Cheap is the new trendy: how to save $100 on your birthday

There’s nothing better than getting spoiled on your birthday. The best way to make sure that happens is to do it yourself.

When I woke up on my twentieth birthday, my wish was to see how much stuff I could possibly get for free.  I wasn’t interested in any tricks or fine print details, I wanted to get as many things as I could, for absolutely no cost. This is how I saved over 100 dollars by having a “free birthday”.

1. Denny’s – Build your own Grand Slam Breakfast

(Photo by Devon Collins)

The All American Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s.

Denny’s free breakfast is the perfect way to make sure that you start off your birthday the right way; on a full stomach. On your birthday and with valid I.D., Denny’s offers a free build-your-own Grand Slam Breakfast or $11.00 off your purchase. This meal is the perfect way to ring in your birthday and tide you over until lunch. The Grand Slam comes with two poached eggs, hash browns, pancakes, sausages, and bacon. For my free meal, I ordered the All American Grand Slam Breakfast. It came with scrambled eggs, a side of toast, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. I ordered mine with the works, and substituted the bacon and sausage for turkey bacon. It sounds like a lot, but after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it isn’t just any day, its your birthday!

Retail cost: All American Grand Slam $11.19
Money saved so far: $11.19

2. Sephora – Free Birthday Gift

Anyone who loves makeup should take advantage of this next gift. Sephora offers a free gift to those registered with their email to the Beauty Insider program on their birthday. Considering that Sephora is a high-end makeup franchise and a single mascara wand generally costs $30.00-$60.00, this is quite the deal. With this mini gift, you get your choice of either the Glamglow set that comes with a mega illuminator and a super-mud clearing treatment, the Bite Beauty set that comes with a rose pink lip liner, a dark rose lipstick, and aloe lip balm, or the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil shampoo and conditioner.

All three options retail at a high price and are excellent quality products. I chose the Bite Beauty lip kit and found that it is long lasting and a colour I’d use daily. I have tried the Glamglow set as well and the cream highlight works well for dry skin. Plus, it smells really good.

Retail cost: Amuse Bouche Lipstick Mini $30.00, Matte Creme Lip Crayon $17.00, Agave Lip Balm $10.00.
Money saved so far: $68.19

3. Starbucks – Any size free drink

All you need is an active Starbucks account that is attached to a gift card in order to redeem your free drink. You can either use a physical copy of the gift card or download the app on your phone. Then you can set up your profile with your correct name and birthday, and scan it at the cash register at any Starbucks location. On my birthday, I ordered a Grande Passion Tea Lemonade, but you are not bound to this choice. You can get any type of drink (hot or cold) that is any size (tall, grande, or venti) for free.

Retail cost: Teavana Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade $2.95
Money saved so far: $71.14

4. David’s Tea – Free cup of tea

The David’s Tea birthday reward had more restrictions than the rest. So if you really want a free tea on your birthday, make sure you read carefully. To get your free drink, you need to become a loyalty member. This means going into the store and registering as a Frequent Steeper. Technically, I should already have been registered considering the large amounts of tea I purchase here regularly. However, I wasn’t, and I was unable to get free tea on the day of my birthday. According to the staff at David’s Tea, you must get a card 24 hours before the day of use. So unfortunately, I had to wait until the next day to claim my free drink.

Retail cost: Cup of tea $4.95
Money saved so far: $76.09

Fill up a 4oz. burger with your favourite toppings for free on your birthday.

5. South St. Burger

Visit South St. Burger’s home page and sign up for the Birthday Club to get a free burger to make your special day a little more special. After signing up, you’ll receive a coupon in your inbox to present to the cashier and claim on the day of your birthday. This offer is good on a 4oz burger, in which you can customize to your heart’s content. This coupon is valid at any South St. Burger. I topped my burger with garlic mayo, pickles, and tomatoes on a whole wheat bun. All of my favourite things on this delicious burger that tasted even better than it looked. The perfect birthday lunch.

Retail cost: 4oz. burger $9.95
Money saved so far: $86.04

6. Panera Bread – Free pastry

Upon signing up to the Panera email updates list, you will be contacted for the latest deals and on your birthday, a free pastry. With my emailed BOGO coupon, I went into my local Panera and picked up a Chocolate Chipper Cookie. Besides the classic and obvious cookie and brownie option, there are also a selection of pastries that you can pick from, such as danishes and croissants.

Retail cost: Chocolate Chipper Cookie $2.09
Money saved so far: $88.13

7. What A Bagel – Half a dozen bagels

(Photo by Devon Collins)

Buy six bagels and walk out with twelve on your birthday.

The bakery offers half a dozen free bagels if you buy half a dozen on your birthday. So on my birthday, I walked out of What A Bagel with 12. Simply present a valid I.D. when you enter the shop and you’ll be directed to their pastry section to select six of their small sized assorted bagels. If I weren’t a regular customer, I probably would have turned down this offer.

However, i’ve had enough of their bagels to know how good they are and $4.50 ain’t that bad!

Retail cost: Six bagels $4.50
Money saved so far: $92.63

8. The Keg – Billy Miner Pie

My favourite thing about going to The Keg isn’t their steak dinners, it’s the free slice of Billy Miner Pie that you get for free on almost any special occasion. If you go into any location and let the waiter know that you’re celebrating a special event, they will nine times out of ten put a huge slice of their layered chocolate mousse cake covered in almonds on your table with a candle in it. They do not usually ask for any identification, so you can head over to The Keg to get your slice for a birthday, an anniversary, or any kind of celebration.
The cake is big enough for two or three people to share, but if you’re feeling greedy that’s okay, i’ve had a fair share of these slices to myself, too.

9. 7 Eleven – Free Slurpee

7 Eleven has been around for ages, but their flavours are still changing. If your birthday is on a 25 degree day like mine was, you’ll want to take advantage on your free Slurpee. You can choose from Slammin’ Banana, Jelly Bean, Black Cherry, Brisk Half-and-Half, and many more. All you have to do is walk into your local 7 Eleven location and present valid I.D. to pick up your Slurpee. On my birthday, I filled my cup up with a mix of Mountain Dew Game Fuel and Crush Lite Orange. In my opinion, this was the ultimate combo and took me back to times of riding my bike to the convenience story with my friends and grabbing a slurpee when I was younger.

Retail cost: Slurpee $0.99
Money saved so far: $100.62