Want to know what some of the best moments in life are? Those times when you manage to score food, for free. Read on to find out how you can get free food every month of the year. These freebies are based off of last year’s free food deals, but since we’re all lucky people, I bet most of these will be available this year as well.
Sign up for rewards cards and apps
Make sure to sign up for your favorite restaurant’s rewards card or app for awesome deals and freebies. Here are some awesome rewards programs you should sign up for to get started.
Check Facebook events
Another way to score free food every month of the year is to religiously check the events tab on Facebook. There may be events such as special deals at your favorite restaurants or events on campus that are offering free food.
Know your national food days
Did you know that there’s a food holiday for every single day of the year? Yup, you read this right. Mark your calendar with the national food days that interest you, be patient, and on the day (or maybe just a couple days in advance), do some research to find if any of your local restaurants will be celebrating with free food.
January 4: National Spaghetti Day
Spaghetti is definitely one of my favorite Italian foods, especially since there are so many different sauces and ways to eat it. If you love spaghetti as much as I do, you’re going to love this day too. If you buy one spaghetti entrée at Spaghetti Warehouse, you can get the second one for free on National Spaghetti Day. I would go for one spaghetti with tomato sauce and the second one with a different kind of sauce to try as much variety as possible.
February 6: National Frozen Yogurt Day
I remember walking on campus and being so shocked at the long line snaking out of Yogurtland and wondered what all the fuss was about. It was only when I checked Snapchat that I realized it was National Frozen Yogurt Day, and they were giving out free cups of frozen yogurt. I missed out this year on getting some free fro-yo, but now I’ll be prepared well before anyone else to line up on this special day.
February 9: National Bagel Day and National Pizza Day
From now on, February 9 is going to feel like birthday and Christmas arrived on the same day, because it’s both National Bagel Day and National Pizza Day. As someone who loves bread and cheese, this could not get any better. For breakfast, I could get some bagels with cream cheese, and for lunch, the classic cheese pizza. You too can score some free bagels for breakfast, and pizza for lunch.
February 14: Valentine’s Day
When you think of Valentine’s Day, you may think of the stereotypical chocolates and other chocolate goodies, but there’s more food to it than you know, because of the free food that’s available on this day. Even if you do or don’t have a special person in your life, there are many deals you should definitely take advantage of.
Early March: IHOP National Pancake Day
March is full of free food deals, and it all starts in early March at IHOP. I have a confession: I’ve never eaten at IHOP before, and now I want to go even more after hearing about how they celebrate National Pancake Day. You must head on over on National Pancake Day because they will be serving a free short stack of pancakes. What’s even better, consider donating to the Children’s Miracle Network while at IHOP to support a great cause along with your great food.
Mid March: Dairy Queen Free Cone Day
When I heard about Dairy Queen’s free cone day, I immediately searched for the nearest location to me. Imagine my dismay when I found that the closest one was more than 20 miles away, and with no access to a car it was an impossible dream to achieve.
But next year I am prepared to take the adventure, even though it may involve a long train ride and walking. You should achieve the dream along with me by heading over to Dairy Queen for a free small vanilla cone on their free cone day in mid-March.
March Equinox: Rita’s First Day of Spring
The first day of spring is usually marked by the March equinox when the length of the day and night are approximately the same. You’re going to be on your toes for this special day because the spring equinox varies from year to year and can be any day from the 19th to the 21st. But regardless, make sure you get the day right and head to your local Rita’s on the first day of spring for some free Italian ice cream.
Mid April: Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day
This is the only one out of all the days listed here that I actually knew about and was able to go. I had it written down in my planner for days and set out with my friend to check out how long the line was. Luckily, we went in the afternoon so the wait wasn’t too bad, and you bet the free ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s is worth the wait. While you’re waiting in line, it’s the perfect opportunity to deliberate over what flavor to get.
April 15: Tax Day
It was my first time doing taxes this year, and boy was it annoying. So many forms to fill out, so many things to check, and I didn’t even know what form was for what. I’m glad I finally figured everything out, but wish I had known that there were free food deals on Tax Day. What better day to get free food than on Tax Day when you are stressed out over taxes and money because it will relieve the stress, plus there’s no money involved.
Late April: Carvel’s Free Cone Day
Ice cream is delicious all year, and I’ve definitely not limited myself to eating ice cream only on hot summer days. Can April get even better with more free ice cream? Yes it can, when in late April Carvel has their free cone day when you can get a free junior soft serve cone.
April 26: National Pretzel Day
National Pretzel Day began in 2003 when Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 to be this special holiday, because of the importance of the pretzel to Pennsylvania’s history and economy. The pretzel was first introduced to America in Pennsylvania, and now it produces 80% of America’s hard and soft pretzels.
I used to think that all pretzels were hard and stale, but after discovering the warm and soft pretzels, I knew I was missing out on lots more. Want to know how you can get tons of pretzels? Visit these stores to be stocked up for the whole week.
April 28: Super Hero Day
Super heroes come in many different shapes and sizes. But no matter who or what you consider your super hero, they are many reasons to appreciate and thank them, and there are a lot of ways to do it. What better way though to celebrate the super heroes in our lives than by heading to Krispy Kreme for some donuts? You’re not going to want to miss out on this because on Super Hero Day, you’ll receive another dozen Original Glazed donuts for free when you buy a dozen.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in commemoration of the Mexican Army’s victory in the Battle of Puebla, and is usually celebrated with food, music, dancing, and parades. Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to go eat some more Mexican food than usual, and make sure to stop by these shops for free food.
