If you have a Nintendo DS or Wii, chances are you also buy games for those systems (otherwise what's the darn point of having the game system?!). Well if that's the case, you should head over to Club Nintendo, sign up for a free account, and then collect all the game cases and start looking through them. Inside each case should be a little sheet of paper with a registration code printed on the back. Enter it into your Club Nintendo account and you'll get 50 coins for each Wii game and 30 coins for each DS game. Then you can cash out the coins for free Nintendo swag or even a free DS game. My family had just enough games to earn 800 coins, so they cashed out and have a free game coming to them in the mail!
One post I've got in the works is a list of websites that will help you save money and fellow freebie friend William sent in two more great additions for the upcoming post – Gas Buddy and Gas Prices from AAA!
The basic gist of both sites are to keep track of the ever fluctuating local gas prices thanks to user contributions. Think gas prices meets Wikipedia. While Gas Buddy seems to be the larger of the two, Gas Prices actually had info on my tiny town thanks to a local resident who seems to make updates every day. Looking at the map, I see the station nearest me (which I usually fill up at!) has gas at $2.10 while half a mile away I can find it at $1.89.
As a matter of fact, I even registered a free account on both sites and updated a price I saw today. That's the beauty of the sites. There's such a wide array of people contributing that the prices stay pretty current. So the next time you realize you may need to fill up soon, find the cheapest gas near and maybe plan your route home from work accordingly. You won't save millions, but even if you only save a few bucks every week, the savings add up quickly over a year!
I'm gonna be honest, I thought this was some sort of elaborate spam at first glance. But in fact it's a search engine for free coloring pages and from what I can tell, it's legit. Let's say
you your kid has their entire room decked out in unicorn posters. Well, just go to the site, search for “unicorns” and a few pages worth of results will pop up. Then print out a few and viola! You She can draw all night long.
Obviously, you'll need a printer and some black ink to print these out. But face it, what's more valuable: a few bucks worth of ink or potential hours of peace and quiet? Exactly, that's what I thought.
Ok, I'll admit, I don't really get the whole text messaging phenomenon. If I want to talk to somebody or ask them a question, I'll just call them! Over 90% of my phone calls consist of 30 second conversations that go like this:
Friend: Hey Goob, what's up?
Goob: Hey mate, got a quick question. You know what time we need to show up at Bob's tomorrow night?
Friend: Yeah, be there around 6.
Goob: Great, thanks, take it easy.
I don't care how fast you type on a phone, you can't beat that in terms of time spent! But whatever, I digress. 🙂 I've got friends all over the country and world at this point. And while I might want to call them from time to time, the nitty gritty is that I end up texting them thanks to the prices of phone calls. But seeing as how text messages cost money too, I figured there had to be a way around paying. I mean, if e-mail is free, why shouldn't 150 character messages be?! And thankfully, many other websites out there agree with me!
Below I've put together some of the best sites on the net that allow you to sent 100% free text messages. I tried most of them out by texting my own phone to see if they worked, how fast it went, etc. Many of these offer world-wide messaging, or at least texts to certain countries abroad. So chances are though that no matter where your friends or families are in the world, you'll be able to text them using one of the sites below. Many times you'll need to know the country code of the number you're trying to message, but for some reason most of these sites don't provide a list of the freaking codes! Luckily, this is when Wikipedia really comes in handy. Even more annoyingly, sometimes you'll need to know the cell phone service provider of your friend. If you have no idea what it is, then have a look at Fone Finder and thank me later!
And as always, if you know of a good site I missed, please leave a comment and let us know about it!
Google Voice – One of the longest running free texting via websites still up and running! They let you send text messages for free to US and Canadian numbers (excluding U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). It couldn't be easier to send text messages straight from your browser or phone, all for free.
They update their locations here.
TextFree – This is a mobile app for both iPhone and Android or personal computers that lets you send free text messages worldwide.
Text Port – Yet another fantastic site that lets you send free sms to US and Canadian numbers via their set numbers. What makes this site even better, IMHO, is the clean and nice layout. No flashing ads or annoying messages all over the place. Just a box for you to send your free text message from and that's it.
Previous Best Free Text Options
How many people remember some of these original free texting sites? While they're sadly no longer with us, they were the pioneers of free global texting online back in the day, circa 2006-2014.
