Money Talks, So Should You

6 great ways to get free stuff

Nadine Cheung
by Nadine Cheung, Dimespring Contributor  (@nadinecheung)

Getting something for nothing doesn’t happen often, but thanks to several restaurant chains and retailers, you can score free treats and goodies on a regular basis. That’s right, with a little planning and savvy research, you’ll be cashing in on gratis items all year round.

Companies like Dunkin' Donuts, 7-Eleven and Ben and Jerry’s offer free delights to their customers annually, but just like anything else, you have to read the fine print. Some promotions are “while supplies last” and others may only run between certain times of the day. Make sure you get all the details of your deal before you make the trek. In the long run, this can save you time, effort and, most of all, heartache.

From ice cream to coffee, free treats are often being handed out to the public for various reasons. Some promos are to raise awareness about new menu items, while others are to celebrate national holidays. In any case, the best way to get a free treat is to get there early. Not in the mood to eat a scoop of chocolate at noon? Fair enough. Just make sure to go during off times (i.e. not at lunch or right after work) to avoid lines and “sold out” signs. Keep this as a general strategy for all free deals.

READ: 3 ideas for saving money at the movies

Here are a few freebies to get you started, but if you have a particular affinity for a particular food or interest, find out if it has a devoted holiday -- chances are there’s a retailer that’s celebrating it, too. Check official websites and Facebook pages to get all the details on the deal and start planning now to enjoy your spoils.

Free Pancake Day If you’re all about breakfast, you’ll love IHOP’s Free Pancake Day. On Feb. 28, the chain offers a free short stack (3) of buttermilk pancakes to every customer. It’s limited to one stack per person, and for dine-in only, but who’s complaining?

Free Cone Day Each year, Ben and Jerry’s gives away free ice cream cones at their establishments around the world. It’s a way to say thanks to its loyal customers. The free cone day is held on a different day each year, and the hours of the giveaway depend on each location, so make sure to check online and with your local store.

Comic Books Free Comic Book Day is held on the first Saturday in May every year. Independent retailers all over celebrate the art form by offering free issues, activities and signings to its customers. FreeComicBookDay.com posts a list of the available free titles, as well as participating retailers.

National Donut Day Whether you knew it or not, June 1 is National Donut Day and the likes of Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons are all known to give away the sweet treat to their loyal customers on this day. We expect the same from the donut experts next year, so mark your calendars.

Free Slurpee Day On July 11 (that’s 7/11, by the way), 7-Eleven celebrates its birthday by giving out free 7.11-ounce Slurpees. The company has been offering this fun freebie since 2002. Demand is high for these little coolers, so make sure to show up early. Once a store is sold out, you’re out of luck.

National Coffee Day Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day, and the companies like Caribou Coffee, 7-Eleven, Thorntons and Krispy Kreme have been known to honor the day by giving out free cups of joe for a portion of the day. Make sure to check with your favorite spot’s social sites to see if they’re offering a celebratory deal this fall.

 

Nadine Cheung is a New York-based freelance writer and editor with a passion for music, movies, pop culture, food, yoga, TV, books and everything in between. Her lifestyle and entertainment content has been featured on AOL, The Huffington Post, Page Six Magazine, Billboard and more.