Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Monday, October 21, 2013

Say No to Free Things


How many things do you have in your home because they were free?

I'm not necessarily talking about gifts, but rather about promotional items, incentives, sales and other people's cast offs. Things like pens, t-shirts, magazines, pamphlets, catalogs, books, mini soaps and shampoos and hand-me downs.

It's hard to resist something that's free. It's free, afterall!

But is it really? Before we accept anything that's free we need to ask ourselves a few questions:
  1. Do I need this?
  2. Will I use this?
  3. Where will I put this?
  4. Will this be useful or beautiful in my home?
  5. Will this add value to my life?
Here's a classic example of how we fall for accepting this excess into our lives.... A couple months ago my husband needed new swim trunks. The store we were at had them and they were buy one get one free. He found one pair he liked and that fit, but spent another 20 minutes looking for the right second pair. I mentioned several times that he only needed the one - he would never buy two. But he insisted on getting two because the second was free. Finally he realized the absurdity of the situation and gave up looking. 

I also fell for the buy one get one free scam a couple months ago. More often than not, when I fall for such a scam, I end up getting rid of the free item pretty quickly. 

Here's another example....A couple weeks ago my husband and I were out on a date. We went to a restaraunt that had some sort of sports team promotional thing going on and we were approached and given a free drink cozy. We accepted the item, but then realized we did not want this thing cluttering up our home so we left it on the table when we left. 

Just because something is free does NOT mean you need to accept it or give it a place in your life. What if we said no to begin with?

If you do end up accepting free items, don't feel obligated to keep them. Find a place to pass them on or donate them to someone else.

To see all the posts in this series, search by the label less is more or click on THIS PAGE.


  1. Our state fair has lots of drawings to win free things. People staffing booths are always surprised to see me reading the prize list before I sign up. Why would I enter to win something I didn't want?

    I keep a donation bag going all the time for those freebies that are sometimes included in my catalog orders. I just gave a jar of a Penzy's spice to a neighbor because it was a freebie I would never use--too spicy for our taste.

  2. Soooo true. Especially with kids. People and retailers are always trying to give them things - candy, stickers, coloring books, junk toys, restaurant cups, and on and on. I often leave things there or say no because I know it will just come home and I will eventually throw it away and I'd rather not have them waste it on us. As for adult stuff, I do love getting a deal but if it's for something you don't really need or want anyway, it's not really a deal!

  3. Before I accept free or buy I have to ask myself "where will I put it", even if it's something which would be useful. This helps sort the needs from the wants.