Or, The Price is Right!
So you'd rather save coin on software and use free programs. As long as the data can be shared when it needs to be shared, I say, "Go for it!" But always, always read what you're installing. And I admit it, like 99.99% of you, I accept the terms of agreement for whatever program or app I install, as I don't have a choice to disagree; a program won't install, otherwise. Someone may challenge that someday.
Again - I cannot emphasize this enough - go slowly thru any installation and carefully select or de-select options.
In any case, on with the free software! I don't list 'em all, only the ones I use or consider near the top of each category.
Office Suites - word processing, spreadsheets, slide presentations
Utilities - I'm all over this one - things to help understand & maintain your computer
Browsers & Search Engines - who's your favorite child?
Remote Access - Knock, knock. (You say, "Who's there?")
Websites I Use for Work - geek advice, shopping for tech, stuff like that