Many newbies coming to the UK for the first time do not know that there are many ways to get course materials and other items FREE. You can get televisions, laptops, Hifi sets, chairs, and other white goods free if you know where to look. Here are six excellent tips to get things virtually free when you arrive.
1). Join your Local Freecycle or Freegle group.
Joining a local Freecycle group is one great way to get things to things absolutely FREE in the UK. Here is how it works:
It is basically a mailing list where local people offer up items they no longer want, for free – as long as you agree to collect them. Many folks have furnished their house for free by simply joining a local freecycle group. I and my university friends once furnished our 3 bedroom house for free with virtually no cost at all on our part. ( I intend to write a post on how we did it, so you too can do the same if you wish). I recommend you join a local Freegle or Freecycle group near you when you arrive at the university. The great thing about joining a Freecycle or Freegle group is that You can also put out ‘wanted’emails, requesting specifically for items you need.
2). Watch TV without paying – LEGALLY
In the UK It is against the law to watch programmes on TV as they are been shown without a valid licence. Watching TV without a valid licence is a criminal offence. This can lead to prosecution, a court appearance and a fine of up to £1,000!
However, the good news is that you only require a licence to watch TV programmes as they are been broadcast; this means programmes that are no longer live do not require a licence. You don’t require a TV licence to watch films and programmes from Netfilx and Lovefilm on your PC, Xbox, Wii, PS3 etc because the films and programmes are not being broadcast live.
As a student this will save you about £150/ year. The downside is that you have to give up watching live TV. Don’t worry you won’t lose anything anyway as there is so much rubbish on TV nowadays!
If your parents have Sky then you can get Sky GO for your laptop – 32 channels, TV and movies on demand, even sports. All free. Get a cable to hook your laptop to your TV and we’re talking a lot of free viewing on no spend. Besides you can read the newspapers free online too to keep up to date with daily news. Some people think you need a TV licence to own a TV set. That’s absolute bullocks!
Anyway, If you insist on getting a TV licence , make sure you claim one quarter back for the three summer months you’re probably not in your house or when you go on long university holidays.
3) Download Computer Software for free – LEGALLY
Why pay for expensive software packages when there are many FREE ones out that are equally as good – If not better. Instead of buying an Antivirus for your computer, why not try Avast!. The Company offers a top-quality virus protection at zero cost! I have been using Avast! for three years now and I must say it is the best antivirus software I’ve ever used. Instead of paying over £120 for Microsoft office, why not try OpenOffice.org. In terms of free software for students, it is one of the best out there and it does EXACTLY the same things as Microsoft Office.
Check them Out!
4) Don’t Spend Money on Condoms – Get it FREE!
If you are a married student ( and you and your wife are not looking at having any kids soon) and you prefer to use a condom – don’t spend money buying one. Condoms are free from Family Planning clinics. I mean F-R-E-E so don’t spend a dime buying them. If used correctly condoms can offer reliable protection against pregnancy, however, you should also use another method of contraception also. This is so you are protected against unwanted pregnancy if the condom comes off or splits.
Some family planning clinics are also sexual health (GUM) clinics and can test you free of charge for sexually transmitted infections, or give you sexual health advice. To find your nearest family planning clinic, check out the map at the Family Planning Association.
5) Watch Films On streaming Sites Instead of Buying Blurays and DVDS.
A Bluray or DVD discs cost between £10- £20 . After watching them once you may not really want to see them again! So Instead of buying blurays or DVDs why not watch them on streaming sites and save money. Lovefilm instant cost only 4.99/ month and you can watch tons and tons of movies. Better still, If you don’t want to spend a dime then you can do what I call ”hopping around”.
DVD rental and streaming websites such as Lovefilm, Netflix and Sky’s NOW TV offer a free trial to new customers – so you could hop around from site to site watching months of free movies. If you sign up via a cashback website or voucher site, you could get cashback or free vouchers. Just don’t forget to cancel before the free trial ends. And if you’re streaming films or TV shows, keep an eye on your broadband usage.
Before you consider streaming, a word of warning: ensure your broadband connection is fast enough and you’ve a generous download limit.
6) Speak with Senior Year Students
One way to get free text books/ other items is to speak with senior year students in your university. By this I mean ‘same-course‘ students who are at least one year ahead of you. Many of them usually have course materials and white goods they no longer require. Instead of buying new ones you could probably get it off them for free or at low cost. In any way the university Library may already stock the books you require – so check them out. Ideally, you would borrow all the books you need from the university or local library, but this may not always be possible. Also check out sites like abebooks.co.uk, jscampus.co.uk, sellstudentstuff.com (and of course, Amazon and eBay) for a cheap second-hand books. Remember you can always get books for free via a book-swapping website, such as Bookmooch or ReadItSwapIt.
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