Let’s be real, one of the best parts of your birthday is the free stuff. I’m not talking about birthday gifts from your family and friends; I’m talking about the free food. Before my birthday this year, I researched everywhere I could receive a free food item for my birthday without purchasing anything else. The only catch was that most of the birthday freebies required you to sign up for their rewards program, which I had no problem with.

When June 7th finally came, I got in my car and drove around collecting my freebies and reveling in birthday glory. Here’s what I got.

Of course, I had to start with coffee. I’m a coffee lover, but I have a low caffeine tolerance. I always order a small at Dunkin and a grande at Starbucks, but not this time. I was going to get the most bang for my buck (which is technically 0) and decided to order the largest size available. Pray for me.

Starbucks- Free drink or food item of choice

Emily Noel

My first stop was Starbucks. As a member of the Starbucks Rewards program, I was eligible for a free drink or food item of choice on my birthday. While I love their Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Wrap, I couldn’t bring myself to use my freebie on anything but a drink. My favorite Starbucks drink is either the Chai Tea Latte or the White Chocolate Mocha. I ordered a

venti White Chocolate Mocha with light ice because I couldn't have watery coffee while collecting all my freebies.

Krispy Kreme- Free Dozen Original Glazed Donuts

Emily Noel

Next stop was just down the road at Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme goes above and beyond, offering a free dozen of their famous original glazed donuts. Krispy Kreme allows you to cash in this freebie any day of your birthday month. When I pulled up, the hot and ready sign was on. The birthday gods must have been looking out for me. I collected the glorious glazed donuts and headed on my way.

Panera- Free sweet or pastry

Emily Noel

Next on my list was Panera Bread. As a member of their rewards program, I was eligible to receive a free sweet or pastry from their bakery. I ordered the Kitchen Sink Cookie and could not believe how big this cookie was. It was larger than my hand and stuffed with chocolate chunks, caramel pieces, pretzels, and sea salt. I highly recommend trying this cookie, the next time you go to Panera.

Baskin Robbins- Free scoop of choice

Emily Noel

After this stop, I was due for a break until it was time for ice cream. As a member of the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club, I could collect a free scoop of choice on my birthday. I love any ice cream with lots of swirls so I went with Gold Medal Ribbon.

After collecting so many sweets, I decided to call it a day on the freebies. However, many of the rewards were eligible for days after my birthday.

Dunkin- Free drink of choice

Emily Noel

A few days later, I headed to Dunkin to redeem my free reward. Dunkin offers a free drink of choice that expires three months after your birthday. I tend to gravitate towards Dunkin’s specialty drinks like their Girl Scout flavors. Currently, Dunkin’s specialty flavor is Butter Pecan, which is phenomenal. I ordered a large half-caf iced coffee with butter pecan swirl, a splash or milk and less ice, of course. The swirls are sweetened, while the shots are not, so I did not need to add any extra sweetener to my drink. As you can see, I couldn't wait to take a sip before I snapped a picture. It was that good.

Chick-fil-A- Free chocolate chip cookie

Emily Noel

On my way home, I collected my Chick-fil-A birthday freebie. As a member of their rewards program, I was eligible for a free cookie that could be redeemed any day of my birthday month. I had never had a dessert from Chick-fil-A, with the excepetion of a milkshake, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The cookie was no Panera Kitchen Sink but it was delicious nonetheless. Chick-fil-A was kind enough to warm up the cookie for me, so the chocolate chunks were gooey and the cookie was crispy.

Nothing Bundt Cakes- Free Bundtlet

Emily Noel

The last and most unique freebie I collected was a Bundtlet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes in Silver Spring, Maryland. When I joined their eClub, meaning I’d receive emails with special offers, I was eligible for a free Bundtlet, or mini bundt cake, of my choice. I could cash in this freebie up to a week after my birthday. Because I had a lot of chocolate in the past few days surrounding my birthday, I decided to get a fruity flavor: White Chocolate Raspberry.

I know one things for sure. All of these treats tasted amazing, but they were even better knowing they were free. Birthdays aren't the only time you can cash in rewards using these programs. If you visit these spots often enough, you can rack up plenty of free offers and discounts. Before your birthday rolls around again, consider signing up for a few rewards program to make your special day even sweeter.