I am in awe sometimes how much free stuff I encounter every single day. Is this a New York thing? I wonder. Seriously, most of the time it is just a matter of me ‘agreeing’ to taking it all for free. And if I don’t take it, well, it will most likely be there the next day if I change my mind. This or another totally free stuff. Considering there is only as much room in my apartment, unless I can use it, regift it, ship off to my sister’s or sell it, I am trying not to be too greedy and leave it for another taker. The problem is that New Yorkers seem not to be as ‘thrifty’ as I am. It is beyond my understanding how some people are NOT into getting things for free when they can.
Free Caterpillar brand new shoes
Let’s take these brand new Caterpillar shoes as an example.
My organization partners with the ever generous Caterpillar Foundation. As it happens they are also manufacturers of heavy work equipment as well as protective heavy boots and shoes. We received several gift cards for free shoes (anywhere between $120 – $250 a pair) as well as actual men’s shoes in various sizes and styles. The men’s shoes were offered ‘up for grabs’ to our male colleagues and most of them got grabbed quite quickly. However, one pair was just left on a kitchen table, with no takers. No one wanted it as it was a size 8 but none of my colleagues thought of grabbing it for their younger cousin, neighbor, or a homeless person. The box was just moved towards the trash cans! While I held off from grabbing them for a while since I was respectful and letting ‘the boys’ having a priority, once it got moved towards the trash area, I couldn’t rush enough to snatch them!
Bazillion free t-shirts (again)
Some of them of amazing quality, really good cotton. T. grabbed a few and although I am not big on wearing t-shirts myself I am going to keep a few as well. Some of them will be gifted to T.’s son (at 22 his main wardrobe item is still a t-shirt). The rest will be shipped off to my sister’s.
In September alone I probably got between 12-15 of these bad boys.
After a work event (VIP tent providing for a couple of thousands of people) all the leftover alcohol made its way back to our office. Considering we are not planning on another event anytime soon, staff was encouraged to take whatever was leftover. I grabbed 3 bottles of Cognac ($70 retail each) and several bottles of vino. Since neither T. or I are big drinkers, the Cognac will make its way to Poland to my daddy bear and the wine will be used as gifts throughout the year.
3 boxes. Brand new and still sealed. Just hanging out on top of the trash container. This is the same area where I found a boatload of brand new baby stuff a while ago. For some reason this particular trash container by my office always contains some treasures. Makes me think that on one of the floors in my building there is a manufacturer of baby / children products or something like that.
A hefty gift bag
with granola bars, a jar of pickled okra, coffee beans roasted locally in Brooklyn ($22 or so per can), a small jar of himalayan pink sea salt, and a mug.
All of the above ‘frugal accomplishments’ literally landed in my lap with me putting zero effort to get them. Well, except carrying it all home and the alcohol was heavy 😉 Since it took so little effort on my side I feel I shall not even be calling them ‘accomplishments’ but rather ‘a loot’. Did getting all that free stuff save me money? Not at all, since I would have not bought any of those things. Regardless, I will use or give away most of them.
Are YOU staying frugal?