Birthdays seem to get less fun the older you get. After a certain point you stop being excited about getting a year older and start wrinkling your nose at seeing that number tick higher and higher. I turned 34 on August 30th and decided that I'd try something different this year and cash in on as many birthday freebies as I could. There's a blue million companies out there waiting to dole out free treats on your birthday.
Knowing that I have limited time (and energy, ugh) to drag my kids around to many different places in a single day, I did some research and put together a game plan of places I would visit based on the convenience of the location, the ability to "pick up and go" (as opposed to having to dine-in at a restaurant), and whether or not I could pick up the freebie on a day other than my actual birthday. At the bottom of this post is a list of everything I scored with an approximate retail value, as well as a full list of other freebies that I didn't get.
I started cashing in on freebies during the weeks leading up to my birthday, as many of the perks are available throughout your birthday month. Join Auntie Anne's Pretzel Perks email program and receive a free pretzel of your choice! I picked up my pretzel while we ran some errands at the mall. We all shared it (which means the toddler schkoffed most of it).
Join the Krispy Kreme email program and receive a coupon for a free doughnut and small coffee or fountain drink during your birthday month.
I chose the Reese's doughnut that everyone had been talking about. We all tasted it and it was holy delicious, but soooo heavy.
On another day, I picked up a free bagel sandwich (with any drink purchase) from Einstein Bros Bakery. You have to sign up for their Shmear Society emails to get the birthday coupon mailed to you (it's valid for a period of about 2 weeks). They royally screwed up my order but whatever, it was free, right? (and still tasty)
As part of the My Panera program at Panera Bread, you'll get a free pastry of choice loaded onto your account. I chose a bear claw... cuz it was big.
Next was one of my favorite freebies, a choice of bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes. You have to sign up for their emails to receive the birthday coupon. I chose red velvet!
If you've never had a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, I recommend remedying that post haste. They are yummy.
On the big day itself, August 30th, Matt surprised me in the morning by getting up before me and making me breakfast in bed - homemade eggs Benedict with hollandaise made from scratch, cantaloupe, cappuccino, and a mini orchid!
I had a sweet little helper to assist with opening my birthday card. The other one sat at the foot of the bed and cried because he didn't want Baby Sister to touch ANYTHING.
Yeaah, we're working on this whole sharing business. It's going about as well as you'd expect (translation: I have to diffuse about 150 one-sided fights a day involving him melting down and Shelby just looking at him like "Bro, what's your deal?")
My mom made this shirt for me to wear, isn't it cute?? She has an Etsy shop called ASE Monograms and Gifts and she can do all kinds of personalized goodies (embroidered and vinyl heat transfers) Please check out her shop!
The only bummer is I only get to wear it once a year!
Around lunchtime I headed out to pick up the rest of my loot. My first stop was at Jersey Mike's to pick up a free regular sub and fountain drink (requires email sign up).
Using Sonic's mobile app (after signing up for a free account) I got a birthday reward for a free small classic shake. I chose peanut butter.
I feel like this is a freebie everyone knows about... the Sephora Beauty Insiders birthday gift! During your birthday month you can pick up your gift at any Sephora (no purchase required) or you can redeem it when making a purchase online. From this year's choices, I went with the tarte sampler pack of Tarte Amazonian Clay blush and Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint.
As a member of Redbox Play Pass, you will receive a free rental on your birthday! I rented Girl on the Train (loved the book!) but I ended up not getting to watch the movie before returning it. Long story.
I craved cookie cake for my birthday last year and this year was no different, so it was pretty perfect that Great American Cookies' birthday freebie is a free slice of cookie cake with drink purchase for being a member of the Cookie Club.
My last freebie was a real score, and if you live near a Red Robin I highly recommend you take advantage of it! For joining the Red Robin Royalty program, you can get your choice of a Gourmet Burger meal during the month of your birthday. And the best part is you can redeem this freebie via takeout (most restaurants require that you dine-in to take advantage of birthday perks) so you can take it home and save it for leftovers!
The Grand Total Of My Birthday Loot:
Panera Bread: pastry (bear claw) - $2.69
Einstein Bros: bagel sandwich (with drink purchase) - $4.59
Krispy Kreme: donut and small drink - $2.88
Auntie Anne: choice of pretzel - $3.29
Nothing Bundt Cakes: choice of bundtlet - $3.99
Sonic: choice of small classic milkshake - $2.79
Jersey Mike's: choice of regular sub and fountain drink - $10.14
Redbox: one rental - $2.00
Sephora: choice of birthday gift - $10 (approximate)
Great American Cookies: cookie slice (with drink purchase) - $4.00
Red Robin: choice of Gourmet Burger meal - $9.99
Total Retail Value of Birthday Freebies (approximate): $56.37
Want More Birthday Freebies?
Here's a list of some other freebies I came across when formulating my birthday game plan. As I didn't take advantage of the ones not listed in this post I can't vouch for these, but here they are!
Auntie Anne's - free pretzel (email sign-up)
Buffalo Wild Wings - free dessert (email sign-up)
Cinnabon - free drink or treat (varies - requires email sign-up)
Cracker Barrel - free dessert
Great American Cookies - free cookie slice with drink purchase (requires email sign-up)
Krispy Kreme - free doughnut and small drink or coffee (requires email sign-up)
Panera Bread - free pastry (requires myPanera sign-up)
Papa Johns - loyalty points bonus that is enough for a free order of breadsticks (requires sign-up)
Quiznos - free cookie for joining email club
Starbucks - free drink on your birthday (must join rewards program at least a month before birthday)
Chili's - free dessert via takeout
Denny's - free Grand Slam breakfast
Einstein Bros - free breakfast sandwich with drink purchase (requires email sign-up)
Hooters - 10 free wings
Jersey Mike's - free regular sub and drink (requires email sign-up)
Moe's - free burrito (requires email sign-up)
Noodles & Co. - free Rice Krispies treat (requires eClub sign-up)
Olive Garden - free appetizer or dessert with email sign-up
QDoba - free burrito
Red Robin - free Gourmet burger and fries (join loyalty program)
Ruby Tuesday - free burger
Sbarro - free slice of pizza
Sonic - free item (varies) via sign-up/app
Steak N Shake - free double steakburger with cheese and fries (requires email sign-up)
Subway - free sub and a drink (requires email sign-up)
Waffle House - free waffle when you join the Regular's Club
Zaxby's - free Meal Deal and Birthday Nibbler (requires email sign-up)
Firehouse Subs - free medium sub (show ID to prove birthday)
Sephora - choice of birthday gift to Beauty Insider members
Ulta - choice of birthday gift to loyalty program members
RedBox - free rental for Play Pass members
Nothing Bundt Cakes - free choice of bundtlet (requires email sign-up)