23 surprising things you can get for free
(RealSimple.com) -- Sometimes you get what you don't pay for. Here are nearly two dozen of the best freebies and -- most important -- how to score them.
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Get your geek on: MIT offers a far more comprehensive selection of free online courses than other universities -- nearly its entire undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Downloading materials takes minutes. A newsletter highlights new offerings, from Quantum Physics to American Women Authors.
What's the Catch? Users can't enroll, take classes on campus, or earn degrees.
Find Out More: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html
• BBC, FrenchPodClass. The BBC offers top-notch online and MP3 lessons in languages familiar and obscure, including French, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, Greek, and Urdu. FrenchPodClass has easy-to-use, enjoyable podcasts that allow you to learn French while you do errands or go for a run.
What's the Catch? Classes are one size fits all, which fast learners may find sluggish (and slow learners may find difficult).
Free used books
• PaperBackSwap.com, TitleTrader. List the books that you'd like to get rid of, then wait for someone to request one, which can take as little as eight minutes. Mail your book to the person and you'll receive a credit to choose your own book. PaperBackSwap.com involves only paperbacks, which keeps shipping cheap, usually about $1.60 per book. TitleTrader also lists DVDs, CDs, and VHS cassettes and can rack up higher costs with heavy hardbacks, though shipping rarely tops $4 at the book rate.
What's the Catch? Popular fiction moves fast, while classic and esoteric titles may stay put for months.
Free household items
• The Freecycle Network. This nonprofit community group with an environmental mission lets users "recycle" unwanted items by posting ads on local online bulletin boards. If you see a chair or a computer that you'd like, respond to the ad. The site is a great way to acquire a perfectly good coffeemaker or piano while doing your part to reduce waste.
What's the Catch? You're responsible for getting the stuff home.
Find Out More: www.freecycle.org to find a group.[for more click on the heading]