everybody or anything that is not up to our standard or likings.

Even in the 70s, people were not like this.  It is sad that we seem to advance in technology and comfort level of living, but we really went backward in our humanity and caring for one another.  I am really shocked that an article like this would raise so much controversy and hostility toward one another and toward MM.

Back on topic: (1) TV show: I rarely enjoy any TV stuff any more.  I think people should throw out their TV sets just to stay healthy mentally and physically; way too much TV! (2) Food: OK, way too much junk food.  How about spend some time to research what it means to eat healthily (we are, after all, what we eat); meanwhile enjoying one's family and neighborhood.  (3) Museums, etc.: I have no genes for such matters; but some obviously enjoy them.  The intention was correct: family time, mingle with the people (it is not an accident that God places us here on this earth, in this country, at this particular time; so care of one another. (4) Outdoors: Yes!  Take a walk with your love ones, talk to your children while doing that.  Do some sports together.  We are sitting/lying on the sofa too too much.  Go to outside and breath the fresh air (it is totally free!).  (5) Family: Right on, sister:D. (6) Books/Classes: Again, we are way too busy with near-term boring stuff, like bills, CDs, RCAs, credit cards.  Life is much more than that.  Try to read a good book a week.  Try to take a class every six months.  Invest in your brain before it all gets wasted on stock market, TVs, arguing with people, etc.

Just my two-cents without liability:D  Point of article:The simple and enjoyable things in life is often cheap or free.  Why is it in the Finance Forum: Hello!?  Try to wake up those who are too much into finance:D
  |     |   Comment #18
I think you've mistaken comments for criticism/hostility. I dont think anyone has a problem with the content of the post, just that it is unusual to place it here. This site, as far as I can remember (over 2 years now), has always been very straightforward about its purpose, and I have always appreciated that. Also, you mistakenly stereotype people who use this site as those who are "all finance all the time". We may be thrifty/frugal/cheap/looking for a deal/obsessed with money, etc... but we like each other's company/posts, even if you think we are wasting our lives on trivial things.  

I dont mind at all the content of the post; it's just unusual to place it here. C'est tout.
  |     |   Comment #19
Hey OG,

Irene is over-rated.  Just a small amount of rain; nothing more.

Now the Boston streets are only filled with reporters looking for any slight accumulation of water (they really overdid it this time).

Anon. #18: no criticisms; just two "mistakes" you rightfully corrected me:D  I meant to include myself (and a sober reminder to myself) in all my comments above, not you, they, we, or me. 


  |     |   Comment #20
While this article may be good on a "freebie" site, I don't think it belongs on a "bank" site. Can we stick to the topic? At least, money-making vs money-saving.
  |     |   Comment #21
I find it interesting that all the critical comments come from anonymous posters.
  |     |   Comment #22
Dunker says:

"I find it interesting that all the critical comments come from anonymous posters."

Which means (1) There may be only a few (1-2?) that cry "off-topic."  (2) Those few, while delaring intense interest on financial topics and long-time faithfuls on this website, do not even bother to register for this finance-centric website. 

Further, nowhere do I see these respectable people post or contribute in the finance forums at all.  They only care about keeping this blog 100% financial so that they can do casual reading.

To those:  Points well-take:-)  Happy reading/lurking.


  |     |   Comment #23
The comments of supporters of Anonymous #1 & 2 prove how aggressive and intolerable most Americans are.  That is the reason that we are still involved in Wars and not peace. We are stuck in the past (19th century). We are unproductive.  Every war in the history ended with a peaceful resolution.  Why not begin with peace and be more productive.  No God is going to help those who are ready to Attack & KIll.  People spend more time criticizing others, why?  Do not like the artice skip it, not a big deal.  Rude Rude, and very Rude.
  |     |   Comment #25
To #23..... how do you know they were American's?


I agree with the others who say leave this type of post for websites designed for them. Let's stick to the financials, Ken. Just my opinion, not being rude. See, here in America, we enjoy something called freedom of speech.
  |     |   Comment #26
Free is cheap . . but


I, too, visit Ken's website for banking information.  Hope this is not a new trend.

Also, re the article itself:  obvious stuff.  IOW:  fluff.
  |     |   Comment #28
Just wanted to point out that #1 is mostly not free. To view TV shows online, you have to pay for internet access. Obviously, you assume people have internet if they're on this site, but it's still not free, it's just covered by a different payment than a cable contract. Also, TVs with HD tuners aren't free or even cheap.

