2020 Big Ol’ List of Birthday Freebies!

This is a brand new list for 2020. I’ve gone through and verified that all of these are still valid!

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I’ve been sharing birthday freebies since 2007! As I live in Southern CA, all of these freebies are specifically for those of us in that area. There are tons of other birthday freebie lists, but they may include offers that are not available here or may include stuff that I don’t consider worth it (like a free Rice Krispy treat when you buy an entree that’s $10+… That’s a hard pass from me, or the Aveda “freebie”- pay $10 and receive a product valued at $23+… No thanks).

I recommend signing up for these freebies at least a month before your birthday, so there is enough time for you to be added to their list. I have included only the freebies that I have signed up for and personally received, so there is no bunk.

 

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Non-food Goodies:

  • Free goodies at Sephora (It changes every year)
  • JCPenney Rewards: Birthday Reward (It’s usually $5, but it can change)
  • $3.00 ECB at CVS when you register online for the CVS ExtraCare Beauty Club
  • Best Buy– $5.00 off Coupon for those in the My Best Buy Program.
  • DSW Shoe Warehouse – $5 off birthday coupon, plus 500 points for signing up for their loyalty club.
  • Members of the Cost Plus World Market Explorers program get a surprise birthday gift, among other perks; you will also get a 10% off coupon upon enrollment.
  • As a member of Swagbucks, you’ll get 50 Swagbucks on your birthday.
  • Torrid– Members of the DivaStyle Club will receive $10 off their next purchase of $10+
  • bareMinerals (cosmetics)- The birthday freebie changes each year. Last year it was lip gloss, this year it’s eye shadow!
  • Old Navy: Sign up for their email list and they’ll send you a $5.00 off coupon to use in store.  You can also sign your kids up too! Scroll all the way to the “Sign up and Save” box at the bottom of the page.
  • Ace Rewards members score a $5.00 coupon for their Birthday (Ace Hardware)
  • ClearWater Cleaners (dry cleaners)
  • Aqua Clean Carwash
  • Free brow wax at the Benefit Brow Bar. It’s back. More info can be found on their FAQ page.
  • Dave & Buster’s: $10 in free game play for those in the D&B Rewards Club.
  • This is a BOGO, but I know a few people who have done this and they said it was fun- Free Trip to Catalina Island! Free round-trip travel for two with the purchase of one full fare Adult ticket on your birthday
  • My Aunt told me about this one! Join Passport to Provence to score a FREE birthday gift from L’Occitane en Provence. Also, you can score $20 off your first purchase at L’Occitane here!
  • Join the Sally’s Rewards Club and score a $5 coupon on your birthday, as well as tons of other super sweet perks!

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Free Food Noms:

  • Red Robin:  FREE burger on your birthday and all the latest Red Robin news.
  • Cold Stone Creamery:   Free ice cream on your birthday when you buy one at regular price.
  • Rubio’s   Free plate/combo
  • Del Taco  Free Shake (You also get something free when you sign up!)
  • Starbucks – register a free Starbucks Card and get a free birthday handcrafted beverage of your choice (as well as other goodies throughout the year).
  • Baskin Robbins Ice Cream – One free scoop (2.5 oz),.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Free single scoop.
  • Sonic Drive-in: Free Medium beverage (OMG- Cherry Limeade FTW!)
  • Denny’s: Free Grand Slam for your Birthday. They also email out other freebies and coupons.
  • IHOP: Free Meal (It varies by year) on your birthday.
  • Arby’s Birthday Club: Offers a “surprise” it changes each year.
  • Dunkin Donuts Birthday Club will kick down with a free coffee.
  • Burger King Crown Club for Kids: Free Surprise for your kiddo’s b-day!
  • Bj’s Brewhouse Rewards members receive a free Pizookie for their birthday.
  • Jersey Mike’s: Free Sub for your Birthday! (No matter what you read online, there is no Subway or Submarina birthday Freebies- Those deals are DEAD)
  • Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: When you sign up for a Smile-age Account, you’ll score a free Fro Yo for your B-day!  (I love Menchie’s!)
  • Weinerschnitzel: Free Corn Dog for your Birthday!
  • Cinnabon: Free Mochalatta Chill for your birthday, and a free minibun when you sign up.
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes: Join their email list and receive a FREE Bundlet on your Birthday. (look for the link at the bottom of their website)
  • Sbarro Rewards Club: Free piece of pizza for your birthday when you purchase a drink. You’ll also get a coupon for a free slice when you sign up.
  • Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt: Free Frozen Yogurt on your birthday.
  • Sprinkles: Get a free cupcake for your birthday when you join the Sprinkles birthday club.
  • Pita Pit: Free Pita for your birthday when you join the Pita Pit E-Club!
  • Bruegger’s Bagels gives you three free bagels for your birthday. SCORE! Our family eats tons of bagels, so this is a sweet deal.
  • I Birthday Club. They have offers in San Diego, Orange, LA, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Santa Clara Counties.
  • D Z Akins
  • Mary’s Donuts East County peeps know what I’m talking about! Free drink and TWO Donuts!
  • Habit Burger Grill’s CharClub Score a free Charburger on your birthday.
  • Panera– Sign up for MyPanera and get a free pastry or sweet on your birthday.
  • El Pollo Loco: Sign up for Loco Rewards to get a FREE birthday meal (2pc Chicken Meal or Classic Chicken Tostada Salad.)!
  • Food, but not a restaurant offer. Like Yogurt? Join the noosa Yoghurt fan club, Cream of the Crop, and they will mail you a coupon for free yogurt for your birthday!

