Get It for Free! A List of Valuable Things Without a Price Tag.

If you’ve sometimes felt like even the basics of life have gotten beyond your reach, know that there are a lot of services out there that can help you improve your life without charging you a dime. From putting food on the table to finding adequate prenatal care, read on for a list of things that will make your life better but don’t cost a thing.

Reproductive Care

According to the CDC, only 75% of women receive adequate prenatal care, with many women putting off care until the second trimester and some women receiving no prenatal care at all. These are unacceptable statistics when you can find women’s clinics in Illinois and across the country that will provide free pregnancy testing and other prenatal services. Many non-profits provide their services on a sliding scale based on income so patients can get annual exams, mammograms, birth control and prenatal visits at an affordable price that are free to those in the lowest income brackets.

Language Lessons

Sometimes it seems impossible to get a new job or promotion if you don’t know a second language, but if you don’t want to sign up for a college course, how can you learn a new language? There are actually a lot of free options for learning new languages that can be as casual or intensive as you’d like. Look at free apps like Duolingo or Memrise. Duolingo also has links to free in-person classes and exchanges in your area. Open Culture is a website that lists not only free language resources but free educational resources on hundreds of topics. Meetup is another website where you can find local language groups that meet to practice different languages.

Food

Whether you need help getting enough food for your family or you just want to be part of the solution to the epidemic of food waste, there are several ways to access free food in your area. Check in with FallingFruit.org to view their interactive map which will show you where you can harvest your own fruits, vegetables and grains for free. Most of their spots are public lands. You can also look for your local version of Iskashitaa Refugee Network in Southern Arizona that collects excess fruit and vegetables from backyard gardens to distribute to the community.

Auto Service

When you’re barely getting by a broken down car can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Keep your car in good shape for free by using Pep Boy’s and their free alignment checks, battery tests, brake inspections, windshield wiper replacement and alignment checks. While some of those checks may result in a cost to you, it’s much easier to replace something before it has broken and possibly done serious damage to your car. Website Need Help Paying Bills also has recommendations for where to get help paying for car repairs among loads of other advice.

Even if you find you’re not in the need of these free services you may want to consider donating time or money to these free service providers so they can continue their mission of making sure everyone has access to the services they need to not only survive but thrive.

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