Frugal Fun: Birthday Treats!

So I had a lot of fun celebrating my birthday last week. I celebrated all day long and the only thing we paid for was childcare and a movie ticket for my birthday date that night to Avengers: Endgame. The best part is? I still have birthday treats to come! After asking for suggestions on instagram, I had a few people follow up and asked what birthday treats I scored for free, so I thought I’d write a little blog post about where you can get some birthday freebies.Some of these may only apply to Arizona/Phoenix companies, but others are for national chains. I can’t speak to how they might change their offers in the future, but here are a few I used to celebrate the start of a new year. I’ll go chronologically, starting with the night before my birthday:

DESSERT BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY:
I personally feel like wrapping up the end of one year (especially one as full fo growth and joy as last year) should be celebrated just as much as the start of a new year… so the day before my birthday I was lucky enough to go out with some of my sweetest gal pals to Federal Pizza and while the pizza and wine were on them, dessert was on me because if you join the Upward Projects mailing list they’ll send you an email with a code for free dessert for your birthday! They send it a few days before your birthday and you have 30 days to use it. SCORE! (They also send you a treat to celebrate the anniversary of you signing up for their mailing list… so if you do that near your birthday then DOUBLE TREATS!)

BREAKFAST:
*I was told that Einsteins Bros Bagels sends you an offer for a free bagel sandwich on your birthday, but I don’t think I signed up far enough in advance (this was a requirement for a couple of suggested places… oh well, maybe next year!) but I DID get a free bagel and shmear just for signing up for their list… a yummy way to start the morning.

*Of course, what’s a bagel without coffee?! Dunkin Donuts offers free coffee apparently but (don’t leave me mean comments) I actually don’t really like their coffee… still, I’ve mad e a note for hubby to look into this before his next birthday because he LOVES their coffee. Instead, I had the pleasure of a giant free drink from Dutch Bros Coffee. I didn’t even know they did birthday drinks! They just asked for my idea and then not only did I get a free drink but they asked if I wanted sprinkles and I had a whole group singing to me at the window! (Those of you who have a Dutch Bros near you will know how quintessentially Dutch Bros that is…) Their joy at wishing me happy birthday and giving me this free drink made me smile so much and truly helped make the day special. THANK YOU!!! OH, and I was reminded why I don’t order size large from them… it was so big it lasted me through breakfast AND lunch. Speaking of…

LUNCH:
*Starbucks: if you are obsessed with Starbucks’ fancier coffee drinks then maybe you want to save your birthday treat for a drink instead, but since I was already loaded up with Dutch Bros, I chose to get a free lunch from Starbucks. I got one of their protein boxes and had enough to share with my daughter who was doing a really good job keeping patient while I drove her all over the place to get free birthday stuff and so she wouldn’t be upset when…

*I gave away my free birthday burger from The Habit . I’m a pescatarian… and while I could have paid the difference to upgrade to a veggie burger, I’m trying to do a bunch of random acts of kindness during my birthday month I just felt called to give away this free meal to someone who was hungry (and my 2 year old did not need one of their big burgers!) (Note: I believe this birthday coupon was good for a week or two so if you are planning your meals around free birthday stuff and don’t want to feel sick from it all… this is one that can wait a few days. More about this below!)

DINNER:
*OK, so maybe I should amend my claim at the beginning of the post as dinner wasn’t technically free. We used my birthday coupon for a buy one get one free offer from Rubio’s so technically my dinner was still free, but hubby paid for his own burrito. WORTH IT! BOGO offers seem to be more and more popular for birthday incentives and I totally get why, I just wouldn’t spend a whole day driving around for BOGO offers… one for the day was perfect I know Cold Stone offered one as well as Pei Wei if one of those is more your style).

mmmmm popcorn upgrade and cheesy movie theatre photo…

*We supplemented our Rubios meals with treats at the movie theatre. We already had the Harkins rewards cup and free medium popcorn with ticket purchase for the year thanks to an awesome Christmas gift from my mom. If you are a Harkins rewards member you also get $5 loaded on to your account to spend on concessions for your birthday so we upgraded our popcorn size and we upgraded our drink to an icee… for free!!!

*It was mentioned to me that you can get a free Pizooki from Oregano’s or BJ’s on your birthday, but since I knew we weren’t going to eat a meal there it felt weird to me to go in and ask for a dessert on its own- if that doesn’t feel weird to you then GO FOR IT! OR if the fast food BOGO offers above don’t sound good, maybe decide to go somewhere for just appetizers and dessert if the dessert is free!

POST- BIRTHDAY TREATS:
*Sprinkles cupcakes!: IF you are a member fo the Sprinkles perk program you get a free cupcake on your birthday! Yipee!! I was pretty sugared up from my giant mocha on my birthday, so I am saving this for later this month. It’s important to note that I did not get an email from them on or before my birthday, but the reward was loaded on my account. So maybe make a note if you want to take advantage of this! (I don’t need a note to remind me of free red velvet cake… I know exactly when I’m using this sweet deal.)

*Jamba Juice: You get a free small smoothie from Jambe Juice if you are a Jamba insider. I used that the weekend after my birthday because I had quite a bit of dental work done after my birthday and knew I”d want something easy to eat the day after.

A CAVEAT:
I’m not affiliated with any of the above restaurants/none of the links are affiliate links. Most of these birthday offers (aside from Dutch bros- LOVE YOU DUTCH BROS!) require you to sign up for “clubs” aka promotional emails in order to receive them. So this is only frugal fun if you are able to resist the temptation of all the other deals they send out to you to try and get you to eat out more. (And for Starbucks I believe you have to have gold member status… I get a lot of Starbucks gift cards and use it as my “office” when prepping for teaching/tutoring/directing work so that’s not really an extra expense for me). My recommendation is be selective- only sign up for what you want to take advantage of for your birthday and, personally, I think you should focus on places where you would be happy to give your money at other times of year when it is in your budget (IE I didn’t sign up for most fast food clubs because I never go there… unless it’s something like Mad Greens or Salad and go… there’s just not a lot of options for pescetarians/vegetarians that seem appealing…) AND if it is too much a temptation to you or the additional emails will stress you out- unsubscribe after your birthday is over!

BONUS: some companies (like RA sushi) will send you stuff for your HALF birthday. So even if we aren’t close to your birthday… you may want to do some research into that for a mid-year treat!

I hope this was a helpful post to make your next birthday even merrier- you can celebrate well even if you’re on a budget!! Let me know if I missed any of your favorite places to score a birthday treat.

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