Tired of paying for food on a student's budget? Then, don't. Eating out doesn't have to break the bank, as almost every major restaurant offers free food and freebie bonuses when you join their loyalty program, newsletter, or download their app. Here are a few options that you should definitely check out.

Auntie Anne's

vegetable, sweet
Rosie McCormick

Download the free Auntie Anne's My Pretzel Perks app and you'll get a free pretzel after your first purchase. You'll also receive a free pretzel on National Pretzel Day!

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

Phoebe Melnick

Get a free mini Pizookie (a fresh-baked cookie topped with ice cream) when you sign up for BJ’s Premier Rewards Program.

Bob Evans

sweet, cake, cream, pastry, chocolate, dairy product, jam, butter, pancake, bread
Alexander Furuya

Sign up for the My Bob Evans email list and they'll email you a coupon for a free stack of hotcakes.

Burger King

Score a free Whopper by signing up for BK's rewards program.

Chevys Fresh Mex

meat, sauce, pork, vegetable, chicken, beef, rice, chili
Ricki Slater

Score a free appetizer when you register for the Compadres Club.


guacamole, salsa, corn, tortilla chips, chips, nachos, avocado, salt, sauce
Photo by Elise DeVoe

Download the app and join the rewards program to automatically get 60 points, which is enough for a free chips and salsa appetizer.


guacamole, salsa, corn, avocado, tortilla chips, sauce
Photo courtesy of Chipotle Facebook

Click here to get rewards for playing a game. That simple.


pastry, chocolate, sweet, cake, candy, cinnamon, cream, cookie, cinnamon roll
Susanna Tuan

Score a free Minibon when you sign up for Club Cinnabon.

California Pizza Kitchen

pizza, crust
Libby Perold

Download and join the Pizza Dough Rewards program to get a free small plate.

Coldstone Creamery

cream, chocolate, sweet, milk, dairy product, caramel, chocolate ice cream, goody, coffee, ice
Gabby Phi

When you join Coldstone Creamery's eClub, you'll get a coupon for a "buy one creation, get one creation free."

Del Taco

lettuce, chicken, tacos, tomato, bread
Cayla Bamberger

Sign up for the Raving Fan eClub and receive a coupon for TWO free grilled chicken tacos within 24 hours of signing up.


bread, sandwich
Jessica Fedin

Simply show your ID on your birthday and get an "Original Grand Slam" meal for free.

Dunkin' Donuts

chocolate, cream, sweet, candy, cake, pastry
Virginia Myers

DD’s rewards program gets you a free beverage when you sign up, on your birthday, and every time you rack up 200 points.


pancake, chocolate, crepe, cake, butter, banana
Corinne Odom

Join IHOP's Pancake Revolution, and you'll get free pancakes for signing up, on your membership anniversary, and on your birthday. You can also get free pancakes on IHOP's Free Pancake Day.

Jersey Mike's Subs

bacon, sandwich, turkey, lettuce, chicken, cheese, cheddar
Maya Giaquinta

Score points toward a free sub, with the Shore Points card.

Krispy Kreme

pastry, doughnut, sweet, bread, cake, dough, bagel
Sara Tane

Register for the rewards program through the app to earn a free glazed donut.

Noodles & Company

sauce, pasta, vegetable, meat, spaghetti, macaroni, penne
Jake Popescu

Get a free bowl of noodles on your birthday, once you become part of the Noodles Family.

Olive Garden

Unlimited breadsticks AND a free dessert just for signing up as a member of the eClub—sounds like a win to me!

Panera Bread

tea, coffee, chocolate
Caitlin Wolper

Join MyPanera and you'll get a free pastry item just for joining. They also give out tons of other freebies once you're a member.

Pizza Hut

pizza, meat, bacon, pepperoni
Libby Perold

Score free cheese sticks with this e-mail sign up.


salsa, guacamole, corn, tortilla chips, sauce, chili, jalapeno, nachos, tomato, vegetable, salt
Sarina Jwo

Free chips and salsa OR a free regular-sized drink once you join the Qdoba Rewards program.

Raising Cane's

chicken, meat
Hannah Rote

Get a free box combo just for joining the Caniac Club.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill

vegetable, salad, cheese, bread, lettuce
Kathleen Lee

Grab yourself a free taco when you sign up for Beach Club.


pizza, crust, pepperoni, dough, mozzarella, cheese, tomato, sauce
Tommy Galfano

Earn a free slice of 'za once you join the Slice Society Email Club, as well as a surprise on your birthday!

Shake Shack

cheese, beef, bun, hamburger, cheddar, bacon, lettuce
Elisa Djuhar

Use the code "shackappy" when you download the Shack App and create an account. You'll get a free single ShackBurger just for signing up!

Sonic Drive-In

tomato, soup
Erin Davis

Get a free medium "slush" when you download the app and create an account.


coffee, milk, cappuccino, espresso, cream, tea, sweet, mocha, chocolate
Becky Hughes

Get a free drink on your birthday — and free food and beverages after every 10 purchases.

Steak ‘n Shake

coffee, chocolate, sweet, ice
Christin Urso

Add the app to your phone, and you'll get a regular-sized one milkshake for free with the first purchase you make with the app.

TGI Fridays

sauce, shrimp
Jessica Fedin

Get a free appetizer or dessert just for joining their Give Me More Stripes rewards program. You'll also get a free dessert on your birthday.


Snag a free Frosty when you sign up for WendyMail.

What are you waiting for? Grab your phone, sign up for a membership or download the restaurant app, and treat yourself to a free, off-campus meal!