Vegan Freebies Using Apps on Road Trip: Not that Simple

I recently took a road trip to Colorado Springs, which wasn’t even my idea, but it ended up being a solo road trip, so I left my golf clubs in the trunk and concentrated on getting vegan food freebies with apps, which isn’t always that easy.  The digital age transferred tasks to the consumer and in exchange there are some freebies to offset inflation.

For the road I brought a lot of snacks in mini-coolers. Vegan no cow. bars were freebies via Rebaid and then offered again for free via Facebook (in exchange for posting a review.)

I stopped over in Raton, NM and I didn’t bother trying any restaurant, since I brought some vegan frozen meals in a Coors Light backpack cooler that I won.  That way I had more pool time.

In Pueblo, CO I finally for the first time tried The Impossible WhopperTM.  There had been an online game that guaranteed Royal Crowns prizes (you just had to play the game and you automatically won.) The Impossible WhopperTM was 1000 Royal Crowns. But the problem was that I didn’t see anywhere in the app to put “hold the mayo” (maybe the app needs updating or something.)  The app also said that I could only pick up the order in the drive-thru. 

Impossible Whopper, Hold the Mayo

So I went in and told the worker at the counter about the problem and he said he could tell the cooks “hold the mayo” right there and I could pick it up right there.  He asked if I got The Impossible WhopperTM for free and I said yeah, and he was like, “Damn, our app is legit!”  Okay, but it could use improvement.  Also, I brought in my own drink because even though I had a lot of “free drink” credits, I didn’t feel like doing a separate order. (The app has a rule against using more than one promo deal per order, which means that people will just do separate orders if they want to get multiple freebies.)

I had read on Happy Cow that there is a restaurant in Colorado Springs called Santana’s Vegan Grill so I knew I should go there.  I thought I might have to pay out of pocket, but then I remembered I had Uber Eats credit from gift cards that I won (you enter them in the app so they are stored.)  I couldn’t actually remember if I had ever used Uber Eats before, but it turns out that I hadn’t.

First I tried doing the order on the web, but it wouldn’t let me use my gift card credit! Then I decided to try the app, and yes, my credit was there! I had already looked for promo codes not realizing that I had a promo code already in the app (I don’t remember if I had entered it at some point or it’s just automatically there for first time customers.)  So, the promo code was for $20 off $25 orders so I had to order more food. (That’s okay; I brought some containers and bags to save food.) Okay, so I could finally place the order, right? Nope!  Now the Uber Eats app wanted a scan of my driver’s license.  So, finally I went through all that process and I could go get the free food and that shouldn’t be difficult, right? Wrong.

Santana’s Vegan Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

I went in and told the worker at the counter I was picking up my Uber Eats order and told her my name.  But she said she couldn’t find it so I had to show her the actual app.  She was like, “I thought you said the order was for Brandon.”

“No, that chick who came in after me shouted out that she was picking up an order for Brandon.” (Yes, a long haired blonde chick decided to butt in for some reason.)

Okay, so if you order food from a restaurant through an app for “pick up” does that mean you have to take it away? Not me! I’ll eat there anyway because I just ordered for “pick up” so I could get it for free.  So, the counter worker gave me my smoothie and donut (in a box) right away and the rest I had to wait for. (Brandon chick got her order first.) So, remember I had to order over $25 worth of food to get a really good deal (I hardly needed to spend my Uber Eats gift card credit), so the workers may have thought I was bulimic (wasteful.) Oh well. I’m not!  I saved a lot of it for later.  The vegan chili cheese fries is big enough for three people to share, so I saved two thirds of it, the vegan bacon cheese sandwich, part of my vegan burger, and the donut for later. (My Uber Eats referal code is eats-jillb8595ui.) (Then I wondered if I dropped the ball on getting cash back. But I didn’t see Uber Eats in the TopCashBack app, just on the web page, so who knows.)

