The meaning of free

So what is the meaning of free? I remember the time when my parents came down to visit me at university and they offered to take me to my local asda’s to do some shopping. My brother tagged along and I saw it as opportunity to get things for free. So I got an expensive bottle of alcohol, as much meat as I could stock up on etc… but these were things which (I eventually realised) I wouldn’t normally buy as a student. A year or so passes and my parents come down again but this time my brother gets the free trip to asda(I didn’t know why I didn’t meet my parents that day but oh well), he rings me telling me he is doing asda shopping to which I reply I don’t need to go. But then he replies that it is free… to which I say “so?” In a huff he hangs up and I contemplate is the shopping really free? I mean this in the context of my parents paying for it. I am simply using my parents money to buy food, yet we have all done this when we were very young but didn’t consider it to be free. But now in we are in a place where finance and money have become independent just like the way we have started to become from our parents, all of a sudden its free shopping with free buffet and free rides to the supermarket.

I simply look at my money as an extension of my parents money, so when I buy food it is not with my money but with our (my parents and mine) money. As they have always provided me with financial security and I am expected to do the same to them and my children.

What about the other free stuff in life? What about when shops give away freebies or radio stations give away free tickets? How can they afford to do this… Well one theory is that their profit margins allow them to do so. In essence money is shared to an extent in your household, your family and your community (kind of eg. local shops). But that seems to fall apart with big corporations which make more money then needed and can afford to give away freebies and throw expensive Christmas parties.(look at the nationwide advert)