How does a free meal sound to you?
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, we don’t want to follow the pattern of The Extractor , as those who read that story from Squirreling Gone Wild #18 realize. Also, we need to keep in mind that there are sometimes strings attached, and there might not truly be such a thing as a free lunch. To that latter point, we have to pick our spots to get free stuff. It can’t cause us to go out of our way, and it can’t influence our future purchasing decisions.
This 20th Edition of the Squirreling Gone Wild series shares a quick story of how a free meal for the family was happily brought home. Sometimes the little things can bring excitement, especially for a squirreler:)
Very recently, I had planned to spend some time running some errands during the mid-to-late afternoon. During this time, I was going to be heading by a particular restaurant which I happen to like. This made it the perfect time to execute my free meal plan.
How did the free meal get obtained? Well, a few years ago, I had signed up for a few email clubs at some restaurants. Just 3, actually. I had forgotten about them, until recently receiving a series of emails indicating that I will get a free birthday meal at each of these establishments. Hooray! Free is good!
I ran my errands, and then stopped by the particular restaurant I had planned to visit. As I got out of my car, I looked down to the pavement and saw a rugged, dirty looking quarter sitting there.
“Cool!”, I thought. Who doesn’t like to find a coin? Rugged or sparkling, money is money. So, I walked into the restaurant, email printout in hand, and ordered that meal. Then, I ordered another dinner to take home as well.
At that point, I finished the deal by pulling out a gift card which still had a small balance left. I got the card a few years ago, and it was just sitting there unused. Clearly, it was due to be enjoyed! Fortunately, it still had value.
So, with the combination of a free birthday meal and an old gift card, I walked out the door with two dinners that I made sure were likely among the most health-conscious choices on the menu, while paying nothing.
As I got to the car, I noticed that the minivan that was parked next to me when I got there was now gone. Then, I spotted a $1 bill by the curb next to where the van was. Sweet! I picked it up, put it in my wallet, and drove off.
Not a bad day! Two free meals, and earned $1.25 for the trouble of showing up. Kind of like icing on the birthday cake, or perhaps a tip for showing up there.
I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for these free birthday meals in the future, and suggest that you consider taking the simple step of signing up for them when you get the chance.
And yes, I realize that I probably got a little too excited over a free meal. My frugal streak comes through here in blazing colors, for better or worse. But hey, it’s better to excited about doing it this way than how The Extractor gets free stuff!
What about you?
Have you had one of those times where you scored a free meal through coupons, email lists, or other like means?
Also, do any of you try to obtain free birthday meals?