Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on “Free Books.” There you can access more than 5,000 full classics¯from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Charlotte Bront’s Jane Eyre¯to enjoy right on your screen
*Free business classes
If you’re looking to break into the business world but aren’t sure where to begin, start at this site. Budding entrepreneurs (or those who are simply curious) can take advantage of a wide range of self-paced courses, including How to Prepare a Business Plan, Marketing 101 and Introduction to Accounting. The courses are offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, free of charge.
*Free college education
Get a top-flight education without the price tag. MIT OpenCourseWare is a Web-based publication with most of MIT’s courses and exams, and it’s available to everyone. Several other first-rate universities (Harvard and Stanford, to name two) post some course material as well, but none match MIT’s extensive offering.
*Free computer software
Hate to spend $400 on a program just to create documents? Download free quality software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases at openoffice.org. The suite of programs works on most computers.
*Free computer storage
Protect your documents, photos and music, up to 2 gigabytes, without buying a backup drive. Need more space? Sign up for another 2GB account at spideroak.com or myotherdrive.com.
*Free credit reports
You’re entitled to one free report per year from each of the main credit bureaus, and you can access all three¯Equifax, Experian and TransUnion¯through this reliable site.
Rather than buying a book of puzzles for your three-hour flight, choose from a wide selection of free printable crosswords (with solutions) or fill them in right on your computer.
*Free cruise vacations
If you’re flexible, click here often to look for rotating deals on free cruise vacations. We found a trip for two that was all-inclusive, except for airfare. The cruise lines post these deals in the hope that you’ll spread the word about your fabulous time onboard.
*Free family planners
Never forget an appointment! With this calendar you can color-code the kids’ schedules, a grocery list, a to-do list and more. You can even access data from your phone or set up reminders so nothing slips through the cracks
*Free financial planner
The cost of a financial planner is typically from $150 to $250 per hour. Mint.com takes your banking information and compiles a financial profile so you can keep track of your spending, saving and more. The site also gives advice on getting a new credit card, negotiating lower interest rates, allocating your investment portfolio and other money matters.
When the itch to play Monopoly or Texas Hold‘em strikes, there’s no need to run to a toy store or even pay for a download. Pogo.com boasts more than 100 games that you can play alone or with friends.
*Free graph paper
Generate free printable graph paper for lists or homework by choosing the size and grid color, then save your choices so you can quickly access it again.
*Free greeting cards
Skip the cost of a card, postage and envelope by delivering an animated e-card for any occasion. Can’t find the right note here? Check out americangreetings.com or, for a sarcastically funny selection, visit someecards.com.
*Free homework help
When the kids could use a little assistance¯but not enough to justify hiring an expensive tutor¯they can ask real educators questions at this study guide site. There’s also a section for parents, so you, too, can brush up on topics from biology to math.
*Free language courses
Always wanted to speak a foreign tongue? Whether it’s Spanish or Swahili, become fluent and get the chance to interact with other language learners around the world. Practice conversation with a native and help others with their English.
*Free legal advice
Ask real attorneys any legal question and receive a personalized answer, or find a dependable lawyer.
*Free long-distance calls
If you and your faraway parents sign up for a free account at Skype, you can call (and see, provided you have a webcam) one another at no cost over the Internet rather than racking up minutes on your phone plan.
Most of the reputable services include a hefty price tag, but this free site gets high marks for making terrific matches according to your personality profile, and boasts a fun and interactive experience as well.
*Free medical help
After signing up for an account, you can manage your health (keeping track of your weight, for example, and how much water you drink daily), watch health-related videos, read articles and send any questions or concerns you have to certified specialists, who will answer you in a timely fashion.
This radio site plays music based on your personal tastes. If you’re a serious rock aficionado, check out last.fm.
*Free official documents
Select an attorney-vetted document¯such as a living will or power of attorney¯from a database of hundreds.
Who doesn’t want to add a personal touch to her cell phone, but those ringtone fees add up! Scan Myxer’s free database of thousands of ringtones (and wallpaper) or use its tools to customize your own and download it to your phone in a snap.
*Free silver jewelry
There is a price to pay here, but it’s only for shipping ($7). Visit daily to see the rotating selection of necklaces, rings and more that can be yours for nothing. The catch? There isn’t one. The company gets to spread its name, and you get to add shiny new baubles to your jewelry box.
*Free tax return help
People with low to moderate incomes ($49,000 and less), military families and folks age 60 and older qualify for free help with tax returns from trained volunteers. At the site, locate the category that applies to you, then call the number provided.
*Free test preparation
Get your kids ready for the SAT, ACT or GRE with these preparation courses, complete with vocabulary builders, practice sessions and tutorials.
*Free text messaging
Sign up for an online account, then enter a friend’s mobile number and carrier so you can text each other. Because the Web site, not your phone, sends and receives the messages, there’s no cost to you.
*Free tv and movies
This site carries the best selection of TV episodes, along with classic and newer flicks. The official sites of ABC and PBS also post programming, and it’s always worth a search on youtube.com to catch a missed show or access obscure video clips.
*Free virtual makeovers
Considering a new look? Save yourself the cash on wasted products or an unflattering hairstyle by uploading your photo here first. Try different cuts and makeup on your image and get product recommendations based on your preferences. Join the site’s social network to share images with friends, who can rate your makeover and even tweak it.
*Free virus protection
This site’s free, dependable package also includes spyware removal, a spam killer, a scam shield and more.