My favorite birthday freebies

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Guys. I love my birthday. I love that Roger Federer is my twin and that JC Chasez and Clay Aiken’s son and my friend Paper Raven share our day too. And also, I really really love the free stuff. Join me as we venture beyond the Starbucks freebie. I’m going to open a whole new world of birthday celebratory treats for you.

My disclaimer - all of these establishments I’m sharing are businesses I frequent (with the exception of one, but in my defense, I’ve received many freebie coupons from them and never once taken advantage and I will definitely be back to spend money there so it all works out and I have no guilt). I’m not taking advantage of freebies for the sake of freebies (though no judgment if you do). Disclaimer number two - some require joining a loyalty or reward program, which isn’t really an issue when you stick to retailers and restaurants you love and are loyal to anyway.

I also recommend not attempting this on your own. Get yourselves some loved ones or friends to share (some of it) with. There is a lot of food involved, and I can’t be held responsible for any negative impact on your health.

Birthday DAY OF must-dos

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Starbucks. If you’re part of their Star Rewards program, you’ll get a coupon for a free drink or food item automatically loaded onto your card. You used to have a few day range in which to use it, but now it’s only day of. Do not waste it! You’ve only got one shot to, well, get all the extra shots. Make it a venti!

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. If you only opt for one birthday treat, THIS is the one you do. A free trio! Just show your ID. It’s a Columbus-based shop, but they now have scoop shops around the country. Hopefully you’re fortunate enough to have one near you.

More sweet treats

Graeter’s Ice Cream. Join their Sweet Rewards program and you get yourself a coupon for a massive free birthday sundae. Three of us worked through this monstrosity (we edited the brownie sundae, going with double chocolate chip ice cream and sprinkles instead of pecans) and all were in a coco-coma by the time we reached the bottom. The coupon is valid for a week and is loaded on to your app a couple days before your birthday. (Graeter’s in Cincinnati-based, and their pints are available around the country but the coupon is only good at the store locations).

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Nothing Bundt Cake. You get an email coupon for a free Bundtlet when you sign up for their email list. My coupon came the day before my birthday and was good for a couple weeks.

First Watch. Free breakfast, brunch or lunch entree if you’re part of their Sun eClub AND you get more than a month to cash that one in!

Panera. You can pick a free pastry or treat. It’s available on your MyPanera card for a week starting the day of your birthday.

Inedible options

Ann Taylor & Loft. With their new All Rewards program, you get a $10 off $10+ purchase coupon good at Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey or their outlet counterparts. It’s good for about a month online or in store.

DSW. $5 reward coupon good for a purchase of $5 or more during your birthday month if you’re a VIP member.

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Ulta. Ultamate Rewards members get a free birthday gift. I don’t think it’s always the same thing, but I got a Benefit Cosmetics mini bronzing powder. You have to go in to the store with your coupon (on your phone is fine) to pick it up; they’re kept behind the register.

I think that’s all I have for now. I hope I’ve been able to bring a bit more birthday excitement into your life!