‘Free’ stuff comes at a cost

Putting the bin outside the house this week I was approached by a young woman working for the local council who asked me if I would mind answering a few questions about public transport in the area. 

I chatted away to her for a bit and worked out they were trying to encourage people to walk and cycle in the local area and determining the barriers to doing so. As an avid cyclist, she’s picked the right person to bend her ear.


At the end of the survey she offered to send me a ‘goody bag’ with cycle and walking maps of the local area and beyond. I politely declined and she looked at me suspiciously: ‘But it’s a free goody bag’, she said. ‘It’s free.’


I managed to get back inside without taking her up on the offer of more clutter being sent to my house, and thinking back on it I realise what she was offering wasn’t ‘free’.


It was ‘free’ in the sense that it wouldn’t have cost me anything financially, but it would cost me in other ways.


I spent years ‘salvaging’ free items from other people’s front gardens and jumping at the chance to take something if someone was giving it away. I then spent years lugging other people’s junk from house to house.


It cost me time and energy, it was exhausting.


Of course, the goody bag is a lot less hassle than a ‘free’ dresser or chair but the same principle applies: free comes at a cost.


And if I don’t need something then it’s definitely not ‘free’.


9 thoughts on “‘Free’ stuff comes at a cost

  1. I even stopped subscribing to most digital newsletters. They were cluttering up my inbox and making me feel guilty for not reading them. Now I ignore the pop up box on every website that wants me to sign up for “free”. No clutter. No guilt.


  2. After many years of being happy to receive ‘so called’ freebies, I have finally come around to being of the same mind set. No more collecting hotel toiletries, or free samples in stores and magazines, unless they are exactly what I already use or of natural origin. Like yourselves, I too have recently changed over to a more natural beauty regime and no longer use the types of products usually provided in hotels and as samples. It is making life much simpler and much less cluttered and there are now few if any items lurking in the cupboards waiting to be used.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s difficult to say really whether I’ve found a difference, because I am still trying to find products to suit my skintype and I have had some problems with breakouts and reactions to some products. I’m persevering though and there are lots more natural products out there these days, which is good. I definitely feel a difference in my attitude to life, nature and other things, more than feeling a physical difference from using natural products.


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