The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Everybody Loves Free! June 29, 2010

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 2:22 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One of my bosses recently told me that there is no communication on earth as powerful as the advertisement of free food. If you have free donuts in one part of the building, it’s almost a guarantee that people will be there within five minutes to help consume them. And he’s right.

People flock to the chance to get at something free. Did you know, for instance, that every time the red sign at Krispie Kreme is lit up, they’re making fresh donuts, and you can go in to sample one for free with no obligation to purchase one? I’ll admit: I’ve done it. I’ve also bought a donut once or twice out of guilt for doing that too.

But what I want to know is if this impulse really is worth it? I know some frugal friends who will search out practical items they need for free. On the other hand, I also know several people who have piles of unneeded “things” just because someone once gave it to them for free. I’ll admit, I’m guiltily one of the highest offenders in the second group. But why?

Take for instance a conversation I had the other night with my mom. She and my dad had recently gone on a cruise in Alaska, and they came back with three tote bags, one from the cruise line and two from the specific cruise that they were a part of. As my mom was unpacking and showing me some of the fun things they bought, she said, “What am I going to do with these?”

When I asked her why she got them, she told me the one was left in their room for them and the other two were given to them at the beginning of the cruise with all of their agenda information in them. I can understand the latter two, but why take the one that was left in their room just because it was left there.

That’s why hotels started charging people for the “freebies” they’d take from the hotel bathrooms. People would take them because they were free.

I think the worst part about all these “freebies” is usually that they are impractical, obnoxious and you don’t have a place to store them. I am hoping to get rid of a lot of them in the next couple months. I wonder who I should pass them off to.

What are some of the free things you have floating around your house that you probably should have turned down?


10 Responses to “Everybody Loves Free!”

  1. Nora Says:

    I actually have a lot of freebie stuff floating around. Usually I’ll get things I know I can use, but half the time I won’t want to use it because it’s a freebie. I don’t know where that logic came from. But I’m trying to actually use the stuff I get. If I get samples of things like food or shampoo or something I’ll go ahead and use those obviously, but things like stickers or something, I usually just store it. One of the most useless ones I recently acquired was these little “thumb socks” or something for stopping people from texting while driving. I don’t even have a cell phone. I just thought they were cute. But yeah, most of the freebies I will deliberately sign up to get are things I can find some sort of use for… usually!

    • Erin Joy Says:

      I still don’t understand why we have to take it when there’s an option not to take anything even when we know it’s crap. His were mostly an either/or choice. There really wasn’t a whole lot of mention about the free items/take nothing choices. That’d be harder to simulate, I think.

      I guess I’m questioning why we have the tendency to just go for what is free at all. Why can’t we just leave it alone if we don’t need it?

  2. Andrea Says:

    We moved to Australia from Canada, and it was about a year ago now that we sold our house and sorted through EVERYTHING. It was an amazing experience to say the least. I felt so cleansed myself. Not only did we get rid of all that “free” stuff that gets kicked around from one closet to another, but also those gifts (from wedding, etc.) that you feel so guilty to get rid of. “Sorry (Mom, Aunt, friend…), but we have to fit all our belonging into two suitcases each, we just didn’t have room.” I know this is more drastic than most would do (or need to), but I can honestly say it is great to purge.

    • Erin Joy Says:

      I’m hoping to move soon, so maybe I’ll be able to use that as an excuse to purge a lot of my junk. I have a lot of those guilt gifts as well.

  3. Hmmmmmm, mine is plastic containers that I know I won’t use.

    But they were free and pretty!


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