This is a post from Cathy Winick, a writer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and my mommy. She taught me everything I know about getting birthday deals. Also, she likes to get right to the point when writing. (Note: The featured photo is the back of the t-shirts we made up for her birthday trip to Disney World in 2016. The trip was not free.)

Most require that you sign up in advance to receive emails, but the birthday perk and the occasional unexpected perks are worth the couple minutes it takes to register.

Here are a few of the birthday freebies I enjoyed last month:

  • Olive GardenSign up for emails and receive a free dessert for your birthday, up to $8.50 value. You have two weeks to use it.
  • Red Robin – Being a Loyalty Club member at Red Robin lands you a great burger of your choice and you have all month to redeem it.
  • Landry’s – They own Muer Restaurants, Rainforest Café, Morton’s, Bubba Gump, and McCormick and Schmick’s. They give you a $25 voucher to use on anything during your birthday month at any one of their restaurants.
  • Houlihan’s – They are a 71-restaurant chain with locations in seventeen states. They provide you with a free entrée (up to $15), no strings attached. Plus, just for signing up to receive emails, you’ll receive $10 off your visit.
  • Bonefish Grill – Bonefish is part of Bloomin’ Brands family of 1,000+ restaurants. Their gift to you is a free Bang Bang Shrimp, their signature appetizer, or dessert of your choice, worth about $10. You have six weeks to take advantage of this.
  • Krispy Kreme – A small coffee and a donut of your choice await you. That is worth almost $5.
  • Panera Bread – Their rewards program comps you a free birthday pastry worth up to about $5.
  • Culver’sYou’ll have one week to get a free one-scoop sundae worth about $5.

Do you see a theme here?

  • IHOP – They offer a free full stack of specialty pancakes worth about $8, and just for joining their eClub, you’ll get a coupon for the free stack right away and on the anniversary of your joining too in addition to your birthday.
  • Biggby – This is a favorite coffeehouse in Michigan, where I live. They snail mail you a postcard for a big fancy drink with your name on it, worth as much as $10.
  • Starbucks – If you are part of the Starbucks Rewards program, expect your choice of a specialty drink or food item, up to about a $10 value.
  • Chop House – This is a regional steakhouse. They are probably the freebie meal worth potentially the most money. If you visit on your birthday – proof required – your meal is free with a second meal purchased, and their average meal is about $60!

Non-Food Perks

If you’re looking for something other than edibles, there are some non-food items too:

  • Kohl’s – They emailed me a coupon for $5 to use during my birthday month. I didn’t know they even knew it was my birthday.
  • Best Buy – They email you a coupon worth $5, which to me is like a coupon for $10 off a car, but I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Talbots – You get a 15%-off coupon to use on any one day during your birthday month, so you could go store-to-store and use it, and the savings can really add up. A wealthy man once told me it takes money to make money.
  • HallmarkMany Hallmark stores offer a discount during your birthday month, often 20% off your purchase.
  • Hot TopicThey email you a $5 coupon to use on your next Dr. Who purchase, or anything else.

This birthday haul takes some of the sting out of getting older.

Do you have a friend with a birthday coming up? Give them the gift of free stuff. Share this post with them!