As I’ve written recently, I’m a sucker for free stuff. So a couple months ago, with my birthday coming up, I wondered just how much free stuff I could get for my big day.
A lot, it turns out. When I tallied up the prices of everything I'd gotten for free, it added up to more than $70. And I hadn't even used a third of the coupons I'd gotten.
The trick is to sign up for email lists well in advance of your birthday; most places won’t let you sign up the day before (or even the week before) and still get your goodies. So here’s what’s worth signing up for… and what you might want to hold off on.
I basically ate for free the entire week of my birthday thanks to these coupons for 100% free food. These were great because I could walk in, hand in the coupon, and walk out without even breaking out my wallet (or, in the case of sit-down restaurants, I wasn’t required to buy anything else).
Dunkin’ Donuts: Free medium drink
This caramel latte made my Monday morning way better.
Jersey Mike’s: Free regular sub and 22oz. fountain drink
This was definitely the best freebie of the bunch. It was only valid on my actual birthday, which is a bit limiting, but I can’t complain about getting an entire sub and a drink without paying a penny.
Au Bon Pain: Free sandwich or salad
Word to the wise: this coupon can only be opened twice, so don’t make my mistake and pull it out before you’re really ready to use it.
Ben & Jerry’s: Free single scoop
This free cone made me sad that the closest Ben & Jerry’s is an hour away.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Free snack-size wings
As with the other sit-down spots, your tip isn’t included in the “free,” so make sure you bring some cash for your server. Though I’m guessing most of you will do what I did and bring some friends along with you.
Carrabba’s: Free appetizer or dessert
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this didn’t require an entree purchase! Also, I kept forgetting to take photos before I started eating things, so we’d already made it through most of the mozzarella marinara before I remembered to snap a shot.
Culver’s: Free one-scoop sundae
Most coupons came to me a week before my birthday, but this arrived on my birthday and was valid for two weeks. Which is nice since it gives you a bit more time to redeem.Denny’s: Free Grand Slam
This is another that’s only valid on your actual birthday. So Denny’s for breakfast and Jersey Mike’s for lunch?
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Free Big Barbecue sandwich
I’d actually never had Dickey’s before I got this coupon! Smart move on their part—I’d definitely go back. Yum.
IHOP: Free Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity Pancakes
I always feel self-conscious ordering ridiculously named restaurant entrees like this. “I’ll have these... birthday… pancakes…” But it’s worth it. For pancakes.
Jamba Juice: Free small smoothie or juice
There’s nothing more refreshing than a real fruit smoothie that doesn’t cost you a cent.
Krispy Kreme: Free donut and small coffee or fountain drink
Bless you, Krispy Kreme. You know I’m going to want to wash that donut down with something.Maggie Moo: Free small cup or cone with unlimited mix-ins
Because nothing says ‘birthday’ like ‘unlimited mix-ins.’
Noodles & Company: Free bowl of Noodles (up to $9)
This felt like a steal. And because the value is up to $9, you can opt for the bigger size and choose a protein with most pastas, too.
Outback: Free dessert
Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, anyone?
Pinkberry: Free small yogurt with toppings
You’ll have to download the Pinkberry rewards app or get a loyalty card in-store to get this deal.
Red Mango: $5 off
The fro-yo places did well, I have to say. I expected BOGOs and instead got free yogurt! Happy birthday to me? $5 should be enough to get yourself a nice little treat.
Steak & Shake: Free double steakburger with cheese and fries
Another especially nice deal with more than one freebie. (Check out our other Steak n Shake coupons, too.)
If you’re going out with friends and family to celebrate, these coupons help sweeten the deal.
Arby’s: Free small shake with any purchase
The purchase can’t be a snack item, but you can pick anything else on the menu to go with that Jamocha shake.
Benihana: $30 gift certificate with regular-priced entree purchase
This is a valuable discount, but it does have a couple of caveats. It’s only valid Mondays through Thursdays and must be used for dinner.
Buca di Beppo: $20 off two pastas or entrees
Keep in mind that Buca di Beppo’s pastas and entrees each feed two people. They’re about $20 each, so really, you’re basically feeding four people for the cost of feeding two. This is a great option for families… or you can have tons of leftovers after date night, like my husband and I did.
Chili’s: Free dessert with entree purchase
This is also a worthwhile email club to join because you’ll also get a free order of chips and queso, salsa, or guacamole for signing up.
Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one Creation, get one free
You don’t have to get Birthday Cake Remix, but it’d kind of be a shame not to.
Dairy Queen: Buy one medium blizzard, get one free
You’ll also get a coupon for $3 off a Blizzard Cake.
Einstein Bros Bagels: Free egg sandwich with drink purchase
This Applewood Bacon & Cheddar sandwich was so good, I got halfway through before I remembered to snap a photo as proof of my spoils.
Famous Dave’s: Buy one entree, get one 50% off
This offer gets smoked by the Famous Dave’s sign-up coupon, which is a free burger or sandwich with a $5 purchase. But it’s still nice!
Flat Top Grill: Buy bowl, get one free
I also finally mastered the right amount of peanut sauce this time around, which made it an even better treat.
Fuddruckers: Free 1/3lb. burger with purchase of an entree
My husband loves this because he gets to order his 1/2lb. burger and I get my (free!) 1/3lb burger.
Godiva: $10 off any purchase of $10 or more
This deal is good online and in-stores, so you can order chocolates for yourself, or stop by for some Belgian chocolate soft-serve ice cream.
Olive Garden: Free appetizer or dessert with purchase of two adult entrees
No dining solo for this deal. (We usually have some other good Olive Garden coupons on our site, too.)
On the Border: Free bowl of original queso or brownie sundae with entree purchase
Personally, I’m gonna go with the queso every time.
Pizza Hut: Free cinnamon sticks with online order
This is valid all month long, so you can throw a little pizza party any time and get a free sweet treat.
Looking for even more freebies? Check out our free samples page.