If you haven't heard the term open source or FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source/Software) read up and welcome to a whole new computing dimension.
So instead of purchasing that evil proprietary commercial vendor-lock in software (e.g. MS Office), I type into google:
"Open Source alternative to (MS Office)"
I will usually find in the top 5 results a gold mine of a site:
Where you will find a list of free alternatives (e.g. Open Office one of the most famous and most successful FLOSS)
What Why & How to Screencast for the easiest way to learn how to use your new software