Early May: Häagen-Dazs’ Free Cone Day
I don’t know about you, but I love Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Even the simple vanilla flavor is so delicately smooth and creamy. Unfortunately, I usually only get this ice cream on special occasions, or when I can get it for free. You’re going to want to make sure you get this date down in your planner. Don’t forget to go to your local Häagen-Dazs to get a free scoop of ice cream, gelato, or sorbet in a cup or cone.
May 28: National Burger Day
Burgers are the ultimate comfort food when you are feeling famished, and we all know that’s almost everyday when you have a class right before lunch and your stomach is making the weirdest noises. Free food can sometimes be smaller portions than usual, but you bet these deals won’t disappoint. Go grab some free burgers for lunch (and maybe for dinner as well?) at these locations.
First Friday in June: National Donut Day
Oh donuts, why do you have to be so addicting? I always have a issue when I go to a donut shop, because I can never decide what to get. Do I go for the light and fluffy raised donuts, or the dense and packed full-of-flavor cake donuts? Well, you can get rid of this dilemma in June because the first Friday is National Donut Day. Go check out these stores for a nice afternoon snack.
July 11: 7-Eleven Day
What’s so special about July 11? Why it’s 7-Eleven Day of course! The 7-Elevens back home in Japan are my favorite convenience stores ever because they are full of everything from snacks to lunch boxes. But I realized I was missing out because they didn’t have slurpees, and they sure didn’t have free slurpees on 7-Eleven Day. Head to your local 7-Eleven for a free small slurpee, and be on the lookout for more possible freebies.
Mid July: Cow Appreciation Day
Who knew there was such a day as Cow Appreciation Day? And who knew that you could get free food for this special holiday? I certainly didn’t, but Chick-fil-A has been celebrating this day for a couple of years now, and what you’ve got to do is come to the restaurant dressed in a cow costume to receive a free entrée.
Third Sunday in July: National Ice Cream Day
July may be over, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to stop eating ice cream. This day, however, is the last time in a calendar year to get some free ice cream, so don’t forget about it. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day by heading to these stores.
August 6: National Root Beer Float Day
It’s burning hot outside and you’re craving something cold to cool down. While there may be no more free ice cream days, don’t forget about National Root Beer Float Day. A&W will be serving their signature root beer with delicious soft serve vanilla ice cream for free.
August 24: National Waffle Day
Once, I got asked by someone if I preferred pancakes or waffles and I didn’t know how to answer because I am the biggest brunch lover. But, I do admit that those little pockets on waffles are perfect for holding the maple syrup to give you the best bite, so this gives waffles are slight boost on my list. Who doesn’t love waffles for brunch? In the past, Bob Evans and Waffle House have had free waffles on National Waffle Day, so be sure to go to one that’s nearby.
September 18: National Cheeseburger Day
I love cheese by itself, but I’ve found that melted cheese on any food makes that food even better. One perfect example is a cheeseburger. Cheeseburgers are the perfect lunch when your stomach is growling, and what better way to get one than a free one on National Cheeseburger Day?
September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
I remember dressing up as a pirate one Halloween in elementary school. and now I finally figured out that I should have dressed up as a pirate a month earlier. Who knew if you talked or dressed up as a pirate on Talk Like a Pirate Day you could get free food? These shops are definitely onto something great.
October 28: National Chocolates Day
The famous chocolate scene in ‘I Love Lucy’ comes to my mind when I see this picture of endless rows of delicious looking chocolate. Lucy would be so excited to find out that there was free chocolates on National Chocolates Day. This is the perfect excuse to head to your local chocolate shops and see if they have any free chocolate samples.
October 31: Halloween
Halloween is bound to be full of sugar already from all the free candy you’re getting from trick or treating. But if you’re craving something savory, you should definitely not forget to stop by these stores for some free food (and more sugar from donuts and ice cream). Some stores even have discounts like Chipotle, which offers $3 booritos, and Baskin-Robbins’ $1.31 deal for one-scoop cones.
November 3: National Sandwich Day
The very first Subway sandwich I ever ate was turkey breast and this was because my math teacher back in Japan gave us Thanksgiving homework to eat turkey. The only turkey meat I could find was at Subway, and the sandwich ended up being pretty good. If you want to enjoy a turkey sandwich like me, make sure to head over to Subway on National Sandwich Day to purchase any sandwich and a drink, and get another sub of equal or less value.
December 4: National Cookie Day
The best cookies are the ones that are fresh out of the oven. They are toasty warm and crunchy on the outside, and a gooey deliciousness in the inside when you split it open. It’s always fun to make your own cookies, but it might be even more exciting if you are the first in line to get a free and freshly baked cookie at these shops on National Cookie Day.
December 25: Christmas
The end of the year may be near in December, but December gets pretty exciting with Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But can Christmas get any better? It can at Auntie Anne’s pretzel shops, where you can get a free pretzel if you post a picture of yourself dressed as Santa on social media. I don’t have any sort of costume that would resemble a Santa costume, so I need to go out to buy one.
Who’s ready to go get some free food? I am so ready. I’ve got this article bookmarked, my planner open, and most importantly, an empty stomach.