The Freeloader’s Guide to Facebook

I just stumbled across a great article by Matt McKinley on AllFacebook.com about the best way to use Facebook to get free stuff. One tip offered by Matt is to set up a Google alert for search terms such as “Facebook freebie.” Whenever a new post of a Facebook freebie is found, Google will send you an email with a link to the article.

Check out more of Matt’s tips by clicking the source link below.

What do you think of Matt’s tips? Do you have any of your own?

Source: AllFacebook.com

How to Access NYT for Free [Guide]

Today the New York Times launched its digital subscription plan to mixed reactions across the web. Thankfully the Times has left some loopholes open in order to promote social sharing and discovery. Using these loopholes, we can easily continue to read for free.

Paper Subscriptions: If you already receive a paper subscription to the New York Times or International Herald Tribune, your access to nytimes.com is unrestricted.

Twitter: @FreeNYT was set up by a reader who was disappointed with the unimaginative paywall system put in place. The Twitter feed aggregates all of the articles from the website and lists 40 of the over 250 public Twitter feeds. If for some reason the account goes down, @tyneerf has much of the same content.

Search: Many of the Times hits come from people doing research on a topic and allows up to 5 articles to be viewed every day before hitting the paywall. If you hit your daily limit you can switch to a different search engine and continue reading.

Bookmarklet: The best work around I have found to bypass the New York Times 20 article limit is a bookmarklet called NYTClean. Simply drag the link to your bookmark toolbar and click it any time nytimes.com blocks you on a page.

NYTClean

In the end, the New York Times has tried a similar paywall in the past and realized they simply made more money using advertising. Until then you can visit many other sources for free news: BBC News, CNN, or USA Today to name a few.

What do you think about the New York Times putting up a paywall? Will you be using one of the work arounds above or paying for a subscription?

Sources: NYTClean, PCMag, Mashable

Saving Money on a Disney Cruise Vacation [Guide]

Disney Magic Cruise Ship

Even with paid vacation time, it can get pretty expensive to take a trip. I have found; however, that you can actually save money by sailing on a Disney cruise line. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Booking:
1. As with any vacation, utilize all resources available to you. Visit your favorite Disney forums and travel websites as you plan your trip.
2. If you work for a large company or are a member of AAA they may offer exclusive discounts. Additional discounts can be found on the Special Offers page at DisneyCruiseLine.com

Airport:
1. Some people think you need to prepare for anything when packing for a cruise. Truth is most likely you won’t need it. Limit one checked suitcase per person. Most men only take up half a suitcase. Double up to save money.
2. Take advantage of any offer that allows the first suitcase per person to be checked for free.
3. When on board, take advantage of the free snack cart. If the person next to you is sleeping go ahead and order for them too and keep it for yourself. Chances are they don’t want anything anyway or they would have stayed awake long enough for the cart to come by.
4. If you are traveling with four people or less, use Disney Express. You’ll save on gas, a car rental and insurance, and you won’t have to worry about your luggage during any part of your trip.

On the ship:
1. You haven’t eaten anything but airplane snacks and you’re getting hungry. Thankfully, as soon as you board the ship, a buffet lunch will be provided for you.
2. On a Disney cruise all food and drinks, including room service, are included (excluding alcohol and some snacks). Feel free to eat as much and as often as you would like. I ate about $600 worth of food on our 7 day cruise.
3. Attend the art auction even if for only 5 minutes. The auction on my cruise offered champagne and a $100 painting at no cost just for attending.
4. If you find a painting you like, lock in a bid during the preview. Often you can lock in a deeply discounted offer. When it comes to the auction, most of the time no one will even try to out bid you. These bidders aren’t looking to spend a lot and very few have any auction experience.
5. Occasions will arise where free alcohol and prizes can be had with very little to no work involved. Ex. Free shots for naming songs or artist currently playing. Free cowboy hat for learning dance moves.
6. Many new and first run movies can be seen through out your cruise. If you really want to see a movie but don’t want to pay extra for 3D or not sure if it will be any good. Now is the best time to check them out, it’s free!
7. Bring a digital camera with you at all times. There will be many character photo opportunities and you can save money by not buying the professional photo package at the end of the cruise.
8. Start planning your next vacation. Far greater discounts will be offered if you book your next cruise while on board.

Other Resources:
Guide2Disney.com
WDWinfo.com and DisBoards.com
@TheRealTimJones (Thanks Burton)

Have you taken a cruise vacation before? What are some of your tips for getting the most out of your vacation?

Send A Free Card for Valentine’s Day [Guide]

Valentine’s is only a few more days away and many people are rushing to the stores to buy gifts and a card for their loved ones. I say don’t waste your money. Hallmark cards found in stores are great but often run between $1-$3 for a basic card or even $5 for an audio card. Sending a free e-card or making one yourself can be just as or even more personal than buying one. Here are your options: