Free McDonald's chicken sandwich: Reach for the gold (and try to reach your toes)

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Every so often, I find my natural impulses at odds with each other. On the one hand, I am a self-confessed cheapskate; my favorite price is free, and I pride myself on my ability to find bargains. I still remember how much I paid for almost every article of clothing in my closet, and my vacation albums are liberally littered with pictures of stores and street vendors who gave me great deals. Saving a dollar gives me an almost physical thrill.

That having been said, I am also somewhat obsessive about my food. I read labels, shy away from corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, and generally cross to the other side of the street when I find myself within range of a fast food joint. I buy organic produce (when I can afford it), and cook a lot.

Generally speaking, these two personality traits don't come into conflict all that often; I prepare most of my meals, and am generally able to beat fast-food prices. Every so often, however, I find myself torn between my love of money and my quest for good health. This is one of those times.

As part of its Olympic Face the Glory promotion, McDonald's is offering a free "Southern Style" chicken biscuit or sandwich with the purchase of a medium or large beverage. Basically a takeoff on the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, this is sure to be a calorie-busting exercise in the joys of fried, breaded meat products.

Still, it's free. I'm so conflicted!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He once drank a free sample of red chili wine. He couldn't taste anything for three days.
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