Some things in life really are free. So, stop paying for them.

If you’re trying to stick to a budget and save money, one of the first things you can do is stop paying for things that you can get free. That list of free stuff can include subscriptions, classes and even some types of prescriptions.

But there’s even more free stuff available if you know where to look.

1. Subscription newspaper access

Don’t you hate it when you click on a link to a news article, but you can’t read the story without signing up for a digital newspaper subscription? If so, don’t sign up yet. You may be able to read that newspaper for free with your library card.

You may be able to access The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and up to 6,000+ newspapers and magazines at no cost by using your library card or creating an account with your card with PressReader.

2. Books

New books, especially hardcovers, are expensive. When you’re a voracious reader, even buying used books on Amazon can run up a bill.

So, dust off your library card or sign up for a card if you don’t have one. Your local library probably has a copy of that new book you’re eager to read, even if you must get on a waiting list.

3. Audiobooks

You don’t have to buy a subscription to audible to listen to audiobooks when there are plenty of free options available.

Instead, download free public domain audiobooks read by volunteers from LibriVox. You can also download public domain audiobooks and e-books from Loyal Books (formerly Books Should Be Free) or choose from more than 100,000 free audiobooks at (formerly Librophile).

4. Your credit report

It’s easy to stay on top of your credit score and review your credit report without paying for a copy. You can receive one free credit report a year from

You can sign up with Credit Karma for anytime access to your credit report and credit score along with weekly updates. In many cases, you can also request a free copy of your credit report from the major credit bureau that issued a credit report used to deny credit.

5. Digital magazine subscriptions

In addition to digital newspaper subscriptions, your library card can also open the door to digital subscriptions to magazines such as Consumer Reports, The New Yorker, Billboard, Rolling Stone and numerous other magazines and journals.

You can also search online for sites such as ValueMags, which offers free subscriptions to select magazines.

6. Language classes

Don’t want to spend a lot of money to learn a new language? Good, because you don’t have to.

You can choose free courses for 48 languages, including Spanish, Chinese, French, Arabic, Farsi/Persian, Hindi, Italian and even Ancient Greek at Open Culture, a free cultural and educational media site.

7. College courses

College tuition is expensive, so when you can learn a new skill or educate yourself for free, all the better. You can find free continuing education courses, too.

For example, Saylor Academy offers nearly 100 free full-length college and professional-level courses. There are also plenty of other resources, including EdX,  MIT Open Courseware,  Harvard Online Courses  and Stanford Online.

8. Free credit counseling

When you’re loaded down with debt and struggling to pay bills, the last thing you need is to shell out money for some personal finance advice. Fortunately, there are free credit counseling options available.

To find a free nonprofit credit counseling agency near you, visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

9. Used stuff online

Sometimes people want to get rid of stuff fast, so they give it away. Or, they have nice furniture pieces that are hard to sell because they’re from a bygone era of huge furniture. Things like entertainment centers, dressers, china cabinets and heavy desks.

Yes, you’ll scroll through a lot of junk in the “free” section on Craigslist or Freecycle, but if you’re diligent, you may find just what you need for free.

10. Prescription drugs

Did you know that some grocery store pharmacies give customers free prescription drugs?

While you’re unlikely to find name-brand drugs at no cost, you can get certain generic drugs such as high blood pressure and diabetes medications and antibiotics free at some grocery chains, including Publix, Price Chopper, Meijer and Reasor’s Foods.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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