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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why would I buy____if____?

Why would I buy a shredder if I can take a bag of items to my bank once a month or once a day, if I wish, and they will shred for free? Likewise, I can take items to the Senior Center and shred them myself for free.  Besides, I can get a free loaf of bread or buns if I go to the Senior Center and shred on Wednesday!

For the longest time I wanted a shredder of my own like most of my friends have. Silly me. Thankfully, I realized that I would probably just overheat any shredder I owned or, like most items, it would break. I pay nothing for going to the Senior Center, about 2.5 miles from me and about 1 mile past the station where I buy gas. My bank is about 3 blocks off the beaten path to anywhere. I pay no fees for any banking services or checks. The bank shredding service can handle staples, so no need to work hard at removing staples.

I keep and reuse a previously bought and used 2 gallon Ziploc bag to place paper waiting for the trip. I don't take the whole sheet of copy paper mailed to me or the whole envelope. Often, I only take a 2"x1" place from the front of an envelope to be shredded. It takes me a long time to fill the two gallon bag most of the time. Then, there was the time I took out stacks of canceled checks and phone bills from about 20 years ago.  My file cabinet was amazingly empty when I finished. I keep file folders pared down and skinny, but these rubber-banded items were things I meant to go through. SOME. DAY. That day arrived; it all looked like too much work. GONE. GONE. GONE.

I don't impose on friends or family by going over to "borrow" a shredder. I don't cause their shredder to die sooner. Okay, I know your brother loves to have you over and help you, but we are going to ignore that little point today. I take advantage of a free advertised service.

If the free service is suspended, I have a plan. It is illegal to have a fire in the yard. But, I can use a  can and stuff all the little pieced of paper inside, pour in a bit of rubbing alcohol, place it on my grill, and light the can of alcohol-soaked paper. Granted, I would have to do this more often than visiting my bank or Senior Center. My personal information would be safe.

Instead of buying an item, I take advantage of a free service. I don't rent. I don't pay a fee for a service like shredding.

I have other examples, but I want to hear your ideas in the strict term I used.

Can you fill in the blanks of the blog post title?

When your shredder breaks, do you know where using one free is an advertised service?

Your turn
Do you use advertised free public services instead of buying an item? This could be using the computers at the library. I am not talking about going to someone's house to use an item or borrowing the item. I am talking about FREE services, provided as a courtesy.


  1. I use all three of our community libraries very regularly because of the free options there. I don't have a shredder or internet at home both of which I use at the library. And of course, craft/skill books! I also find all my home envelopes, folders, and scratch paper in the recycling holding area at the library.

    I'd have to say my big fill in the blank would be magazines though. I love Zone 4, Sierra, E, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Earth News, NatGeo, etc. Why would I buy magazines if I can read them for free at the library?!

  2. Why buy newspapers if you can read them online? Thats about all I've got today:)
    I have never noticed these complimentary services. I need to open my eyes a bit wider.
    Shredders do break down fast. If you buy ne, buy the warranty too.

  3. BLD,
    Good one! I read magazines at the library sometimes, but not as much as I did several years ago.I limit my subscription to one--Country Living. The only reason I can get it is because it is free, available with know trees were killed. I have no excuse!

    I love recyling bins that are really clean. I have no qualms about getting things out of them to use.

    Newspapers online is a biggie. I only buy a Sunday for the coupons and the ads from stores so that I will know where the bargains are to use with coupons.

    I bought a dehumidifier and it tore up after a year. We went back to buy another. The guy said to always buy a warranty with a dehumidifier. Buying a shredder is always a wish but always at the bottom of my priorities. If both these places, Senior Center and my bank, ever stop shredding for free, I will figure out something else other than buying a shredder.


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