A part of being frugal is finding other ways of getting the things we need and want. Bartering, gleaning and dumpster diving are a few ways to go about obtaining items. Another way and one that you appreciate if you do much on your computer, is getting freebies.
Some freebies, like food and personal care items, are listed on many free sites. You just have to go looking. However, free software is ignored by many, maybe because "free" sounds like it could be dangerous or poor quality (else why would they be giving it away?). I confess to having had the same thoughts, and it's smart to question. The internet is full of immature criminals who want to get into your computer any way they can, or who enjoy hurting other people's computers.
There are some software programs that are free and good, too. A couple come to mind immediately. One is the CoffeeCup Free FTP and assorted Coffee Cup applications.
The other is Open Office - a full suite of office programs that will open and write most Windows Office files.
There's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on software when free versions will do.