But I didn’t get enough beverage because I ordered a smoothie.  I thought about making another order through the app, but I could see there was a Dunkin Donuts next door, which I also had app credit for (from prizes), so I figured I’ll save the rest of my Uber Eats credit for another restaurant.  So, I got a refreshing beverage for free from Dunkin Donuts.  Then I saw next door was a Circle K and realized I had a digital coupon for an Aha sparkling water (from their mobile game), so I checked for it, and they didn’t have it.  Instead of selecting the option to change the prize to a fountain drink, I decided to use a digital coupon for gas.  I pre-paid (as per instructions) with coins (which stores need because of the national coin shortage) and the cashier was like, “I’ll have to open the rolls to check these coins.”  But she didn’t bother.  However, I only ended up getting 41 cents of free gas, so that was not the biggest discount on the planet.

Then I decided to pick up some freebies from Sprouts, which shouldn’t have been a problem since I didn’t have a problem last September in Las Vegas.  But due to cashier arrogance, it was a problem.

As you probably already know, each first of the month at 10am mountain time the Sprouts app offers digital freebie coupons. (Expect the app to jam up and give errors when the freebie digital coupons are supposed to go live.)  I actually only had one of those digital coupons for the Free Kettle Potato Chips, 8.5oz.  (The habañero lime is too hot. Next time I’d get the salt & vinegar.)  But I also had a freebie coupon for Maxine’s Heavenly cookies (given out via an offer on Facebook.)  And I picked up a Munk Pack Nut & Seed bar (free after Ibotta cashback of $2.29.) My Sprouts account is linked to Ibotta so the cashback was supposed to be automatic, but it wasn’t so I used the link in the app that says “submit receipt instead.” (My Ibotta referral code is BOUUTSV.)

But checking out was a problem because the cashier refused to scan the bar code because I had it printed out and forgot the phone with the app in my car.  She said I could type out my phone number instead, which I did, but the freebie digital coupon didn’t apply.  She suggested that I just hadn’t loaded the digital coupon properly and I was like no, you have to scan the damn barcode. (A Sprouts I used to go to had the scanner facing the customer so she could scan the barcode herself.)  But since she still refused to scan the printed barcode even though the Sprouts app isn’t the same as the Ticketmaster app, I had to get the phone out of my car.  So going back out into the parking lot I again saw the pregnant lady playing violin and I’m thinking, “Wow, I just saw Colorado Springs’ discards hanging out at a park next to a shelter, but I’m sure this lady’s kid will be just fine.”

So back in the store the cashier scanned the barcode on the phone so I could finally finish the damn transaction. WOW.

Park where where Colorado Springs’ discards hang out

Then because I had so much leftovers I didn’t need to stop on the drive back to use my Taco Bell boost, so I did that later in Clovis, NM.  Cash App has a lot of giveaways for cash, stock, bitcoin, and boosts, but this Taco Bell boost was just a limited offer freebie and you didn’t have to win it.  So now I have to wonder why Taco Bell has a “Fiesta Veggie Burrito” with so many animal products in it that even if you order it “fresco” it will still have a chipotle sauce with egg in it.  Does the corporate office understand the meaning of the word “veggie”?  But much better is the bean burrito, fresco, guacamole added.  So, I just had to purchase items using my Cash App debit card (with money that I won) and then I received this notice: “You spent $0.08 at Taco Bell. Your 99% Boost was instantly applied.” (My Cash App referral code is RHGLCPV.)

Ever More Vegan Freebies, Especially Beverages

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!)

The Chipotle app offers “free guac” (with a purchase) as a birthday freebie.

Birthday Freebies

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.

Starbucks Rewards. Terms.

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:

A free vegan burger entree from Red Robin for my birthday.

* 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 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.)

Tea from the Jersey Mike’s Birthday Offer

Other Freebies

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

2 Free Drinks from Pilot on National Coffee Day During Driver’s Appreciation Month

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.

Pursuant to an offer on Facebook, a rebate was given via PayPal after purchasing Biofunctionals crackers on Amazon.

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.

Poway Lemon Orchard on Adobe Ridge Rd. Circa 2013

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.)

