Since moving from a radio market with a lot of restaurant gift card prizes and a metropolitan with tons of restaurants (many vegan), to one that hardly has anything, this blog has evolved to writing about ever more vegan freebies. My goal is to get back to a real city after I put some sweat equity into my house (which I bought in cash.) Location, location, location. (Home is a question mark.)
So, I guess I’ll just be writing about different vegan freebies for awhile instead of reviews of restaurants that I won gift cards to. (I still have gift cards I need to use in San Diego!)
Chipotle Rewards: Since my neighbor offered to buy me a vegan burrito from Chipotle on my birthday, I decided to look back into their rewards program. From the app that was already on my phone, I rejoined the rewards program and it already knew my birthday. The birthday gift is free “chips & guac” with a purchase. The offer showed up on my birthday and a QR code was provided. Then after making your first purchase you get another free “chips & guac” reward, which you can get without making a purchase.
2021 Update on Starbucks Rewards: They have seasonal sweepstakes that Rewards members can play twice a day without making a purchase by scrolling to the bottom of the sweepstakes page and requesting game plays. But don’t use an e-mail address that has blocks and will prevent you from receiving your game plays. That happened to me with Netzero awhile back. A very sucky e-mail program. And then you can’t change your e-mail address for purposes of the sweepstakes during the sweepstakes period. So then I did win enough points to get the Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box for free. But the Clovis, NM restaurant took it off the menu, so I had to get it in Las Vegas, NV. It’s pretty good and came with a pack of seeds that one can squirrel away for later.
Starbucks Rewards: Clovis, NM only recently got its first stand alone Starbucks, so I decided to see if I could get my birthday freebie. But nope, because they changed the rules and I hadn’t made a purchase. However, I noticed on the app that I had won enough stars in sweepstakes to get a freebie anyway, so I went and got blueberry oatmeal for lunch, but they were out of the agave (which is supposed to come with it.)
Red Robin Royalty: My golf partner invited me on a trip to Albuquerque for his birthday, which is only two weeks after mine, so some of my birthday freebies were still viable. So I got a vegan “Royalty Birthday Burger” from Red Robin (an $8.99 value.) Here are the terms for the free vegan burger from Red Robin:
* Valid for Royalty members only. Birthday reward valid during the month of your birthday. Valid at participating locations. Valid on dine-in and dine-out occasions. Offer valid once. Reward good for one free burger. Discount does not include modifications or add-ons. Discount does not apply to Entrées, Entrée Salads, Wraps, Appetizers, Sides, Desserts, Kids Meals and Beverages. Burger does not count towards Royalty Buy 9 Get 10. Discount applied to highest-priced qualifying item. Discount not valid on Catering purchases. Rewards are pre-ranked. To prioritize and view your reward ranking, sign into your account at redrobin.com/redrobinroyalty or text REWARDS to 98666 from your registered mobile phone. Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Rewards are non-transferrable
Jersey Mike’s Shore Points Rewards: I did claim the Jersey Mike’s free sub and drink birthday reward. They e-mail you a coupon if you are on their list. Don’t worry, I used reusable straw (the Absolut Vodka one given out by Fooji on Twitter.)
Pilot/Flying J app: When you sign up you get a free drink or coffee any size that expires in nine (9) days. (The welcome reward could be seen in the app, but not the web page.) The app seems to offer a lot of drink freebies. You go into the app and check the Rewards. Then you click on “Explore More Offers” and “save” the reward for it to apply when you scan your bar code. Here’s my referral code: jillb1724
However, one day in September, the “Driver Appreciation Month,” the Pilot in in Santa Rosa, NM didn’t carry the freebie drink on a Saturday and didn’t offer a substitute. But the Moriarty, NM store (that also didn’t carry the featured drink) offered a substitute bottle of water.
Route 66 Casino Turbo Rewards Club: To get vegan donuts from Rebel Donuts in Albuquerque at no out-of-pocket cost, I first went to the Route 66 casino and got my $5 Promo Cash (by joining Turbo Rewards Club.) Then I played the Willie Nelson “Shotgun Willie” slot machine until I won enough money to get a dozen vegan donuts (the next morning) and cashed out (yes, I’m a high roller.) (And where oh where is the MORRISSEY slot machine may I ask?) Rebel Donuts had seven (7) varieties of vegan donuts and fritters. There was one with green frosting that had apple pie filling and one with chocolate frosting that had cream filling. YUM!!! Since traditional style vegan donuts are a rare treat for me, I still have flat abs. They have two (2) locations. I visited the one on Wyoming Blvd. (at Claremont Ave.)
Crescendo Instant Drink Mixes: Crescendo gave me some free “instant cash” to try a trial pack of their vegan instant drink mixes with hemp derived CBD. They were good! And I think they want to give you the same deal, but I don’t know how long the promo will last.
Freeosk: Do you ever shop at a Walmart or Sam’s Club that has a Freeosk freebie machine? Believe it or not, it sometimes offers up vegan organic snack bars (and also a lot of not vegan friendly stuff.) You just download the app and scan the QR code at the machine when you see a good vegan organic item!
Derma E: If you like freebie vegan cruelty-free beauty and skin care items, then follow Derma E on Facebook and Twitter. They often offer free samples available to a certain amount of people (for both residents of the USA and Canada.) (Watch they don’t do it anymore after I post this. However, I did just get the “Vitamin C Instant Radiance Citrus Facial Peel” sample in the mail today.)
