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ShopSmart tells consumers how to score free stuff this summer

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Some offers are really not too good to be true.

The July issue of ShopSmart magazine is all about freebies, and the Consumer Reports publication says plenty are out there this summer if you know where to look.

ShopSmart says it has found dozens of way to get stuff for free.

"If your budget is tight, there's lots of products and services you can score for free," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "But beware, some offers really are too good to be true, so make sure to check the details if the freebie requires you to sign up and share personal information or a credit-card number."

The magazine’s six categories of freebies include skills and services, snacks, classes, fun times, books and music and other surprising stuff.

Here are some products and services the issue is highlighting:

-Free kids' bowling. Visit kidsbowlfree.com to find participating alleys.

-Free Wi-Fi Internet service. Find no-charge connections with The Wi-Fi Finder app.

-Free Slurpees. At 7-Eleven on July 11.

-Free kids' food. Check the KidsMealsDeals app. (Free for Android, Apple and BlackBerry)

-Free movies. Some independent theaters and chains have them. Or check into outdoor film festivals.

-Free mountain-climbing prep instruction. Check REI stores or rei.com.

-Free parks. More than half of national parks are free. All are free on Aug. 25.

-Free workouts. Some municipalities offer group classes for free at rec centers and parks.

But beware of spending money on a freebie. The magazine suggests reading privacy policies, not sharing some private information and checking the fine print to make sure you won’t be required to sign up to pay for something else.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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