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Free Food Calendar: How to Get Free Food

Many restaurants, fast food chains, and dessert shops offer free food to celebrate national food days, holidays, and even election and tax days. Here is our ultimate free food calendar to guide you along for the year. If you’re reading this we guarantee there is a another free day right around the corner.

Free Food Calendar: How To Get Free Food


New Year’s Day (January 1)

Free coffee can be found at many locations on New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. Sheetz and Cumberland Farms are recent examples and there is a good chance a local convenience store off a turnpike is offering free coffee as well.

National Bagel Day (January 15)

It would be easier to list all the shops that sell bagels that don’t offer a free bagel on this day.


Frozen Yogurt Day (February 6)

Menchie’s, Pinkberry, sweetFrog, TCBY, Yogurtland and many more yogurt shops have you covered with freebies and deals on this day.

National Pizza Day (February 9)

Check in with your local Domino’s, Caesar’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and many more for special deals, coupons, and freebies. There are also specific types of pizza days throughout the year with similar offers that we’ll list below. See our list of the Best Pizza In Orange County.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

Usually there is a purchase catch such a BOGO deal or a free dessert with a meal. Starbucks and Boston Market have had offers like this.

National Pancake (Day February 21)

IHOP and many other pancake shops across the US celebrate this day with free pancakes.

Leap Day (February 29)

Be on the lookout for deals and freebies every four years. The next leap year will be in 2024.


First Day of Spring (varies in March)

The first day of spring isn’t just warmer temperatures. It also means food deals are coming.

St Patrick’s Day (March 14)

Save lots o’green with St Patrick’s day deals on beer, Irish whiskey and other St. Paddy’s themed cocktails and foods.


National Deep Dish Pizza Day (April 5)

See National Pizza Day (February 9).

Tax Day Freebies (April 15)

Owing Uncle Sam money isn’t fun but there is a silver lining: free food. Restaurants around the country offer free fries, cookies, burgers and more on Tax Day.

Earth Day (April 22)

Qdoba, Starbucks and Just Salad are a few places that have offered freebies and deals on Earth Day.

Pretzel Day (April 26)

Celebrate National Pretzel Day with freebies and deals at Auntie Anne’s, Wetzel’s Pretzels and more.


Military Appreciation Month (May)

In honor of Military Appreciation Month many business and restaurants offer discounts and even free meals to active duty military and veterans.

National Pet Month (Month of May)

National Pet Month means 31 days of pampering your dog, cat, rabbit, pig, fish or any pet with discounted food, treats and pet supplies. Stock up!

Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)

The freebies or deals are reserved for mom but this day has everything including free admission, free meals, free champagne, BOGOs and free desserts.

Teacher’s Day (May 2)/Appreciation Week

Businesses like to shower teachers with a little love in the form of store discounts and food freebies, sometimes all week long.

May the 4th/Star Wars Day

From toys and games to home goods Star Wars Day deals abound on this day.

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Be on the lookout for deals, freebies, and specials from your favorite Mexican (or even non-Mexican) restaurant on the day. Free tacos, margarita deals, and BOGO burrito deals are everywhere.

Nurses Week (May 6th and ends on May 12th)

Many brands offer discounts to all the hardworking nurses during Nurses week. Past brands who have participated include Crocs, Amazon, Applebee’s, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, and many more.


Father’s Day (third Sunday in June)

It’s never too early to start planning out how to celebrate your dad and many restaurants and retailers are offering discounts and freebies to make celebrating with Dad a little easier on the wallet. 

Nation Doughnut Day (June 2)

Celebrate Doughnut Day sweet deals and freebies from Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons, 7-Eleven, Duck Donuts, Krispy Kreme and more. Check your local donut shop for free doughnut too!


Slurpee Day (July 11)

7-Eleven began celebrating 7-Eleven Day with a free Slurpee back in 2002, but the beloved frozen treat has been around since the late 1950’s.

National Ice Cream Day (July 16)

Carvel, Dairy Queen, Dippin’s Dots, Friendly’s, Whole Foods, and even yogurt shops like Menchie’s have free ice cream for you on this day.

