I’m not a big fan of birthdays. They seem arbitrary, they bring a sense of oncoming dread, and because I’m a forward thinker, I often forget that I have to wait until a certain date before I am a particular age. I usually spend a month or two prior to my birthday reminding myself that I have not yet turned that age. So for me, spending a lot of money on birthday gifts, celebrations, and parties seems backwards.
I am primarily an introvert, so I’d even rather avoid work and friends on my birthday if it can be helped. That being said, it is nice to do something for my birthday, even if it is something small.
So over the last few years I’ve started a small tradition of small birthday things that I can do that are inexpensive but are still somewhat special. What is that? I sign up for online mailing lists and collect the free stuff!
Free Birthday Meals
Red Robin’s will give you a free burger on (or around) your birthday. All you need to do is sign up for their “EClub”. Basically it requires an email address. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I get about 1 email every month from them, reminding me that they exist and letting me know if they have a special or promotion on. So for the hassle of deleting ~ 12 emails, you get a free burger on your birthday. They’re not the most expensive, nor are they the most impressive burgers, but I go to Red Robin’s once a year on my birthday and eat a gigantic burger, usually with some sort of fun drink on the side. I try to go during their “off peak” hours as I’ve found the most success during those times. Just be sure to bring a friend and pay for another meal/drink or else the server might become cranky.
Dairy Queen has a “Blizzard Fan Club“. Personally, I am a fan of Dairy Queen blizzards. I do find that they are rather expensive, however, so I signed up for their email list so that I would get a “Buy one get one free” coupon every year on my birthday. They email me at least once a month, more often in the summer when it is hot, letting me know what their new flavour of the month is, or just reminding you that you signed up for their mailing list and you should probably buy something from DQ. The coupon provided gives you a 2 week window to download and print, for one specific location, a BOGO coupon. Blizzards are best shared, so BOGO works for me.
If you sign up for the “Booster Nation” you can get a “healthy” treat on your birthday with a free smoothie. This is one that, sadly, I found out shortly after my birthday, but decided to sign up for anyways so that I could take advantage next year. It may be a struggle to keep myself on the list for a full year because I don’t often get Booster Juice and I’m not sure if I want to know “interesting facts” about them, but I’ll give it a go and see how it is. You can try it out for yourself by signing up too.
I have also not tried this myself, but signing up for Boston Pizza’s newsletter can also get you some free stuff. Some reports are that it is one of 3 different appetizers, and other reports say that it is a free entree. It may depend on the location itself, so if you have a birthday coming up soon, it may be worth subscribing to find out for yourself. I was unable to find any specifics on their website, but you can sign up for their Email Club here.
RW&CO will give you 25% off during your birthday “week”, and American Eagle will give you 15% off during your birthday month. If you already do some shopping at those locations, why not sign up and get a free discount?
What frugal birthday plans do you have? What free stuff have you had before?