Everything tastes better when it is free. Buying an ice cream cone or a cup of coffee may just be a few dollars, but the hype leading up to a free food day makes it taste that much better.

As I scroll through Facebook every day, there are always posts about "National ___ Day" and restaurant ads to follow. I usually ignore them, but on April 4th, I saw one that said "Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day."

Every year, I take multiple trips to the Ben and Jerry's shops. This year that wasn't possible, because the closest Ben and Jerry's to UW-Madison is 143 miles away in Illinois.

After my disappointing Ben and Jerry's experience, I wanted to find what free food would be offered in Madison in the upcoming months to make up for the free scoop I was unable to devour. 

Tax Day: April 15th

caramel, corn, sweet, popcorn
Sara Carte

Tax day may sound like a boring and expensive day, but many restaurants try to lighten up the day by offering free items. Arby's gives out free curly fries, and AMC Theaters gives out free popcorn to all ticket holders.

 National Pretzel Day: April 26th 

bread, mustard
Hannah Skriloff

The app "My Pretzel Perks" will get you to that free snack. From April 26th-May 1st, Auntie Anne's gives out either free original pretzels, or cinnamon pretzel bites. Find this deal in stand alone stores and malls.

National Hamburger Day: May 28th

White Castle, Johnny Rockets, and other fast food chains all offer free hamburgers on May 28th.

National Donut Day: June 2nd

sweetmeat, cake, pastry, candy, sprinkles, sweet, chocolate, doughnut
Hannah Skriloff

On June 2nd, Dunkin Donuts gives a free donut with the purchase of a drink. Not only do they provide free donuts on this holiday, but on your birthday, be sure to hit up Dunkin.

Krispy Kreme is where the best deals are. They give you a free donut in honor of the national holiday, but they also love spirit. On Halloween, if you show up in costume you will score yourself a free donut.

Oddly, on National Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th), you will get 1 free glazed donut if you talk like a pirate, but dressing like one gets you a dozen.  

National Iced Tea Day: June 10th

Starbucks and Dunkin give free Iced Tea on June 10th. There is nothing more refreshing than a sweetened Iced Tea Lemonade on a summer day. Also, keep in mind National Coffee Day is September 29th from the same places - a great back to school treat.

July 11th: 7/11

The Seven Eleven convenience store is known for their slurpees. You can get a free one of any flavor on 7/11. They also sell snacks and pre-made food. On July 23rd, be sure to check back in with this convenience store to get a free hot dog.

Cow Appreciation Day: July 14th

pizza, beer
Lauren Kruchten

Chick Fil-A offers free meals on this day if you wear anything "cow like." The best is the chicken biscuit.

National Ice Cream Day: July 17th

Deals are secretive as of now, but this day is one that offers more deals than almost any other day. Look out for Friendly's, Carvel, and Baskin Robbins discounts coming your way.

Hopefully you now have something to look forward to in the next few months. Try and pay more attention to any national food holidays so you can scheme some more from your favorite food chains. It is always a great excuse to get yourself a treat.