- Anon Txt
- Call Wave
- Cardboard Fish SMS
- Free Text Send
- Group 2 Call
- Send SMS Now
- SMS Everywhere
- Text 4 Free
- The Txt
- Txt Drop
- Yahoo Messenger India
Yeah, you read that last one right! I still have my YM India login info from 2005 😀
So there you have it! Those are some of the best free text messaging websites I found that let you send free text messages around the globe. No matter where you or your friends are in the world, hopefully you'll be able to stay in touch with nothing more than a couple of cell phones and a few of the websites from this list.
Everybody seems to love Google when it comes to finding stuff on the Internet, but did you know they offer a ton of free services? From the ever popular ones like video sharing (YouTube) and e-mail (Gmail) to the more unknown ones of free voicemail and free calendars; chances are if there's a program or service out there that most people would be interested in, Google provides an easy and free version of it! So I've decided to try and compile a massive list of them here on HIF, in alphabetical order and broken into two categories. The first list contains all of the services and products that Google offers directly from their site. The next list contains all the websites and companies Google owns and operates. By no means is this a be all, end all list for the services Google offers, but these are the things that I think most average people could get some use out of. So…enjoy!
Google Alerts – Let's say you have a hobby of collecting rare, Norwegian buttons from the 17th century. Now, chances are there aren't going to be many new and fresh stories to pop up on the Internet every day about such a topic. Which is where Google Alerts comes in. You can set it to e-mail you whenever there is a new article about any topic you want, (you can specify if you want to only focus on blogs, user groups, large newspapers, etc.) Pretty nifty if you have certain things you're really interested in but which there isn't a website already dedicated to them.
Blogger – It seems like everybody and their brother have a blog by this point. But in case you are one of the nine people left without one and want to try, yet feel overwhelmed by the process, then Blogger is the site for you. It walks you through every aspect you could possible need and handles all the techno mumbo-jumbo, so that all you have to do is click a few buttons, type what you want to say to the world, and then click one more button! Easy as can be.
Google Custom Search – This nifty little tool allows you to create your own mini-search engine of data. Let's say for instance that you are a wonderful chef with tons of family recipes that you'd like to share with your family. Well, with Google's custom search engine, you could input each of the recipes that you wanted to share and if you do a few a day, over time you'll have a nice (and big!) database of awesome recipes. Then your cousin halfway across the world might one day think, “Man, I could go for some pizza right now…,” come to your database, search for pizza, and viola! He's got your own recipe!
Google Book – Slowly, but surely, Google is trying to scan every page of every book into it's computers so that one day you'll be able to search for a certain passage and pull it right up. Of course, it's taking them forever to do so, but current estimates put the count of books in their database at over 1 million. Not too shabby!
Google Docs – Now this is one of my favorite Google features, by far! Basically, this is an on-line version of Microsoft Office. There's a word processor, spreadsheet, power point – basically everything you'd ever need. You can password protect all your files or collaborate with friends across the internet, giving different people different levels of editing powers. If you're in school or work and have ever tried organizing a group project, Google Docs might very well be a Godsend for you!
Google Earth – If you enjoy spying on your neighbor's backyard, then this is the product for you! Haha, Basically this is a massive collection of satellite photos spanning the globe, to the point where you can plot in almost any coordinates and get a bird's eye view of the place. It's fun to at least check out your own area and see if you can make anything out.
Google Groups – You might already be familiar with Yahoo's Groups feature, but Google's is much more visually appealing and easier to navigate, so I go with theirs. Pretty much, there will already be a group out there for anything you can imagine. In fact, I think there's already a Norwegian buttons group 🙂 This is a great feature to hook up with people who might be able to help you with something particular that a search engine might be vague at, like where the best sushi in Argentina can be found or how best to fix the engine of an antique car.
Google Hangouts – Google started with own messaging service a while back called Google Talk. It's since evolved into Hangouts, which is a pretty useful cross-platform messaging app. You not only can talk to people, but also send files, check your gmail accounts, and even make free pc-to-pc phone calls (just like Skype!) – all for free!
Google Image Search – You'd be surprised how many people out there still don't know that you can search for images as well as normal text words on Google!
Google Keep – This free services used to be called Google Notepad. It's essentially a cloud-based notes program that lets you to access your files with any internet device, like with the Google Docs feature. You can save and sync notes, pictures, graphs, voice memos, and more. If you're anything like me and have sticky notes all over your desk with reminders to do things, then you'll love Keep!
