Birthday Month 2015

It’s July 2, and you’re probably wondering why I haven’t been back to begin another birthday month of freebies.  Well, for the birthday month followers, I’m about to break your heart.

Will I be indulging in more freebies this year?  Oh yes.  In fact, the coupons have been rolling in steadily and hung on the fridge in the order in which they need to be used (some only allow a two-week window, some give the whole month).  But, ya’all’d be bored if I kept you up to date every day again, because we’re basically looking at all the same deals.  I plan to revisit the Big Boy hot fudge cake, my free venti coffee, and a Cristin-creation stirfry at Mongolian BBQ, just to name a few.  What I don’t plan to do, though, is eat to my little belly’s content; last year I put a little more strain on the scale by the end of my beloved birthday month: Reason number two that I won’t be leading you along in another food frenzied journey.

You guys.  I freaking LOVE birthday month, and I am looking forward to another lovely one.  You, too, could have an amazing birthday month year after year if you follow my lead.  If you want to experience mine, day by day, click back here and scroll down to start at July 1 and go from there to enjoy 31 days of blissful celebration.  If you want a quick list of where you can get a few freebies, read on.  Here’re some of the deals I have received this year, and a “taste” of what you, too, could have:

Big Boy – Free Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Olga’s – Free Dessert

Red Robin – Free Burger

Ruby Tuesday – Free Burger

Mongolian BBQ – Free stirfry meal

Hungry Howies – Free medium pizza

Biggby Coffee – Free coffee

Starbucks – Free coffee

DSW – $5 coupon

Dave & Busters – $10 free game play

Sephora – Some sort of free mini makeup gift

Dairy Queen – Buy one get one medium Blizzard

Baskin Robbins – Free scoop of icecream

Buffalo Wild Wings – 6 free wings

(see why I gained lbs?)

There are a few more that are more Detroit-area specific, so I skipped those, and, I got something from the Melting Pot, but I discarded it.  Last year I also got some eats from Einstein Bagel’s, the Olive Garden, and Carrabba’s, but I haven’t heard boo from them yet this year.  Last year I signed up for Menchie’s (frozen yogurt), but I am here to say that in one year they haven’t sent me one damn thing worth any damn thing, so skip them.

Some new ones I just signed up for but they haven’t made good on yet:  A&W (free rootbeer float!), and Old Country Buffet (free buffet, duh).  I also read that Benihana offers a $30 Bday certificate (Score!), but there isn’t one super close for us so I’ve so far skipped them.  There are many many more – do a little search and you can find some close to you.  Some of the best deals I have are from local places (free meal, with no purchase necessary are my favs!) – so shop around!

Some expert tips:

** In most cases you have to sign up for the establishment’s “club.”   You’ll be getting some other junk throughout the year due to signing up…but small price to pay, no?  I’d suggest possibly even starting a birthday-specific email address to collect all your booty.

**  Make sure you sign up before your birthday month.  Some of them are delayed, so you won’t receive anything until next year if you get on it too late.

**  EXTRA bonus tip:  Sign up preferably during a month halfway across the year.  Many of the clubs will give you a “welcome to the club” coupon, so you can enjoy that in a non-birthday month.  Also, for some of these clubs I’ve received a “happy anniversary” coupon, celebrating the time that I joined the club, so again, you can watch coupons roll in twice in one year.

**Check out local comedy clubs, because there are at least 3 around here that offer a free show (with your friends included) during your birthday month.

You get the idea!  Most any restaurant will give you a free meal or dessert on your birthday, but why stop there when you can enjoy free goodies all month!?  Happy July, peeps!




BDM Wrap-Up

Time to put a period on birthday month and move it on along.  So, here, my friends, is a look back at what bdm scored me, by my best and quick estimation:

1 free breakfast, 4 lunches (+ many free work lunches), 5 desserts (not including birthday cake and ice cream that I enjoyed for days on end), and at least 8 free dinners.  3 cups of coffee, 1 slurpee, and 1 tequila shot.  Some shower gel and makeup.  A free movie.  A free pair of undies, a bracelet, and a severely discounted purse.  A bunch of night’s out, including a free comedy show, and an hour of yoga, on the house.  Some paint brushes, wood, garbage-picked miscellaneous items, and a bunch of awesome and thoughtful birthday gifts, including but not limited to, art and sewing supplies, a year’s supply of hand-soap, a ceiling fan, cookbook, more books, a yoga mat and a sun-tea jug.  I also received 3 cards via snail-mail, one of which held a letter.  A real.  Handwritten.  Multi-page letter.  1 of the cards was handmade and all of them meant a lot.  Thanks to all the family and friends and coworkers and everyones that’ve contributed to this list.

