Ruby
I like your book but don't like taking free food. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and think you have many useful and thoughtful ideas. Still, I don't think you should be advocating taking the condiment packs from fast food places (or taking toilet paper, etc.) in excess of what you will use during that particular visit. I know this may seem like a minor issue, but I believe that this is still unethical behavior. I am an avid backpacker and this topic comes up all the time. This kind of behavior, if widely known, could negatively affect Vanaboding in general, which would be a shame. I'd be interested to hear your view on this issue. Thanks for the great book!
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journeyman

My methods of traveling and living on $20 a day do not rely on using a free mustard package from a fast food joint. 99% of the money saving and smart budgeting information I reveal in my Vanabode book gets rave reviews because I save people hundreds of dollars a week on camping fees, hotel rooms, food, entertainment, and fuel.

In this one tiny area of condiment useage people complain though. I offer the following input on the issue.

1) If you feel taking the free napkins, disposables, and condiments from restaurants and hotels is unethical then don't do it. It is NOT one of the more important strategies for traveling forever on $20 a day.

2) In the Bible God allowed people (notably the poor) to take whatever food they could find from anyone's property as long as it was for their families personal consumption. God did NOT allow this "gleaning" to be done if the food taken was to be later sold.

3) All of the expense of every "free" condiment or napkin given away at fast food restaurants has already been paid for by the profits contained in the high prices for food that is subsidized by the government using YOUR taxes. Our government over taxes us, passes the money along to farmers that grow SUBSIDIZED crops used to feed cattle for instance, thereby lowering the cost to fast food chains on the beef they purchase and then sell to you at a very high price.

 When I take a handful of mustard packets I am reducing the amount of wasted room in my cooler (don't have to store a large mustard bottle), reducing the amount of money I have overpaid for the companies services and products: example $2.29 french fry charge for a nickels worth of potatoes, and reclaimed a tiny fraction of my governments mismanaged appropriation of my taxes.

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