After a wild-ride during the month of March, most people have started to accept the new reality of #StayAtHome orders from local governments. Many businesses have been closed for weeks, and now that parks have also seen record crowds, these outdoor options are being closed and have become off-limits to encourage physical distancing.

Welcome Home Mat
Welcome Home Mat

For some people, these #StayHome orders create a lot of extra work in the form of home schooling kids, pet care, elder care, and taking on other extra chores to keep the household running. For others, these orders create a lot of extra free time as sports and other recreation has almost entirely been cancelled. Fortunately, the resources below can help whether you need help with education resources or just want to find economic ways to spend your free time.

Freebies & Discounts to Help You #StayAtHome

It’s somewhat easy to take a week off from social gatherings, but now that we know we’ll be staying home a bit longer, many of us are looking for additional options to fill the days. Fortunately, there are a lot of companies that are currently offering free trials, deep discounts, or other upgrades. This is a great time to try out a new hobby or pursue an interest that you haven’t had time for in the past.

Enjoy lessons in academics, learn a new language, or try a fun dance! Schedule a video chat and virtual “happy hour” with friends all across the world. There may be more options available than you realize!

Free Entertainment

Selection of Streaming Entertainment on Multiple Devices
Selection of Streaming Entertainment on Multiple Devices

There are lots of great places to find extended free trials of premium streaming content. Enjoy these for a limited time and decide later if you want to become a subscriber.

  • Amazon Free for All: free family-friendly selection of content for Amazon customers
  • Audible Stories: enjoy this collection of a wide variety of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help kids to continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title, and start listening. It’s that easy – no signup required!
  • Fender Play: get 3 free months of online lessons for guitar, bass and ukulele (valid through 4/20/2020 or first 500,000 redemptions – whichever comes first)
  • HBO GO or HBO NOW: free access to select content during the month of April available to everyone (includes Veep, The Wire, McMillion$, Silicon Valley, and more)
  • Sirius XM: sign up anytime and get free access to all content through May 15 (includes Howard Stern, Today Show, Kevin Hart, and more)
  • Sling FREE: free live channels and movies right now with their new “SLING free experience”
  • Free 30 day trial offers from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, and Sundance Now (on the “Activate Your Free Trial” screen, use code SUNDANCENOW30)
  • Met Opera: free streaming opera each night
  • Professional Sports Leagues: NBA League Pass (free until April 22), NFL Game Pass (free until May 31), and NHL Live (free until April 30): just sign up for free trial and these options will be free until the expiration date
  • Museum Exhibit: Virtual tour experience of six of the popular Infinity Mirror Rooms, by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her repetitive polka dots and peep-show-like chamber rooms that create the illusion of infinite space.

 

Free Education

Online Learning for All Kinds of Education
Online Learning for All Kinds of Education

The collection below is just a very small sample of all of the current education resources that are free right now. If you have a favorite platform (or a new one you’ve been wanting to try), I’d recommend checking them out again right now, and looking for free / trial offers. There are literally hundreds more, but some of my favorites include these:

  • Audible Stories: enjoy this collection of a wide variety of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help kids to continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title, and start listening. It’s that easy – no signup required!
  • Affinity: free 90 day trial or 50% discount for paid subscriptions (valid through April 20)
  • Coursera: Free classes include The Science of Well-Being, one of the most popular online courses taught by Yale University (it’s currently free to enroll for “audit”)
  • The Great Courses Plus: free month with code FREEMO
  • National Emergency Library: users may borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, which ensures that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine
  • Udacity Nanodegree: free for 30 days

 

Free News Online

Free Access to Premium Journalism Sources including NY Times
Free Access to Premium Journalism Sources

These news outlets have removed their paywalls for the COVID-19 coverage.

 

Free Food

While most dining rooms are no longer open for customers, many restaurants are staying open to provide convenient meals to-go to those who are not able to cook. These particular restaurants also have some amazing deals at the moment too!

