2006 01/10

That little four letter word

What is it about the word FREE that causes people to loose all common sense and good judgement?  Even those who would claim to be a wise shopper or pretty stingy with their money or budget often fined themselves wavering when presented with a “deal too good to pass up”.  Who can resist those deals — Buy One Get One Free, Get a Free t-shirt for signing up, First 100 guests get a free cheap coffee mug, Buy a Tofu container & get a dancing girl cheese grater free!  Marketing agencies have been using these gimmicks for years and have made millions for companies.  Every As Seen On TV advertisement offers something free with their product….But wait, there’s more; If you order now, we’ll double your order of completely useless storage containers that will end up in your trash in a few months.

I am the queen of falling into the “Free” trap.  Even when I really don’t need something, I just don’t see how I can possibly pass up such a good deal.  After all, I may need that dancing girl cheese grater in the future.  Case in point — I convinced my husband that we each needed a new pair of shoes because there was a Buy One Get the 2nd Half Off deal.  Now, neither of us really needed new shoes but they were so cute!  If Tim were to get a pair too then it would be such a great deal!  So, here I am with super cute shoes and buyers remorse.  I think I spend more money on stupid stuff that I really don’t need all because I feel good about getting such a great deal when I get something free.

I even feel drawn to going to stupid events that I really have no desire to go to all because they are giving away a free t-shirt or key chain!  Geesh!  Am I really that cheap?   Or is that we feel like we’ve outwitted someone because we got something for free in a society where we pay for everything?  Or is it that we feel like winners when we’ve done something to get something for free?  I think I’m just cheap.

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