Freebies

What to do with those items people give away as advertising promotions?

I used to work at boat shows when I was much younger. I would end up with packets of stuff – brochures, pens, gizmos too weird to describe. They would get carted home and eventually dumped in the office or kitchen, where they clogged the drawers and shelves. Then I would throw them out in anticipation of the next round of show freebies.

I don’t bring that stuff home anymore, not even the free pens.

What about stuff that comes in the mail? Do you send for samples, or are on a mailing list? This is especially true if you are a new parent.  The stuff that just comes in the mail is usually disposable, usually expensive once you’ve developed a taste for it.

I don’t ask for samples. I want to make up my mind without being burdened with new products to try. Mostly, I’m going to use an old product that isn’t disposable or has a lot of packaging.

I don’t even try the food samples in the supermarket. It’s usually junk food. Then they give you a coupon. I don’t use coupons – I want natural, whole foods without packaging, and I don’t want to pay for the advertising.

Our bishop used to give us nice pens at clergy meetings. They were a quality refillable product, quite attractive. I did appreciate that. If I didn’t need it, I gave it to a parishioner who might like a pretty little something, or used it as a prize in confirmation class quizzes. The bishop here gives out lapel pins, which would be quite useless to us. I don’t wear any jewelry at all, not even a watch, and Nicholas has no lapels.

Trade show freebies like that – how come no one gives me a really good vegetable peeler?

Acquisitiveness is fostered by give-aways. I think good stewardship leads us to question whether we need something and if it is worthy to take home, or if it is just feeding our greed.