MONEY deals

Here’s What the World’s Largest Coupon Looks Like

Fast food icon, Jack, of Jack in the Box, makes a rare public appearance to celebrate capturing the Guinness World Record title for the world's Largest coupon on Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2015 in Los Angeles. Fans can get their own Buttery Jack Burgers at their local Jack in the Box by sharing shots of the #WorldsLargestCoupon.
Jordan Strauss—Invision via AP Fast food icon, Jack, of Jack in the Box, makes a rare public appearance to celebrate capturing the Guinness World Record title for the world's Largest coupon on Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2015 in Los Angeles.

At 80 feet tall and 450 times the size of a regular coupon, it's kind of a big deal. And yes, it's a valid coupon—good for a free burger!

This week, the fast food restaurant chain Jack in the Box unveiled a huge—quite literally—new offer. The company needed more than a dozen people to carry the freshly made coupon, which measures 80 feet tall by 25 feet wide, down the streets of Los Angeles. It was then draped down the side of the W Hotel in Hollywood, where it could be admired as the “Largest Coupon” according to Guinness World Records.

The coupon is valid through April 1 for a buy-one, get-one-free Buttery Jack Burger, which features “garlic herb butter melted on top of a new, quarter-pound signature beef patty, tucked inside Jack’s gourmet signature bun.”

You might be thinking it’s a bit impractical to bring an eight-story-high coupon into a restaurant. And you’d be right. But all you need is a picture of the coupon on your phone to get your free burger, and it’s easy enough to locate a photo on social media with the hashtag #WorldsLargestCoupon.

MONEY freebies

Get Free Ice Cream Cones and Italian Ices This Week

Ice cream cones
Tangmo Clifford—Alamy

Dairy Queen is giving away free ice cream cones to all customers on Monday, March 16. Then on Friday, March 20, Rita's is kicking off the beginning of spring with an Italian ice giveaway.

Dairy Queen is celebrating 75 years in business with a Free Cone Day on Monday. Like it sounds, on Free Cone Day all visitors at participating locations are welcomed to a free ice cream cone—specifically, a small size soft-serve vanilla cone.

For those who prefer chocolate, or the best-of-both-worlds, altogether superior vanilla-chocolate swirl, limiting the giveaway strictly to plain old vanilla is kind of a bummer. But hey, a freebie’s a freebie.

A few days later, on Friday, March 20, customers at Rita’s Italian Ice are welcomed to a free Italian ice in any flavor of their choosing—including but not limited to the top five flavors: Mango, Cherry, Cotton Candy, Lemon, and Swedish Fish. Rita’s freebies come as a result of the 600-location chain’s hosting its 23rd annual First Day of Spring Free Italian Ice Giveaway. All visitors get a free Italian ice, no purchase necessary. The company expects to give away more than one million Italian ices on the big day.

Looking further down the road, there’s another cool freebie to mark on your calendar: April 14, 2015, is Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day. Yet another free cone day usually takes place annually at Haagen-Dazs shops in May, but no specific date has been announced yet for 2015.

MONEY deals

Pi Day Deals, Freebies, and Events for Math Lovers and Haters Alike

Pumpkin pie with Pi letter

This Saturday is not only Pi Day (3.14), but it's the Pi Day of the Century (3.14.15). Accompanying the big day are tons of activities for math nerds nationwide, or just people who like free pie and great deals on pizza and beer.

Pi, or π, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It’s usually shortened to 3.14, which is why March 14 is celebrated every year as Pi Day, but it’s an irrational number that continues infinitely without a pattern, like so: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582…

The year 2015 marks a very special Pi Day, one that comes only once a century: 3.14.15. Hence some once-in-a-lifetime Pi Day celebrations and promotions around the country are planned for this Saturday.

But what’s the big deal about pi in the first place?

“To mathematicians, pi is a powerful superhero that turns up all the time in a huge range of mathematical problems,” Keith Devlin, Stanford University mathematician and the NPR “Math Guy”, explained recently to USA Today. “Pi deserves its special day.”

Unsurprisingly, the are many Pi Day promotions that’ll get math nerds excited: For instance, the American Mathematical Society is discounting its publications (40% off for members, 25% off for nonmembers) for orders placed using the code MT159 from March 14 through the end of the month. It’s just like Black Friday!

There are plenty of deals meant to appeal to C students who hated math too. The fast-casual Blaze Pizza chain is offering any pizza for $3.14 on Pi Day. Your Pie, a pizza restaurant franchise in the southeastern U.S., is knocking $3.14 off pizzas and handing out free gelato and pi-related swag on Saturday. Up in New England, Portland Pie Company locations host an annual customer appreciation day on Pi Day, and on 3.14.15 they will be selling $3.14 pints of beer, $3.14 kids meals, and $3.14 10-inch specialty pizza pies.

