Why spend money when Uncle Sam has a vast array of free goodies for you, the taxpayer? Here are our top ten government freebies. If you want more, start with the U.S. government official web portal, www.usa.gov.
1. Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals
This is an amazing freebie for anyone who wants to save money on the weekly food budget. It’s so tempting to spend money to eat out when you’re busy and don’t have time to cook. And a lot of budget and/or healthy recipes tend to require a long list of ingredients and complicated cooking. Not these. Each recipe is incredibly simple, usually just a few ingredients and easy directions all on one page for each dish – and it’s healthy but it’s not exotic ‘diet’ food, just normal American comfort food, so the whole family will enjoy it.
For example, there’s Beef Pot Roast, 220 calories per 3 oz. serving; and Oven Crispy Chicken, 350 calories per 4 oz. serving.
Free Food Plan Recipe Book – PDF File
2. Free Consumer Advice from the Federal Trade Commission
Planning to buy a car or a computer? Are you applying for a loan? Wondering how to choose a career? Or are you planning to spend money on home improvements? These and many other questions can be answered with free, down loadable and printable publications from the Federal Trade Commission. Read them before you shop!
FTC Consumer Advice Website
3. Check Your Credit With The Government’s Official Free Credit Reports
Be smart and don’t get ripped off with the websites that claim to offer free reports. There is only one official government site where you can obtain your free reports – it’s www.annualcreditreport.com. You’re entitled to one free report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, so that’s a total of three per year.
4. What Can Your Congressmember Do For You?
Check this link to find your local member of Congress and visit their office or website. You’ll find they may offer a variety of free brochures and maps, plus they may arrange free tours of national buildings and monuments if you ask them.
Ask and you shall receive.
Congress Contact Information
5. Greetings from the White House
The White House sends out cards celebrating new births and weddings. Simply send the full name of the honoree (including prefixes such as Mr., Mrs., etc…), address, date of event and the requester’s name and phone number to: The White0AHouse, Attn: Greetings Office, Washington, DC 20502-0039.
White House Greetings
6. Stop Telemarketing Calls
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free.
7. Free Kids’ Fitness DVD
Get the kids away from the video games and have them do something more active in front of the TV screen with a free fitness DVD. Max’s Magical Delivery: Fit for Kids is a fun, interactive DVD targeted to children ages 5-9 and their families. Use the electronic order form to request your free copy of the DVD for children and their families. Call 1-800-358-9295 to order the DVD by phone. Ask for Max’s Magical Delivery: Fit for Kids (Product No. 04-0088-DVD).
8. See America’s Scenic Byways
Get a free map of America’s Scenic byways and start planning your vacation. Scenic byways include: the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado, Historic Route 66, and many more. You also can get more information online.
www.byways.org – Request a Map
9. Free Business Help from the Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration offers much more than just loans to start a business. Did you know that they also offer software, detailed market analysis, help in writing your business plan, a huge on-line business library, a business card listing service, and more?
10. Search It Yourself
Check out the mother of all government money directories – the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This is the U.S. Government’s official site that lists more than 1,800 programs administered by various agencies. You can search by keyword, view by category, or print out the whole monstrous 2,205 page publication if you’re so inclined. The site even offers a guide on how to write grant proposals.
Photo credit via Flickr
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