Free for All

A tank of gas now costs as much as your first car. Your utility bill equals the gross domestic product of Luxembourg. But who says you can’t afford to have fun? We searched high and low for the best museums, meals, music, movies, and more that won’t cost you one red cent.


The Big Texan Steak Ranch, in AMARILLO, has been giving away 72-ounce top sirloin steaks, complete with baked potato, salad, roll, and shrimp cocktail, since 1960. The catch? You have to eat it all in an hour or less, otherwise you’ll have to fork over $72. An 11-year-old boy has done it. So has a 69-year-old grandmother. But the odds are against you: More than 37,000 carnivores have attempted it, and only 7,000 have succeeded. Needless to say, if you hurl, the contest is over. 800-657-7177,

AUSTIN On the first Saturday of every month, Independence Brewing Company is determined to woo you with a quick tour and a generous tasting of its hoppy concoctions, from Independence Pale Ale to seasonal releases like Jasperilla Old Ale. 512-797-7879,

SHINER Mosey through the historic

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