Some crocheters who are well aware of free pattern sites may already know of Crochet Pattern Central. For those that are not aware, it is a complete free site that houses a wide variety of crochet patterns. There are several categories to choose from. Some of the patterns are quite traditional but if you are looking for the basics it is a great resource.
I use it for all the simple item requests I get. Right now I am using it to find a belt pattern for my boy friend. It is great for beginners to find patterns to learn by. I suggest that if you do not want to pay for your patterns try this site first.
It can be hard to search at times. It has links to other sites where the free patterns reside. There are not very many pictures. With a little bit of time you can find quite a bit of fun stuff and its free.