Whether there’s no free lunch or you get what you pay for, these 9 free websites break the mold and really deliver on their promises
They say that nothing is free or if it’s free, it’s not worth having. After deleting the spam email out of my inbox every morning, I have to say that I’m starting to believe the old adage. I’ve gone on enough “free” vacations and subscribed to too many “free” websites only to learn later that the word must mean something entirely different to some people.
That’s why I am so excited to share this post today. These 9 free websites actually deliver on what they promise, offering truly free stuff for work, listening, learning and everyday life. I use each one of these free websites nearly everyday and I know you will enjoy them as much as I do.
Free websites for everyday life
My favorite free website is the family calendar from Famundo.com, which helps you organize with a family calendar, message board and address book. Each family member can access this from any computer with their personal code. No more miscommunication and missed meetings. I’ve got six brothers and sisters, countless nieces and nephews and one adorable grandson. Everyone is spread across the country and there’s no way we could manage without a free website like Famundo.
Cooking for visitors is a favorite past-time of mine, but I cannot always find a recipe in my cookbooks. There are hundreds of recipe sites online, so many that I lose track of them all. You can usually type in the name of the dish you want to prepare or just go straight to my favorite free website for cooking, AllRecipe.com which even lets you leave reviews of your favorite recipes.
Before computers we actually used cameras, took a picture and had to take it somewhere to be developed. Then we put these hard-copy pictures in books call albums. Now I keep my pictures on my computer but the computer and I have a love/hate relationship. It loves to put my pictures where I can’t find them and I hate it! That’s why I started using Picasa.google.com which lets me edit, add effects and share photos with others on the web.
Free websites for listening and learning
I love listening to 50's and 60's music but have a difficult time finding good radio stations that play what I like. I just type in an artist on Pandora.com and the free website for music plays songs by that artist and others with a similar style. I can’t download music, but I can listen to my own style of music.
I have been trying to learn Spanish on my own off and on for years. I can get the basics but then I usually end up quitting before I get very far. I’ve just recently found bbc.co.uk/languages and love their approach to learning a language. I signed up for the free 12 week class in Spanish and get weekly e-mails from a teacher with lessons and learning tips. After Spanish I can tackle French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and more!!
Free websites for work
I ran my own daycare business for years and can tell you that it’s a lot more than just watching rug rats jump around all day. You have to be your own marketing, accounting and human resources department all at the same time. It’s that way with a lot of home businesses but fortunately the sba.gov offers one of the best free websites for business owners. The Small Business Administration is actually a government organization so I’m not sure if that qualifies for free but you’ll find all kinds of help including how to write a business plan, line up financing and discuss just about every aspect of your business. On-line courses are free and self-paced. Free in-person classes are also offered at SBA offices around the country.
Once you’re set up with your business idea, you need business cards to let people know you are ready to go. VistaPrint is an free website printing company known for its amazing offer of 250 free business cards. I’ve used the cards and they’re surprisingly good quality for freebies. Visit the site, create your card and all you have to pay is about five bucks for shipping.
Remember my love-hate relationship with my computer? I’ve tried threatening it, cutting the power and just about everything else but it always seems to win. Now I just click on the free website protonic.com which helps with tech support issues. I can submit my dilemma to the company and I'll get a prompt reply from a computer expert. They will even help you learn to use HTML code.
And finally, you can say good-bye to all those annoying spammers that clog your e-mail. Spamato is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird and Mozillla Mail and will kill your junk mail faster than you can say, “No I don’t want to help the royal nephew of Zimbabwe get $3 million out of the country!” PC World magazine recently named Spamato one of its 101 Fantastic Freebies. Visit the free website or PC World to download the free software.
So it seems, with these free websites anyway, you can get something for nothing. Now it’s your turn! What free websites do you use on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments below so we can add them to the list, but they have to actually be free. Frugal Grandma
About the Author
Joseph Hogue is a financial expert and investment analyst. After serving in the Marine Corps, he started his career investing in real estate before becoming an investment analyst for some of the largest private investors. He's appeared on Bloomberg and on CNBC as an investment expert and has published ten books in personal finance. Now he helps investors reach their financial goals and invest in the stock market with some of the same advice he used when working for the rich.