Birthday Freebies: Get Cool Stuff Just for Being Born!

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The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Kelly Gurnett. Kelly runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

My husband and I are going through a bit of a shift financially. 

With him about to apply for disability for Fibromyalgia, we’ve suddenly had to rework our monthly budget to include ½ our normal household income. Entertainment, grocery, and other categories have been slashed. Every single thing we can pitch from our expenses, we’ve been pitching.

So. when my birthday came up last Friday, I wasn’t expecting it to feel like a “real” birthday. I had cake and dinner with my family planned for the weekend, but I was planning on the day itself being just another work day. (Freelancing from home, so at least I got to stay in my PJs, but otherwise not very special.)

Then, I started receiving my birthday freebie e-mails.

My (Super Cheap) Special Day

I’d forgotten all about them in the course of dealing with our current budget crack-down, but years ago, I signed up for a ton of birthday freebies, and every year, they show up in my inbox like lovely extra gifts.

Thanks to birthday freebies, my husband and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Red Robin—a free birthday burger for me, a gift card I’d received as a present paid for my husband’s burger and our drinks, and I got a free birthday sundae in lieu of being sung to. (Side note: being one of several tables in the restaurant sung to that day vs. free ice cream? I’m choosing the ice cream.)

For dinner, I claimed my free birthday Grand Slam at Denny’s (gotta love pancakes for dinner), and my husband ordered a $4 item off their “$2, $4, $6, $8” menu—two chicken wraps with salsa, more than enough for a filling meal.

The total damages, for the meals and the movie we decided to splurge and rent on the way home? Under $10. For two good meals and a movie.

Claim Your Free Stuff!

For a full and frequently updated list of all the places that offer birthday freebies, check out sites like Hey It’s Free’s list and, where you’ll see deals nationwide and in your area. 

Usually, freebies are things like a free dessert with your meal, a BOGO entrée, or a certain dollar amount off your check. But sometimes, you can make out like a bandit. Did you know Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant gives you a free $30 gift certificate? (Makes me wish there were a Benihana’s in my area!)

Some deals are only good on your birthday, but many are good for the week if not the entire month of your birthday—so technically, you could spread the birthday celebration out for weeks! Combine your freebie with other discounts (like we did with our Red Robin gift card and the Denny’s value menu), and you can get some seriously cheap meals simply for being born.

And it’s not just limited to restaurants—you can find birthday deals at retailers and entertainment centers, too. So have a free meal, go get yourself a free present at Aveda, and then enjoy a free game of bowling.

Being showered with gifts and saving a ton of money? Now that’s my definition of an awesome birthday.

How about you all? What cool birthday freebies have you come across? 

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of


  1. I've never really looked for B-day freebies–too busy running after the kids!

    But as someone misdiagnosed with fibro once, I'd like to advise gently your husband might want to look into being genetically screened for a channelopathy–what I really have. 🙂 9 times out of 10, they are misdiagnosed as FMS. Some channelopathies are debilitating if not managed, but fortunately, all are manageable, and with proper management, don't cause disability.
    My recent post 5 Ways To Take Control Of Your Food Purchases–Saving Money On Groceries, Part 1

    • CordeliaCallsIt says:

      Thanks, Jenny. I have never even heard that term before, but I will definitely be looking into it.

  2. Interesting, I've never thought about this before. My girlfriend's birthday is coming up soon, this may be a good way to at least half the price of whatever we decide to do or eat that day.
    My recent post The Three Things The Media Should Focus On After A Tragedy

    • CordeliaCallsIt says:

      Definitely give it a try, especially for places you like going anyway. (Or to try somewhere new!)

      Make you sure you check each business's website before her bday, though; many of them require you join a mailing list so that they can email you a coupon for your freebie on your birthday.

  3. Canadianbudgetbinder says:

    That's awesome all the great freebies you had on your birthday. I've looked into some in our area and to be honest I just wasn't that into it. I'm guessing it's just me but I didn't want to spend the day going from place to place for freebies because I typically don't have a celebration of sorts. I think it's great though for those that celebrate their birthdays each year . Great post.
    My recent post My Debt Story: How I Paid Off $100,000 In Debt (And How You Can Too)

    • CordeliaCallsIt says:

      There are definitely way too many to take advantage of them all, especially if all you get is a free sundae but you have to purchase a full meal. But, if you've got the time and the inclination, you can make a real day of it!

  4. That's awesome! I know so many people who sign up for free things on their birthdays, and I think that I may have to start. I wouldn't mind a free red robin burger myself!
    My recent post How to Get a Free Cell Phone (Obama Phone)

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