Burger King Free Kids Meals Offer
Burger King Free Kids Meals Offer
  • Krispy Kreme: Friends and Neighbors – on SATURDAYS, Krispy Kreme will add a free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts to every pick-up, drive-thru and delivery order that includes a full price dozen Original Glazed Doughnuts or more. Each free dozen will include a special smiley-face doughnut; call the “Be Sweet Dozen.” The thousands of free dozens on Saturdays will be securely sealed and bagged individually, along with instructions for contactless drop-off (including social distancing and safety guidelines.)​
  • Burger King: Sign up for account / app to access a coupon for 2 FREE kids meals with purchase available once per day through April 6, 2020 (offer has expired). Delivery available through Postmates, GrubHub, or UberEats (special offer $0 delivery fee on orders $10+ through 4/19/20 at participating BK US restaurants)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Free donut on FRIDAYS in April for DD Perks Members with purchase of beverage
  • Sheetz: Free Kidz Meal Bagz (turkey sandwich, chips, drink) available all day (while supplies last). Simply ask an employee at the register for a meal (one bag per child) at participating locations.
  • Steak ‘n Shake: free order of fries at drive-through window as part of the “We’re All Essential” campaign

 

Free Workouts & Exercise

Yoga Mat Being Rolled Up
Yoga Mat Being Rolled Up

There is no shortage of great options for working out at home right now. Choose your favorite type of workout and take advantage of one of the free / trial options.

  • Alviin Ailey Extension “Keep Dancing” with Ailey: special Extension online classes and all Extension instructors’ and guest instructors’ online class resources to keep our communities dancing
  • Centr: join by April 5, 2020 and all subscriptions will offer FREE, unrestricted access to Centr for your first 6 weeks (credit card details required to activate offer) – original offer has expired but there is an ongoing free 7-day trial available
  • CompTrain Home Gym: free workout of the day using minimal equipment and/or primarily bodyweight for “the extended near future”
  • CorePower Yoga: free access to a new collection of online yoga classes every week to keep your practice moving wherever you are
  • Cyberobics: over 100 free workouts available on demand
  • Daily Burn: 60 days of free access to more than 800 yoga, cardio, and strength-training workouts to help users get fit at home (featured on GMA and TODAY)
  • Free Down Dog Apps until May 1 including Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout
    • Also offering free access until July 1st for all students and teachers (register here) and healthcare professionals (register here)
  • Gold’s Gym: Gold’s AMP free through May 31, 2020 (must activate by 4/30/2020) with code FIT60 plus additional on-demand content available anytime
  • Grokker: free unlimited access through April 30 to maintain your well-being and manage stress
  • Peloton: app free trial for 90 days
  • Planet Fitness: free daily work-ins (online workouts with guest instructors) and YouTube channel with the whole collection of workouts!
  • Yoga with Adriene: free yoga workouts on YouTube for all different types of needs

 

Free Apps & Software

App Drawer on Samsung Android Smartphone
App Drawer on Samsung Android Smartphone

Find new ways to be productive at work and at home with these free apps and online tools.

  • Adobe Connect: free 90 day access (through July 1, 2020) to web conferencing platform that allows people to connect from virtually anywhere. Read more and start the free trial here.
  • AppSumo: free selection apps, books, and courses to optimize your online web business
  • TechSmith get free versions of two of their most popular apps: SnagIt (personal favorite!) and Video Review. Submit the online form to get the free versions (these versions will work through the end of June 2020, when you will need to purchase a license if you wish to continue using the software)
  • WebEx: free online video meetings for up to 50 participants
  • Zoom Communciations: Free videoconferencing
    • Students and teachers who fill out an online form with school email addresses can use the platform beyond the usual 40-minute trial during school closures

 

Free Subscriptions

Huge Collection of Kindle eBooks
Huge Collection of Kindle eBooks

Have some fun with limited time free access to these premium subscription services.

  • Amazon Kindle Unlimited: 2 free months
  • Bluprint: free unlimited access through April 16, 2020 to online crafting classes, projects and more!
  • CreativeBug: free 2 month trial to online art and craft classes for new subscribers

 

Free Custom Websites

Spend your free time testing out a blog idea without investing any money (no credit card required). Share your expertise with the world with easy to build wordpress websites.

  • Wealthy Affiliate: this is the hosting / web provider that I’ve been using for years. It’s always FREE to create a free custom website (with a custom name of your choice!). Use your spare time to see if blogging or selling things online is a good fit for you!

 

Discounted Services

Girl Smiling at Smartphone
Girl Smiling at Smartphone

Other large companies are providing customer assistance on essential services like internet access, phone plans, and auto loans. These programs are available for a limited time to qualifying customers only. Click the links for more information.

