For some reason we overvalue things that are free. My wife jokes that she chose her university program based on the fact that they gave each new student a free T-shirt. We seem to be willing to do quite a lot to get something for free.
Anticipating a free bag or other trinket at the end of the year keeps me doing volunteer work. A bottle of liquor with an attached sample-sized bottle of some other drink seems much more appealing than some other bottle without a “free” sample even though the first bottle is more expensive.
I recently made a poor choice because I couldn’t turn down a free lunch. The owner of the building I work in offered tenants a free lunch. This lunch consisted of hot dogs, warmed up pre-cooked hamburgers, coleslaw, and fries. I was nauseous the rest of the day and even had trouble sleeping that night. The worst part of it was that I knew this would happen and I ate it anyway.
I’m interested in hearing of other stories of free things that would have been better to have turned down. Even better would be to show me how to avoid the next stomach-churning free lunch.