Every year when my birthday (July 29) rolls around, I find myself checking my inbox more often. I scroll through my emails to see what deals I can snag just because I am one year older. 

I am pretty sure I gain about 10 pounds during each birthday week, but that is what birthdays are for, right? I would have thought I would have left the “free stuff rocks” mentality behind when I graduated college, but that is not the case. 

Some of the deals are exclusively valid on your birthday, but other ones are valid for your birthday week or even birthday month. 

First thing I need on my birthday is, of course, coffee. I will likely go to Starbucks, Caribou, Dunkin’ (Donuts) or Dunn Brothers and probably even more than one for my free birthday drink. Another necessity is ice cream or a dessert of some sort. 


A scroll through my inbox includes deals like: 

• $3 off a birthday cake/free Blizzard at Dairy Queen or a free sundae from Culver’s

• Free burger at Red Robin or buy one get one 1/3 pound burger at Fuddruckers

• Free popcorn at AMC Theatres 

• Free cupcake from Nadia Cakes 

• Free treat (that varies by month) from GODIVA 

• Free chocolate cake from Portillo’s 

• Buy one get one free creation from Cold Stone Creamery 

• Free scoop of ice cream at Baskin Robbins 

• Free stack of pancakes form IHOP 

• Free pastry from Panera or free bagel from Bruegger’s Bagels

• Free appetizer or dessert from Olive Garden 

• Free 6-inch sub and drink from Subway 

• Free snack-size wings from Buffalo Wild Wings 

• Free egg sandwich from Einstein Bros. Bagels 

• Free smoothie from Jamba Juice

• Free dessert from Applebee’s

• Buy one get one pretzel at Auntie Anne’s 


And the list goes on ... Every year I find another deal I have to be sure to take advantage of for my next birthday. Many retailers also send deals hoping you will spend some money with them such as buy one get one, 50% off or $5-10 off. 

Of course, every year a lot of these deals go unused, especially the ones that are only valid on my birthday. 

In addition to having more than enough unhealthy food to last me a month, I also try to plan something fun. In the past I have gone to a concert, attended corgi races and made special dinner plans. This year, since my birthday falls on a Monday, I plan to celebrate the day before by attending the Sunflower Festival at Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes. I can’t wait to see the thousands of flowers. 


Shannon Granholm is editor of The Citizen and Quad Community Press.

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