50 great things you can get free

"The best things in life are free", sang the Beatles.

Bitter experience tells us that is rarely the case. The Fab Four admitted as much when they revealed that money was what they reallywanted.

But there's no need to be too cynical. There are a surprising range of free things out there, if you know where to look.

Here are 50 fab freebies which were available at the time of writing - enough to make John, Paul, George and Ringo change their tune.

Art & Entertainment

1. Cinema Paradiso

Get to see the latest must-see movie first and without paying a penny. See Film First, Freecinematickets and Momentum Pictures offer regular preview cinema screenings nationwide. Or check out one of the free films being shown later this summer in the Scoop, an open-air amphitheatre outside of London's City Hall. Edinburgh has a free Film Festival Under the Stars and Manchester is running the Family Friendly Film Festival .

2. Televisual Treat

Many top TV and radio shows offer free tickets to people who want to be part of their studio audience. It's a fun and free way to fill an afternoon or evening and there's something for everyone's taste: from Mastermind on the BBC to ITV's The X Factor

3. High Culture

You can enjoy top class ballet and opera screened live from the Royal Opera House at outdoor venues across the country as part of theBP Summer Screens season.

4. West End Pizzazz

Once a year cast members from some of the top West End shows perform free in London's Leicester Square. This year's event takes place on June 20 and 21. To find out more go to West End Live.

5. A Night at the Theatre

You can have a free night out at the theatre with A Night Less Ordinary.The catch? You have to be under 26.

6. Edinburgh's Free Festival

The Edinburgh Festival and Fringe attracts tens of thousands of culture vultures every year, and most end up shelling out lots of money on tickets. If you want to share in the fun but don't want the expense check out the Free Fringe Festival instead, which runs from August 6 to August 30.

7. Movie Collection

Free DVDs are often used as an incentive by market research firms to encourage consumers to fill in questionnaires. At the Free DVD Club you can choose from over 50 titles.

Health & Beauty

8. Sparkling

The Silver Jewelry Club offers silver rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets free and ships to the UK. All you pay is a shipping charge of $8.99 (about £4.50). It seems to think it's a good marketing technique. Other businesses take note.

9. Made Up

If you want to freshen up your look go to one of your local department stores where many of the beauty counters provide free makeovers. Don't be presssured into buying products, but be polite or you could end up looking more like Coco the Clown than Coco Chanel.

10. Beauty Tips

Ayton Online Research recruits volunteers to trial new ranges before they hit the shops. The products have already been declared safe, so you won't end up with third degree burns, and are not tested on animals; the companies just want consumer feedback before launch. A host of other websites offer free samples. Check out the links on Mysavings and Smartfreestuff or Free Samples.

11. Dental Work

There are opportunities for free treatment by dental students at all UK dental schools. The British Dental Health Foundation has contact details.

12. Cut and Blow Dry

Salons and colleges up and down the country need models for hairdressing students to practise on. If you're prepared to put your hair on the line it's a great way to save money. Just make sure you have a paper bag handy in case they are overzealous with the clippers or hair dye.

Sport & Leisure

13. It is Cricket

If you're a cricket fan and want to enjoy the Ashes, without having to fork out for a ticket, you can enjoy the excitement at Cricket in the Park in Southampton, Liverpool, Cambridge, Derby and London.

14. Chuck the Gym Subscription

Get fit jogging or walking and enjoy the great outdoors: it's that simple.

15. Fitness Freak

If you're a gym junky at least take advantage of a free trial at your local gym. Fitness First and LA Fitness offer a free day at selected gyms.

16. Boot camp

British Military Fitness offers one free trial class at parks all over the country. Feel the pain.

17. Play the Game

"Don't work play games". This noble sentiment is the motto of Freeloader where you can download hundreds of online games. Hours of fun, just don't tell the boss.

18. Read all about it

Many magazines and newspapers, including of course the Times and Sunday Times, now have an online presence, which you can often access for free.

19. Football Crazy

If the reams of newspaper pages and hours of TV dedicated to the beautiful game are not enough for you don't despair. There are several free online football mags to feed your longing. Catflap is published once a week.

20. Picture this

Photo Box is offering 40 free photo prints when you register with its site.


21. Downloading

Online music downloads have become hugely popular, thanks to the surge in use of MP3 players such as iPods. You have to be careful about using sites which offer very cheap or free downloads as many are illegal. However, Last FM has the seal of approval. It offers 200 free downloads every week.

