Sunday, November 6, 2022

Freebies, Discounts and Money-Saving Deals

With the price of, well, everything continuing to rise, I thought I would put together a list of deals and discounts that I've found.  Note, some of these are specifically for low-income people.  Also, a lot of state and federal programs change their qualifiers quite often so, for example, if you checked out the max income for SNAP benefits a couple years ago, there's a good chance that the qualifying income may have changed since then so be sure to check out their page again just to see if you qualify now.

  • SNAP/EBT/Food Stamps.  For people who are having a hard time affording the skyrocketing cost of food these days, check with your state website and see if you qualify for food benefits.
  • WIC.  This is a similar food program but it is specifically for women, infants, and children.
  • Food pantries.  If you are really in need of food, check out your local food pantries. There are often several food pantries in your nearby area which offer a wide range of food for those in need.
  • Free government cell phone and plan.  This varies by state so just Google your state and free government cell phone (the link is from my state) and see if you qualify.
  • Mint Mobile.  If you don't qualify for a free cell phone plan, Mint Mobile is only $15 a month and is available to everyone.  We have used this plan for a few years and love it!  We just pay for the plan once a year and don't have to worry about billing for an entire year.
  • Free high-speed internet.  This is an offer for low income folks which was put together by the federal government.
  • Over the air TV.  While we don't qualify for free internet, we did cut out cable TV and now have an internet-only plan because we get all of the TV stations we need (about 80 stations) with a simple $15 OTA TV antenna which we bought at Best Buy.
  • Cheap internet service.  Unfortunately our internet service isn't as cheap as we would like it to be since Cox is the only high-speed service provider in our area but we did do many of the things in the linked article like buying our own modem/router and regularly checking the Cox website for cheaper plans in order to get a pretty good deal on our internet plan.
  • Other viewing options.  We really do have too many viewing options even without cable TV.  We have a basic Netflix account (there is an even cheaper Netflix option that was just launched), plus I sometimes watch Pluto TV and Tubi online for some specific shows I like.  Some friends swear by Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and Chromecast but I haven't tried any of those.  I've also heard of people signing up for an initially discounted Apple TV/Paramount Plus/Disney+ plan then stopping that plan with the initial offer ends and switching to another discounted initial plan offering.
  • The library.  We have an amazing library system that I absolutely love.  I've downloaded thousands of free ebooks to my Kindle app, they also offer free online magazines and newspapers as well and movies and music.  The library system itself is amazing--they always have free classes and events which are open to the community, they also offer free access to their DJ/podcasting booth and teach people how to make their own music, podcasts, and videos!
  • Government tax exemptions.  You can google your local city/county/state along with 'tax exemption/abatement programs' and see what they offer.  In our case (example in link) we save more than a thousand dollars a year on our vehicle registration fees and property tax!  We also made sure we set our property tax cap correctly as well as filed for a homestead exemption.
  • National Parks Passes.  We live by several national parks so hubby got a lifetime senior pass (back when we got it, the cost was $20--and it's good for a lifetime!).  We also got a discounted state park pass since hubby is a senior.  One of the best deals I've heard about for a state parks pass is in New Mexico where you can camp for an entire year at their state parks for only $225!
  • Free camping.  Speaking of highly discounted camping, the linked website shows you where all of the free camping spots are around the country.  You can also camp for free in state forests and on DNR land.  Other camping options include super cheap camping at LTVAs and, probably as a last resort, Slab City.
  • Birthday Freebies.  While you probably don't want to overindulge by signing up for all of these programs, it's nice to see your inbox fill up with offers for free yummy gifts on your birthday.
  • Help paying bills.  If you need help paying your bills--everything from utilities to housing and more--the linked aptly named website will point you to programs that help people with this.  Note you can also google your area and 'utility bill help' or 'medial bill assistance' and will probably get lots of links for nearby assistance programs.
  • Low-cost and free prescriptions.  Prescription medications are ridiculously expensive these days!  Fortunately there are some programs that can help people out.
  • Free clinics.  Speaking of medical care, the linked website can direct you to free and low-cost healthcare in your area.  In our area we have a few free clinics, a university dental school that offers highly discounted dental care, and if you live in a border area you might be able to save big on medical and dental needs just by crossing the border.
  • Homeless services.  If you google your city/county/state and 'homeless resources' you may find a huge list of resources like the linked list which has info on all kinds of help and resources for those in need (for most things you need not actually be homeless).
  • Veterans resources.  I'm just using veterans as an example but you can google your specific category (elderly resources, Native American resources, addiction help resources, etc) and come up with loads of links for help with your particular issue.
  • 211.  Finally, if you need help with any sort of problem you can call 211.  Kind of like 911 but for non-emergent social service needs, these organization can direct you to resources in your local community.


  1. This is a great list. I received a free tablet from Lifeline program.

    1. That's wonderful! I'd always heard about the Lifeline program but I have never hear of anyone actually getting tablets from them!