I'm not anonymous, and I agree that I don't typically find Miranda's articles useful. Perhaps Ken should have a poll to see if the majority find these articles interesting or helpful.
palmer chimay
  |     |   Comment #29
27 real class act if you can do better start your own site
  |     |   Comment #31
This article was posted on a Sunday, most likely a no news day for interest rate subject matter.  I took it to be a filler and was going to skip it, until I saw 28 comments!  I had to come see what all the action was about (not much)!
  |     |   Comment #32
its about quality not quantity
  |     |   Comment #33
Please dont put it all on Miranda...... I find (WHATABUMMER ) posts are equally mundane.
  |     |   Comment #34
If you don't like Miranda Marquit's articles, then why do you open them to read?????????

I have no problem with Miranda's postings. If she does a subject that I have little interest in, then I skip them. I do the same thing on Ken's postings. Just because I don’t read all the posting’s doesn’t mean they don’t have value to others.

Keep up the good work Miranda & Ken!!!!!


And to think
  |     |   Comment #37
all the articleS THAt ms marquit haS POSTED WITH NO COMMENTS BECAUSE YOU HAD TO BE REGISTERED bodes the rhetorical question  how MANY COMMENTS WERE LOST?  QUE LASTIMA  
  |     |   Comment #38
Regarding the six points in the article:

1) I don't believe in paying to watch TV.  Most of cable and satellite TV programming is rehashes of many programs previously aired on network TV and most of the cable produced shows are not worth watching.

2) There is no free lunch in my area other than those "informerical" sponsors who offer a free dinner to sell you something. There is no free food sampling offers in my area.  I don't have kids so I can't get free meals that way.

3) My area (DC) is the free museum capital of this country.  Nuff said.

4) I don't do the camping route, but have visited numerous national parks across the country.

5) I don't have free time to do any recreational activities of late, but I did use to do family activities in the past.

6) You can read massive amounts of information online and you don't even need to go to the library to look for the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

The biggest part of my spending budget is on taxes (income and property) and insurance (auto) and not food, clothing, entertainment, or even commuting.  If I can reduce those expenses, I would save quite a few bucks.
  |     |   Comment #39
WOW   look at how many not only read this post,but how many responded.
  |     |   Comment #40
To jim - #39,

We responded to Miranda’s article because we are mostly frustrated with such waste of time and like to send a message to Ken to stop Miranda from posting such irrelevant 1st grade ideas, I feel like big sis Napolitano lecturing the ignorant and low life masses.
  |     |   Comment #41
Article is a little lame for a serious site. Something I would expect to read on yahoo finance, or hear on Good Morning America aimed at idiots who can't balance a check book. Still, nobody forced me to read it.
Ingrid H.
  |     |   Comment #42
I guess I have a middle-of-the-road opinion on all of this.  On the one hand, I find Miranda to be a talented writer (I am a retired university journalism professor) and her articles are well-written and entertaining.  On the other hand, I think that often, they are "off-subject" for this website.  Websites such as smartmoney.com will have these general interest, family finance pieces, I'm not sure if they belong here.    I guess that's up to Ken.  By the way, I am 94 years old and love this site.
Ingrid H.
  |     |   Comment #43
I guess I have a middle-of-the-road opinion on all of this.  On the one hand, I find Miranda to be a talented writer (I am a retired university journalism professor) and her articles are well-written and entertaining.  On the other hand, I think that often, they are "off-subject" for this website.  Websites such as smartmoney.com will have these general interest, family finance pieces, I'm not sure if they belong here.    I guess that's up to Ken.  By the way, I am 94 years old and love this site.
  |     |   Comment #45
Very typical and a good reflection of what our society has become......Miranda gets involved and suddenly we have a "feel good" article that is "sensitive" and "thoughtful"....how nice. Well.....I'm frankly sick of this wimp society that is now America! Why is this article here??? Why??? This is supposed to be about finance and banking.....but I guess that is suddenly too harsh a topic and might offend somebody. What a joke......this is waht liberals do to.....they destroy nations. 
  |     |   Comment #46
 At least she actually writes her occasional contributions.  better than persistent cluttering Cut and Paste posts
  |     |   Comment #47
Learn from Ingrid (94 years old): Be courteous and balanced; a living example of how to live long and happy. 

47 posts (many from the Anon. in hiding), I would call this article a success:D
but ingrid
  |     |   Comment #49
did we have to post it 2xs ?
mm rules
  |     |   Comment #51
hope miranda post more than once a week
to jim mom
  |     |   Comment #52
  |     |   Comment #54
You are all ridiculous. Regardless of whether or not you like the article, it probably wasn't written for any of you anyway. Blogs are for SEO purposes and help the ratings of the website overall. It was probably given as an assignment to someone to keep the content on the website fresh and up-to-date. Plenty of other website owners do the same thing so give this Ken guy a break. 
The Bama
  |     |   Comment #56
I can't wait for the recipies to start followed by couponing, scrapbooking and other non-financial related topics.  What nonsense this is.  This is why the country is in so much trouble.  Just focus on your job and provide us with the expected product.
  |     |   Comment #63
really stfd

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