22. Band Aid

Freeloaders will do all sorts of unspeakable things to get into gigs and concerts. But you don't need to degrade yourself to get to see great bands, as those aiming for the big time often play in front of non-paying audiences. More mainstream artists appear regularly inHMV stores. Or check out what Puregroove and Rough Trade have planned in trendy Shoreditch. Here are details of what else is going on in London.

23. Cool, cool jazz

Jazz festivals take place up and down the country in the summer, and many have at least one free event. The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, for example, has Jazz on a Summer's Day, which will take place at the Ross Bandstand, Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh on August 2.

24. Liszt for Lunch

Concert halls and churches up and down the country hold free recitals, usually during week day lunchtimes. The Royal Albert Hall, for example, has a programme called Ignite every Friday lunchtime where you can hear "talented young ensembles in performances from gypsy jazz to Parisian folk". Whatever floats your boat.

25. Sheet Music

Musical scores, from ABBA to Wagner, can be downloaded from a host of sites including Free Sheet Music and Free Scores. The Free Sheet Music Guide is a good place to start.

Children & Animals

26. Give your Dog … a Health Check

Tired of expensive vet's bills? Keep your dog in tip top condition by attending a free health check organised by PDSA, an animal charity. Their trained veterinary nurses even provide slimming tips if your dog is a little on the porky side. Unfortunately for cat or guinea pig lovers only dogs qualify, for safety reasons apparently.

27. Animal Magic

There's masses of free stuff out there for your furry friends from collars and leads to vitamin supplements. Try Free Pet Stuff.

28. Baby Talk

Register with Pampers and you get vouchers to spend on Pampers' products like nappies and wipes. Huggies has a similar offer. There are loads of other freebies for parents, from baby food to nappy rash cream.

Holidays & Travel

29. Drive Time

Sick of sky-high rail fares? Try Liftshare, a nationwide database of more than 200,000 members. Just register your journey and the website will hook you up with drivers who are taking the same route and will allow you to jump on board.

30. Couch Surf

The cost of hotel rooms can be extortionate. A cheaper way to travel is to join an international hospitality exchange website such asCouchsurfing. These enable members to offer a few nights accomodation on a spare bed or sofa. The sites are free and members are not allowed to charge.

31. Swap your Home

If staying with a stranger does not appeal and you are a homeowner, a home swap is an alternative. Members pay about £30 to £120 a year to list their property at websites such as Homebase-Hols and HomeLink (so I guess its not completely free but bear with me). Listings give a description and photographs of each home, plus the owner's availability for travel and preferred destinations. Then you make a rent-free exchange (the free bit) with members whose requirements mirror your own.


32. Don't Fret over Debt

As the credit crunch has worsened companies have sprung up offering debt advice for a fee. But don't waste your hard-earned cash.National Debtline, Debt Free Direct and Citizens Advice will help you out without making a charge. You can check your credit report for free at Credit Expert.

33. Free Cash

When new customers sign up to First Direct's 1st account they get a £100 bonus provided they start paying an income of at least £1,500 into the account within three months. There is another £100 on offer if you decide to switch away from First Direct within six months of opening the account. The downside: the account doesn't pay any interest.

34. Borrowing

By switching to a 0 per cent credit card you can save yourself interest and effectively borrow for free. Times Online lists the latest offers.

Food & Drink

35. Forage in the Hedgerows

There's a whole countryside of free food out there. Some of it's appetising – mushrooms (provided you don't pick ones that are deadly poisonous) blackberries, wild garlic – others not so tasty- hawthorn shoots (believe me, they are not worth the effort). The Really WILD Food Guide provides more ideas.

36. More Nourishment

There are loads of free and discounted food offers on Food Freebies.

37. Cook's Delight

Don't bother with expensive cookbooks. Tens of thousands of recipes are available online at sites like Free Recipes. More than enough for a lifetime of meals.

38. In the Drink

Retail Eyes sends tens of thousands of members on up to 16,000 "mystery shopper" assignments a month - all expenses paid. You could be asked to go to the pub or stay a night in a hotel. Hard life.

Good for the mind

39. French Lesson

The BBC offers excellent courses online in languages including French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Polish and Urdu.

40. Local Library

Borrow books for free, saving yourself money and shelf space.

41. Culture Vulture

Bored? Why not take a trip to your local museum or art gallery – most permanent exhibitions, including the great ones at the British Museum and the National Gallery, are free.

