Seriously- I hope this was a joke...

I was doing some research today and stumbled upon this...

Ok- so I filled my Purell bottles at the University but I think this is taking it one step to far...

What are your thoughts?!

*Comment please!*


  1. What's this about a "collector". Was this person in arrears and there was a collection agency on his case?

    Firstly, getting things for free on craig's list or freecycle.org is GREAT. The premise for giving away things for free is two fold; keep it out of the landfills (yay!) and save somebody else having to haul unwanted "junk" away. That's just frugal in the very best way!

    STEALING ketchup from McDonalds? Stealing toilet paper from bathrooms? Too far. That's cheap (and if not illegal, than bordering on it. Free coffee and tea at banks? Sure go in and enjoy the drinks, but understand that the banks do it to possibly pull you in as a customer. Be prepared to talk to somebody about savings accounts, etc. The opportunity to have you in front of them (especially now that we ignore their calls with call display) is HUGE. They don't mind if they don't make a "sale". It might not be you but eventually they'll sell somebody on something. But TAKING tea bags? Hmmm. A little like the ketchup thing.

    Selling stuff on ebay? Great, if it's stuff you don't use and you want to simplify. If it's stuff you LOVE and there's no need to sell it, that's deprivation, that is! However, if you need to sell it to pay debts, in my opinion, it's great to sell things. And to sell stuff to get a smaller apartment? No problem with that approach..smaller places use fewer utilities and force us to have less stuff...but only do this if it doesn't CHEAPEN your life!

    If indeed this person is trying to scrimp and save to pay off a debt...kudos to him. I think, however, that a few of these things are over the top! Not sure if it is a joke or not, but a good story to get us thinking about what is "good" frugal and white might be a little in the grey area!

  2. Just read your Purell post, too! It's a slippery slope that I too have slid down! In all our doings (whether we are frugals or not) there is the very "grey" area of right and wrong, ethics, justifying actions, etc. Before I was in business for myself, I felt very differently about taking home the odd post-it note pad to use at home! When I was in university and living on a budget (fortunately the money was supplied by my parents) I looked at frugal differently, too. I had a cafeteria plan which included lunch and dinner but not breakfast and I would regularly tuck bagels and cream cheese and tea bags in my school bags...saved me money! It never occurred to me that the "little" bit of food might have a long term effect on the cost of the food plan. After all, if everyone did what I did (they did) then the prices for the food plan would go up (they did).

    I have a friend who took her son to have his first "free" haircut, twice (different places). I laughed and laughed and laughed. Didn't occur to me until later that this was a similar issue...

    Hmmm. Thanks for raising this; I'm going to think more about it and do some research! A possible topic for a future posting of my own!

  3. Taking the Purel is one ting (I have done lol) but the ketchup ting? That's why a lot of restaurants are charging for it now! The Purel and stuff like that at universities is often donated or sold very cheaply as a way to get the brand name out there! I also don't like it when people abuse the system- food banks and handouts for The Salvation Army are for truly needy people, not people who cannot budget and got themselves in debt.
    The napkins thing is kind of funny because when I use public restrooms at places like that I bring in napkins just in case and always ask for extras in the drive-through to put in my car in case of spills...I also used to take tons of it when I went out to bars because at the end of the night there is never any TP left! lol BUT I wouldn't take it home...I like my 2ply :P

  4. WTH? "ting" should be "thing"...darn "h".

  5. Sometimes the people who need the help of the Salvation Army, etc. ARE those who have failed in their personal finances (of course, many, many others are in need of help for so many other reasons). But I do agree, using these services because you've gotten yourself into a financial "pickle" (that can be reversed without taking these services from those who need them) is not right.

  6. To be honest, I think taking Purell is as bad as taking the ketchup. I think bottles of Purell, packs of condiments, and tea bags are all set out for the taking under the assumption that people will use their discretion and not steal, but when people go ahead and do things like this, they wreck it for the rest of us. It is not fair that the good and honest people have to eventually go without (because as was mentioned above, now we have to pay for ketchup packets, etc.) because of those who take advantage of things that are free.

  7. I'd really appreciate it if 'anonymous' posters would post their names...that way I can address you properly. Otherwise- I'm going to remove that setting...just saying...

    Sandra- you make some lovely points...as always! :)

    To the first anonymous poster- I agree with what you said re: extra napkins...but like you, I also enjoy my 2-ply.

    To the second anonymous poster- do you think I am not a good an honest person because I refilled my half empty Purell bottle at a University? I personally feel like you are classifying people into 2 categories, the good and the bad- which isn't fair. Almost everyone I know has taken napkins for their car, or asked for extra Ketchup for their leftovers/fridge- what is the crime in that? Are you saying you have never ever done that? Because I'm afraid I wouldn't believe that, unless you are allergic to Ketchup or childless. Do you actually know the cost of one of those little packets of Ketchup?? CENTS. Do you know the cost of a few extra napkins? CENTS. And RE: the Purell, I've spoken with a few people at the University about this particular matter and they have ALL said that they have done the same thing as me...WHY? Because it's advertising for the company...and costs the University almost nothing.

  8. Hey, you know what would be interesting Erin? (in the name of research, of course) is to contact Purell and ASK them if the cost of reflling the bottles is worth the advertising! I'm not being facetious, here, either. I've taken enough marketing courses (and been involved in a lot of million dollar PR campaigns to know that advertising is HUGE with big companies) to know that the "cents" are often worth it for certain campaigns. As a former reporter and somebody currently interested in frugality, this is a really good question: If Purell thought that it could get you as a customer later on (after you're done with university) would they TELL you, "fill your boots, girl (and your bottle!). Where is the tipping point for them (if indeed they supply the stuff for free). If they don't supply it for free and the university pays for it (even nominally) what would THEY say about this? Is it worth it to them to have healthy students so that they continue to have healthy profs, other healthy students? Here we are debating whether this is "stealing" (or in my case having termed it a "slippery slope" when we DON'T really know what the reality is to the university or Purell. Everyone has their own opinion or take on the ethics of it, but really, we need to ask a few more of the cast involved to know for sure! I think it would be cool to ask...

  9. BTW Erin,I think it is great that you take stands and make public some of the things that the rest of us hesitate to share...we all do things that we debate internally, it's great to get it out and get comments! Those comments can actually change my take on things, too! Keep blogging!

  10. Sandra- I'm calling the University PR department tomorrow and then Purell after them. :)