Friendship on a Budget

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Friendship on a Budget
We all love spending time with friends, but between dining out and shopping, hanging out with your pals can quickly add up. Here are some tips on how to spend time with your friends without overspending.

First, try checking out some free community events happening in your neighborhood. Simply go online and check out your city's website to see what kind of free recreational activities are being offered. Between free concerts, museum exhibits, and volunteer work, there are a lot of low-budget options to choose from.

Next, a great way to save with your friends is by taking up urban foraging. Urban foraging, is all about picking fruits, vegetables and edible plants from sanctioned areas around your city. Go to FallingFruit.org to find out where you can forage near you. Simply input your neighborhood, and you'll find a detailed map of all the great foraging opportunities nearby.

Lastly, try to be creative with your plans. You can browse for treasures at the thrift store, throw a YouTube karaoke night, or start a book club, just to name a few ideas.

So remember these tips the next time you hang out with your pals -- because building your friendships doesn't have to mean breaking the bank.

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10 Ways to Snag Amazing Freebies Online
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Friendship on a Budget -- Savings Experiment
No, we're not talking illegal pirated tunes. You can find legitimately free (and legal) music available at the click of a button. For free digital downloads, check out Amazon's free songs and Last.fm. To create your own free music library, check out Spotify. If you want to discover new music, try Pandora radio, which gives you suggestions based on your favorite artists and albums.
Catch a hot new blockbuster film (or a potential indie hit) by signing up for free advanced screenings in your area. Register with sites like advancescreenings.com and gofobo.com and you'll receive an alert when a screening will be happening near you. Fair warning: many screenings are announced day-of and passes can run out fast, so if you see one you like, be prepared to jump on it.
Voracious readers can feed their habit through several sites that provide free reading material. LibriVox offers free public-domain audio books. Project Gutenberg offers 46,000 free ebooks in a wide range of categories. Or you can swap used books with other readers through PaperBack Swap and BookMooch.
Whether you're into home design, health and fitness or fishing, there's a good chance you could snag a free subscription to a magazine that interests you at ValueMags or All Free Magazines.
Companies want consumer feedback on their products, and many will send you free samples if you agree to provide it. That may mean filling out a quick survey, writing a review or sharing the product with your social networks. If you like getting free stuff in the mail and don't mind sharing your opinion, check out sites like CrowdTapStart SamplingSmiley360, PINCHme and All You.
That's right -- you can get free stuff just for being born. Plenty of restaurants offer freebies if you can show it's your birthday (such as showing your driver's license). If you don't mind driving around a bit, you could probably get breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and all the snacks in between totally free. Check out Free Birthday Treats and Hey It's Free for a list of offers. Some offers even last your whole birthday week, so you could enjoy several days of celebration.
Lots of places offer seasonal freebies, both for official holidays like Father's Day and for not-so-official holidays like National Donut Day and National Coffee Day. Pick your favorite holiday (traditional or bizarre) and conduct a search for its name plus the word "freebies." You may be surprised by how many opportunities you find.
On MyKidsEatFree.com, you can search local restaurants to find out which have "kids eat free" days and find the days and times. This can help you take the whole family out for a fraction of the price.
Whether you're in need of a bassinet or a bicycle, there's a decent chance someone online has what you're looking for and is willing to give it away for free. Sites like Freecycle and Craigslist (check out the For Sale/Free section) act as classifieds where people can pay it forward by donating their unwanted stuff to others rather than putting it out to the curb. Bear in mind, however, that you'll need to arrange a way to pick up any items you claim, so make sure you have transportation and a pair of helping hands if you're picking up a large or heavy item.
Can't get enough freebies? Then sign up for a freebie directory where you can find everything from free supplements to free software. Ones to check out include Hey, It's Free!FreeStuff.comFreebies4Mom and GoFreebies.
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