“The best things in life are free.”
“Nothing in life is free.”
These are two very different statements and both have significant ramifications for how and what we choose to pursue in life. Maybe it is possible that both carry truth and are worthy of intellectual pursuit. Well, we will save that for another day because today is my birthday and over the last nine years I have discovered that in fact some things in life are free (or basically free), especially on your birthday. Those things are called birthday freebies! And, as I am learning more and more to appreciate even the smallest blessings in life, I am proudly here to accept what has become one of my annual birthday blessings.
What are birthday freebies? Oh, I never thought you would ask. Well, they are free items or products that businesses offer to you every year on your birthday. In some cases, it comes in the form of a discount or credit.
How do you get these freebies? It differs by company; however, it is simply by signing up for an account with that company and providing your birth date. Once your birthday approaches, you will typically receive a “happy birthday” email with access to your free item or discount. Simple as that.
My journey to learning to accept these little birthday freebies is quite hilarious in retrospect. I was so resistant to accepting something so small, thoughtful, and FREE. I was introduced to the world of birthday freebies nine years ago by my boyfriend. For the first few years, I thought he was absolutely nuts for going around collecting all these freebies (now, here I am writing this blog post to tell you to go collect on your freebies). On his first birthday together, I was ready to make a BIG impression. You know, like show my love by purchasing some thoughtful gifts and going out to a nice restaurant big. Well, we definitely planned something nice that included food and a live event, but he also insisted that at some point around his birthday we go grab his freebies. So there we were, hopping in and out of the car in the weeks surrounding his birthday collecting his “gifts” at the places offering the best birthday deals.
At that time, I only knew about the Sephora birthday gift because I love them and no one rejects free makeup and samples from Sephora. So I would gladly accompany him to pick up his Sephora freebie because I knew he would give it to me since he could not use it. I would tag along and partake in the items he wanted to share but this did not mean I would become the freebie convert when my birthday rolled around. I guess subconsciously I felt like people might think I was a cheapskate, broke, or desperate. How ridiculous, right? It really is not that deep. Honestly, if someone gave me a gift card to a store or restaurant, I would happily accept it and head right on over at some point to spend the money. In this case, what is the difference? The store is basically giving me a gift card!
When it came to freebies, I guess he took the “best things in life are free” approach and I most definitely started out taking the “nothing in life is free” perspective.
My resistant in the beginning went a little something like this…
- I am not going to give out my email to fifty thousands companies. They just want your personal information and there is already too much personal information out there.
- I don’t have time for twenty thousand spam and sale emails a day. I already get too many junk emails.
- I don’t have time to run all over town chasing freebies. If I want something that bad, I will buy it for myself.
- I am not interested in that particular freebie or item.
And his rebuttals always included something like this…
- Exactly. Your information is already out there. Just use a different email address than your main one if you are that concerned. You have like three email addresses anyway.
- You do not have to collect them all. You only pick up what you want. You are not obligated to go get them.
- What is the difference between a birthday freebie and when someone gives you a gift card?
- Pay attention to the expiration dates. You can collect most throughout the entire month. You do not have to get everything at one time.
- Everyone loves a good deal.
As the years rolled by, I started to discover the specific freebies I actually enjoyed and began looking forward to going to get my “gifts.” Look, the older you get, the less gifts you receive. This is like Christmas in February to me. Now, when my birthday rolls around, I begin checking my emails, starring the freebies, cross-referencing my list with his, making a plan of what I want to collect, and then the fun begins.
Some of my friends and family think I’m crazy just like I once thought he was. Listen, we work so hard and life can be stressful at times. If the universe wants to give me tons of small presents and discounts, I will happily and proudly receive these tiny blessings just for being born.
Some things in life are free, like birthday freebies. So, as my gift to you for your birthday, here is a list of some of my favorite freebies to enjoy during my birthday month. Happy birthday in advance!
- AMC Stubs: Free popcorn
- BGood: Free entree
- Bruegger’s Bagel: Free bagel and cream cheese
- California Pizza Kitchen: Free dessert
- Dunkin Donuts: Free drink
- Godiva: $10 off
- Jersey Mike’s: Free sandwich and drink
- Menchie’s: $5 off frozen yogurt
- Sephora: Free item
- Panera Bread: Free pastry item
- Papa Gino’s: Free small cheese pizza
- Planet Smoothie: Free smoothie
- Qdoba: Free cookie (but your anniversary gift is a free taco)
- Red Robin: Free gourmet burger
- Sbarro: Free pizza slice
- SpaceNK: Free item
- Sprinkles Cupcakes: Free cupcake
- Starbucks: Free drink or food item
- The Body Shop: $10 off
- Ulta: Free item (plus $10 off for platinum members)
Comment down below! What other great birthday freebies should I check out? What are the tiny blessings in life that make you happy?