Last year, my birthday was a little different. I moved from North Carolina to Illinois in late December. With a birthday in January, I had no idea how to celebrate since I was new to the area and the places were still closed due to the pandemic. I came up with the idea. My mission became to find out where to get freebies on your birthday- no necessary purchase. You would not believe how generous some businesses are. Here are all the birthday freebies I got in Chicago & the northwest suburbs.
I started early in the morning. Usually, I like to head to Ulta and Sephora first. It took me about five hours to complete my list, but it could take less depending on how close you are to everything.
There is a downside. To sign up for free goodies, they usually require you to provide an email. All year I have been spammed by Starbucks and Firehouse, but when I got the free coupon, it made it all worth it.
Dunkin’ Donuts- Dunkin Donuts is one of my favorite fast food breakfast spots. On your birthday they will give you a latte free of charge whatever size you want. Of course, I order a large oat milk vanilla latte.
Jersey Mike’s- Jersey Mike’s generously offers a free sub of choice on your birthday so it’ a great place to pick up a birthday lunch.
Jimmy Johns- Jimmy Johns is worth the trip on your birthday, because they offer free 6” subs on your birthday.
Krispy Creme – Krispy Kreme surprises me with an entire dozen of hot glazed donuts. I would have been happy with one but twelve. I eat a few, but I certainly can not eat twelve.
Moes Southwest Grill– The cupon lands in my inbox the day before my birthday. They offer you a free birthday burrito and if you need it delivered they will cover that too. If you go in they might feel extra generous and throw in a free bag of chips and queso too.
Noodles and Company – They don’t give out a whole meal, but you get a free dessert. They give you a Rice Krispies dessert bar or a chocolate chip cookie. I choose the Rice Krispies treat and it is sweet and delicious.
Panera- Panera will let you pick one of the sweet treats from their display. They have cookies, muffins, and other tasty sugary goods, but I got a cinnamon roll. The icing on the cinnamon roll melts in my mouth. Panera is a must visit on your birthday.
Red Robin- Red Robin is one of my favorite birthday freebies in Chicago. They give out a whole meal for free on your birthday. I got a burger, fries, and a birthday ice cream Sunday with a cherry on top. If you got with a group of friends they will take the most expensive burger off of your tab.
Sephora- Sephora gives out excellent birthday gifts. Last year they gave me the Laneige sleeping mask set, which retails at $20. Once you put your email in, they will send you a gift reminder. Even though it is a travel set, the mini version lasted me long. This year I received a Laura Mercier setting powder and eyeshadow stick.
Starbucks- Starbucks will send you a coupon for a free drink. It’s the one time a year I splurge and get a venti. Just like Dunkin Donuts you can choose any size drink free of charge.
Ulta- You must be a beauty insider to receive a gift from Ulta. It was a little complicated because I didn’t get an email. Once I told the employee about it, I showed her my license, and she kindly gave me the gift. They gave me a travel size Better than Sex tube of mascara last year. This year they offer a finishing powder for the birthday surprise.
Waffle House – Of course, I signed up for Waffle House’s email list in hopes of getting a free birthday waffle. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Waffle House near me for miles. Instead, I sent the birthday coupon to my dad and told him to eat it in my honor.
My secret is out. You know where to get birthday freebies in Chicago and the Northwest suburbs.. It has become a tradition of mine every year. I might not have time to hit all the stops next time, but now I know my favorite ones to hit. It’s a fun way to celebrate.
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