Today, I was surprised with a mystery package. What could it be? I opened it to find I had won the prize for the drawing with the National Peanut Board for a free cookbook and other fun stuff. How did I manage this one? Well, last semester The National Peanut Board hosted a small taste testing; I was rushing to meet a friend for a study session and thought: ‘Why not Rachael? Why not have a taste of your favorite spread?’ (Thinking about it now–that’s really weird–but my dad has taught me the bad habit of taking a big tablespoon of peanut butter–like in Meet Joe Black– and now I can’t stop!) They were handing out free t-shirts too if you liked their Facebook Page. Again, I thought, ‘Why not?’. My friends tell me I need to be more sensitive to marketing ploys in the US, but they still ask me ‘How do you get so much free stuff?’
So here is how you too can take advantage of the free things around you. I don’t advocate keeping coupons in binders or hoarding, but I sincerely believe that there is such a thing as getting free things classily.
Keep your eye out for promotional events: in the past, Coke, Tabasco, Starbucks, and the infamous National Peanut Board have handed out free drinks, food and other specials as a trial run. We are their target group and they want to see how we like it. If this means more free things, then…why not?
There are always free t-shirt handouts at Sarratt Center, Rand Dining Hall, Commons Center and any major Vanderbilt sponsored event. Pop around 10-12 in the morning and you might just get a free t-shirt! I love them because they allow me to show my support of the different programs at Vanderbilt. Even though I don’t have enough time to do a thousand extra-curricular activities, I can still wear a Dance Marathon Shirt and promote their cause with the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
However, as a disclaimer, I do not advocate going to events only for their free food. I think that it is quite rude to pop in, get food and rudely ignore a major speaker at his or her event. If you are going, make sure that the event is on something that you want to learn more about and that you can contribute to as a part of an interested audience.
Always, I repeat, ALWAYS respond to the Vanderbilt list-serv for signing up for a ticket drawing for events and prizes. My friends and I have gone to pricey theatre events, ballets, concerts and more just because of this. Don’t miss out on an experience that could be one of the best you have in college! I know people who have gotten free iPads, kindles and more from drawings around campus. Another one of my favorite events is the Vince Camuto scavanger hunts around campus which might just make you the proud owner of a a variety of coveted clutches, purses, shoes and perfumes. What more could a girl ask for?
Well…I hope those tips helped!