Frugal Innovation: 45 Fascinating Examples of Free Things People Have Made Use Of

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26Free Jack Daniels

Free Jack Daniels

Employees who work at Jack Daniels get a free bottle of Jack Daniels with their paychecks on the first Friday of every month.

27. Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles premiered at a drive-in movie theater and people riding horses got free admission to watch the movie.

28. There is a Nikola Tesla statue that radiates Free Wifi in Silicon Valley.

29. There is a government program in USA called “Every Kid Outdoors” that gives a free year-long national park pass to every fourth-grade student that prints one out.

30. In 1996, the Argentine branch of Coca-Cola announced they would give away free tickets to a Ramones concert in exchange for ten bottle caps. Massively underestimating the band’s appeal in Argentina, Coca-Cola didn’t have enough tickets available, resulting in riots and looting.

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31Free Whistle

Free Whistle

Cap’n Crunch once gave a free prize whistle that blew a 2600 Hz tone - so if you dialed a long-distance phone number and blew the whistle, it gave you free long-distance calls.

32. For free, the US Treasury Department provides blind US citizens with a machine to read their currency for them. “The iBill is compact enough to slip into a side pocket. It can identify all US currency.” They have also developed free apps to read currency with a smartphone.

33. Dolly Parton has a book gifting program called the Imagination Library, which gifts free books every month to children, from birth until school.

34. Steven Thrasher was awarded free cigarettes for life from Phillip Morris as part of a settlement following being shot by his supervisor in 1974 and had to sue when they tried to stop.

35. The Swedish maker of Jeppson's Malört was free to sell the "medicinal" spirit in Chicago during prohibition, since law enforcement concluded no-one in their right mind would drink it recreationally.

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36Humanitas Home

Humanitas Home

There is a long-term care facility in the Netherlands that allows college students to stay for free in exchange for 30 hours of volunteer per month. When students come home from a class, concert, or party, they share those experiences with their elderly neighbors, some of whom are over 90.

37. Benjamin T. Babbitt (a famous soap businessman) was one of the first known people to offer free samples to entice people to purchase his soap in the 19th century.

38. Neils Bohr was gifted a house with free beer for life on winning the Nobel. A beer pipeline was connected from the Carlsberg brewery next door to this house. Bohr stayed there from 1932 until his death in 1962.

39. If you are in the USA and you earn less than a certain amount of money (currently $69,000) you can use the same software to file your taxes for free. The system is called Free File, and companies that sell you tax software are trying very hard to make it difficult to find.

40. Many large universities in the USA have their courses online for free, like MIT OpenCourseWare.

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41Unlimited Google Drive Storage

Unlimited Google Drive Storage

If you have a “.edu” email id through your school that uses Gmail, you get unlimited Google Drive storage. Also Amazon Prime is half-price with a .edu address.

42. “” is basically a site that lists active class action lawsuits you might qualify for. It's a cool way to hold corporations semi-accountable, and score some money/freebies for any wrongdoing that went under the radar.

43. USPS and UPS both will deliver free packaging boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap, etc. to your house. It literally doesn’t cost a thing and you can get about 50 boxes at a time.

44. “Amazon Smile” doesn’t get you anything for free, but by just shopping from instead of you donate a portion of anything you buy to a charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you. Sadly this feature is only available in the USA.

45. You can borrow all sorts of things from public libraries - books, e-books, games, free internet, power tools, fishing rods, and lots of other things.

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