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Enjoy a birthday filled with fun freebies

August 29, 2018

“Dear Jill, not sure you have ever addressed this in your column, but it is amazing how many free offers a person can get for their birthday. My birthday is this week, and I have been receiving many offers from various companies. All I had to do was sign up on their websites.” - Mike A.

Indeed, it’s quite incredible how many freebies are available to those celebrating birthdays! When you think about birthday discounts, you may first think of restaurants, but there are many popular retailers and destinations that offer birthday goodies, too.

To research what birthday promotions are available near you, simply head to your favorite internet search engine and search for “birthday discounts.” You’ll find many websites that catalog every birthday treat from free desserts to beverages to store credits.

So, how do you take advantage of all of these birthday treats? Most establishments require you to sign up for their loyalty or birthday clubs, either in-store or online. Here are some destinations to get you started.

Restaurants: Many restaurants, both sit-down and fast food, offer birthday freebies. If you wanted to visit multiple dining destinations in the same day, you could score everything from a free root beer float, to a free soft pretzel, to a free scoop of ice cream!

Several popular chain restaurants offer free entire meals when you dine on your birthday, while others email you coupons for dining discounts during the month of your birth. A well-known breakfast chain even offers a free waffle on your birthday.

Specialty dessert shops: A popular chain of gourmet chocolates offers a free piece of chocolate each month, with a larger free chocolate bonus on your birthday. Another chain of gourmet bundt cakes offers a small cake free on your birthday. Several frozen yogurt chains offer free fro-yo coupons emailed out for your birthday as well.

Drugstores: Believe it or not, one popular pharmacy chain offers a free $3 reward on your birthday just for being a member of their beauty club. The club is free to join, and accrues store credit based on beauty department purchases throughout the year. Despite the name, both men and women can join the beauty club - “beauty” purchases include haircare, skincare, and bath products in addition to makeup and fragrances.

Beauty stores and salons: A popular cosmetics chain offers a free beauty-themed birthday gift when you sign up for their loyalty club. A chain specializing in bath and body products mails a coupon for a free trial-sized product on your birthday. Yet another large chain of salons and spas offers a free beauty or haircare product on your birthday.

Hardware stores: One nationwide chain of hardware stores sends out a $5-off-$20 coupon during your birthday month - always nice to have when you’re planning to purchase hardware, home improvement, or garden items.

Clothing stores: While it’s unlikely you’ll walk out of a department store with a free shirt or pair of shoes, multiple clothes retailers offer birthday clubs that send percentage-off coupons during the month of your birthday.

Entertainment destinations: Want to have some free fun on your birthday, too? Check out some of the great freebies that quite a few entertainment venues offer. One chain of bowling alleys offers a free bowling game when you sign up for their birthday club. Another arcade and dining chain offers $10 worth of free game play on your birthday.

So, is there any downside to joining any and all of these birthday clubs? Do keep in mind that by joining each of these clubs and loyalty programs, you will also be opting into communications with each brand. This may subject your email inbox (or your postal mail box) to receiving more mail. If you’re not willing to share your main email address, consider using a free email address service to receive all of your birthday loyalty offers. This will keep them all in one place. Just don’t forget to check the mail on that account as your birthday approaches - you won’t want to miss out on all of the freebies you’ve earned by turning one year older!

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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