Beware of Free Coupons, Stranger Bearing Gifts

I know one thing about life:  free coupons are not worth it.   Let me explain.

In my kitchen, my mother-in-law and I caught up on the lastest gossip.  At the same time, I shuffled through piles of paper in our junk drawer and deep-sixed a stack of coupons.  She jumped up, stunned, and saved them from the recycling bin.

Woman, keep your hands out of my trash.

“Don’t worry.  It’s just a bunch of free coupons, not worth it,” I said, wiggling my head in disbelief.

“I have never found that to be the case,” she said, hands on hips.  “Free is free.”

Maybe I should have prefaced my statement.

Last summer, neighbor’s family was visiting and she expressed her concerns to me.  “I don’t know what I should do.  My mother hates going out to eat,” said Sue.  “She thinks restaurants are full of germs. But with three kids, I just can’t seem to find the time to cook lately.”

“Here, take this coupon.  Buy one, get one free.  The restaurant got a good rating on Yelp.  Maybe this will change her mind,” I said, forcing it on her.

The next evening, I stood on my driveway talking to my neighbor, Ed, when I spotted Sue helping her mother into the car.  Two black eyes and broken arm, I stared and shook my head.

“What the hell happened?” I asked, rushing across the street to get a closer look.

“My mom got a bad case of food poisoning, fainted over the tub in the bathroom and used her arm to break the fall.  We’re on our way to the airport,” she said, using the lady’s good arm to guide her into the car.

After they zoomed away, Ed chimed in,  “You think that’s bad.  Remember that carwash that opened up last month.  They went around harking free services?  Wonder why?”

“Yeah, I thought that was a nice idea.”

“Nice? I sat inside watching as my car jumped off the tracks and was drug the rest of the way, scraping against the walls.  By final drying, it was missing the front bumper and rear panel.  Free?  Ha!”

So, I knew better than to accept anything free.  I’ve been warned.  But some offers are too tempting pass up.  The previous owners of our house wanted us to have a few items, if interested.

Are you talking free?

We were delighted to accept their old patio table.  What the heck?  Then we accepted a few rose planters.  Why not?  When it came time to snag their used washing machine and dryer, heck yeah!

Anxious to start the laundry during our move in, I selected the permanent press cycle, pressed go and went back to unpacking.

An hour later, I checked on the laundry.  What’s going on here?  The tub was filled to the top with water.   I tried to redo the spin cycle, reload the laundry and unloaded the towels.  Nothing worked.

I called  Help on the way.

“Can you fix this thing?” I pleaded with him.

He yanked out the wet towels and bailed 40 gallons of water.  After emptying the machine, he unhooked it from the wall and began tinkering with its insides.

An hour and half later, it was declared unrepairable and removed from the premises.  A $50 disposal fee, plus $140 for the work.  Thank you very much for the free washing machine!

Next time someone has something to offer, like a free coupon, remind me to call my mother-in-law. Pay it forward.

If you can’t resist using free coupons, check out this blog on Extreme Couponing:


What do you think?  Do you have any funny free coupon stories to share?



About staceygustafson


  1. Carol Jones says

    Funny, but true! Nothing is ever free in life. There always seems to be a catch to
    go with it! Keep the funny stories up Stacey!

    • staceygustafson says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. We tell the kids, “The only thing free in life is our love!”

  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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