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Spend Your Birthday Collecting Free Stuff

Birthday Freebies

Source: Flickr

October is my birth month (10/29 if you want to put it on your calendar). Although it is no longer as fun to get older, it is fun to spend the day collecting freebies from various local businesses. So for my birthday, I’m giving you a gift – a list of free stuff you can get on your birthday!

*Keep in mind that most, if not all, of these freebies require signing up for the company’s email newsletters.


  • Sign up for Starbucks’ rewards program to receive a free drink of your choice on your birthday
  • Denny’s offers a free grand slam breakfast on your birthday
  • IHOP offers a free meal when you sign up, on your birthday and on the anniversary of joining their rewards program
  • Jamba Juice offers a free small smoothie or juice on your birthday
  • Einstein Bagels offers a free breakfast sandwich with purchase of a drink
  • Dunkin Donuts offers a free medium beverage


  • Noodles & Company offers a free noodle bowl that you can use ANYTIME during the month of your birth. Save this one for a day that’s not your birthday!
  • Red Robin offers a free burger on your birthday
  • Steak n’ Shake offers a free double cheeseburger with cheese fries on your birthday
  • Buffalo Wild Wings offers a free order of snack size traditional or boneless wings


  • Pizzeria Uno offers a free meal on your birthday
  • Devon Seafood offers a free entree (up to $25) on your birthday
  • Maggiano’s offers $10 off on your birthday (which could probably be combined with Lettuce Entertain You’s $15 off)
  • Flat Top Grill offers a free entree on your birthday
  • Hooters offers 10 free wings on your birthday


Most restaurants in Chicago will give you a free dessert on your birthday if you just mention that it’s your birthday. But if you want to skip the expense of dining with them, here are some standalone places to get a delicious dessert.

  • Portillos offers a free slice of their magic birthday cake if you sign up for their email updates
  • Join Coldstone Creamery’s rewards program for a coupon for free ice cream on your birthday
  • Baskin Robins offers a free ice cream cone on your birthday
  • Dairy Queen offers a free ice cream treat on your birthday
  • Potbelly offers a free cookie on your birthday
  • The Melting Pot offers free chocolate fondue for two on your birthday


  • Au Bon Pain gives you a free bakery treat and coffee on your birthday
  • Corner Bakery offers a free bakery treat on your birthday
  • PF Chang’s offers a free dessert or appetizer on your birthday
  • As does Olive Garden
  • Panera offers a free bakery treat on your birthday


  • Lettuce Entertain You’s reward program credits your account $15 to use however/whenever on the month of your birth!
  • Victoria’s Secret sends you $10 off to be used during the month of your birth
  • Anthropologie will send you a 15% off coupon
  • Goodwill will send you a 25% off coupon
  • Kiehl’s offers a free tube of lip balm

Enjoy your birthday, and make a day of being spoiled by freebies!

Is there a great birthday freebie that I failed to add to the list? Let me know in the comments so I can add it and make more people’s birthdays awesome!

chicago cheap ass (1)

Free Food: 6 Chicago Email Newsletters to Follow

There are a lot of opportunities for free and cheap food in Chicago. An easy way to find out about these opportunities is by following Chicago Cheap Ass on Facebook for of-the-moment updates. You could also refer to this definitive guide of Chicago email newsletters to have free food delivered straight to your inbox. No spam here, people.

1. Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery Cafe chicago email newsletter

A recent email promotion from Corner Bakery Cafe

I’ll admit that Corner Bakery Cafe is not a place I often seek out on my own, but often consume at networking events and office parties. There are tons of different types of things to eat, they readily post nutrition information, and they offer free coupons all the time. Recently I’ve gotten coupons for free soup, free pastries, and even a free meal. Click here to sign up for their Chicago email newsletter.

2. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company

A recent email promotion from Noodles & Company

Noodles is one of those places I can’t justify going to on a regular basis because I’m pretty accomplished at making pasta dishes for myself. I know that pasta is a high-margin dish at any restaurant and I wouldn’t be much of a Chicago Cheap Ass if that was how I spent my money while dining out. That being said, getting an email from Noodles is always a delight because more often than not they have coupons for free or BOGO noodle bowls (sometimes other entrees are included as well). Click here to sign up for their Chicago email newsletter.

3. Panera

Panera Bread

A recent email promotion from Panera

Panera skimps more on the freebies than Noodles & Company and Corner Bakery, but just today I got an email that said I can get free coffee the entire month by using MyPanera card. Every once in awhile, they’ll give away coupons of soup and sandwich combos or free baked goods. Definitely worth it if you like their food at all (and are close enough to one of their locations). Click here to sign up for the MyPanera card and loyalty program.

4. Au Bon Pain

Au Bon Pain

A recent email promotion from Au Bon Pain

ABP’s email newsletter is cool, because right off the bat you get a free reusable coffee cup. On top of that, they send out dollar-off coupons regularly, and always have freebies like cookies or drinks to give away. If you work close to one (ABP is primarily in the Loop and River North-ish), you’re going to want to click here to sign up for the Au Bon Pain Chicago email newsletter.

5. Lettuce Entertain You – Beatrix and Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

Lettuce Entertain You

Recent text club promotions from Lettuce Entertain You

Lettuce Entertain You is the first member of this list to operate primarily in Chicago (with some outliers in the suburbs and other neighboring states). They have their own loyalty program that costs money to join (it’s worth it, but I’ll come back to that in another blog post), but also text clubs that don’t require you to be a member of the loyalty program to use. If you like free tapas, you should sign up for Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s program by clicking here and finding the “Text Club” option on the sidebar.  If free coffee, fresh-squeezed juice, and bakery items are more your style, click here for Beatrix’s text club.

6. Spring Rewards

I wrote a post about Spring Rewards and you should check that out for some of the best free food possibilities under the sun. Pairing their loyalty program with a Groupon offer at a participating restaurant means you can dine fine on a budget.

I know I said “definitive” guide at the beginning of this post, but I plan on coming back and updating as I discover more great Chicago email newsletters to follow.

If there’s a Chicago email newsletter you receive that Chicago Cheap Asses would love, let us know in the comments!