were once given out in abundance. I can remember receiving samples of nearly everything on the market....excluding, of course, alcohol, sexual items or aides. If you didn't have a baby but knew someone who did, you saved all your samples of baby items for them. I even got a baby t-shirt as a sample once.
I've received toothpaste, pantyhose, makeup, medicine...(gasp....yes, medicine)....well, aspirin, arthritis creme and cough syrup type stuff, but it's still considered medicine.....dog biscuits, deodorant, hand lotion....oh the list just goes on. And back before they passed a law against it, even cigarettes were given as free samples. A little box with 5 of them would be sitting in your mailbox just waiting for you to light up and pass judgment. It made it a joy to go to your mailbox....for hidden amongst the bills, you may just find a free sample or two. Like Christmas.....you never knew what you'd get......several times a month. I especially loved the little bottles of shampoo, dishwashing detergent or bars of soap. How about those little boxes of laundry detergent? And thinking along those lines....does anyone remember the so-called free towels and glassware in the boxes of laundry soap. I am saying "so-called" because I'm certain that we all paid a little extra for that soap. What WAS the name of that darned soap....Breeze? I can't remember. So much for creating a lasting impression on us consumers.
Free little toys in breakfast cereal....that were actually THERE....in the box. You didn't have to send away for them. I can remember dumping whole boxes of cereal in a bowl to find the toy so the kids could have it immediately (because they'd seen the pictures on the box and they KNEW) and then putting the cereal all back in the box again. Back then, they didn't care so much about getting your name and address and what type of products you prefer.....they just considered it a good marketing ploy. And it was.
Remember the gift stamps? Gold Bell, Holden's Red Stamps and S&H stamps (aka green stamps). I loved those stamps and obtained quite a few household items....absolutely free (except of course, you had to pay sales tax)....in exchange for my books of stamps. Only thing invested was time.....and spit. If you were smart, you used a sponge and some water to put them in the books. First starting out as a married couple, we utilized as many free offers as possible. In addition to his regular job, my husband worked part-time at a gas station.....back when an attendant pumped your gas, washed your windows, checked your air, water and oil. This one night a semi truck driver pulled in and filled up with diesel. He DID NOT want his stamps and gave them to my husband. When he came home with all those stamps.....there were HUNDREDS of them....I felt like we'd hit the lottery.
I can remember never having to buy a light bulb. You saved up your burned out ones and took them back to the power company and they gave you a new one for each burned-out one you turned in. They also would replace the heating elements on your electric stove burners and oven for free. Not even a charge for a service call.
Little by little the freebies stopped. Every great once in a while I will receive a free sample of something in the mail, but its probably not more than once or twice a year. There are places online that you can sign up for free samples, but your name and information is probably sold to thousands of advertisers in exchange for your freebie. For me, its just not worth all the junk mail or email I would receive. Sometimes you'll find a sample packet of shampoo or lotion tucked into a magazine.....but I don't consider that free because you had to buy the magazine to get it. Everyone likes to get something for free......REALLY free, no strings attached. I miss it.
Well, its supper-time so I'm going to pull off of memory lane and get into the house and see what I can get on the table. Hope all of you have a great up-coming week and most of all, enjoy this nice Sunday evening.