Without getting too cheese-ball, I think that living by a birthday month credo forced me to do more than get free things, but to also find a way to focus on something really good and fun each day.  So many days flow on past without (seemingly) much joy.  We work.  We sleep.  We’re bored.  We’re tired.  We’re hungry.  We eat.  We stress.  We sleep.  We don’t sleep.  We work some more.  I can only hope that birthday month sneaks in here and there, and I can enjoy a simple pleasure amidst a bunch of tedium.  Here’s to birthday … year!  The days are long, but the years are short.  Cheers!


July 31

No, I didn’t forget that there is a 31st day in July!  I managed to celebrate right up until the last day, with a favorite of all the birthday coupons: DSW.  The birthday gift is $5, but wait!  There’s more!  They must’ve been tipped off on my plans, because later in the month, a $25 off coupon showed up in the mail.  $30?  I can totally commit to a pair of shoes at that price.  Off I go.  Trips to the (designer!) shoe warehouse always look the same:

*Walk around with little purpose or direction.

*Study shoes of interest, slipping some on, discarding most immediately.  Make a mess of cardboard and paper.  Never like anything.  They all hurt my feet.  Too big.  Too small.  Too patent.  Too expensive.  …Manage to find a couple of maybes.

*To to the sale section!  Peruse everything size 7-7.5, and a couple of fringe sizes, just in case.

*Back to the regular aisles and give those another shot.

*Revisit the sale section.  Focus especially on those in the 40-70% off range.  Really commit to finding a pair of shoes.

*Choose-your-own-adventure…  I either leave the store with nothing, or I buy 2-4 pairs, and return at least half of them days later.

But not today, friends!  Today, I added another step.  I scoped the purses.  (say what?)  After spotting a fairly large handbag, I texted Mike to measure the size of my laptop (in iPhones).  My current computer bag is eh, not so current anymore.  Both straps have broken (one resulting in a mashed-in laptop corner), and it’s retro.  Not in a I-bought-this-new-bag-that-looks-retro sort of way, but like, it’s literally 10 years old.  Mike doesn’t respond, however, to my multiple calls and texts, but I take a chance and buy it.  I figured it was safe because I got a hail of a deal.  The DSWorker called it “the deal of the day.”  That’s right.

The bag’s “compare at” price was $249, and the DSW price was $129.  BUT, it was 70% off!  Take my $30 gifts from that and bazinga, $14.82 bag.  *bow



And, my laptop DOES fit.  Woohoo!  Stay tuned for a bday month wrap-up.  Thanks for following along~

July 29 / 30

Roundin’ the bend on the month of birth of mine…

Tuesday (29th) was pretty rockin’ and Wednesday (30th) was a bust, so I’m mushing them all together in the hopes that we can just gloss-over the coupon failure that was Wednesday.

I came home from work all wound-up and stressed out because work is madness and home is madness and “I don’t have time for birthday month!” and on and on.  After pulling it together, Mike and I headed for the mall.  Here, I collected a free pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear (I just tried that as “panties,” because that’s how VS refers to them.  Erased.  Then I tried “underpants” for kicks.  Nope…underwear it is).  Then I went over to Helzberg Diamonds to collect my free birthday pearl bracelet.  Why they sent me this coupon, I have no clue, but shoot, I’ll take it.  The saleslady wasn’t super nice to us, and didn’t even wish me a happy birthday (the nerve!) but I got the goods and scooted.

THAT’S NOT ALL, FOLKS!  On to the food portion of the birthday-day.  I cashed in on a free burger at Red Robin (veggie burger..I mean I can only veer so far off the veg-train).  The service was for-shit and everything was all wrong.  Mike had tomatoes on his burger (he barfed), I had cold fries, and the server was a unicorn.  The manager ended up taking 25% off our bill, so with that and the freebie, we spent about $7.

THEN we hopped on over to Big Boy to get down on the hot fudge icecream deliciousness that they offered me for birthday month.  Two spoons and this bad boy and we were rolling on home, fat and happy:

oh neat. cristin is eating again.

oh neat. cristin is eating again.

BY THE WAY.  This mound of awesome is a hidden gem in the dessert world… It was free this time, but in general it’s only $4!  What!  Please reference the Carvel post to see what else $4 can get you, and this is clearly a winner.

Wednesday came around and the plan was to collect on some free gameplay at Dave & Busters (arcade for adults, basically).  But, a peek at the fine print learned me that the coupons aren’t good on Wednesdays (because of other deals they have).  So….  it was a (dave &) bust(ers) of a day.  I did get free lunch again on work, and a free cappuccino, to boot.  But, let’s all just pretend that the Tuesday loot was divided between the two days.  Bam, I’m neck deep in free.

July 28

Kicked off the final stretch of Birthday Month right with lunch out to Lockhart’s with some coworkers.  (BBQ joint).  I had a pulled pork sandwich (why fight the meat, I ask?) and it was flipping delicious and flipping free.  Heck.  Yes.

In the afternoon, I got a special delivery from out client services department of an oreo shake, because it’s my favorite.


I did actually work-out, too, with my personal trainer.  So, I at least offset a small portion of my daily feastin’.