Free Reusable Straw

Free Reusable Metal Straw

One small way to limit the waste of disposable plastic straws is to stop using them! Like all other plastic, much of it ends up in the oceans, where it breaks down into microscopic pellets that frequently ends up in sea life. That's what we call No Good.

So, in order to help cut down on this travesty, you can get a free reusable straw made out of … paper? How are we supposed to clean a paper straw? Heck, wouldn't our beverages themselves ruin a paper straw? Am I insane?

Oh, it's made out of metal. That makes so much more sense.

[thanks to all the Hiffers who sent this in!]


Free Mike Bloomberg Matches

Free Mike Bloomberg Matches

EDIT: WE DID IT!

If you've enjoyed watching Mike Bloomberg light giant piles of money on fire lately with all his TV ads, then you'll love these free “You're Fired” Mike Bloomberg matches. I tried signing his campaign office up for these, so he'd get the hint, but no luck.


Free Penzys Kind Heart Pin

Free Penzeys Kind Heart Pin

Though Sunday, January 5, you can get a free Penzeys kind heart pin. I'm honestly not sure if this form will submit, as it showed up a few months ago when Penzeys first ran this promo. But it's worth a shot before the promo ends.

This deal comes around once every few months. It's primarily an in-store freebie. So if you want to guarantee to get this freebie, I'd stop by your local Penzeys to pick one up immediately.

Otherwise, I'd fill out the form and cross your fingers, like I'm doing! ๐Ÿคž


Free Wildflower Bookmark

Free Wildflower Bookmark

The Nature Conservancy of Arizona is offering free wildflower bookmarks that you can stick in a book or the ground.

Yep, you read that correctly! Not only will this bookmark keep your pages straight, but it will also sprout wildflowers if planted in soil.

I'm no scientist, but I feel like a bookmark that grows flowers is one step closer to the fabled Money Tree! With my luck, my Money Tree will only grow rubles.


broken b70 keurig coffee maker

Why I’ll Never Purchase Another Keurig Coffee Maker

Check out my new, heavy duty paper weight!

I don't normally use HIF as a vehicle to complain. But when you take away my coffee and throw in a hearty dose of Crappy Customer Service, what you get is an exacerbated Goob who no longer gives a f*&k.

I'm a fairly smart guy. I'm a tinkerer. When something breaks, I'll at least spend a few hours trying to figure out why and fix it myself.

I also take good care of my stuff. Take my Keurig B70 coffee maker. I used distilled water to keep the pipes clean. The instructions said to Descale it by running vinegar through the machine every few months, which I always remembered to do. So you can imagine my surprise when my B70, which was purchased in July 2012, suddenly crapped out on me this month by saying NOT READY despite being powered on and full of water.

After running through all the troubleshooting steps, I turned to Google and YouTube. I learned how to put the Keurig in maintenance mode, which confirmed that the pumps were still working fine by sputtering out some cold water. Next I removed the Keurig's bottom plate to check for leaks, rust, or any water damage but found nothing wrong. I wanted to look further inside the Keurig, but every YouTube video I found practically explained that you have to break a part of the back case to get it off! What brilliant engineering!

It was around then that I realized I wasn't hearing the soft humming noise of the heating coil unit whenever I powered on the Keurig. A little more Googling revealed that there was no real easy fix for this and that I should probably just call Keurig to see what they said.

And that's when things got fun.

Keurig's Crappy Customer Service

After reaching a Keurig customer service rep and giving her my serial number, she spent a grand total of 90 seconds trying to help me. Her first solution was to open and close the Keurig's top arm.

….

Seriously.

Then she asked if I'd poked a paper clip into the k-cup needles to clear any clogs. Sadly, I'd already tried this trick to no avail, but you know things aren't off to a roaring success when jabbing a $150 machine with a paper clip makes it into your Top 3 Solutions.

Her final attempt was for me to turn the machine on and off.

…. ….

Shockingly, none of these solutions did a thing for me. Thankfully she had a final idea, which was to upsell me by offering a 20% discount on a new Keurig 2.0 machine for the low, low cost of $149.

At this point I should mention Keurig 2.0 coffee makers famously tried to DRM coffee! That's that Nerd Talk they tried to restrict which coffee you could and couldn't brew in a Keurig 2.0 maker!

The 2.0 … less-publicized feature has been getting most of the attention: the brewerโ€™s advanced scanning system that locks out any coffee pods not bearing a special mark. Itโ€™s essentially a digital rights management system, but for coffee, and itโ€™s proving to be the brewerโ€™s downfall.

I can understand why an Xbox would have this technology to prevent kids from using Playstation games on it. But a coffee maker?! Sorry Keurig, but I'm not spending $150 on a machine that'll only brew the coffee you choose and will before the next Olympics when I can pick up a $12 Black & Decker drip machine on Amazon. (Imagine if Black & Decker tried to tell you which screws you could or couldn't use with their power drills. That's literally what Keurig tried and failed to do with their DRM 2.0 machines……..)

Look, I know electronics and consumer goods fail. It's the nature of Stuff. But I don't think it's insane to expect a $100+ device to last at least as long as a World Cup title. My monitor cost ~$150 5 years ago and it's still kicking just fine. If it was to break, I could either attempt to fix it or buy a similarly priced new one with far better specs, bells, and features. The same can be said for my window a/c, vacuum, microwave, bedroom TV and that's all just off the top of my head.