Some of the offers that I have been told about but no longer exist include free tokens for the b-day kid at Chuck E. Cheese, free cheeseburger at Fuddruckers (now it’s a BOGO), Free cake at Corner Bakery Cafe (It’s a free dessert WYB an entree). Another deal that everyone and their mama go nuts about is Benihana Japanese Restaurant – complimentary meal up to $30 when you purchase an Adult meal at Regular Price (You must sign up for The Chef’s Table club) . This used to be a FREE meal, no strings attached, but it has changed to basically a BOGO. That’s a no go for me, but it may still get you excited.

I have not included Ulta in my list because you have to make a purchase the year previous (and it needs to be a certain amount- I’ve been told different amounts by various Ulta Employees anywhere from $5-$50), so for me, that’s not a freebie. If I have to buy something to receive something, that’s a BOGO deal.

Talk Back: What is your favorite birthday freebie?

1/20/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgLast week’s veggie prep really has us all set for a week full of yummy dinners! I’m hitting the store this afternoon to buy some stuff for kid’s lunches, and a few things that will round out meals for the week. My shopping list includes:

  • AP Flour (Probably a 10 or 25 lb bag- it will last for a while)
  • Avocados
  • Cheddar Cheese (block to be cut into pieces for kiddo snacks)
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Juice boxes
  • White Sugar/Raw Sugar (for baking)

Everything else on the menu for this week is made of stuff that we have on hand. Thanks to Brooke from Crying Out Loud for sharing some of her yummy goodies from her Porch Light box this week too.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

IMG_9133.JPGFor dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Chicken Chili topped with cheese, cornbread, and strawberries
  • Tuesday: Fritatta and green salad
  • Wednesday: Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce and pasta
  • Thursday: Pancakes, sausage, & eggs
  • Friday:   Grilled Cheese and Soup
  • Saturday: Home made pizza
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

 

Deal on Berries at 99 Cents Only!

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99 Cents Only is hooking us up with tasty berries treats this January!  For the entire month of January, all blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are only 99¢ at the 99!

99 Cents Only makes eating healthy a breeze! Name brand produce, and so many other healthy foods (I love that they have both dairy and non-dairy milks, cheese, and yogurt), that’s why it’s the first stop on my weekly shopping trip!

Wanna know what else is a great buy at 99 Cents Only? Here is my Top Ten List!

 

Talk Back: What is your favorite thing to buy at 99 Cents Only?

Crockpot Chili Recipe (GF, Vegan, Vegetarian)

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Easy, Delicious, and Healthy!

I realized the other day when searching for my chili recipe on my blog so I could share it with someone on Facebook, that I have not posted my chili recipe, ever! Which is weird, because I make it at least once a month.

What I love about making chili in the crockpot is that you can use either fresh, frozen, or canned veggies, it really depends on what you have in your house, and what your budget is.

Because I get vegetables and fruit twice a month at our local co-op, frequently I will have fresh vegetables that I have diced or prepared and put into Ziploc bags to store in the freezer. It ensures that we have nutritious vegetables with no additives at our fingertips throughout the month.

Another great thing about this chili recipe is you can make it vegetarian, you can put meat in it, or you can make a vegan! This recipe is naturally gluten-free.