Update: Now I don’t know exactly where they announce their giveaways; I find out about them from sweepstakes e-mail newsletters. But often I receive an e-mail saying I won a sample, but never receive it. It’s possible the USPS steals them, but they don’t send out shipping notices or tracking numbers.
Freebie Offers on Facebook: When you scroll through your Facebook feed, instead getting distracted by your “Friends’” cries for attention, keep your eyes peeled for freebie offers. They look like ads at first blush, but if you look closely, you’ll see it’s a freebie offer. And they are often not advertised on freebie sites.
For example, FlowFushi offered a free Uz liquid eyeliner and you got to pick the color you wanted. The compostable package says “vegan” and “cruelty-free” right on the back. They sent it out in a timely manner with a tracking number. (Vendors and freebie/prize/rebate administrators often require a “street address,” but if there’s no tracking number on it then the USPS doesn’t feel obligated to deliver my mail to my home mailbox. And yes, I got Informed Delivery, complained to the Postmaster, Consumer Affairs, Inspector General, the Postal manager, the rural carrier, and put in some “missing mail” search requests. But they refused to confess. Consumer Affairs didn’t even bother to respond to my letter even though they should have received more than one letter because the Inspector General forwarded my letter to them. I did eventually get Street Addressing for my PO Box because I didn’t know it was available before.)
Update: An investigator was eventally assigned to this case, but I guess he never caught the thieves. I’m sure that somewhere a USPS employee has a lot of my mail stashed away.
Rebate Offers on Facebook: Sometimes there will be an offer for you to purchase a vegan product on Amazon and then get a refund via PayPal, which can be a good deal if you have free shipping lined up. For example, I recently purchased some vegan crackers called Sprouted Black Rice Bites from Bio Functionals on Amazon and then they sent a rebate via PayPal pursuant to their offer and instructions on a Facebook post. I got free shipping because my neighbor wanted me to order him an antenna, although, Amazon is now offering me another free trial of Prime. Getting a rebate via PayPal is so much more desirable to me than getting it by mail because the mail offers usually require a street address and as I explained, a lot of my mail went missing when it was addressed to my street address and didn’t have a tracking number on it or a handwritten address (or if it wasn’t church marketing mail.) ITWGB Promotions had to send me my rebate check three (3) times and the third time they decided they would use my PO Box instead of my street address, so I finally got it. Anheuser-Busch sent me my rebate gift card twice to my street address and I never received it. Now I have to ask them to send it again. So now you see the benefit of getting rebates via PayPal. If the company wants to use the United States Postal Service and not put a tracking number on the letter, then you’re taking chances with a corrupt enterprise. I lost so many prizes that were mailed in letters without tracking numbers.
Update: Then Anheuser-Busch did send it a 3rd time even though they said they weren’t and I finally got it. But now there’s an option to get all those rebates via virtual debit cards, although the last time I got one in the mail even though I thought I selected “virtual.” You can transmutate the virtual debit cards into Amazon credit. To find these offers check here.
Public Fruit Trees: Do you know where any public orchards or fruit trees are? I used to go to a lemon orchard in Poway, CA. I’d bring a long reach fruit picker because most people grabbed up the low hanging fruit. I miss lemon trees! And the nice thing about them is you don’t see worms crawling out of lemons (ewww), just maybe some ants crawling on them. The only orchard I knew about was the Adobe Ridge one mentioned in this article, but it mentions another one and grapefruit orchards, which I had never seen, so I have no idea if they are still there.
There is a peach tree near the nasty dumpters in Melrose, NM. They start getting ripe at the end of August. I was getting a few here and there, but learned real quick that they had worms! Ewwww! Even if the peach looked unmarred by bird peckings or sap, a worm could still crawl out of the pit! But other than that they were nice juicy ripe peaches, so I would wash them and slice off some good parts not up against the pit and then hurry and chuck the rest on a compost heap before I could be surprised by a scary worm! So no wonder peaches are on the “Dirty Dozen” list and no wonder I love home grown avocados so much and they are on the “clean” list (they don’t get worms!) Someone eventually took all the peaches off the tree and I thought, “Good, let them eat around the worms!” (Ewwwwww.)
Supposedly there will be a Food Forrest in Atlanta.
Picking Wild Berries: I’ve never picked wild berries, but I noticed people like to post about it on social media, but they don’t always say where. But if you look up articles about it then sometimes people will say where in the comments (Rohnert Park, CA, Napa, Western PA, Sweden, etc.)
2021 Update on the Cover Up: They have exended their hours and now have contact numbers so I took a picture of the sign.
Cover Up: If you’re ever driving in eastern New Mexico on a Wednesday around two ’o clock and you stop at a truck stop in Melrose, NM and you want to visit a thrift store where everything is free, just drive over to Main St. It’s called the Cover Up. You can’t miss it because there aren’t many open businesses there. I got an Adidas golf shirt new with tags and other items as well. It’s run by the First United Methodist Church (an organization that is not embarrassed to reveal on Facebook that they eat dead animals at their picnics.) They are supposedly open from 2 pm to 5 pm on Wednesdays, but sometimes close early if nobody is around. They don’t seem to have a phone number.
Free CLE: Each month Above the Law offers a free CLE via Lawline. The Above the Law page will provide a link to Lawline where you can purchase the course for $0. I like this free CLE because it’s convenient to listen to on the app through a Bluetooth speaker. Although, sometimes the app gets jammed up when you are downloading the CLE and you have to start over.
Update: Now the freebie isn’t necessarily given out every month.