  • Comcast Xfinity Internet Essentials: Essentials service free for 60 days for new qualifying customers. Made for lower-income families, the plan—which normally costs $9.95/month—will also increase its speed from 15/2 MBPS to 25/3 for all customers. Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will also be available for free to anyone who needs them. Comcast is pausing data plans for 60 days (giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge).
  • GM: 0% interest loans, deferred payments, free access to OnStar and more
  • Hyundai: 0% interest loans, deferred payments, car payment relief should you lose your job
  • T-Mobile: new lower cost plans available and free upgrades to existing customers through May 13

 

Free for Medical Personnel

Medical staff is being asked to work under conditions that include overcrowded hospitals and shortages of supplies. The companies below are offering medical staffers a deal on their products during these times where they are working even harder than usual to protect us all. #EverydayHeroes

Doctors treating a patient with protective gear
Doctors treating a patient with protective masks and caps
  • AAA Roadside Assistance: free Roadside Assistance at the Classic level of benefits including flat tire changes, battery jump starts, and towing up to 7 miles from the point of breakdown. Medical personnel and first responders who need service can call 1-800-400-4222 and have occupational photo ID ready.
  • Bojangles’: free Legendary Iced Tea of any size for healthcare workers, first responders, and law enforcement with credentials (no purchase necessary – valid through National Iced Tea Day on June 10, 2020)
  • Checkers and Rally’s: free small combo meal for medical personnel who are dressed in uniform (combo includes choice of main sandwich plus small Famous Seasoned Fries and a small drink)
  • Circle K: Free coffee, Polar Pop Fountain Drinks, and Teas for those first responders and health care workers until April 30th. Redemption is easy – visit any participating Circle K and show a valid ID.
  • Crocs: the company is giving away 10,000 pairs of shoes each day to healthcare workers (request online here each weekday at 12 noon EDT — they are given out on a first come, first serve basis)
  • Cumberland Farms: Free Coffee (any size hot or iced) for all healthcare workers, first responders, and military personnel
  • DoorDash DashPass: free access to the DoorDash Corporate DashPass for at least 60 days (for all doctors, nurses, and hospital employees from partnering hospitals)
  • Free Down Dog Apps until May 1 including Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout
    • Offering free access until July 1st for healthcare professionals (register here)
  • Free Liquid IV: free Liquid I.V. for those on the front lines of our global health crisis (this is 100% free with no shipping costs or fees)
  • Headspace: free Headspace Plus through 2020 (sign up onine with National Provider Identifier and your email address). Out of the 2,000+ meditation apps out there, Headspace is one of the few committed to advancing the field of mindfulness meditation through clinically-validated research. See website for information about free resources for students, teachers, and office workers.
  • Krispy Kreme: free dozens donuts for anyone who works in the medical sector (and has badge) on Mondays through May 11th
  • McDonalds: free Thank You meals to frontline heroes from 4/22 – 5/5 at drive-thru and front counter only. with valid ID (limit one per person per day, not available with Mobile Order and Pay or McDelivery®)
    • Breakfast meal includes: Egg McMuffin®, Chicken McGriddles®, or Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, plus Hash Browns and any size soft drink, tea or hot brewed coffee
    • Lunch/dinner meal includes: Double Cheeseburger, 6 Piece McNuggets®, or Filet-O-Fish®, plus small fries and any size soft drink, tea or hot brewed coffee.
  • Nando’s Peri Peri: free meals to guests who visit Nando’s in uniform and / or present a valid hospital ID. Free meal is defined as ¼ chicken with chips (our signature dish). Offer must be redeemed by phone order and is not valid for delivery or online ordering. Limited to one meal per day while supplies last and valid through May 3, 2020.
  • The Parking Spot: free parking at any facility for all essential healthcare workers through May 12 (must be member of the free the Spot Club loyalty program)
  • Racetrac: free coffee of fountain drink though 4/30
  • Samsung: free repair for Samsung phones for local heroes including doctors, nurses, hospital workers, EMTs, police officers, and firefighters (with valid ID through June 30, 2020)
  • Snickers Candy Bars: send essential workers a coupon for a free Snickers bar at Walmart (Plus, for every bar sent, SNICKERS® will also make a donation to support first responders through Operation Gratitude)
  • Starbucks: free tall hot or iced coffee through May 31st for medical workers / first responders (doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other hospital / medical staffers)
  • Wawa: starting on March 26th, all Wawa stores will provide all health care workers and first responders with free coffee to fuel their shifts during this crisis
  • White Castle: from 4/7 – 4/30, healthcare workers and EMTs can go through the drive-thru of any White Castle restaurant each day to receive one free Combo Meal (1-6) or Breakfast Combo by simply showing their work ID

 

Student Discounts & Services

Student taking notes at computer desk
Student taking notes at computer desk

There are a few places that are offering special deals to help students who are affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: free for students through May 31, 2020
  • Babbel: free language lessons for 3 months for students in the USA
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: reduced the minimum renter age and is waiving young renter fees through May 31, 2020
  • Uhaul: free 30 days of self-storage for affected college students in the US and Canada

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What other deals have you found to be helpful during these days where we’re all staying home to help #FlattenTheCurve?