But in Keurig's case, they 1) make it incredibly hard for DIY people like me to attempt a fix along with 2) trying to upsell me a new $150 unit with weird DRM licenses and no other upgrades after just a few minutes of support. As a consumer, I find that a bit asinine.

K-cup technology is great and all, but Keurig's idea of support is a freaking joke. And that's why I'll never purchase a Keurig coffee maker again.


free guitar picks

Free Guitar Picks

I'm not sure how many we'll get, but the submit button for Bohemian's free guitar picks uses the plural tense, so hopefully they're sending out more than one. As for what these are used for, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they're for picking your guitar's nose.


A Freebie Helped Save a Lost Toy

This isn't a freebie, but I recently read an article on a boy who lost his favorite toy in an airport and loved this part:

If a boy named Owen suspects his stuffed tiger named Hobbes has a secret life, the staff of Tampa International Airport won't disagree. Owen recently lost Hobbes at the airport โ€” and when he reclaimed the tiger, he also received photos of Hobbes touring the facility.

When Owen returned from Texas, he was reunited with Hobbes and given a bound book of photographs that showed what his tiger had been up to. It was all the brainchild of Airport Operations Center Manager Tony D'Aiuto, who says he used a coupon to make the photo book at a drugstore.

Look at that! A freebie (and a little elbow grease) putting smiles on faces worldwide!


Free Marlboro Aluminum Water Bottle

Free Water Bottle

If you're looking how to get a free water bottle, then you're on the right path! While never a huge freebie, we still see these freebies given away once or twice a year. Surprisingly, the most frequent sources of free water bottles are health insurance companies and tobacco companies. ๐Ÿ˜„

While we wait for the next sample, here are some of the classic jokes we made!


Camel is giving away free water bottles that you get to customize no less. Mine features a wolf wearing a helmet alongside a tiger donning a fedora because … well why not?!

Click Activities then Bottle Lab to get to the freebie section.


If you're anything like me, you're scared to death of opening that cabinet in the kitchen right above the microwave. The second you crack the door, you'll be buried in 900 free water bottles, some of which your parents have kept from a local bank sponsorship in 1989. They'll come tumbling since you've stuffed way too many in there and then you'll never be able to cram them all back in and meanwhile, you're busy trying to pick which one you want to take to the park with you and finally you become too flustered and just plop back down in front of the computer to see what you can find on YouTube. What, I'm the only one who does this?


Unfortunately, the second word in the title above only contains two n's, which means this is just a free water bottle from Canon. I think we all can agree it would have been much cooler if this was a “cannon water bottle.” I could go either way with it too: it could be a cannon that shoots water bottles or a water bottle in the shape of a cannon.

You know, the next President should make a new Cabinet position titled Secretary of Awesome Ideas and then give me a call. I wouldn't even mind being placed near the bottom of the line of succession!


The only habit from running cross country in high school that I've carried with me through life is drinking water. I probably go through a gallon of water a day by constantly filling up a water bottle similar to this free PUR water bottle. In fact, I've probably got like 9000 of these things in my kitchen cabinets, but of course I just signed up for this as well. ๐Ÿ™‚


This free C'elle water bottle offer has me worried. The survey is about storing blood cells from a babyโ€™s umbilical cord and then they juuuust happen to give away an object that holds liquid?


Free Custom 3D-Printed Bracelet

Here's a really neat freebie, by Google nonetheless, that's new to me. I'm enamored by the idea of home 3D printers in the not-too-distant future. Now while this freebie isn't the television or deluxe LEGO set that my inner Goob would prefer, a free custom 3D-printed bracelet is a nice start. Though try not to panic like I did when you can't think of anything cool to put on your freebie.


Hope You Had a Magic Christmas!

I was in Amsterdam last week with my brother and there were signs everywhere saying “Magic Christmas!” It's become one of our newest favorite sayings.

I hope everybody had a Magic Christmas or Hanukkah or Boxing Day or Festivus or casual Tuesday or whatever the heck you happen to be celebrating this week. I've been home for a few days and probably won't work until tomorrow. It's my brother's birthday and it's snowing outside! All I can focus on right now is making snowballs and launching sneak attacks.

Magic Christmas!


Free Zombie Posters

EDIT: You can download a .pdf file, but they've run out of traditional samples.

Sometimes, I can't believe the freebies that are out there. Take these free zombie posters from the CDC. Yes. THE CDC. I don't know what's cooler: the fact that our government has created and released these posters, or the fact that they have a whole page of their website dedicated to the zombie apocalypse.

The only downside to this freebie, other than the fact of our own government acknowledging the upcoming zombie apocalypse and declaring subtly to beware? The fact that it'll take 4-6 weeks to arrive, so it won't be here in time for Halloween. I mean, sure, I can download and print them, but that wouldn't be my tax dollars at work!


Free Gentleman Jack Custom Label

Here's a cool free Gentleman Jack custom label offer available on their site. This seems more like a gag freebie than anything else, but we can't be picky today. Plus it's not even that bad – you don't have to “like” them and you can make up to 10 custom labels a month!

Now to see if they actually send me the ones I made with curse words ๐Ÿ˜€