I LOVE Free Stuff By Christina Applebaum Let's face it. We're skeptics! We want to know something works before we put our money down. So what do I want? Samples! Samples, samples, samples! I absolutely love free stuff. It doesn't matter so much what the item is so long as its free. This has become a bit of an obsession for me over the last 8 months. It started out innocently enough, a thimble full of some antioxidant juice or a piece of cheese on a toothpick at the grocery store, ...you know. Then I started learning what places often had free samples and when they usually had them and I would show up and make a little outing of it. (as you can tell I'm a really cheap date) Then there are ones that are more "thrill samples" as I like to think of them. For instance, Costco. Now you have to have a members card to shop here, however they have to let all the public have access to the pharmacy inside by law - members or not. It is no surprise that like everything else you can buy there the prescriptions are also cheaper. So once a month while waiting for his prescription to be filled, I leave my other half sitting on the little bench by the pharmacy while I run amok in the store going from sample station to sample station, and as far as I have found there is no place with more samples any day of the week than Costco. It is a bitter sweet sampling session for me though for two reasons. 1. If I find something I really like and must have, I know I cannot purchase it without a members card and 2. Speaking of the members card that I don't have, I know the samples are "for members only". I sometimes imagine someone asking to see my members card while I'm snacking and when I can't produce one being told that I need to put the ravioli down. The other day we were in the grocery store and an announcement came over the speakers saying, "We are getting ready to give free gifts to all our shoppers..." My boyfriend turns as if to say, "Don't you dare" but I'm already gone. I'm in the back of the store crowded around the little booth where the giveaway is about to begin. He finds me and I see him frown when he sees how many people are ahead of me. He tries to signal for me to "come on", but I can't, I don't even know what they are giving away yet. What if its good? Finally it comes...the big reveal...it's little flashlights! The woman giving them away announces they have no batteries. I stay and wait for mine anyway, I can't help it - it's FREE. Now, not all of my quests for free things are so silly as the ones I have mentioned. I have found a site online that just lists free samples you can request in the mail, hundreds of them. This is my favorite thing. I spend probably 2-3 hours total a week filling out the requests for the samples in the mail (which adds up to quite a lot since it only takes about 3 minutes to fill most of them out - especially with auto fill). Now when I started doing this all the samples said they would arrive in 4-6 weeks. I've been doing it for 8 months now though so almost every day is 4-6 weeks from when I requested something or other. I love going to the mail box there is always a bag of tea or a coffee sample waiting for me. Well there it is, my guilty pleasure....I love free stuff.