Jane at Denny's for her birthday eating free pancakes

Free birthday stuff in Metro Vancouver – part 1


I usually treat myself to something indulgent on my birthday – maybe a trip to the spa, some jewelry or a new pair of shoes. This year I decided to put my champagne taste on a beer budget to see how much free birthday stuff I could get (no actual beer was involved, unfortunately).

I already knew about a few offers – I’ve been hitting up Red Robin for a free birthday burger for years. But some quick web research revealed several lists of free birthday stuff. There are lots of discounts and BOGO’s (buy one, get one) offers, but I decided to focus on things that I could get for free, straight up.

Now the question was: how much free birthday stuff could I get in just one day? And so began my epic birthday challenge. Here is the first part in a three part series on birthday giveaways.

1. Starbucks

Starbucks birthday reward

Birthday offer: Free drink
How to get: Join My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program
Timing: Available two days before your birthday and expires the day after your birthday
Value: $5.41

This is probably the most well known birthday offer. Super easy to redeem—just scanned my card on the Starbucks mobile app. I considered getting a really expensive drink to up the value, but after discovering that the most expensive drink on record is a 101-shot latte that cost $83.75 and contained almost 6,500 milligrams of caffeine, I decided not to get into that crazy game and went with a Venti Decaf White Chocolate Mocha. The two cashiers that helped me were very excited that it was my birthday and suggested other free birthday stuff after I told them about my birthday challenge.

2. Denny’s

Jane eating free pancakes at Denny's for her birthday

Birthday offer: Free Original Grand Slam breakfast
How to get: Show valid ID on your birthday
Timing: On your birthday
Value: $10.29 (taxes and gratuity extra)

Next up I met my sister at Denny’s in Burnaby for some breakfast. No need to sign up for anything—just show your ID on your b-day and get a free Original Grand Slam Breakfast, consisting of two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausages and two pancakes. My scrambled eggs were overcooked, but they actually did me a favour—I had a long day of eating ahead and was happy to skip the eggs!

3. Sephora

Jane at Sephora

Birthday offer: Free gift
How to get: Join Beauty Insider club
Timing: Any time during your birthday month
Value: $30 (estimate)

I went to Metrotown after breakfast to pick up my free gift at Sephora. The current gift (it changes annually) was two NARS mini lip pencils: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella and Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien. A pretty good value considering the regular size lip pencils are worth $32 each.

4. Freshslice Pizza (no longer available)

Birthday offer: Two free slices of pizza and medium fountain drink
How to get: No longer available
Timing: n/a
Value: $4.50

This is when I started to get a bit creative. Most birthday offers are food related and there is only so much you can eat in one day. I live close to a Freshslice, so I picked up my free za and put it in my fridge at home. Bam. A meal for tomorrow.

4.1 London Drugs (updated February 2018)

Since the Freshslice offer is no longer available, I feel compelled to offer something else in its place! The London Drugs LDExtras rewards program offers a $5 gift voucher on your birthday. Although London Drugs doesn’t sell pizza, you could buy a pizza pan, a jar of pizza sauce or pizza-flavoured chips!

What came next? Lunch! Read Free birthday stuff – part 2.

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