42. Educate Yourself

Some universities offer study materials, incluiding video lectures, notes and exams, on the internet. You won't earn a degree but it's a good way to improve your learning. In the UK material is available from the Open University while in the US the world-famousMassachusetts Institute of Technology is equally generous.

43. Books on the move

Save money and reduce clutter by downloading books onto an iPhone or palm top device from Gutenberg or Feedbooks.


44. Internet Access

Browse the world wide web free of charge by logging in at one of the plethora of wi-fi hotspots. My Hotspots can help you find locations in your local area.

45. Debug your Computer

Protecting your home computer is vital, especially if you bank online. Virus protection from the likes of Norton, McAfee and Symantec typically costs about £40. But there are free alternatives. Microsoft offers Windows Vista users a free firewall. Free updates are availablehere. Another option is Grisoft's AVG.


46. Retail Therapy

Even better than doing something you love for free is getting paid for it. Retail Eyes sends members to use a shop and report on the quality of service. Most earn £6 to £10 a task, plus expenses, and are reimbursed for, and can keep, any purchases. Easy money.

And the rest

47. Freecycle

Like eBay, without the money. Freecycle encourages members to give away unwanted junk instead of throwing it away. Just as importantly they can replace it with new stuff for free.

48. Dressing Up

What's Mine is Yours and Big Wardrobe are similar to Freecycle but for users who want to swap dresses, shoes, bags or furniture.

49. The Business

Create your own business cards at Templates 4 Cards

50. Romance isn't dead

A century after it published its first bodice rippers the magic of Mills & Boon's romance novel continues to woo women in their millions. If you've been seduced you can get two free books and a mystery gift. Swoontastic. Once you've read them you can swap your old books for someone elses at Read It Swap It or BookMooch.

Flood warning has been issued across Mumbai after the Mithi river crossed the danger mark following incessant rainfall on Tuesday.

Normal life has been thrown out of gear in the city owing to heavy overnight rains that led to severe water logging in many parts and badly disrupted road, rail and air traffic.

Railway tracks are flooded between suburban Bandra and Vile Parle on the Western line. Khar, Milan and Andheri subways are waterlogged.

Some important numbers:
Disaster Control - 22704403/22694725
Traffic Control - 24937747

What Is Right Hair Care?

Hairs are the most important part of an individual's personality. There would be no single women in the world who is not concerned about her hairs. Taking care of hairs and their hygiene is very important not only for beauty but also for health. Hare care involves all the steps to be taken for hygiene and health of hairs.

Hare care differs according to one's hair type, hair needsand weather conditions. Though our entire body has hair follicles but hair care here means care for the hair on the scalp.

When you consider the hair care, it means you should take care of hair and scalp skin also. All the living hair parts such as hair follicles, root sheath, hair root and sebaceous glands are below the skin. The hair shaft or cuticle is the nonliving part above the skin.

To ensure a healthy and shining hair, you should take care of health and hygiene of scalp skin.If you do not clean scalp skin regularly, dead skin cells get accumulated. It gives rise to infection due to toxins released by skin, bacteria, virus and chemicals.

Sebum produced by sebaceous glands protects the hair from microorganisms. It keeps the hair moisturize and shining. Sebum reaches the hair shaft by travelling naturally. It can be distributed by brushing and combing.

Hair Cleaning

Using Shampoo

Hair cleaning is the most important aspect of hair care. Hairs are to be washed regularly to remove the things like dirt, grease, sweat. Hair should be washed by mild shampoo which should be selected according to the hair type. If you have oily hair, use shampoo designed for oily hair. For dry hair, choose shampoo for dry hair. If you use tend to use wrong shampoo, it will do more harm than any benefit.

Apart from shampoo, there are some natural products also which help keep the hair clean and healthy. The most important is scalp massage and washing the hair with clean plain water.


Conditioner is to hair what moisturizer is to the skin. Conditioner helps to keep the hair moist and protect from dryness. Whenever you shampoo your hair, ph level of hair and skin gets increased due to alkaline nature of shampoo. It removes the layer of natural oil from the hairs a bit. After shampooing, you can feel roughness, dryness and tangling in hair. To get rid all these problems and smooth the hair you need to use hair conditioner.

Conditioners are acidic in nature so they help to maintain the balance of ph of hair. Conditioners and acidic rinses help to get better manageability and reduce tabling of hairs. It helps to prevent any damage in the hair.

