People tend to say and repeat the quote “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” as if it’s something wise and profound.
These are people who have never been to Denny’s on their birthday, where there is also a free breakfast and dinner.
I’m not sure what world those anti-free lunchers live in, but it’s nowhere near the planet I inhabit, in which free stuff pops up like so many moles in a game of whack-a-mole, grinning and taunting you, just begging for you to smack them with a mallet and rack up points.
Finding the opportunities is just a matter of keeping your eyes open. Also, it doesn’t hurt if you’re willing to degrade yourself a little in the name of the hunt.
Here are some of my favorite freebies.
Condiments and dining utensils
Fast food establishments kindly lay out all the packets of ketchup, mustard and mayo you could ever desire. Every time you’re out to eat, grab a few of them, as well as a healthy slab of napkins, and you’ll have enough material to refill your supplies whenever they dwindle.
Denny’s is far from the only place that is willing to gibe up gratis goods on your own personal holiday. Presumably, these places are hoping you bring paying friends along and are assuming birthday boys and girls tend not to fly solo. You know what they say about those who assume. Stick it to ‘em by going it alone and making off with complimentary grub. Sites like this show you which ones are in on the act.
The beating hearts of smartphones are priceless in dollar figures as well as function. Although some scammy folks try to hock them online, cell phone providers are always willing to hand out free cards for those who step inside their stores and ask for them.
Premium TV channels
If this sounds familiar to you, I am happy, because it means you’ve read stuff I’ve written before and did not run away screaming. So thanks! Free binges of pay-extra channels such as HBO and Showtime can be had for mere calls to nervous cable systems that are ready and willing to cut you deals just to keep you on their subscriber rolls.
Sure, it may not be technically cool to consciously snag a pen or a box of paper clips from work, but sometimes they accidentally wind up at your place of residence. Just don’t let the so-called accident happen to you any more than it does to your cube mate and you should be OK.
Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping. The service costs about $80 a year, but you can try it out with trial offers. When one expires, switch to a different email and shipping address — say, your work info — and start the trial over again. You’ll also gain access to the e-tailer’s library of streamable movies.
What are some of your favorite freebies?