Get more than £55 of free things from shops and restaurants when it’s your birthday.
Most of the emails I get from retailers end up unopened and unread. But, around my birthday, I’ll always pay a little more attention just in case I’m being given a little gift.
This year I managed to get a free meal at my favourite burger joint Meat Liquor, pick up some tasty posh Hotel Chocolat treats, get a Body Shop shower gel and save money on some flatpack furniture at Ikea. Alone these freebies were worth £28, and I could easily have nabbed double that.
Of course, these brands aren’t giving you something for nothing. With each and every one of them you need to sign up to a newsletter or loyalty scheme, which means handing over your data and dealing with constant emails, week in, week out.
But if you’re selective, and only pick the brands you regularly shop at and want to hear about, then it’s well worth doing. And often the birthday freebies aren’t the only offers and deals you’ll get sent during the year.
And you can always unsubscribe from emails once you’ve had your birthday, and possibly even sign up again – though it’s worth doing this at least a month before your birthday to allow time for your details to be processed.
Here are some of the freebies I was emailed about this year, as well as a few I’ve had in the past.
These are the retailers I’ve signed up to in order to get a free voucher to spend on my birthday. Since there’s no minimum spend you can get something for absolutely nothing.
You’ll get a £5 voucher to spend in-store at Ikea when you sign up to the Ikea Family Card. I got this sent via an email, but I had to print the voucher out from the “Ikea Family Kiosk” – aka the machines you’ll spot at every Ikea entrance. It was valid for four weeks after my birthday and there was no minimum spend – though if you’re going to travel to an Ikea then I imagine you’re going to spend more.
Another free fiver! I spent this online, but you can spend it in-store too. I actually got this the day after my birthday and it was valid for 30 days. To get one you need to sign up to the Love Your Body Club. Again, there’s no minimum spend, and you can stack it with over discounts such as 30% off.
Again, it’s a £5 off code, and again you’ll get it by signing up to a membership scheme – for Space NK it’s called N.dulge. It’s a loyalty scheme so you’ll earn points each time you spend money, which can be converted into money off future purchases.
Sign up for the Paperchase Treat Me card – you can pick one up in-store – and you’ll get a free £5 voucher on your birthday. The voucher is valid for one month. You’ll also get other rewards throughout the year.
You guessed, it a free fiver! Register for the loyalty card and you’ll be sent a voucher to spend in-store or online. You’ll also get a 15% off voucher when you sign up.
Food and drink freebies
I’ve ignored the many offers where you get a free main or bottle of bubbly AS LONG AS you also buy a second main meal. That’s still a decent offer, but not a freebie! The following will give you something for nothing – though it’s good form to tip in restaurants even if the bill came to zero.
Another free fiver to spend, and there’s no minimum spend. I picked up the three small “Tiddly Pots” of choc (as seen in the main photo), which though costing £2 each were also part of a three for £5 deal – so I got £6 of free chocs! You need to pick up a VIP ME card in-store, then register online. I actually forgot to do this and registered a few days after my birthday – and I still got sent the £5 voucher a few weeks later.
I love the burgers at Meat Liquor and I was excited to get a free meal of a main and side to use on my birthday. Sign up to the mailing list and you’ll get sent a unique code to use, valid for a week before and after your birthday. There’s no minimum spend. Look out for 50% off codes throughout the year too, often around the bank holidays.
I didn’t claim my free burrito this year, but I have nabbed it in the previous three or four years. You simply need to sign up to the loyalty scheme, though you do need to pick up La Familia card in-store first. Then a few days before your birthday you’ll be emailed a voucher for a free main. You don’t need to print it, you can just show it – and the unique code – when you pay. It only lasted four days though so you have to be quick.
The free drinks app gave me an extra free drink to use within 14 days – roughly a week before and a week after my birthday. However, I didn’t get around to using it as it’s London only.
You get a free doughnut via the Friends of Krispy Kreme scheme each year, though it’s only in full shops, not the ones you find in Tesco. Since I don’t have one near me I didn’t bother signing up. There’s also a free doughnut for joining up.
Sign up to the Boost Vibe Club (you can do this online) and you should get a voucher for a free smoothie on your birthday. Again, there’s no Boost near me so it’s not one I’ve tried.
A final one for a free drink thanks to coffee shop chain Benugo. Sign up to the mailing list and you’ll get a free coffee and another on your birthday.
Money off vouchers
Not quite freebies, but worth mentioning here that many shops will give you a money off code on your birthday. Here are a handful to consider.
Marks & Spencer
I also got a 20% off voucher in my M&S Sparks account (in previous years it had been a £5 off voucher). You’ll get these a few times a year, but it’s nice to have an extra opportunity to use one – and my birthday coincided with a sale. The code was valid on beauty, home and clothing only. More on the Sparks card and M&S savings here.
Another 20% off code which you can redeem online via the link you’ll be emailed. You just need to sign up to the newsletter.
There’s the promise of a “Birthday offer” when you sign up to the H&M Membership scheme.
Do you know of any other birthday freebies or discounts worth signing up for? Let me know in the comments below.