PS: Apply Conditioner only on the hair and not the scalp, its useless on scalp*

How to wash hairs properly?

You should follow proper steps to wash your hair. First step is of course choosing the right hair care product that is shampoo. Conditioning after shampoo is also part of washing of hair.

Take shampoo on your palm according to size of your hair and lather in your hands. Now apply it over thoroughly wet hairs. Do not pile up the hairs as it will create tangles and open up the cuticles unnecessarily. Just squeeze the shampoo to any length of hair which is enough for washing. If you wash hair daily, it is not necessary to apply shampoo everyday; just wash with plain cold water.

To remove dead skin cells from scalp, do not scratch it too hard with nails rather use a fine toothed comb.

After shampoo apply conditioner. Apply it over damp hair to get it absorbed completely. After that rinse it out thoroughly with clean water so that there are no traces of conditioner in hair. If conditioner remains in hair, hair will look dull and become greasy.

Drying of Hair

For drying of hair, do not rub with towel, it will open up the cuticles and hair gets tangled. Use a microfiber towel to absorb the water quickly rather than ordinary towel. Air drying is the best way to make the hair dry.

Avoid use of excessive heat on hair. Excessive use of heat makes the hair unnecessarily dry and damages them. Do not use blow dryers, perming or straightening tool too much on hair. Avoid styling hair in tight braids or buns as they make the hair follicle weak. Eat a healthy and balanced diet to nourish the hair from inside.

* - additional info from hair care experts.

Home Remedies for Acidity:

Acidity refers to the excess secretion of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach. The stomach secrets hydrochloric acid that is responsible for proper functioning of the digestive system. This acid further secretes various digestive enzymes like pepsin that break the food particles for easy digestion. A normal level of acid is required in the stomach for proper digestion of the complex foods. When there is less secretion of acid the food is not digested properly and in case of excess secretion it gives rise to a condition known as acidity.

Causes of Acidity
  • Refined and fibreless food is the main cause of acidity.
  • Stress is the other main cause.
  • Smoking and excess of alcohol tends to weaken the nervous system, as a result the mucus membrane and the stomach lining stops functioning properly.
  • High intakes of spicy foods, overeating and eating hurriedly are also the causes of acidity.

Home Remedies for Acidity

  • Sucking a piece of clove will give relief from acidity.
  • Consumption of milk and milk products is beneficial during acidity.
  • Intake of fresh mint juice daily is the best home remedy for acidity.
  • Taking a mixture of two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey in a glass of water before meals, will reduce the chances of acidity and is another good home remedy for acidity.
  • Another effective acidity cure is to boil cumin seeds in a glass of water and drink it with meals.
  • Intake of spicy foods, fried foods and pickles should be avoided.
  • Raw salad of vegetables like onion, radish should be avoided. This is not a good diet for acidity.
  • Unripe foods with high pectin content should also be avoided.
  • The fruits like watermelon, banana and cucumber also reduce acidity and is good natural remedy for acidity.
  • One of the effective home remedies for acidity is Herbal tea containing spearmint (pudina) and liquorice (mulethi) is also beneficial instead of normal tea, coffee and other aerated drinks.
  • Drinking water in the early morning controls acidity, as water is a good neutralizer for acid. This is one of the effective acidity treatment.
  • Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise is an old and highly beneficial phrase. This good habit will prevent and control acidity.
  • A good Home Remedies for Acidity is to take two teaspoonfuls of white vinegar along with your meals. This will help in proper food digestion and will also control the Acidity that occurs in your stomach.
  • Frequent use of medicines like aspirin or disprin should be avoided.
  • A good acidity remedy is to Suck 10 grams of jaggery after meals will prevent acid formation.
  • Drinking cabbage juice daily also prevents acidity.
  • Its always better to have the dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.
  • A good natural remedy for acidity is to Drink coconut water 3-4 times a day also prevents acidity.
  • Eating yogurt will provide immediate relief from acidity. This is one of the effective home remedies for acidity.
  • Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of soda is also beneficial and is good home remedy for acidity.
  • Intake of 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar also provides best acidity treatment.
  • Ginger is a spice well known for its gastrointestinal complaints.
  • Take a small piece of ginger and convert it into pulp and add to this an equal amount of coriander. Mix both of them properly. Eat this as this is one of the good Home Remedies for Acidity.