There are two days of the year where you can literally go from place to place for hours just collecting freebies. One of those is Black Friday and the other is your very own birthday.
Happy Birthday To You,
Happy Birthday To You,
You’re another year older.
You can claim freebies too!
Birthday freebies are offered by businesses for a few different reasons. One is that they want their customers to feel good on their birthday so that the customer may become loyal to the business. This at least gives customers a chance to sample their products and if they like it they’ll come back. The customer might leave good reviews online or tell their friends about it, which increases business. Also, humans are psychologically inclined to reciprocate when they are given a gift. Businesses know that when they give gifts to their customers, it will generally result in increased sales. Another reason is that your birthday freebie can be a loss leader. If you go out to lunch with your friends on your birthday then your meal is free, but theirs won’t be. As a true freebie hunter, none of these have to apply to you. There are plenty of birthday freebies that are actually free which you can claim without additional purchases or without additional people present. However, you can enjoy your birthday the way you see fit.
When Birthday Freebies Are Not Actually Free
There are plenty of cases where birthday freebies are not actually free. Here are some examples:
“Free with purchase of”. The offer might say something like “free burger with purchase of fries and drink” or it might say “free dessert with purchase of an entree” or “free bowling with purchase of shoe rental”. Like many other non-free deals, if you have to spend money to obtain the freebie then it’s not actually free.
“Buy one, get one”. Like any other BOGO deal, a birthday BOGO is not actually free. It might say something like “buy one entree, get one free”.
“% off on your birthday”. The offer might say something like 15% off on your birthday. If it’s any percentage less than 100% then it’s not actually free.
“Dine-in only”. There are less people who are willing to dine in alone, so this fine print is a clear indication that your birthday freebie is being leveraged to sell to your friends. Even if you didn’t have a problem dining alone, you’d still be expected to pay a tip. While this is not actually free, it could still be a good deal, and the tip should be calculated on the full price of the meal.
While these deals are not actually free, they may still represent significant discounts that you can take advantage of on your birthday. However, as a general rule of thumb, don’t let offers and gimmicks persuade you into spending more money if you’re trying to be frugal or maintain your personal budget. If the offer is not completely free, then just pick the deals that you would want even if it wasn’t your birthday or even if you had to pay full price.
How To Recognize When Birthday Freebies Are Actually Free
Reading the fine print is an important part of any freebie strategy whether you’re using coupons, rebates, sweepstakes and even getting birthday freebies.
If the birthday offer says any of the following then it’s actually free:
- “no purchase required”
- “$$ off any purchase, no minimum required”, so if it’s $10 off, then you can order something for $10 and not pay anything, usually not even sales tax. There is a case when this is not actually free and it’s when the amount off is less than everything on the menu.
- “good for dine-in or pickup”, a tip is often not expected if you’re picking up, although it may still be suggested on the receipt.
- “free” with the absence of “with” or any other fine print.
One year a business may offer a birthday freebie that is actually free, the next year they may simply offer a discount or no birthday freebie at all if their marketing strategy has changed. One year my wife and I were expecting a dozen doughnuts for her birthday from a particular retailer and only got one. In 2009, Disney Parks offered free admission on your birthday, but that only lasted a year.
Read some of the tips below to stay up to date.
What Can I Get For Free On My Birthday?
There are lots of things that you can get for free on your birthday. Most of the time it’s free food and desserts from local restaurants. However, there are multiple different stores and retailers who may try to tap in to birthday promotions. Therefore, birthday freebies other than food may include bowling, movies, movie rentals, other travel and entertainment, clothes, auto services, small tools, and beauty products.
Some birthday freebies are just for kids and they’re kid-sized, others are for adults and the size or serving can range from kid-sized to full size. Food may include a scoop of ice cream, a doughnut, a piece of cake, a drink, a smoothie, a burger, a burrito or taco, or full entree. Some are much better than others.
A skilled negotiator can always leverage their birthday to try to get a better deal on any product or service that is negotiable, such as when buying a car or getting dental work.
Where Can I Find Birthday Freebies?
