These days there are many free software programs available which can save you money. These free applications often match and sometimes surpass paid-for software in functionality and performance. If you have a little time and patience you will be pleasantly surprised.
Examples of free software include:
collaboration tools (mindmeister.com),
project management (nozbe),
blogging (wordpress) ,
content management (joomla),
media players (videolan),
Shareaza (a peer-to-peer file sharing client),
PdfPrinter (converts MS Word to .pdf files),
Open Office Suite ( a full Office suite equivalent to MS Office but free.)
Apache web server and MySQL database server.
Free software is often cover by the GNU General Public License. What you, as a user should be aware is that free software does not come with any warranties. It is upto to you to test it. Let this not put you off from giving free software a go. Most of the popular products have huge forums and support groups and the developers take pride in making their products work well. Just remember even Microsoft who charges you a lot of money also have a get out clause. They are not liable if their products damage your system or do not work as expected. You agree to this whenever yo install/use their software.
Have fun trying some free apps out and may the force of the forge be with you.