Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Reading through some of the comments left from people after reading (and sometimes not reading) the article written about my Birthday Trek, I've noticed a few things people have been questioning and wondering about.  I don't feel the need to address them, but I would like to address them just to give some clarification for those inquiring.

1.  $22 in tips seems really low you cheap freak!!
          -Yes, at first glance and first thought, it does seem low.  100 free items and only $22 in tips???  I think the people asking this are making a few assumptions.  Assuming that I needed to tip at every location.  We didn't.  Several were drive-thru windows.  Some were department stores.  We only had about 20 places we needed to tip at.

Of the places I got items to-go from a sit-down restaurant, or places we actually did sit down and dine at - we tipped either $1 or $2.  Still seem cheap to you...?  Most items we received for free had an approximate value of $5 on the menu.
10% of that would be $0.50.
20% of that would be $1.
Dining in, 20% is a decent tip.  Take out food is normal to tip 10%-15% at a dine-in restaurant.
I have worked in and out of restaurants for 20+ years.  I think we were fair in our tipping.

2.  Why would you spend $80 doing this???  Donate the money instead!!!
          -I love getting things for free.  It's fun, it's exciting - I love a good deal and getting a good deal.  FREE is a GREAT deal!

It's also a challenge to collect it all in a day.  I drive for a living.  I love driving, it's fun to me - even in traffic.  I love routing and preparing routes.  Not everyone can do what I do and of those people, less people actually enjoy it.  I have a great time doing it start to finish.

Almost everyone I know spends money on their birthday, or has a friend spend money on them for their birthday.
Maybe they buy a nice dinner at a steakhouse?  ($50)
Go to Dave and Busters for a night?  ($60)
Get a hotel room somewhere?  ($70)
Concert tickets?  ($100+ each)
People spend money on what they love to do on that special day - as we all do on our birthday.  This is what I love to do and enjoy doing.  I could do any of the things listed above, but I don't want to.  I could hand $80 over to a food bank or homeless shelter and have my birthday adventure for the year over and done in less than 10 seconds.  But that's too quick and boring.  I want fun and adventure...even if it's for a price!

3.  That is some nasty looking food on Clark Howard's website!!
          -it's a 'related article' advertisement.  It's not a photo of the food I got from anywhere.  I agree, it looks nasty and looks like plastic.  I wouldn't eat it either, I'd probably poop Lego's the next day.

4.  Why don't you give it away to homeless people - or someone who needs it?
          -I did.  Please, actually read the article.  :)
I seriously saw this question about a dozen times.

5.  Won't you get fat eating all of that food??  You can't get a triple bypass surgery for free!!
          -Same response as above - read the article.  I didn't eat it all.
But also, the food I gave away this year typically went to people already standing in the restaurant.  They were there to buy a pizza or burger or what-have-you already.  I wasn't adding anything to their diet that they weren't intending to eat already.  I was just able to give it to them for free.

6.  People like you drive up the cost of our meals, because your free items get factored into our costs throughout the year!
          -Incorrect.  The cost has already been factored into the cost BEFORE I go and get my free birthday food items, not after.  Yes, it is factored in and the companies have analysts and promotions and number crunchers that have done the math already to figure this out.  They have an idea of how many people are on their email list and have an approximate number of how many people will actually redeem these coupons.  They also take in to account how many people will bring a friend or two with and what their average ticket is.
They are already planning on me coming and getting my free birthday item.  It would be a shame for me not to take advantage of it because if I go and get it OR if I don't - you and I are both already being charged for it throughout the year.  It should be my duty to go and get it since it's already being paid for regardless.
They didn't raise the price after I went and got a free piece of cake, they raised the price assuming I will have my cake and eat it too.

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