1. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library if you have a child younger than 5. The send an age appropriate book once a month. It’s amazing! I have so many books for my daughter since I signed up and she loves getting them in the mail!
2. Unsplash is where you can get free photos of just about anything, provided by the photographers themselves, to do with what you like.
3. Astronomer here! You can look up all the satellites flying over your house tonight, including the ISS, Hubble Space Telescope, those pesky Starlink satellites, and whatever else your heart desires, complete with star maps and precise timing. The website is called Heavens Above and there is an Android app, but unfortunately no iOS one last I checked. (For iOS I use “Sputnik!” which is free and tells me the ISS and Hubble passes overhead.)
It should be noted btw that many if not most of these objects are visible even in a city if on a good pass right above you. So out and see some cool stuff!
4. USPS and UPS both will deliver free packaging boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap, etc. to your house. Literally doesn’t cost a thing and you can get like 50 boxes at a time.
5. Photopea. It’s a Photoshop clone that is completely free (unintrusive side banner ad, can be removed by a one time payment) and has all the basic features of Photoshop, using basically the same interface. If you’re used to Photoshop and just need to get something quick done, there’s nothing better out there.
Best of all, it’s completely contained within your browser. There’s no installation, no local files, not even an account or sign in.
6. Cards Against Humanity online. That shit helped me survive high school.
7. Future Me. You can write letters to yourself (or other people) in the future! I personally love this type of self-reflection and self-support from my past self.
This way, I’ll always have someone wishing me a happy birthday, even if it’s just past me.
8. OpenOffice – It’s a free alternative to Microsoft Office and is compatible.
9. My 90s TV. This is more of a novelty website, but I think it’s pretty cool and you can lose yourself for hours with nostalgia. It basically uses YouTube videos to simulate watching TV in 90s and you can specify what year you want and what categories you want to see when you change channels.
10. Paint.net is a non-browser free editor which is like photoshop but without the advanced features. It is good for simple photo editing and the layout is similar to photoshop.
There are thousands upon thousands of college courses available for free. Some have a cost, but most of them have a free audit version where you get all the videos, lectures, content, but no certificate. So if you don’t care about the certificate, you don’t have to pay anything.
I’ve done a few computer science ones. I took a few Coursea courses on machine learning, I took Harvard’s CS50 course, I learned a lot of software engineering and web development from free courses. Another one I intend to take advantage of is called Nand to Tetris, which teaches how computers work from primitive boolean algebra to actual functional operating systems.
Look them up.
12. Audiobooks on youtube. For the classics. Recently I’ve listened to: 1984, Brave New World, 2001: A Space Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Invisible Man. All have great readers.
13. Honey app. That thing saved me a good bit on different things.
14. Morsecode.me. Can communicate to anyone in the world in morse code, with no cost and no ads.
15. Just started using Blender, an open source video editor and animation tool. Good for making YouTube videos.
16. Duolingo I have been using this for quick Spanish lessons with my morning coffee for a couple years now. It doesn’t override the need to take classes for college credits, but I recently had to take a course and it was a breeze. There are a few hundred languages that it teaches and the mobile app makes it easy to do anywhere while waiting.
17. Photomath on a phone. Better than any calculator.
18. Sci-hub. With this you can have free access to pretty much all the scientific articles you want, without paywalls.
19. Wikipedia. For fun just pick two random topics and try to get from one to other by following hyperlinks within the articles. You will end up just reading a bunch of interesting stuff.
20. Google Maps and Waze are so useful if still blows my mind that they are free. Waze does have ads that show up when you are stopped but it’s still free and had a lot of great features. They have slowly been moving the more popular features to Google Maps too like speed trap reports and current speed/speed limit.
21. Codecademy is an awesome site to learn how to use some programming languages. Doesn’t get into the really advanced stuff, but it’s good for a start.
22. Top Class Actions basically a site that lists active class action lawsuits you might qualify for. I’ve used it for trivial things like suing red bull for a free case because it “didn’t give me wings” but on a serious note. It made me aware of the suit against Equifax for leaking my data. That should be a settlement worth over a $100. It’s a cool way to hold corporations semi accountable, and score some money/freebies for any wrongdoing that went under the radar.
23. If you have a .edu email through your school that uses Gmail, you get unlimited Google drive storage.
24. Skiplagged for flights. It’s so good that United sued them and lost. They essentially exploit the pricing manipulation that airlines use. Example, if you want to go from Phoenix to Atlanta, sometimes a ticket from Phoenix to Ft. Lauderdale connecting through Atlanta is cheaper. This website finds those flights for ya. Just don’t check in a bag!
25. UBlock Origin. Best adblocker by a mile. Websites are 95% ads and 5% content nowadays but uBlock brings balance to the force! Works on all browsers even mobile!
26. Project Gutenberg. Lots of free classic books.
27. Maybe not everyone, but for students Zotero is a lifesaver. It will store your sources, import them to a bibliography in whatever citation style you need, and even create in-text citations in your paper. It saves hours of work.
28. The anki flashcard app for laptops is really dope for committing things to long-term memory and is free.
29. 1aauto.com. It is a car parts supplier, but their videos show exactly what tools you need, what parts you need, and how to do a repair yourself. Great money saver if you don’t know much about mechanics. Someone I knew was going to get screwed by their mechanic (700 bucks for a water pump replacement). Showed them that, they did it themselves for 30 bucks. It makes it quicker too, knowing what tools you need ahead of time for your particular car.
30. Scihub. Endless free college books.