EDIT: There are a couple new ones at the end submitted by commenter Rachel Imhoff 🙂 Thanks Rachel!
While some people watch their birthdays pass them by and do boring things like party and junk, this guy puts some hardcore research into the anniversary! Ok, I do enjoy the friends and presents and dancing that normally follows my day, but I enjoy freebies almost as much and wanted to share some of my favourites from these past couple of weeks. What would an urban-living blog be without the cheapo luxuries?
The following are the collection that I have used in the past annually with some new ones thrown in the mix for this year. Most require you to sign up for email notifications/printable coupons, so if you don’t have a spam email account for this kind of stuff I highly recommend doing so first. Yahoo or Gmail work perfectly for this as they are quick and simple and don’t involve you going the exchange server route. Also, I am Canadian, so there may be some differences as to what you can get in your area (hell, I miss out on oodles of free simply due to the fact that I don’t have a lot of the regular huge chain stores that other cities have). I tried to keep it easily accessible to you wherever you live, at least in Canada anyway, but there are some specific to my city that I included because there is a whole group of us that seem to compete for the most things. For the most part you can click on the images to be taken to any Email-Sign Ups or Loyalty Program Overviews, or you can click the included links to learn about whatever I thought was poignant. So who knows where you’re gunna wind up!!
If after you finish reading you’ve got one to add I’ll certainly edit it and stick you in!
For those of you that missed it, my birthday was at the beginning of this month. I’ll just assume the gifts are in the mail shall I?
First up; a new addition to my usual Birthday Roundup, Dairy Queen. While I’m not really a fan of soft-serve, this one is more to share with your bff or significant other anyway. All you do is sign up for their Blizzard Fan Club and into your inbox will travel a special Buy One Get One coupon that you can print out and share with a friend for your Birthday. I say special, but really that isn’t exactly the case as you also get around 6 coupons of similar type throughout the year to enjoy just for signing up the one time. I also got a coupon for 3$ off a Blizzard Cake!Second, my favourite to-sick-either-due-to-cold-or-debauchery insta meal, Booster Juice. Super simple, just the same as with DQ we’re signing up for their Booster Nation newsletter, which entitles you to a free smoothie on your special day! Just print out the emailed-coupon and your set. The only limitation that I had was that I couldn’t choose any of their juices, which is fine because it’s a better freebie if you choose the more expensive smoothies anyway. Mind Over Matcha all the way!
What could make any birthday better than a boring old plain one? Chocolate of course! Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, while specific to a good number of stores smattered across Canada, is going to hook you up with a free chocolate bar! This one is different in that you need to pick up one of their free loyalty cards and register it online. When your birthday rolls around you’ll receive an email stating that a Birthday Chocolate Bar has been added to your card. Just head on in store and say that you’d like to redeem it and they’ll take it off for you. Go for the Dark Chocolate!
My favourite freebie is one that people don’t even realise exists; the ever sought after Free Starbucks! Outside of some of the US and Western Canada (I’m looking at you British Columbia), a points card from Starbucks didn’t exist until just last year when they started a program involving their reloadable gift cards. This program involves collecting ‘stars’ each visit and reaching different levels based on the number you’ve obtained. Just by loading up a card and registering it online you’re eligible for the Welcome Level, which includes a free drink of any size or, recently added a free food item for your Birthday. Some stores are able to use the app for Android/Apple to take it off the card, but mine is housed within a Chapters that only has a regular debit machine. They are fine seeing the email notifying you of your birthday however!
Let’s go right into Chapters/Indigo with that Starbucks to find another Birthday coupon, this time a 20% regular priced items postcard mailed to you to be used in-store (not online) during your birthday month. To be eligible you need to have an IRewards Card which costs a yearly membership, but presumably you could get one with the free Plum Rewards Card as well. This discount doesn’t stack with the regular IRewards unfortunately, but it does up what it would normally take off in any case. Mine arrives at just the right time to pick up some new Gardening and Cooking books for the new entertaining season!
This one is really specific to my own city, but check around in yours. At boom! Nightclub in Fredericton New Brunswick, you can get a shot for free on your birthday. Whether you’ve got friends who like to pass that little message along, or if the bartenders on hand know you from outside of the club, you’re in for public embarrassment and a pretty good drink! The ‘Birthday Shot’ is a creation of the bartender, and works out to 3-4 shot glasses poured straight from the cocktail shaker. Make sure your friends are handy with the camera as it gets done Coyote Ugly Style right down one’s throat. Absolutely Precious.
I’d get drawn and quartered by my guy if I don’t mention that Cora’s Breakfast And Lunch also has some birthday fun! This has to be our favorite morning/midafternoon stop ‘cause BREAKFAST! Just sign up for their delightful email newsletter and on your birthday you’ll get a message wishing you a Happy Day and a coupon worth 5$ off whatever plate you order! Mention it when you get seated and at some point during your visit they’ll all come out singing Happy Birthday while bringing some fruit-themed surprise; mine was an adorable Apple Swan with candles and everything! I HIGHLY recommend signing up for this one as they send all kinds of coupons for their monthly specials (which if you’re dining with someone will couple nicely with your Birthday Freebie if you split the bills), and they are sent in both French and English. How cute right?
The last one I only marginally escaped, but probably wouldn’t have enacted because my parents are a drag and don’t eat dessert. My new go-to restaurant, East Side Marios, has a free slice of cake for your Birthday if you mention it (I assume when you are making the reservation works if there is one, or you could leave it to whichever loudmouth you’re having a pleasant meal with). Head’s up: they’ll sing so make sure you look fab before you leave the house because the entire place will turn to stare. All of those eyes!
The best part of all of these freebies is that a lot of these are eligible for longer than your birthday; in the case of the coupons most expire a week or two after the actual date. If you’re like me then that means that you’re able to stretch that one day into at least a good week of Birthday Attention, and who doesn’t want that??
Some tips when doing the rounds;
- Always have government-issued Photo ID like a driver’s license or such as you may need to prove that it’s your birthday. I find that it’s more likely to be asked for it if you go during the day when management would be working, or if you’re collecting a particularly pricey freebie.
- Bring along anything that you’ve got to go with the freebie, like emails or text messages (from your smartphone is generally cool). They may need to see it to either keep it with a receipt on their end or to make a note of it in their cash-off duties at the end of the shift.
- Check out sites like RedFlagDeals that have entire threads or forums dedicated to the search for Birthday Freebies, as there are a lot of people out there that think like us and want to squeeze as much savings out of our shopping as possible.
- Lastly, just ASK if there are any birthday things available where you shop or eat. More often than not there is something if the place has a loyalty program or some sort. If it’s a restaurant (or bar even) they may have a free app/side/dessert/drink, and a lot do because if they can get one person at the table to indulge for free than the rest feel like dicks for just sitting there.
Do you have any birthday freebie rituals? Share them down below in the comments! I may be done my birthday now, but I’ve got one next year I think and it can’t hurt to lay the groundwork now!
Thanks to Rachel in the comments for throwing out Pizza Delight’s 6 different free Birthday Lunch Specials, and a couple stops in Bathurst New Brunswick if you’re from the area or a die hard freebie-lover 🙂
You can eat for free on your birthday at Pizza Delight. You can choose from 6 different lunch specials like lasagna, pizza, panini and a few others that I forgot. And they all come with a side of salad, fries, rice, or a mini garlic finger.
House of Lee in Bathurst offers free buffets on your birthday.
Danny’s Inn and Papa Joe and Eves, also only in Bathurst, gives you the percentage of your age as a discount towards your meal.