Happy birthday to us all!!!
A hard truth that you learn as you age is that pretty much nobody cares about your birthday after you turn 21– except brands and chain restaurants. It’s a pretty excellent strategy when you think about it because I’ll pretty much never venture to the mall these days except for my birthday because I know that I’ll be leaving with an arsenal of free stuff, and inevitably shopping a bit for a gift from me to me. Why not! Without this trend/ small perk, I don’t think I’d ever set foot in a mall again. That being said, the mall is a great place to round up these freebies but you can certainly plan a route containing the stops below if you have access to a car and you don’t live in the middle of nowhere. It’s worth mentioning that claiming the birthday perks is usually only possible in person.
Most of us are aware of Starbucks’ free drink and a Baskin Robbins scoop of ice cream on your birthday, but one can only eat so much free food! So in addition to my favorite food freebies, I’ve included some product freebies as well. I’m pretty much the CEO of getting free stuff. Tryna be my apprentice???
Sephora is irritatingly expensive, but their birthday gifts are free! What’s better than that is you can collect your birthday gift all month long. My birthday was March 1st and I wasn’t able to make it to the mall this year, but I know that later in the month I’ll have to stop by for my birthday gift– which is usually a modestly-sized sample product (not teeny tiny, but definitely nothing full-sized either). I’ve gotten a Nars lip balm in the past and laughed at the size of it at first, but it’s been a few years and I still haven’t finished it, so I guess it was perfect! No purchase is required, just stop by the counter, show proof of birthdate, and walk away with your mystery gift! Ulta has a very similar offer as well.
2- Birthday Entrees
As you can imagine, most of the birthday freebies in the world are food items. Sometimes, at the right food court, you can score a slice of pizza from Sbarro, free pretzel bites from Auntie Anne’s (queen), even a free footlong and cookie from subway, all with no purchase necessary, but if you’re really trying to maximize your reward yield, find a restaurant that does free entrees for birthday guests. Some good high-value deals are Bonefish Grille’s free appetizer or dessert, and Buffalo Wild Wings’ free wing order, both valued at around $15. Undoubtedly, the best birthday offer I’m aware of is from Buca Di Beppo, where signing up for their rewards program gets you a free pasta entree AND a $20 birthday gift. However, that deal is SO good that it’s probably worthwhile to call ahead and make sure they’re still offering it because in this economy ya just never know.
3- $10 Freebies
Another popular birthday offer that many of us overlook in our junk mail (understandably so) is the rare $10 coupon off *any* purchase. When they say “any,” they really mean it! If you belong to their rewards program, IKEA sends you a $10 coupon to use toward any purchase during your birthday month– and we all know that 10 IKEA dollars is like $30 real-world dollars. The Body Shop and Chico’s have the same offer and you’ll likely get those coupons in your inbox if you’ve shopped there within the last year.
Now save this list, try to aggregate more examples, and make your birthday a big freebie treasure hunt!