After the first eight stops, it was time for the “party” portion to begin. I met up with my friends for a game, dinner and dessert.
9. Exit Canada
Birthday offer: Free admission
How to get: Show valid ID on your birthday
Timing: On your birthday (also offer 50% two days before and after your birthday)
Escape games are all the rage these days, so I was excited to find out that Exit Canada offers free admission on your birthday. For those unfamiliar, escape games involve finding clues and solving puzzles in order to escape through a series of rooms. As newbies, we tried their easiest room at the West Broadway location, named Illusions, and got about 80% of the way though. So close! It was a great experience though and the staff even hid a birthday card for me in one of the rooms!
10. Red Robin
Birthday offer: Free burger
How to get: Sign up for Red Robin Royalty
Timing: Coupon emailed the week before your birthday, valid for two weeks
I’ve been getting my free birthday burger at Red Robin for years now, so it was no surprise to my friends that I invited them to join me for dinner there during this birthday challenge. I ordered my usual Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Burger. Since this isn’t my first rodeo and I had a tradition to uphold, I proceeded to ask the server for a birthday song (much to my friend’s amusement). And not just any song – it had to be the “Birthday here? Birthday here!” song (which they informed me is called the Snappy Happy song). They obliged my diva demand and also brought me a small ice cream sundae for dessert.
11. Boston Pizza
Birthday offer: Free dessert
How to get: Sign up for MyBP
Timing: Coupon emailed week before birthday, valid for two weeks
Value redeemed: $5.24
Last stop, dessert. We went to a newer Boston Pizza, and the staff seemed a bit baffled by the birthday coupon. One server had to go talk to a manager, then confirmed the coupon was good for any dessert. Then another server told me I could only redeem for the brownie dessert, after the other server had said otherwise. In the end, I was allowed to choose any dessert – went with The Panookie, a freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream on top. Can’t complain too much since my friends and I didn’t order anything else (we were too full from Red Robin), so they were not making any money off us that night (we did leave a tip though).
In the end, I went to 11 places and managed to cash in on $120.88 in free birthday stuff. It turns out that you can have an amazing birthday on a very small budget.
My advice for you:
- Plan ahead. If you plan to take on a similar challenge, make sure you plan your schedule ahead of time – that way you can enjoy the day and not stress about where you’re going next.
- Spread it out. While it was fun to cram it into one exciting day, it’s more realistic to spread out these birthday offers over a few days – particularly since not all have to be redeemed on your actual birthday.
- Wear stretchy pants. SO. MUCH. FOOD.
- Have fun. Don’t get too caught up in the free-stuff-frenzy – remember to take your time and enjoy the experience.
Looking for more free birthday offers? Here are a few that I couldn’t get to:
- David’s Tea – Become a Frequent Steeper member and get a free cup of any tea on that day
- The Body Shop – Join the Love Your Body™ Club and receive a free gift on your birthday
- Dairy Queen – Join the Blizzard Fan Club and get some birthday coupons: buy a medium Blizzard Treat and get one of equal or smaller size for free, plus a coupon for $3 off an 8-10″ Blizzard Cake
- Orange Julius – Join the Julius League and get a buy one, get one coupon on your birthday.