Slow Cooker Chili

  • One large onion diced
  • Two bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cups tomatoes. You can either use canned tomatoes, or if you have fresh tomatoes available you can quarter them.  No need to peel or seed them.
  • Two cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 T. Avocado oil
  • 1 pound of meat (optional) I usually use ground pork, but other good choices include ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, or bite-sized pieces of stew meat. If you want a meat substitute, I like these crumbles from Beyond Meat.
  • One can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • One can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3T chili powder
  • 1t cumin
  • Salt and pepper as needed

Optional, but delicious:

1 cup corn niblets. If you use canned corn, drain and rinse it prior to adding.

If you do not care for black or kidney beans, you can swap in Northern beans, or navy beans.

Directions

  1. Personally, I like to brown the meat on the stove prior to adding it to the slow cooker. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch Oven, heat avocado oil and brown meat until thoroughly cooked/browned.
  2. Add onions and peppers, cook until onions are clear and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often until garlic is fragrant about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. If your pan has a lot of brown food remnants on the bottom, I recommend taking 2 to 4 tablespoons of liquid (you can use water) and pour it in the pan stirring and scraping all the yummy brown stuff off the bottom. This is where all the flavor lives.
  5. Pour all of the ingredients from the pot into your slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining ingredients, place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

I love serving chili with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

This recipe is incredibly versatile.

If you don’t have fresh onions and peppers, you can grab a bag of fajita mix out of the freezer (which is pre-chopped onions and bell peppers).

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes (which let’s face it a lot of us don’t) you can use canned tomatoes. You can use whole canned tomatoes you can use diced, you can use chopped, whatever kind of tomatoes you have in your cupboard.

Use whatever kind of canned beans you have on hand. One time I made chili and I used chickpeas! And it turned out delicious!

If you don’t have cumin and chili powder in your cupboard but you have chili seasoning, use that instead.

I find the chili is a great go-to meal for when you are at the end of the month, and you are low on funds but you have lots of canned goods and frozen veggies.

If you were strapped for time, you don’t have to brown your meat, you can just put it in the crockpot and pour all the other ingredients over top, cook it, and let it cook. Just make sure to break up the meat (if you’re using ground meat) with a spoon prior to serving.

12/16/19 Weekly Meal Plan!

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I spent Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday feeling sick, so the last few days of our meal plan went out the window. Saturday I dragged myself into the kitchen and made chicken vegetable soup in the hopes it would make me feel better.

This week we’ll be eating a lot of soup- We’ve got 3 different kinds in the freezer, and it’s been getting cold here at night. I’m also going to try a few new recipes, if they work, i’ll post them on the blog later this week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day:

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Leftover Chicken and veggie soup with hot croissants
  • Tuesday: Baked Potatoes with assorted toppings (we’ve got leftover BBQ pork, broccoli with cheese, bacon bits, cheese, caramelized onions).
  • Wednesday:  Soup & Grilled cheese sandwiches- and a big green salad!
  • Thursday:   Smoothies and bagels (or toast)- This is pretty popular at our house.
  • Friday:  Pecan crusted salmon, roasted veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions, celery), brown rice (we didn’t make it last week)
  • Saturday:  Pizza time (also salad will be served)
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

Talk Back: What are you planning to cook this week?

Free Plant- Based Burritos from Social Nature!

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This offer was in my inbox yesterday, so I thought I’d share it, because, really, who doesn’t love free food?

I signed up to receive a FREE plant-based burrito from Alpha Foods and Social Nature. They have lots of burrito love to share! These bad boys are VEGAN! Woo Hoo!

Just click here to ‘Want It’ and see if you’re a match!

This offer is only valid in the US.

TalkBack- Did you sign up? Which variety are you excited to try?

Join the Shmear Society & Get $5 Off Your Next Order at Einstein Bros. Bagels

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Hey- Do you like bagels? We do, more specifically, Big Kid does. If you cut him open, he’d be at least 55% bagel.

If you have a bagel connoisseur in your home, consider joining the Shmear Society from Einstein Bros. Bagels. When you join and make a purchase, you’ll score $5.00 off your next purchase. That’s a tasty breakfast!

They have an app too! And Shmear Society Members score a birthday freebie too.

So year, my carb lovin’ friends, there is no reason not to join!

 

*Disclaimer- I get $5 if one of you does this deal. And I know you all want to. Because… Cream Cheese.