Friday, August 15, 2008

Free Stuff

Regular readers of this blog are probably aware that I don’t like to spend money. Mostly because I don’t make much. But, rather than buy the cheapest junk, usually full of animal ingredients and produced in socially-abhorrent conditions, I’m willing to pay a bit more for good products—I just buy less of them.

Luckily, there are a few great, affordable, vegan companies that sell ‘personal’ and cleaning products in Australia. Unluckily (for me), the store which consistently sells them is a bit out of bike range from where I live. So before he left, Andy and I took the Subaru in that direction to load up on things like sun cream, aloe vera, and tea tree bug spray for him, and hair and skincare products for me.

I came home with more than I expected to—not because I was overwhelmed by choice and bought as much as I could, but because I scored some great free stuff.

In the orange box is the facial cleanser I use, which was packaged with a free bottle of toner and priced cheaper than the cleanser alone. A’kin skincare products, along with Al’chemy haircare products, are produced by The Purist Company which is vegan, organic and Australian. Their mandarin shampoo smells good enough to eat.

I also grabbed a bottle of facial scrub from Sukin (another vegan, organic Aussie company) for less than $8.

When we neared the counter, there was a display advertising a free bottle of hand wash with every purchase of any Purist Company product. There were two flavours available: Tea Tree & Eucalyptus, and Lemon Myrtle. Rather than choosing between the two, Andy and I split up our purchase and each got a free bottle. As I was checking out with my half of the gear, the cashier told me about an unadvertised promotion with Sukin as well—meant to be with any purchase of lotion, but since they had so many they were giving them away with all Sukin products. So I got a free rehydrating spray.

Free, vegan and organic? Hell yeah.

Later in the week I scored some more free stuff. There is a fruit & veggie co-op starting on campus (I signed up this morning) where you order a small or large box of produce and get whatever is in season. It comes from Bowen, which is less than 200 kms south of Townsville (about 120 miles for the metrically impaired). It’s not usually organic, because the idea is to ensure that poor students are eating nutritious food.

Although I hadn’t signed up in time for the first delivery, my friend Chris did. In her box she was given a head of lettuce, and since she’d already bought one earlier in the week, she passed it on to me. Free local lettuce!

A bit beat up from being stuffed in my backpack on the bike ride home, it still made a lovely salad.

I mixed it with carrot, alfalfa sprouts, black eyed peas, avocado, and a dressing of hummus, raw garlic, fresh dill and lemon juice. Yummy!

And I've just spent the past day and a half at a conference, which was ridiculously expensive but which I got into for free! The conference was timed to coincide with Townsville's huge, annual Cultural Festival (which I think is interesting in the ways it promotes 'consumption' of culture rather than real engagement) and was attended by people from around Australia and the world. I heard some very interesting speeches and met amazing people--all for free!



13 comments:

Nikki Douglas said...

I've been trying lots of organic vegan all natural skin and body care products lately but to score some free - totally awesome!

I have found great deals in the US on these kind of products at my local TJ Maxx which has saved me a small fortune. Otherwise I would just be using up the junk I have even though it's loaded with chemicals. Fortunately I have been able to get rid of it and recycle the bottles.

VeggieGirl said...

Free food AND body-care products?? Score!! :0)

Vaala said...

Wow, you scored big time on free stuff! I love A'kin shampoos and conditioners although I have to use the unfragranced ones otherwise my scalp erupts.

VeganCowGirl said...

yah for free, fun things and totally cool people.
That lettuce looks different - cool and arrow shaped.

I love organic, natural face products - my skin can always tell the difference.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Alright for freebies! Sounds like you got quite the deal this week.

Aly said...

Mm, that salad looks so good...

the little one said...

You're on a free roll!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I like free stuff too. This morning I was even thinking about how many times I've gotten great free stuff in my life. My grandma worked for many rich people and they all used to give her tons of stuff and clothes. She even worked for Brigitte Bardot and has a custom made pair of sun glasses with her initials on it!

Bianca said...

That's cool that they've started a student CSA. I wish my school had done that. I was so poor in college. I lived on Ramen, mac & cheese (wasn't vegan then), and Rice-a-Roni. A box of frozen veggie burgers were a special treat.

Liz² said...

yay free stuff! that's actually a crazy good haul (and clever clever, splitting up your purchases to get more hand wash). the conference sounds great, too!

Urban Vegan said...

You go, girl. Free is my favorite price.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I'm with you-- I get so excited to score free products. Things like free samples and coupons literally make my day!

Mandee said...

Your purchases look like what I usually buy at my local health food shop! I love Akin and Alchemy and recently got their hand wash for free as well, it's great. And Sukin products are fantastic and for such little cost too!