It's really fun when you finally get to bend the rules and work them in your favor. Is this why people become lawyers?
Here were some of the answers.
I'm Living Large
Certain retailer had Xbox Credit at £10. Instant digital download.
They also had an offer, £10 off your next order.
I tried it with the credit, it worked. Sweet, free £10 code.
Then I saw you could get a new discount code every 60 minutes.
I got £1200 in free Xbox credit before the discount codes stopped working.
Not very impressive but at my high school we had to wear a button down and a tie to class every day. One of the kids realized that they never specified what kind of button down it had to be so he wore a Hawaiian shirt to class with a tie. Technically it met the dress code so it stuck.
Pretty soon most of the school started wearing Hawaiian shirts with ties to class. We looked like a bunch of ridiculous Jimmy-Buffet-goes-Mormon types but it was worth it to spite the system. They changed the rule to ban Hawaiian shirts a week later.
They Can't Force Me
When I used to own a console, the auto-renew function for Xbox Live would not allow you to cancel it online, you had to call a number where you would wait on hold and they would try to convince you to keep auto-renew on.
I found out if you switched your zip code to Illinois there must have been a state law that forced them to allow you to cancel the same way you would sign up or something like that.
So i switched my zip, reloaded the page and magically a "Cancel Auto Renew" button appeared. Good times.
Parking at my old work lot was a little over $1000 a year. However, night passes cost $40 for the year. A night pass would allow you to scan in/out after 4:30PM, and before 7AM. There were also visitors spots, where you'd take a ticket at the gate on the way in, and pay it on the way out.
For about a year I took a visitors ticket on my way in, and scanned out with my night pass after 4:30. Eventually parking enforcement caught on, I imagine because many people were doing this and they weren't making any money off visitor parking (despite the lot being full every day). They ended up installing scanners that could differentiate from in/out, and if you used your pass to scan out without having scanned in, your pass would get confiscated. Good while it lasted though!
My college campus had a cafe with Deli and salad bar, the deli sandwiches were way over priced, like 8$ for a standard turkey sandwich. But the salad bar was very reasonable. (Subsidized to promote healthy eating)
So I found that the Salad bar had all the same ingredients as the sandwiches, the meat was just shredded. The Deli would sale slices of bread for $0.25 each, so I would just buy the bread, load up and weigh my "salad" and grab some free mayo and mustard packets, then build my own sandwiches for under 2$. Used that trick for my last two years.
Endless Free Trials
My dad figured out a good one back in the 80's. Just like they do now, back then cable companies would give you a free weekend trial of a premium channel (HBO, Cinemax, etc) in an effort to get more people to sign up for those channels and pay more. However, our cable company's method of giving you access to the special channel was to send a signal to your cable box which unlocked the channel. To turn off the channel at the end of the free trial, another signal was sent. My dad figured out that the signal to lock it was only sent for a short period of time, so before the end of the free weekend, he would unplug the cable box and then plug it back up the next day. Since the box never got the signal, we would have a free premium channel for a while. Usually after a month or two it would get shut off so we'd have to wait for the next free trial weekend.
Candy For Life
Italian restaurant my family loves had a candy claw machine we played every time we went. But the trick to learn was, if the claw closed all the way it thought that meant you didn't get anything, and would let you play til you did get something. This means we would go for individual items that would fit into the claw perfectly (one sucker, one laffy taffy) so it would close all the way, instead of trying to get a big lot all at once, that way it wouldn't register the candy and we could keep going and going. We actually took so long once our parents made us leave before our turn was up and we still left with hand fulls of candy. the best part? IT ONLY COST A QUARTER! They no longer have that machine :(
I purchased a wireless keyboard at least eight years ago, maybe ten? It's awesome, except I broke one of the keys about two years later, so I contacted the manufacturer to see about just buying a replacement control key because it's awesome and I thought just the key would be cheap. But they said it's still under warranty and they sent me a replacement. About two or three years later, a similar thing happens and I'm all set to throw down $$ for a replacement, but the replacement keyboard's warranty time started when they sent me that one, so I wound up with a replacement for my replacement. This just kept going on.
I'm currently on my third or fourth replacement keyboard. I've lost count.
(Over the years, the design of the keyboard has improved so much, the current one is not at all identical to the original K800 I purchased, but it's still a fantastic keyboard. If they would ever give me an opportunity to buy a replacement, I would.)
Tricking The Man
My university was trying to encourage people to walk so if we download a specific health tracker that's connected to our account, it would convert steps into points. The points would get you stuff like free coffee, mugs, discounts for stuff and the most expensive prize: a university hoodie which costs about £30.
Now, the health tracking app is pretty basic, it won't let you log your steps manually however it does let you connect with other health apps. I found a health app that would let me add in the steps and I logged in an equivalent of 50 km a day and in a few days of logging manually, I would get myself a hoodie or two and I didn't get caught.
However, I told my friend about it, and he really perfected the method of getting more steps a day, because apparently there was a hidden physical limit to how far a person can walk in a day, but he managed to trick it by setting his height to be 1 cm and because the shorter you are, the more steps you need to take to cover the same distance.
In the end he claimed about 10+ hoodies and he would just get them for anyone who asks. The uni found it suspicious, so he received an email telling that the activity had to stop unless he could provide evidence that he walked that much.
Another friend had a different method. You get points just by being friends with them on the university health website. He also found that he could access a list of everyone who had an account in that website. So he made a python script that would automatically send a request to everyone, earning him points.
The Hogwarts Express
I used to get the train from liverpool to manchester every day. The fares were extortionate. £15 a day.
Instead, I'd get a 30 day return on monday in liverpool (£20), then on the way home I'd get another 30 day return in manchester (£20).
As long as the return tickets never got stamped, I'd re-use them, so I always had a valid ticket to travel.
It helped that I was always on the first train, and the guard could not be bothered to check tickets, and on the way home I was on the rush hour train and they couldn't get up the train to check.
It saved me thousands!
This was before the barriers at most train stations now though, so probably a LOT harder to do.