How To Run Your Servers For Free

Are you bootstrapping a SaaS? Your revenue is still low and your clients are few. But your hosting provider doesn’t care.

My servers are around $150/month. Receiving the bill at the end of the month was never fun. I complained about that to a fellow entrepreneur I met on Indie Hackers, and he told me how to get $5000 in Amazon AWS credits. Inspired by that I searched for other ways to run servers for free, and this is what I came up with.

If you need to keep your infrastructure costs low then read on.

Startup School Deal

If you sign up for Startup School and maintain a 4-week streak submitting weekly updates you’ll get access to the Startup School deals page. These are deals for well over a hundered services, including cloud hosting.

Google GCP

You get $300 of credits when you sign up, valid for a year.

Their free tier allows you to run one AppEngine instance and one f1-micro (1 vCPU, 0.6GB memory) virtual machine instance per project.

The Startup School deal gives you $3000 credits valid for a year.

Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS offers a free tier. They let you run one t2.micro (1 vCPU, 1GB memory) or t3.micro (2 vCPU, 1GB memory) virtual machine instance without charge. Not a lot, and as opposed to GCP the offer expires after one year.

However, if you buy a membership for $49 you’ll get $5000 of AWS credits, valid for two years.

And if you don’t want to shell out the $49 you can get $1000 from their Founders Program.

If you use it up you can apply again and get up to $100,000 in credits, or so I hear. I’ll update this post when I get to that stage.

The Startup School deal is the same as the deal.


I run my websites and apps on Google AppEngine and do compute heavy operations on AWS EC2. With that setup I’m cost-free for the next two years. Sometimes it pays to complain.