The World According to Layne

What a FREEk

My birthday was two weeks ago (I know, I know, you probably forgot, but I’m still accepting presents, in case you’re wondering). One of the aspects I like about my birthday is that I get so much free crap. Throughout the year, I begrudgingly give many organizations my email address. I mostly ignore everything they send me, but not on my birthday… oh no, definitely not on my birthday.

For 364 days of the year I field those emails better than any Cubs fieldsman, ever. I’m not sure that analogy makes sense, but I know as much about baseball as a toddler knows about calculus.

I dodge and delete all those nonsense emails, but on the day of my birth, the heavens open and sweet glory arrives. My inbox fills up with emails that have subjects such as “Happy Birthday, Layne! Have a free ____ !” or “It’s your birthday — this one’s on us!”

So I went on a hunt. Days leading up to my birthday I filled out forms for every rewards program I could think of. When the almighty day came, emails offering free goodies bombarded my inbox. If you’re wondering how you can become like me (who doesn’t?) and gain my savvy FREEdom, then allow me to clue you in on some places that give which wichaway free crap for your birthday:

  • Which Wich: free 7-inch sub
    • Which ‘wich will I want? The free one, duh.
  • Argo Cafe: $5 coupon
    • I’m so Ar-going to this cafe that I’ve dubbed “the Starbucks of tea.” I’ll gladly enjoy my medium drink courtesy of that $5.
  • Starbucks: free coffee
    • You have to register for this one month in advance, which I didn’t do. So now I’m boycotting. Who’s with me? “No one,” says all of America.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: free coffee
    • I didn’t have to register 30 days in advance for this one. Dunkin’ for the win, am I right? “No,” say all upper/middle-class yuppies who live and work in the city and spend half their paychecks on Starbucks.
  • Auntie Anne’s: free pretzel
    • It’s twisted that you can’t get a free pretzel every day of the year, but I’ll settle for a free one on my birthday.

*Pun courtesy of Angie Stewart, Copy Editor extraordinaire

  • Godiva Chocolate: $10 off online purchase
    • This was a steal… almost like taking candy from a baby… except I’m taking chocolate from an over-priced chocolatier. I have no regrets.Pinkberry_Header_Logo
  • Pinkberry: free frozen yogurt
    • I’m berry excited about this. “Too many puns,” you say? No, fools, there can never be too many puns.
  • Panera Bread: free coffee or tea
    • I would prefer a free giant bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, but I guess the subpar coffee will do.
  • Au bon Pain: free sandwich or salad
    • I also received a free travel mug for simply registering for the rewards program. Since then it has been stolen, which can only mean one of two things: There is a cold-hearted thief in The PHOENIX office, or there is a ghost in there. My bet is on the ghost.
  • Sprinkles: free cupcake
    • I waited in line for 20 minutes to get this baby and it was so worth it despite the concerned stares from customers who actually showed up in groups and weren’t lonely single girls ordering a free cupcake for dinner.
  • logo-top-3Portillo’s: free chocolate cake
    • You just get a slice… but I have faith that I could eat a whole one by myself.

There you have it. I’m sure there are some more deals out there, but a girl can only travel so far to claim free goods in one day.

But if you’re still looking to get me a present (you’ve probably just been delaying because you don’t know what to get me), my wish list consists of all things sweet, all things with numerous carbohydrates and/or a respectable boyfriend who enjoys my FREEdom as much as I do.

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