Free food makes birthdays fun again

Dark Side has birthday cake

This past weekend, I celebrated another birthday. Of all the people in our family, I think Mihret was the most excited about the fact that my birthday was coming. For more than a week, she had a countdown to my birthday. I’m pretty sure it’s because she knew that this would make her even closer to her birthday. In our family, my birthday comes first on the calendar. Then it’s Christy’s. Then Aly’s. Then Aiden’s. Then…finally…Mihret’s. So now that my birthday has passed, she can check my name off the list of birthdays she has to endure before it’s time for what she really cares about: her birthday.

Me? I’ve been getting kind of excited about my birthdays again. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as excited about my birthday as Mihret is about my birthday. But I do get excited nonetheless. It’s not about the cards or the facebook birthday wishes or the birthday cake or the occasional visit from a dancing gorilla. Those all pale in comparison to what truly makes birthdays exciting again.

Free food!

OK. That’s not entirely true. There were other memorable moments. Like being inundated with birthday well-wishes from friends on facebook. That’s always fun. Especially when they include images like this one:

This Darth Vader birthday card isn't funny. But it is funny.

I’m pretty sure someone has actually given me this card for my birthday. But that’s OK. It’s still funny. Kind of. I mean, it’s really not funny because it implies that I’m ancient. But yeah, it’s still funny. Especially since I can’t remember who originally gave me the card. Gosh. Maybe I really am getting old.

Then there was this one:

Pug Darth Vader

And this one:

Happy little Millennium Falcon painting

My facebook friends get me.

Even Spike TV gets me, apparently.

I have to admit, though, that it felt a little creepy that Google wished me a happy birthday when I went to search for something.

Google wished me a happy birthdayI know that I had given them my birth date at some point. Probably when I signed up for Google+ way back when. But since Google isn’t exactly known for having a stellar privacy record of late, it left me feeling a bit flummoxed. I don’t really know why, though. I mean, I’ve known for a while that they’ve been reading my email.

Now, by now I know what you’re thinking:

“This post is great, and all, but you said there was food. I want free food!”

When it comes down to it, I like birthdays again because of one simple thing: free food! And it really isn’t that hard for you to get free food, too. Here’s a simple list of all the places I could and should hit up over the next month. This list is not exhaustive by any means. A simple query with your favorite search engine will produce far more results than I can share here.

That being said, I think this is a pretty good list. It has lots of good stuff. If you want to get in on the free birthday goodness, you’re gonna have to give up an email address for most of these. In the end, though, I think it’s worth it. Because who doesn’t love free food?

There’s a method to my madness with this list. Some offers are good for just a few days surrounding your birthday. Others don’t expire until 30 days later. So I’ve ordered these offers by how long the offer lasts. The first one is only good on the day of your birthday. The last one expires a month later. Everything else falls somewhere within that continuum. Clear as mud? Good.

I’ve also included links for you to sign up. It might take up to a month for them to enroll you into their system. So don’t wait until the last minute.

You want free food on your birthday? Here it is!

  • Firehouse Subs: Free medium sub (on your birthday) – details here
  • McAlister’s Deli: $5 coupon – sign up for Deligrams
  • Baskin Robbins: Free 2.5 oz scoop or 3 oz swirl – join the Birthday Club
  • Famous Dave’s: Buy one entree, get one half off – sign up for the Email Club (you also get a free burger for joining)
  • Auntie Anne’s: Free pretzel product with the purchase of a pretzel product – get
  • Qdoba: Buy one, get one free – get Qdoba Rewards
  • Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one, get one free – join My Cold Stone Club
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: Free snack size wings – enter the Buffalo Circle
  • Chili’s: Free dessert (with purchase of an adult entree) – sign up for Chili’s Email Club
  • Sirloin Stockade: Free buffet – join their e-Club
  • Jason’s Deli: $5 coupon – sign up for their Mailing List
  • Texas Roadhouse: Free sidekick of ribs or appetizer (with purchase of adult entree) – join their email club
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill: Free entree (with drink purchase) – subscribe to Moe’s E-World
  • Fazoli’s: Free dessert – join the efamily
  • O’Charley’s: $5 off a $20 food purchase – become a member of the O’Club
  • Scotty’s Brewhouse: $10 coupon – become a VIP 
  • Benihana: $30 coupon (for dinner use only) – join the Chef’s Table
  • Noodles & Company: Free bowl – sign up for their Noodegrams
  • Steak n Shake: Free double steakburger with cheese and fries – join the eclub
  • Red Robin: Free burger – become Red Robin Royalty
  • Champps: Free Mile High ice cream pie – join the Champps MVP League
  • Buca di Beppo: Free brownie sundae – sign up for the eClub (they also send you a deal for your wedding anniversary)

What birthday freebie goodies am I missing? I’d love to add to my ever-growing list!

Oh…by the way… I wrote this post while sipping my free tea from McAlister’s Deli, thanks to what is the equivalent to a $5 gift card. Tea from McAlister DeliWhenever your birthday is, I hope it’s a happy one full of freebies from your favorite neighborhood restaurant! 


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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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Matt Todd

Wait a second….

I get an email from Chili’s, but don’t get anything from Maggiano’s. I’ve been robbed! Robbed, I tell you!

Oh, and thanks for the Subway tip. It doesn’t surprise me that they have something free. All the cool kids are doing it, after all.
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