Cities around the country have tons of Pi Day deals and events as well.

Boston: In addition to restaurants in Boston and Cambridge offering special $3.14 pricing on pizza or pie on Saturday, institutions ranging from the Boston Children’s Museum to the Harvard University Math Department are hosting Pi Day activities. MIT, meanwhile, has made it tradition for 3.14 to be the day for admissions decisions to be announced. This year, the school created a goofy prank video, supposedly showing that students will be alerted of their acceptance via letters delivered by drones flown all over the world, with the dramatic “Flight of the Valkyries” playing in the background:

Chicago: The day starts in the Windy City with a special 3.14-mile Pi K Fun Run/Walk in four locations, organized by the Illinois Science Council. To participate, tickets cost $31.41, though in homage to Albert Einstein you’ll get $5 off registration if your first name is Albert or Alberta. Later, the Adler Planetarium is hosting Ultimate Pi Day festivities on Saturday that include a pie eating contest, free samples of pizza and pie from local restaurants, and a nighttime event for those 21 and over with music, panel discussion, and a cash bar. Throughout the day, many bakeries and pizza places in the city are doing Pi Day promotions like $3.14 pies and $3.14 combos with a soda and a slice of pizza.

New York City: MoMath, which is the hip name for the National Museum of Mathematics, is organizing a Pi Day of the Century nighttime event in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. Participants will encircle a park fountain with glowing light sticks, and there will be a countdown to precisely 9:26 p.m., so that it will be (just like pi), with free hot chocolate and pie to follow. The museum is hosting Pi Day activities earlier in the day for kids, starting with a countdown outside leading to 9:26 a.m. and an early 9:30 opening rather than the usual 10 a.m.

Princeton, N.J.: Arguably no town celebrates Pi Day with as much brilliant enthusiasm as Princeton, where mathematical genius Albert Einstein—born on March 14 in 1879, by the way—lived and taught. Princeton is overloaded with Pi Day deals at restaurants, theaters, and shops along the lines of $3.14 off food orders and free slices of pie for customers. There are also special events scheduled throughout the day, including a parade (or “Pirade”), an Einstein lookalike contest, a pi recitation competition, and something dubbed the Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl.

San Francisco: The Exploratorium museum holds annual Pi Day activities, with pi- and pie-related panel discussions, movies, dough-tossing, and freebies on this year’s schedule.

Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post rounded up a bunch of Pi Day deals and activities in the D.C. metro area, most involving $3.14 deals on pizza, pie, and in at least one case, beer.

MONEY freebies

How to Get Free Pancakes on Tuesday, Courtesy of IHOP

Maple syrup runs down the side of a short stack of three pancakes at the International House of Pancakes.
Torin Halsey—AP These handsome fellows can be all yours on March 3 for the extremely reasonable price of free.

National Pancake Day, yet another made-up food holiday, is Tuesday, March 3. That means IHOP customers get a free short stack of pancakes.

Tuesday marks the tenth anniversary of National Pancake Day, an annual event in which IHOP customers get free pancakes and millions of dollars are raised for charity. This magic combo easily makes Pancake Day one of our favorite fake holidays of the year.

Getting free pancakes is simple enough. All you have to do is head to a participating IHOP—the vast majority play along—and ask for a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Easy as that.

In exchange for your free breakfast, IHOP will ask you to consider giving a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or another designated local charity. For the 2015 edition of its National Pancake Day giveaway, IHOP hopes to raise $3.5 million for charity. The flapjack franchise has raised nearly $16 million in Pancake Day-related charitable donations since 2006, when the marketing stunt began.

TIME Spending & Saving

How to Get Free Krispy Kreme Donuts Today

Krispy Kreme donut production line
Lightworks Media—Alamy Krispy Kreme donut production line

The chain is celebrating with free treats. Here's how to get yours

If you are one of the first 1,000 customers at a Krispy Kreme donut shop on Feb. 24, you can lay claim to one glazed donut, free of charge. The promotion is being held to celebrate the opening of a new Krispy Kreme location in Kansas City, which will be the chain’s 1,000th location.

If you’re near Kansas City, that location opened at 6AM. The first person in that particular line will get one dozen donuts for free, once a week for a year. The next 99 people in line will receive a dozen free donuts once a month for 12 months. Elsewhere, all participating stores are giving away 1,000 donuts to the first 1,000 customers.


MONEY freebies

Krispy Kreme Is Giving Away 1 Million Free Donuts on Tuesday

Krispy Kreme donut production line
Lightworks Media—Alamy Krispy Kreme donut production line

To celebrate the opening of its 1,000th shop on Tuesday, Krispy Kreme is giving away one glazed donut to the first 1,000 customers in each location.

