For you frugal people out there, you know the best part about birthdays is the never-ending stream of freebies! To take full advantage, you need to sign up far enough before your birthday to make it into their databases in time. I signed up around my birthday last year, so this year I just had to sit back and wait for the freebies to roll in. And now for y'all, I've compiled a list of the best of the best. You're welcome.
Pin this image to remind yourself to sign up:
Note: Before signing up, you need to have an older e-mail account that you still have access to and check occasionally. My old Yahoo account from junior high has earned this honor. When I have to provide my e-mail address to companies I'm worried will spam me beyond reason, I always provide this address rather than my clean personal account. It's the account I check for coupons and codes before making my online purchases. And around my birthday, I start checking to find all the goodies I get sent for my birthday. Here are the my favorites this year (these deals were valid as of July 2013--shoot me a comment/email if you find them to no longer be valid).
Note: Pretty much every restaurant and their dog provides free dessert on your birthday (BJ's Restaurant, Mimi's, etc.), although some require you to be in their e-mail club. To earn the honor of "best" freebie, the deal had to be straight up "FREE."
Armadillo Willy's - Free BBQ Sandwich
Okay, this one is local to the California Bay Area, but it's so good, I had to include it. We love Armadillo Willy's, so signing up for their birthday club and getting a free BBQ sandwich for the week of your birthday was a no-brainer. Join the e-Que club here.
Bare Escentuals - Free Birthday Present Product (e.g. Free eyeshadow)
I don't know how useful this would be if you're not a BE fan (I am a big fan), but if you join their Friends and Benefits Program (FAB), it includes a truly fabulous birthday present.
Ben and Jerry's and Baskin Robins - Free scoop of ice cream
Both franchises offer you a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream good for up to a week after your birthday. Mmm...Phish Food... Join Ben and Jerry's here. Join Baskin Robbins Birthday Club here.
Benihana - $30 Voucher
Okay, I've never actually taken advantage of this one, but my money savvy friend Rachel has and she is a fan. What's not to love? Join the Chef's Table at Benihana's.
Cinemark - Free concession item
If Cinemark is your go-to theater and you enjoy concessions, I'd definitely recommend signing up for their weekly concession coupons. I always print one off before going to the movies. And on your birthday, you get a coupon for something that is straight up free (this year it was free movie popcorn--one of my favorite indulges of all time). Sign up for Cinemark's Weekly E-mail.
IHOP - Free Breakfast
Yep, free breakfast. They usually use the coupon to promote their newest menu item, but the coupon will usually say "or anything of equal value." So if you're the type that likes going to IHOP for breakfast, this is a major score. Join the "Pancake Revolution" club here.
Red Robin - Free Burger
The last time I brought my free burger coupon in, the server joked "oh, we don't do that anymore." You should have seen my face--it was mix between "you killed my dog" and "I'm about to rip your head off with my bare hands." He definitely got the message because he corrected himself right away. I was pregnant with my first at the time (and craving red meat). I think that server learned his lesson: NEVER come between a pregnant woman and her cravings. Become Red Robin Royalty here.
Starbucks - Free drink or food item
Coffee drinker or not (I'm not), work in the corporate world long enough and you learn to find something on the Starbucks menu you like (Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino for me and/or any bakery item). If you're registered with Starbucks, include your birthday and your rewards account will automatically be loaded with a "free drink or food item." For me at least, this reward didn't expire until a little over a month after my birthday. My only caution is that not all stores accept the online rewards (aka: Your local airport or Target Starbucks might not), so it'd probably have to be a regular corporate location. Sign up for Starbucks Rewards by registering a card here or download the free Starbucks app.
GiveawayThank you to everyone who participated in our giveaway. We appreciated the warm welcome, especially the great ideas for upcoming posts. Stick around to hear us address all of those topics (college savings plans, credit cards, student loans, investments, etc.). I told you--we're nerds, so we actually can't wait. Expect a lot of fun posts in between, too. The winner is....
I know I'm always bummed when I don't win a giveaway, so I thought I'd soften the blow with this fun post about the best birthday freebies. Seriously though, the awesome financial tips we'll be giving you are worth waaaaaay more than $25 (you can pretty much take our tax tips to the bank so be jazzed for tax season), so really...everyone wins.