Free Stuff from Uncle Sam

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Free Stuff from the Government

Just like free food always tastes better, free stuff from the government is more savory too.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best freebies from Uncle Sam to help you with everything from smart shopping and educating your children, to damaged bills and unclaimed money from the IRS:

Become a Smart Shopper

To help you become a savvy shopper, the government has created a guide chock full of handy tips and tricks. The 2009 Consumer Action Handbook includes information about preventing identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint, filing for bankruptcy, finding a lawyer and much more. You can order up to 10 copies for free.

Take Advantage of FREE Educational Resources

If you’re a teacher, you know how expensive educational resources can be. To lend you a hand, Uncle Sam has put together the Federal Resources for Education Excellence (FREE) website (

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FREE is among the most popular K-12 websites maintained by the U.S Department of Education because of all the great resources being offered by contributing federal agencies. At FREE, you’ll get access to more than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources from dozens of federal agencies.

Trade In Your Damaged Bills

Do you have a few damaged bills, dog-eared and torn, that have found a permanent home in your wallet? Turn that money in for usable currency.  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing will trade in your shredded and mutilated currency for money you can actually use. Every year the U.S. Treasury handles approximately 30,000 claims and redeems mutilated currency valued at over $30 million.

Once you send your currency to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, experts will examine it and approve the issuance of a Treasury check for the value of the currency determined to be redeemable.

Find out If You’re Entitled to Money from the IRS

If you’ve filed taxes recently, you may have some free money sitting at the IRS. Millions of taxpayers never receive their refund. This is mainly due to an error with the address or direct deposit information you provided, or a recent move to a new address. If you didn’t receive your refund this year, you can check the IRS – Where’s My Refund to see if cash is waiting for you.

There are also over 5 million unclaimed economic stimulus checks being held by the IRS. Many of the unclaimed checks belong to people who do not normally file tax returns, such as those whose only source of income is Social Security. If you think you may have unclaimed stimulus funds owed to you, find out for sure by visiting the IRS Stimulus payment tracker.

Get a FHA Home Loan Insurance Refund

If you had an FHA home loan in the past, you may be entitled to an insurance refund. FHA loan borrowers were previously required to pay a set amount of insurance premiums up-front, regardless of how long they were going to live in the home. Homeowners are entitled to the refund if their insurance was terminated when a) they sold their home, b) they paid off their mortgage early or, c) the they refinanced their mortgage into a non-FHA loan.

You may be entitled to a refund under the follow circumstances:

Premium Refund

  • Acquired loan after September 1, 1983
  • Paid up-front mortgage insurance premium at closing
  • Did not default on your mortgage paymentsFree Stuff From The Government

Distributive Share

  • Originated your loan before September 1, 1983
  • Paid on your loan for more than 7 years
  • Has FHA insurance terminated before November 5, 1990


Give Your Kids the Gift of Free Stuff

The government offers several free publications for children. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offers a free Milk Matters Coloring Book. Milk Matters is a public health education campaign to promote calcium consumption.  Parents can order the FREE coloring book and either download it from the Internet or have it delivered in the mail. is another great resource for families to help educate kids about fire safety and prevention. Parents can visit the website to download free publications for their children. Available in both English and Spanish, the site offers coloring book, word searches, and escape plan diagrams.

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