Google Mail – Previously an invite-only system, GMail now let's anybody sign up and has 1.5 billion active users worldwide. It's quite easy to navigate and use and the 10GB-plus space they offer makes it the perfect e-mail account to never have to delete a message with pictures or videos attached to it!
Google Maps – Like Mapquest, but 100 times better in my opinion. You can not only look up directions, but plot a trip and even track your vacation for friends and family back home to watch! But even cooler is their Street View for certain large cities, which has 360 degree photos from almost every street!
Google Messages – Share high-quality media without extra fees by sending free text on Wi-Fi with Google Messages.
Google News – Kinda like Google Finance, but with News instead. It's actually one of the better news services out there, much better than Cnn.com and the like, as they tend to get breaking news uploaded much more quickly as well as draw on news from a huge variety of sources.
Google Photos – The old Picasa program has evolved into a powerful photo editor and management storage system program. Google Photos is a must if you have tons of photos on your computer and was created as Google's answer to Yahoo's Flickr back in the day. Photos will backup your pictures on your mobile or PC device and save them in the cloud so you never lose them. They also have a search function built into the photos metadata, so you can search for topics like “birthday” and it'll show all the photos of birthday parties.
Google Scholar – This is cool feature that lets you search among scholarly papers and journals for in-depth analysis and conversations based on the topic you're looking for. Google is slowly broadening the number of resources it includes in the search results, but suffice to say if you ever really need to sound smart about a given topic, a GScholar search should be at the top of your list of things to do.
Google Shopping – Formerly known as Froggle, this service basically let's you search for a given product and Google will tell you where you can buy it cheapest.
Google Sites – This is a free web page-creation suite to rival Microsoft Office! It gives you free access to Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, and Google Keep.
Google Translate – There are plenty of other free web translators on the web out there, but I've yet to come across one that's any better or easier to use than Googles. Enough said.
Google Voice – Google will give you a real, working phone number for free! They can then call it and be forwarded to your real number or leave you a voicemail, which you can access through your own phone or via the Internet. Perfect for those situations where you don't want certain people to know your phone numbers!
YouTube – If you don't already know about this free video sharing site, and yet you're here reading HIF, then you my friend are one in a million! Upload videos of up to 100mg, watch millions upon millions of other videos, and waste a good portion of your day while doing so.
So there you have it! Hopefully you found a few services in here that you didn't know of before. And by all means, if you know of one or two I skipped over, please share them in the comments!
Did you know Google Voice will give you your very own custom phone number, for free?
It allows anybody to sign up for a brand spankin' new phone number complete with voicemail that you can access on-line or via telephone. So let's say somebody asks for your phone number, but you're not comfortable giving out your home or cell number. Well, just give them your Private Phone number! Then, when they leave a message for you, you'll be alerted via e-mail or text message telling you that you've got a new voicemail. You can then either call your Private Phone number and enter your pin or go to your on-line account and listen to it! It even comes with caller ID, so that if you decide you want to call the person back, their number is right there for you to see.
You can pick virtually any area code you want, which is nice in that you won't look suspicious when giving out the number since you can pick your own area code. You can also record a custom message, so it sounds like your actual personal voicemail. Plus another cool little feature is that all of your voicemails are automatically recorded and uploaded to your on-line account, where you then can share them with your friends via e-mail or your blog or something! A friend of mine used to have a disposable cell phone account that he posted on his site where he asked people to call and leave funny/drunk/random messages and then he'd upload them to his site. It sure would have been a lot easier had this service been around back then!
Which leads me to this! I created a phone number (864-761-0065) just for my websites. I'm posting this on my other sites as well and asking people to call it and leave something funny! Heck, just call it if you're bored and have nothing else better to do! If I get anything interesting or cool, I'll post the audio recordings* of them up here on HIF to share with everybody else! In fact, leave your number in the comments and I might even give ya a buzz 🙂
*None of your private info is said in the audio records, it's just the voice message you leave. So you can trust that I won't be posting your actual phone number on here for everybody to see!
This automotive database includes 150 easy-to-read, illustrated auto repair manuals on all auto repair procedures for about 21,000 vehicles; more than 56,000 Technical Service Bulletins; wiring diagrams; and labor time estimates. Text and many images will be available in PDF and GIF format. Every major manufacturer for domestic and imported vehicles is represented including auto repair manuals for most vintage makes starting as far back as 1954. New repair procedures/updates will be added continuously, and Technical Service Bulletins will be added on a monthly or quarterly basis.