The Birthday Freebies Directory lists everything that we’ve discovered which are currently available. If you know of others, let us know.
Usually we can only list birthday freebies in the directory if they are properly announced online and available nationwide, but there are plenty of others that are offered locally by mom and pop shops who may not have a good internet presence. If you want to look beyond our directory, here are some ways to hunt for birthday freebies on your own:
Stay alert for printed advertising and in-store displays (which obviously aren’t available online). A restaurant could easily announce it as a side note in their menu or have a small sign at the entrance.
Call local businesses to ask if they have any birthday freebies. Sometimes they offer it without necessarily promoting it.
Always ask when you’re there in person. Even if they don’t have something regular they might do something special for you just because you asked.
Ask your friends and family if they know anything you can get for free on your birthday. You could ask in person or on social media. If you ask on social media then you might get related advertising.
Since there is advertising on this page, it may reveal additional birthday offers because internet advertising is often made to match the topic of the page. (Since those are third party links we can’t vouch for them, but you might get lucky and find something there).
Follow your favorite retailers on social media and join their email lists. Even if they don’t currently offer a birthday freebie, that’s where they would announce it if they started. If you want to take it a step farther you could even write to them and ask if they would consider offering one.
Conduct a focused Google search for each of your favorite retailers. Pick the shop that you’re interested in and find their official website. Then search for “birthday” and enter “site:website.com” and substitute “website.com” with actual name of the website. For example, lets say you want free ice cream on your birthday. You discover that the website for Baskin-Robbins is www.BaskinRobbins.com. You’d type in the following in Google’s search:
By doing this you’ll find the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club, and you’ll discover that you can get a free 2.5 oz. scoop of ice cream on your birthday. Some other key words and phrases that you can use are “birthday club”, “birthday gift”, “birthday treat”, “birthday prize”, “free birthday”, “birthday freebie”, “birthday give away”, etc.
How To Claim Birthday Freebies And Other Birthday Tips
There are a couple different ways to claim birthday freebies. This always depends on the business offering the freebie and from year to year businesses may change the method as they update their policies or tracking processes.
One way to claim birthday freebies is to simply walk into the establishment and present identification with your date of birth on it. This is the easiest way and most of the time there is no tracking involved. If the restaurant has multiple locations and this is their method for claiming a free birthday gift, then there is nothing to stop you from going to every location within a reasonable distance.
Before the advent of the internet, businesses might have a printed signup form at their desk that you’d fill out and mail to a corporate office. Then they’d send a coupon by snail mail. This may still be available in some places, but it has mostly been replaced by email.
The most common way to claim birthday freebies is to join eclubs, email clubs and email newsletters. Sometimes you’ll simply go to their website and fill out a form to opt in to their newsletter and they’ll send you a coupon by email. Sometimes you must create an account on their website and then login into your account to activate the birthday offer. This is a little more sophisticated than simply filling out a form, but it often means that they’ll have other offers available or you can join their rewards program for additional offers.
There is no standard on the timing for when the coupon arrives in your email and sometimes if you wait until the day of your birthday, it’s too late to claim it that year. If you want to maximize your free birthday gifts, then it’s best to sign up, login to your accounts, update, and/or activate the birthday freebie at least a month in advance.
Not all birthday gifts have to be claimed on your birthday. That’s another reason why it’s important to read the fine print. Some birthday offers have a range or a period of time when it can be claimed. Sometimes you can claim your birthday freebie as early as a month before your birthday and as late as 364 days after. For example, if you join the Jersey Mike’s birthday club, the coupon that you receive won’t expire until your next birthday.
You could potentially get a free meal every day for up to two weeks before or after your birthday and then get free meals all day on your birthday if you read the fine print and plan accordingly.
Free When You Join And Free On Your Birthday
The cool thing about many of the birthday clubs that you’ll join is that they give you a freebie just for signing up. This is a separate and distinct freebie that they give you on your birthday.
Enjoy your birthday and get lots of freebies from the Birthday Freebies Directory. There is also an email opt-in freebie list to include other email freebies who don’t offer a birthday freebie.