National Hot Dog Day (July 22)

Let’s be frank, hot dog day is a day for screaming hot dog deals. From the obvious like Wienerschnitzel and Hot Dog on a Stick to 7-Eleven, Pilot Flying J, Whole Foods, Costco, grocery store chains and gas stations, there are a lot of options to choose from.

National Lollipop Day (7/20)

See’s Candies is the place to be on this day for one of their famously delicious lollipops.


National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (August 4)

Not as popular as National Cookie Day but don’t overlook the deals on this cookie at PDQ, Potbelly, Main Event and more.

National Lemonade Day (August 20)

Many stores give away free lemonade including Hot Dog on a Stick, Ruby Tuesday, Chick-fil-A, Chili’s plus many local restaurants.

National Waffle Day (August 24)

If it’s a waffle restaurant we can guarantee either a screaming deal or free waffles on this day. Many restaurants that serve up waffles participate in this day too.


National Cheese Pizza Day (September 5)

See National Pizza Day (February 9).

Talk like a Pirate Day (September 19)

This holiday may be a parody but it has grown in its popularity and thus restaurants have joined in too. In the past Krispy Kreme has offered a free donut for talking like a pirate and Long John’s has joined in on the fun as well. Each year, who joins in seems to vary.

National Cheeseburger Day (September 18)

Burger King, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, White Castle, Shake Shack and many other fast-food chains and restaurants have deals on this American classic. See our list of the Best Burgers in OC.

Free Queso Day (September 20)

Free queso is in your future at Moe’s Southwest Grill, On the Border, Abuelo’s, Qdoba and the many other places that serve up this deliciously cheesy snack.

National Pepperoni Pizza Day (September 20

See National Pizza Day (February 9).


National Coffee Day (October 1)

Most coffee shops serve up free coffee on this day, in addition to almost any place that serves up coffee, offers a free cup of Joe on this day.

National Sausage Pizza Day (October 11)

See National Pizza Day (February 9).

Halloween (October 31)

Wearing a costume, just being a kid or simply because it’s Halloween will often times get you freebies at many local and national restaurants and dessert shops.


Election Day (First Tuesday in November)

Wear an ‘I Voted’ sticker and drop on by at a local Krispy Kreme for a free donut or check out the many other places offering freebies and deals on Election Day.

National Sandwich Day (November 3)

Get free sandwiches and discounts at Subway, Potbelly, Schlotzsky’s, Popeyes, and more.

Veterans Day (November 11)

Wow, restaurants really thank vets for their service on Veterans Day. Thousands of restaurant chains offer free meals and more to vets on this special day.

Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving)

From big chains to boutique cafes, many restaurants and online food brands get in on the Black Friday action with screaming food deals and incredible discounts on gift cards.


National Cookie Day (December 4)

Nestlé Toll House, Mrs. Fields, Subway, Insomnia Cookies, Great American Cookies, Lenny & Larry’s, Pieology and many more have all offered sweet deals and free cookies on this day.

Repeal Day (December 5)

In honor of the end of Prohibition on December 5, 1933, each year many restaurants and bars have specials on drinks throughout the country.

More Ways to Get Free Food


Freebies abound on your birthday, often times you need to sign up to a newsletter or an app, but Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Baja Fresh, Benihana, Buca di Beppo, BWW, Chick-fil-a, Del Taco, Jersey Mike’s, Pizza Hut, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Waffle House and so many more got you covered.

Kids Eat Free Day

Many restaurants, chains and local eateries, offer free meals to kids with a purchase. Typically this offer is available on a set day every week. See our Kids Eat Free list!

Free Food Coupons

This should be an entirely separate list as it’s too many to list but many food, beverage and restaurants offer freebies just for signing up to a loyalty program, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading their app.

See’s Candies Free Sample

If you’re at a mall stop by a See’s for a free candy sample, you don’t even need to purchase anything. The only hook is that once you try See’s Candies you’ll be a customer for life.

Trader’s Joe’s Free Lollipop

If your child finds a hidden stuffed animal at Trader Joe’s, let a Crew Member know to receive a lollipop as a reward. Please note that not all Trader Joe’s locations participate in this program.

Like things that are free? Check out our Free Things to do in Orange County list.

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Monique McArthur
Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, and creator of delicious recipes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all that Orange County has to offer, traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.