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!
There are all sorts of free samples and resources available online if you know which websites to visit! Use our list to find freebies from dozens of companies.
About a year ago I put together a list of websites that let you send SMS or text messages for free. It was a pretty popular post, but the only thing is that a few of those sites have since died while many other (and potentially better) sites have sprung up. So, here's a new list!
– Call Wave easily wins the award for “fastest delivery time.” I sent myself a text message using their free downloadable widget and before I'd even had time to click back over to HIF, my phone was buzzing with the new message. They have versions that you can add directly to your Google or Yahoo Homepage as well as your Apple or Windows Vista computer. I especially like the fact that you can not only save phone numbers that you frequently text, but it even imported all the listed cell numbers I have saved in my address book on my computer! Nifty!
Chikka – You have to download a small program, which is basically just an IM platform, but built on sending text messages to your buddies instead of IMs. Your friends can then respond to you from their phone and it’ll show up on your computer in a message box. Not only have they since expanded the countries you can text since last year (US, UK, India, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong), but they also now offer free texts to everybody in the US.
Full list after the jump. [Read more…]
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.com and Gas Price Watch.com!
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 Price Watch 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.
[via the forums]
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 GAlerts 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.
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 GBase, 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 Bookmarks – If you find that keeping up with your bookmarks between your home and office computers, as well as maybe your laptops, is tough, then you might want to check out GBookmarks. It's a service that allows you to create on-line bookmarks, kinda like , but with the security and privacy that you'd expect with your own computer. Plus, it's just nice to be able to access my bookmarks no matter where I am!
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 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 Labs – Before Google perfects a service, they often let people play with them in the labs. Here, you'll find many of the new features that Google is currently working on, but they are still in the Labs because all the kinks haven't been worked out. Still, there are some cool things in here that you can play with and before you know it, they'll be finished and you'll be one of the first people around using them!
Google Mail: Previously an invite-only system, GMail now let's anybody sign up. It's quite easy to navigate and use and the 5GB-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 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 Notebook – Basically an on-line version of Notepad, except this allows you to access your files anywhere on the net, like with the Google Docs feature. You can import pictures, graphs, etc. and format the text with different colors, fonts, etc. If you're anything like me and have sticky notes all over your desk with reminders to do things, then you'll love GNotebook!
– If you've used Blogger for a while and feel that you're ready for a little something more, Google offers GPages, where you can get up 100MB of space to upload files, create webpages, and more. Kinda like a baby version of a site like Hey, It's Free! Don't worry though, we all tend to start on websites like GPages. My first website was on Angelfire back in 1998 and let's just say it looked hideous! Haha, seriously, I'm ashamed to even admit I had an Angelfire site, or a Geocities account for that matter. But oh well, they led to what you see here today!
Google Product Search – 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 Reader – Many people use stand alone RSS readers to keep themselves in the loop every time one of their favorite websites is updated (as a matter of fact, why not ad HIF to your RSS reader now?!). So as you can imagine, Google set out to make sure that no matter where in the world you are, you'll be able to access your RSS reader. Sweet, huh?
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 SMS – Let's say you're in a strange city and really want some pizza. Well, if you text message GOOGLE with the city you're in and the word “pizza,” Google will do a search for you and reply back with the numbers for a few local pizza joints.
Google Talk – Google came out with their own messaging service a while back and while it's yet to really catch on, it's still pretty useful. You can message people, send files, check your gmail accounts, and even make free pc-to-pc phone calls (just like Skype!) – all for free!
Google Toolbar – If you find yourself using many of Google's services throughout your day, then you might want to consider installing the GToolbar on your browser. It allows you to easily access many of Google's websites, as well as letting you make Google searches straight from it and finding information about the page your currently browsing.
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.
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.
Dodgeball – An awesome service if you find yourself living in one of the major cities where it's offered. Basically, if you're out on the town and want to meet up with your friends, you can Dodgeball them and your phone will simultaneously tell you where they are and tell them where you are!
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!
Picasa – A very powerful photo editor and management program, Picasa is a must if you have tons of photos on your computer. It's Google's answer to Yahoo's Flickr and while the latter might be a bit more powerful, don't be fooled. Picasa can hold it's wight in gold and then some!
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!