First, check with your favorite food establishments to see if they offer a birthday club. Coldstone Creamery, Baskin Robbins and Dairy Queen all offer free ice cream for consumers of all ages. Starbucks customers get a free coffee, and Firehouse Subs offers a free sandwich. Usually this signs you up for sale emails year round, so set up a separate address so you don't get buried. And bring your wallet too because you're usually on the hook for the sales tax.
Dinner deals are also available. Benihana and McCormick & Schmicks both offer a $30 birthday dining credit for loyalty club members. Restaurants are hoping, of course, that you're going to bring paying friends and family with you. There are a lot of restaurant promotions out there right now, so check for ongoing specials to make sure you're not missing a better deal.
You might even get apparel discounts. Express, Old Navy and New York & Company are among the retailers offering extra discounts during your birthday month. Old Navy, for example, offers $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. But to get the deal, you usually need to pay with your store credit card account. Rates can be as high as 30%, so don't take the deal if it means carrying a balance.
Some retailers also offer beauty freebies. Aveda and Sephora both offer beauty products to consumers who sign up for their free birthday clubs. Usually, the deals are sample-size items. This year, Sephora's is a set of eye shadow, liner and mascara. It's a nice freebie to redeem at the register.
And you're pet can even get birthday freebies. Petco offers a birthday club for your pets, with a 10% discount during their birth month. Not sure of the exact day? Use their adoption date, or a day of your choosing.
For more tips on how to get birthday deals and other personal finance topics, please click here.
by Kelli Grant and Jenn Eaker