Tuesday is not the deliciously wonderful fake holiday known as National Donut Day (which takes place in June). But it’s a pretty good runner up. If you’re one of the first 1,000 customers at a participating Krispy Kreme donut shop on Tuesday, you’ll be rewarded with one glazed donut, free of charge.

The promotion is being held to celebrate the opening of a new Krispy Kreme location in Kansas City, which will be the donut chain’s 1,000th location around the globe. The Kansas City location will open at 6 a.m., and there is sure to be quite a long line well before dawn. That’s because the first person in line will get one dozen donuts for free, once a week for a year. The next 99 people in line, meanwhile, receive a dozen free donuts once a month for 12 months. The first 150 folks in line get commemorative T-shirts as well.

Krispy Kreme isn’t limiting the celebration to Kansas City, however. The company has 1,000 locations in 24 countries around the world, and all participating stores are giving away 1,000 donuts to the first 1,000 customers. A thousand locations multiplied by 1,000 donuts equals a Dr. Evil-ish 1 million donuts.

The promotion is not valid in grocery stores, and as the Consumerist pointed out, some locations might decide not to participate because of “stingy or joyless managers who chose to not take part.” But surely most Krispy Kremes will play along, and collectively they’ll give out something close to a cool 1 million donuts. If you want to score your free donut, it’s probably best to hit your nearby Krispy Kreme early on Tuesday morning.

MONEY freebies

5 Great Food Freebies for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

IHOP Restaurants celebrate National Pancake Day with free buttermilk pancakes on March 3!
IHOP IHOP Restaurants celebrate National Pancake Day with free buttermilk pancakes on March 3!

The celebrations start today.

Mark your calendar: Free burritos, free pancakes, and even free babysitting for a child-free parents’ dinner are available this weekend and in the near future.

Free Chips & Nutella: February 12

California Tortilla, which has dozens of locations in the Mid-Atlantic region (but none in California or the West), is hosting an early Valentine’s special two days before the actual holiday. On Thursday, February 12, with any purchase, customers also get a free order of “Love Chips”—tortilla chips dusted with cinnamon and sugar—with some Nutella for dipping.

Free Burrito: February 14
The Mexican restaurant chain Qdoba has a buy-one-get-one-free smothered burrito deal to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, though only once a certain romantic—or perhaps icky—requirement is met. To take advantage of the deal, you must kiss someone at the time the order is placed. Could be your spouse, could be a first date, could be a total stranger, but the rule is: No kiss, no free burrito.

In other news related to public displays of affection being used to get free food, McDonald’s announced plans to run its “Pay With Lovin'” promotion, which was popularized during its Super Bowl commercial, in select locations around the country on February 14. If selected, McDonald’s customers will be allowed to use “lovin'” in the form of a hug, fist bump, a phone call to mom, or some other demonstration of love, to cover their bill. A representative for McDonald’s said that the company anticipates that more than 1 million customers will be asked to “perform an act of lovin’ as payment in restaurants” on Saturday. [UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that the “Pay With Lovin'” promotion was only taking place in Pittsburgh, when in fact the promotion is occurring at select McDonald’s restaurants all over the country.]

Free Babysitting: February 20
On Friday, February 20, participating Olive Garden restaurants are hosting “Parents Night Out” evenings. Couples can drop children off at partner My Gym locations, where staff will lead kids in games, songs, and gymnastics. After dinner, parents who present a receipt from Olive Garden get their gym deposit refunded.

Free Pancakes: March 3
Tuesday, March 3, 2015, is when the 10th anniversary of IHOP National Pancake Day will be celebrated. As is always the case, IHOP marks the event by giving away one short stack of buttermilk pancakes free of charge to each customer. In lieu of a bill for the pancakes, customers are asked to consider making a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or another charity.

Free Breakfast, Dessert, Shopping Bag: March 7
IKEA somehow decided that Saturday, March 7, should be BYOF (Bring Your Own Friends) Day. We’re not sure what that really means. In any event, there’s no need to bring a friend to take advantage of the freebies offered that day: With a printout from the link above, anyone visiting a participating IKEA can get a free breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, and home fries until 11 a.m., a free reusable IKEA blue shopping bag all day long, and a free dessert with each dessert purchased from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

TIME Fast Food

Why Cinnabon Is Proud to Employ Saul Goodman

ÒLocalÓ: The After-School All-Stars Atlanta program extended its services to City of Refuge, a transitional living center for previously homeless women and children.Walt ThompsonElgin
Meg Buscema—Georgia State University/Chanell Kat Cole has been President of Cinnabon since 2010 (Photo courtesy of Kat Cole)

The pastry chain is embracing its star turn on the new Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul

In the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, bus-bench lawyer Saul Goodman, in fear for his life, prepares to change his identity and go into hiding. “If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha,” he says, dejectedly.

