From the old days there's a saying that "nothing costs as much as what is given to us".
I've taken the translation of ただより高いものはない straight from the dictionary, but I can't get this meaning when I analyse the sentence. I read something like "compared to expensive things there are no free things" (obviously nonsense).
Can the sentence be analysed grammatically such that it has the intended meaning? I can't make it work. Or must I just accept that it is a set phrase and move on?
Perhaps a separate question but I'll try asking anyway: I wasn't sure about my translation of むかしっからなァ. In particular why there is a っ in it.