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Old 10-19-2005, 07:44 AM
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Go Ahead and Waste It - It Was Free

Go Ahead and Waste It - It Was Free
by Mia Cronan




Go ahead and waste it; it was free! Have you ever heard that? I wonder if that comment has the same effect on you that it has on me. Actually, it's more the mentality behind the words that has the same effect on me as fingernails down a chalkboard. If it was free, why is it ok to waste it? Just because no money changed hands in order for an individual to acquire it doesn't mean that it has no value and cannot be utilized in some fashion.

I have a relative who recently grabbed handfuls of good-quality, heavy-duty paper napkins to mop up a spill, then he said, "Hey, they were free!" So? I realize this is a petty example, but grandiose examples aren't necessary for those of us who are frugal-minded in order to get the point.

I call people like this "buffet heads." And we've all seen them...they go through the buffet in a restaurant and grab a portion from every bin and end up with a miniature representation of the buffet right there on their plate. What happens next? The server scrapes most of it into the trash. And why not? It was free for the taking! The crab legs were a little too cold? Don't eat 'em!

We've all been the beneficiaries of the product samples in the grocery store, where the person stands there with an electric fryer, some toothpicks and napkins, and encourages us to try the new item. (Generally we get a coupon for it, too!) Sometimes those samples are my lunch, consequently. It could taste like something out of a dumpster, but I'll be darned if I can throw it away. Sure, it was free, but...it was free! I'll gag it down, because wasting food just was not something we did growing up. Either that, or my husband will grab it out of my hand and slam-dunk it into the can for me. And no, he's not the said relative in paragraph #2.

Through my years in the hotel business, I walked into many recently-vacated rooms that had been set to near Arctic temperatures, because the air conditioning bill didn't go straight to the guest. I saw face cloths and bath towels used in some very interesting ways...ways for which those individuals would never use their own personal linens at home. And I saw pads and pads of paper doodled upon, rendering them useless, but hey...they were free.

My point with all of this is that free things do come along in life, and thank goodness for that. But, they're not really free when you consider that they do have value, they do serve a purpose for us, and if wasted, they never got a chance to serve their purpose. Quite often they simply postpone us having to go out and buy whatever it is anyway. And if you're a parent, you've probably had similar conversations with your children on such matters, because young children do not naturally understand money changing hands for products or what the value of those products is. Material goods have some value, and should be respected as much as we would respect the money that we didn't have to spend on them. And if we teach it to our children, hey...that's free information!

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Old 10-19-2005, 10:53 AM
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That post had a lot of food for thought.

When something is free we often "feel free" to waste it or not treat it well.

But something cost SOMEBODY money.

We should take good care of what we have & not waste, no matter if it's free or not.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:47 PM
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I have often wondered about that physics principle I learned about in high school, you know, the one about how there is limited matter in the universe and it just takes one form or another...

Well, where does all this stuff, free napkins, holiday items reduced, new kinds of plastics, etc come from? Are we finding new ways of splitting atoms to make new stuff?

If we waste what we have, free or not, then we will create a demand for more of the stuff. And if there really is a limited amount of matter in the universe, are we really going to want to spend it on making more napkins because we have used up the free ones?

I am advocating being thrifty even in the free stuff. I want the universal atom recycling business to produce more interesting things than more buffet food than we need or more napkins!

(Tongue in cheek, it is after all almost 3 am).
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:49 PM
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But I really am serious about not being wasteful!
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:02 AM
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I realize that this is an older topic but I feel the need to respond.

I, too am guilty of "lunching" on free samples.However, if I don't like it, I will toss it.

Also, I get MANY free samples in the mail. There are several sites that list freebies daily and I am a frequent visitor. I may never need to buy hand lotion or toothpaste again in my life. I have also gotten some food and beverages this way. If they are nasty, I will toss them. It is not worth it to me to make myself sick to be frugal. OK, the nasty tea did go in my compost pile.

Sometimes the freebie isn't what i expected and I am unable to use it. AT THE MOMENT. Some of that stuff get s put aside into the "for craft purposes" box.

sometimes I re-use the boxes for something. I have even been known to cut up free catalogs for craft purposes.

I guess the point to my long ramble is: you are right, just because it was free doesn't mean it is worthless.
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilconnett
I realize that this is an older topic but I feel the need to respond.

I, too am guilty of "lunching" on free samples.However, if I don't like it, I will toss it.

Also, I get MANY free samples in the mail. There are several sites that list freebies daily and I am a frequent visitor. I may never need to buy hand lotion or toothpaste again in my life. I have also gotten some food and beverages this way. If they are nasty, I will toss them. It is not worth it to me to make myself sick to be frugal. OK, the nasty tea did go in my compost pile.

Sometimes the freebie isn't what i expected and I am unable to use it. AT THE MOMENT. Some of that stuff get s put aside into the "for craft purposes" box.

sometimes I re-use the boxes for something. I have even been known to cut up free catalogs for craft purposes.

I guess the point to my long ramble is: you are right, just because it was free doesn't mean it is worthless.
Hi April, I have to agree with you, there are times when it is impossible to use up or eat freebies that are just gross. Recently, I received sample of some sugar-free cookies and no matter what, they tasted like and had the texture of cardboard....off they went into garbage. I tried but yuck.

I see that you live in WS. I used to live in Kernersville for a year before we moved here. We live right outside of Charlotte now due to my DH's job. We just recently met some friends of our in Greensboro and spent the day there with them. We love Mario's pizza from Greensboro & WS!! Are you familiar with it?

Just wanted to welcome you to FC!!

Tami
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:08 AM
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April, it's fine to reply to any topic new or old!
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