And that’s exactly what happened, as revealed by last night’s premiere episode of the spin-off, Better Call Saul. Given that this is supposed to be a depressing development for Saul, and is meant to reveal how low he’s sunk (even lower than chasing ambulances), you might think Cinnabon would try to distance itself from the show as much as possible. Instead, it’s doing the opposite.

The chain is giving away one free “mini-bon” per person, packaged in boxes depicting the pathetic Saul, on Monday between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at all 704 of its stores. Also, starting Monday, customers who tweet in-store selfies with the hashstag #SaulSelfie will have a chance to win a year’s worth of Cinnabon treats. (Who wants to lay odds that the winner will be an Omaha resident?)

Cinnabon had already proved itself more than willing leverage unflattering mentions of itself. Back when Saul first uttered what was a throwaway line on Breaking Bad, sixteen months ago, a Cinnabon manager in Omaha, with the backing of corporate HQ, hung a sign bearing the quote in his store window. And Cinnabon published a tweet directing Bob Odenkirk, who plays Saul, to its careers page.

Kate Cole, the president of Focus Brands, the affiliate of Roark Capital Group that owns Cinnabon and several other chains including Schlotzsky’s and Carvel, spent part of her Monday morning retweeting mentions of Cinnabon and Saul. The impressively young Cole (she’s 36), who was elevated in December from her position as Cinnabon president, clearly didn’t care that some of those tweets didn’t necessarily put Cinnabon in the best light. “You really need to screen your employees better” one tweeter advised Cinnabon, attaching a picture of a sinister-looking Saul Goodman manhandling a fistful of dough behind the counter.

MONEY freebies

Free Coffee at Chick-fil-A for Entire Month of February

Chick-fil-A restaurant, Naples, Florida.
Jeff G—Alamy Chick-fil-A restaurant, Naples, Florida.

Restaurants are pouring free coffee for the whole month, no purchase required.

The new year kicked off with dueling free coffee promotions from McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts in some parts of the country, and now another fast food player is entering the coffee wars with an even bigger, broader, no-strings-attached giveaway.

On Friday, Chick-fil-A announced that throughout February, restaurants nationwide will pour customers free cups of hot or iced THRIVE Farmers Coffee—all day long, no purchase required.

Chick-fil-A launched a partnership with THRIVE, a Georgia-based company that networks with family-owned coffee producers in Central America and reportedly allows them to earn up to 10 times the norm, in August 2014. Now the push is on to win over customers by giving the coffee away, with only a very little amount of fine print to worry about:

This offer includes 12 ounce hot or 16 ounce iced sizes and is available while supplies last. The offer is available anytime during regular restaurant hours and is limited to one cup of coffee per customer, per visit. No additional purchase is necessary and no substitutions are available.

The coffee giveaway especially makes sense in light of how important breakfast has become to fast food restaurants. Breakfast is the only meal of the day that has experienced consistent growth in sales in recent years, which explains why more competitors are entering or expanding into the space—notably Taco Bell. Another factor explaining the fresh coffee push: Consumers are more prone to grabbing a cup of Joe at Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald’s, or at convenience stores such as Cumberland Farms and 7-Eleven, not just for breakfast but at any hour of the day. Chick-fil-A clearly wants to be thought of as a great spot for a quick anytime coffee as well.

In all cases, the hope is that when folks swing by for coffee, they’ll also pick up a scone, donut, hot dog, Egg McMuffin, Slim Jim, chicken biscuit, or some other specialty of the house.

TIME Brands

There’s Still Time to Get Your Free Burrito from Chipotle Today

Restaurant Chain Chipotle Warns Climate Change Could Force Guacamole Off The Menu
Joe Raedle—Getty Images A Chipotle restaurant is seen on March 5, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

But you have to order their "sofritas" first

Chipotle really, really wants you to try its new tofu.

On Monday, Jan. 26th, the Mexican chain is offering free food for customers who order their new organic tofu Sofritas. Here’s the deal: All you have to do is buy one of their entrees made with the vegan-friendly protein today, bring your receipt back to any Chipotle location from Jan. 27 through Feb. 15 and you’ll get a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or tacos.

It’s basically a buy-one, get-one-free kind of thing — but, hey, a free burrito is a free burrito no matter when you redeem it.

So what exactly are you buying in order to get that free size-of-a-small-baby burrito? In Chipotle’s own words, Sofritas are made “organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.”

Keep in mind that should you dislike Sofritas, you can use your next-time “freebie” for anything on the menu — if supplies are still in store. (Those deliciously spicy carnitas are still off the menu at about a third of Chipotle’s locations.)

This article originally appeared on

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