By Julie Ann
I don’t know why but I have never really been a big fan of birthdays. I remember being upset when I turned ten as my age was now into the double digits. When I turned 13 and became a teenager, I had a near meltdown. It seems like with the turn of every calendar year I have something to lament. (I was even born two weeks late!) Since I can’t avoid birthdays as they are an inevitable part of life, I guess I should look at the bright side: cake and ice cream, presents and party favors do take a little bit of the sting out of growing older. Here’s another thing that I’ve discovered that helps: businesses who offer free products or discounts for your birthday. So whether you love or dread birthdays, here are a few tips on scoring birthday loot.
The first thing I did when seeking out birthday offers was to set up an e-mail address specifically for this purpose. Because these businesses have a greater sales strategy in mind and aren’t just being nice, you can expect to get plenty of e-mail offers throughout the year. Who wants a million offers pouring into your personal e-mail account every day, and if you decide you no longer wish to participate in these birthday offers, you can simply shut down your account and you won’t have to notify all your contacts.
Once you have a special account, you will need to locate the offers. If you frequent an establishment you may be exposed to their birthday deals just by your patronage. However, some places don’t heavily advertise these deals so you will have to hunt for them. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to run an Internet search on “Free birthday offers.” Search results will contain lists of Web sites, so pick one and start looking. You will probably want to try several sites for the most complete information. This can be a little time consuming because you will have to wade through lots of offers to find the ones that you want and qualify for.
Once you find the offer you want, you will be directed to the company’s Web site and will usually have to fill out a Web form. This Web form will ask you everything from personal information such as name, e-mail and birthday to more complex questions such as which products or services you use. Be prepared to fill in a lot of information. Many of the forms will also allow you to sign up a friend for birthday offers, which might be a nice surprise for someone. Once you’ve submitted your information just sit back, wait for your birthday and watch the goodies roll in!
But what if you don’t want to give out your personal information? Don’t despair because there are plenty of places where you can just show up, declare it’s your birthday and score free food or discounts. Most of the free birthday offer Web sites will tell you about these places as well. Of course, if you are at a restaurant, you’ll also need to be prepared for a birthday song serenade at your table!
Also, if you have nieces, nephews, kids you babysit, etc., there are a ton of offers for kids. So check with their parents and score some free deals for them from their auntie or favorite baby sitter!
Since most of these places want your business throughout the year, you will likely get product offers and discounts frequently. If your birthday is a long way off you should still consider signing up right away. Many businesses will offer you a discount for the initial sign up. Once you’ve signed up with the business you want to be sure to check your special birthday e-mail account often and celebrate the gift of saving money year-round!
By Julie Ann