Sunday, July 26, 2009

Free RedBox Rentals

Here's a great little trick that I picked up awhile ago, but I don't really get the chance to use it that often because there isn't a Redbox in my area, but I have used it and it does work.
The great thing about this trick is that it is actually put on by Redbox, which means that it is 100% legal. Even better is that it is very, very easy to accomplish.
Every Monday, Redbox has a special code that they send out that will allow you to get a free movie rental for 1 night. This is a great way of seeing a new release for free. You can even turn it into a free little ritual where every Monday you just have a new movie night.
  1. Head over to and create your account. They will probably need your credit card number, but that is just incase you keep the movie for longer than one night, after which they will charge late fees, but if you stay on time you will be ok.
  2. Once you've done that click on Get a Free Rental to get emailed codes. I know for sure that you will get atleast one code this way, and maybe some other times as well, but I am not sure if they will be sending out codes to you every week.
  3. To get the weekly Monday codes just head over to Google and search for "Free Redbox Codes." You should be able to find many sites that list the code for the week.
  4. Just head over to your local Redbox, swipe your card and enter in the code.
  5. You will be charged $1 just incase you plan on not returning the movie in on time, but if you return it by 9 PM the following day, you will be refunded your $1 and you will have effectively had a free nights rental.
Notes: This is a very well known method for obtaining free one night movie rentals and even Redbox encourages the sharing of codes. Each code can only be used once per card, so if you have multiple cards, you can rent multiple movies for free. Some well known code websites are Inside Redbox and Free Redbox Codes. If you have any other Redbox tips feel free to share them in the comments sections.

I hope you've found this solution to be both very useful and friendly to your wallet. Please help support this site by visiting our sponsors which can be found on the right hand side and bottom of this page. Also, please help by passing this blog along to family and friends. Get my latest posts by following me on Twitter: @HowToGoFree.

Free Solution to Stream Video To Xbox 360 (or PS3) from Mac OS X (or PC)

Barely my second post on helpful (and frugal) tips and already it seems that I have a trend going on with the Xbox 360, but do not be disheartened, I do not wish to turn this solely into an Xbox blog. I simply found stumbled upon this s
olution for streaming video, at very good quality, to the Xbox 360. Also, this will come in handy for all of you who are choosing to follow my very first tip.
The reason I deem it necessary to post this on this blog is because there are a few ways to stream video from a Mac computer to your Xbox, but there are not many free or easy ways. The most common way to do it is to use the paid program solution by Nullriver Software. The Connect360 seems to be the most popular choice, however, I believe that if you can find a free, and in this case better route, you should take it. I choose to focus on using a Mac to stream vs a PC because there are already many viable options for handling this from a PC perspective.
The free program I have come across handles streaming from a Mac to a Xbox extremely well, but what is most interesting is that this is not even the programs primary function. It is essentially a torrent program that handles the streaming as a big plus.
The solution is a program called Vuze. It is available for both PC and Mac and has requirements that anyone should be able to fulfill. Although this is mainly a bittorent application, I will only be focusing on its prowess as a streaming application.
There are only really a few easy steps to get this working for you:
  1. Download and install the Vuze here.
  2. Turn on your Xbox 360 (or PS3). It's best to do this early so you don't forget to do it later. Also, be sure to make sure that you computer and Xbox 360 are on the same network.
  3. Start the Vuze application.
  4. If you have done all of the above correctly, Xbox 360 should pop up under Devices on the left hand side.
  5. During your initial connection with the Xbox 360 there maybe some confirmation steps, but they should be very easy to get through.
  6. To get started streaming you just have to drag the movie you want to stream over from Finder into the Xbox 360 area under Devices. A new window will pop up asking if you would like to encode your video for streaming in HD or SD. I don't know what the exact difference is, but you can play around with those settings yourself to see which work best with your videos and TV set. I have found however that HD does take a much longer time to encode, which is expected.
  7. After you make your selection the encoding will begin. If you are trying to play a file format that the Xbox natively supports then you will not have to encode your video, but if you have a lot of .mkv files or other types, they will work but will just need to be encoded.
  8. Once that is complete, go over to your Xbox, head over to the Video Library section and then connect to "Vuze on [ your ip]"
  9. Your list of available videos will pop up.
  10. Press Play!

Notes: This software seems to support a wide number of file formats, among which are mpeg, avi, and mkv. There are probably others, but these are the only ones I have used so far. The Vuze website claims that it can be used to play HD movies on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, iPhone, PS3, and iPod, however, I have only had a chance to test it on a Mac streaming to a Xbox 360. Remember this is a free program, so feel free to use it to its max.

I hope you've found this solution to be both very useful and friendly to your wallet. Please help support this site by visiting our sponsors which can be found on the right hand side and bottom of this page and by passing this blog along to family and friends.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How to Get a Free Xbox 360 (and other things)

This being my first post I thought I'd talk about a totally legitimate way to get free Microsoft stuff, among which a Xbox 360 is included. If you wish to go all the way for the Xbox it will take some time and determination, but it will be all worth it at the end of about 2 months.

1) The first step is to make sure that you have a Windows Live account. If you do not have one yet, just register, it is very quick and easy.

2) Next step is to head over to Club Bing and sign up using your new or existing Windows Live account. The way Club Bing works is by giving away 'tickets' for doing things such as making Bing your new homepage or by playing a number of different flash games. Each of the games will give you a different amount of 'tickets' for completing a game.

3) Pick a game that suits you. You will probably have to play this game a lot so it is best to pick a game that you are really good at or at least enjoy. The most popular of the games are scrabble type games. That is because they are relatively simple to play and fast to go through.

4) Once you have the appropriate amount of tickets head over to the prize page. You can get prizes with almost any amount of tickets, the range is quite large, from 1 ticket for a prize all the way to 55,000.

5) It's really that simple.

Getting all the way to 55,000 tickets can be quite daunting so here are some tips and hints to help you along your way.
  • Pick a scrabble type games such as Chicktionary. They are really easy and quick to get through if you use a helper site such as WordPlays to list out all possible words for you combination of letters so it takes a lot of the thinking out of it.
  • Don't go to fast through the rounds. Microsoft is doing all it can to combat the use of bots so if you begin to type your scrabble solutions too fast you will have repeatedly type in a captcha to prove you are human.
  • It will get boring pretty fast so you just have to stick with it. You're only allowed to accrue up to 1,000 tickets a day so it is not like you will be tempted to be sitting at your computer all day. The best way to get through your daily 1,000 tickets is to do it while you are watching TV or a movie.
*Bots: There are a number of bots out there if you look hard enough, but apparently there are only really one or two viable bots out there, but Microsoft alleges that they are staying vigilant on the bot front so if you wish to go that route you may have to contend with the fact that one day you will sign in and your tickets will be gone.

One of the most promising things about this method is that it is legitimate and it is all through Microsoft so it is not as if you are dealing with a shady 3rd party website.
If you have any questions or just comments do not hesitate to write them in the comments section.