2022 Update on the Cover Up: Bad news. They closed in July 2022! A lady told me it was because they couldn’t find a manager and their church wanted to use the space for quilting.  That’s crazy because I was just there in June and got 3 pairs of shorts, track pants, a shirt, and flip flops. Jeanette (a worker there) said they had a bunch of stuff to put out for the next season and she was going to let me know if they got a Morrissey shirt! (She’s the one who wanted me to get more shorts; I was only going to get one pair. Lol.)

2021 Update on the Cover Up: They have exended their hours and now have contact numbers so I took a picture of the sign.CoverUpHoursAndContactNumbers

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.

The Cover Up thrift store where the merchandise is free

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.

Carrots at Wing-Stop, Brandless, PINCHme, Robinhood, Veggie Grill, & Carma Project Referrals

Wing-Stop in San Clemente, CA. I brought my own BBQ sauce & homemade vegan ranch dip.

Years ago I won gift cards to Wing-Stop on the radio, which was super smart because a carnist would have gladly taken them to get some free fried death.  (Wings are for flight, not mastication.  People who chew the flesh off dead bones look disgusting.) Too bad more vegans didn’t come up with the idea; they could have started a carrot revolution.  Carrots are Wing-Stop’s best item.  They also have celery, but I’m not into that.  They have seasoned fries too, which are vegan, but I didn’t ask about whether or not they are fried in the same fryers as the death because I didn’t want to know.  But at least I would bring my own condiments because I oppose high fructose corn syrup.  Here is information on the Seasoned French Fries as given to me by Lauren Estlinbaum in 2015:

Seasoned French Fries are fried in soybean oil in most areas and contain the following in our seasoning: sugar, Salt, dehydrated garlic, red pepper, white pepper, black pepper and onion powder.

Cruelty Free Reviews says the Cajun Fried Corn is also vegan, but I never saw that.

Fries & Dos Equis at Wing-Stop in San Diego (City Heights neighborhood)

It took me awhile to use my $50 up, but I finally did (well, I do have 57 cents left.)  I visited Wing Stops in San Diego, CA, San Clemente, CA, and Clovis, NM.  The ones in Southern California had beer too, so I would get Dos Equis.  But in Clovis, they don’t sell alcohol.  In Clovis there are restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Sundays (Clovis, NM Code of Ordinances 5.12.170, 5.12.180) and New Mexico law requires minor employees to be at least 19 years of age to sell alcoholic beverages in a restaurant where the primary source of revenue is food. (NMAC (B).)  Maybe they figured it wasn’t worth the trouble of selling it at all.  (But the path is clear for selling dead animals!) They do sell root beer in glass bottles though, but there is no place in Curry County, NM that collects glass for recycling (even though the bottle says, “Please recycle.”)  I asked an employee there where they recycle the bottles and she said they just trash them.  Now you know why locals call the place Dirty Curry.  There is a committee known by locals at the Shifty Fifty because their sole concern is to keep the Cannon Air Force Base from getting BRAC’ed (because of their financial interests), but do they care about the lack of recycling services?

Wing-Stop in Clovis, NM. They don’t recycle the glass bottles.

Wing-Stop seems kinda ghetto, like it’s for poor people, but then I saw a video on the WatchBack App (they give you gift cards for watching videos) of a Jenner chick telling her Momager that she bought a large quantity of dead animal parts at Wing-Stop and ate them all up. Yuck! Like she can’t afford to go to a vegan restaurant.

Brandless Corn & Quinoa Puffs. Yum. I ate every crumb.

Brandless is an online store that has a vegan section, so you might want to check it out! (There’s organic, non-GMO, fair trade, sustainably resourced stuff too.) They have different deals (like how much you have to spend to get free shipping or what item you can get for free if you spend a certain amount) at different times so you might want to check now and then to see what deals are going on.  Or check on a promo code site if it’s easier to see a list of deals.  (If you’re going to use a free item promo code, you don’t have to find the item; it will automatically be added to your cart when you meet the requirements.)  The best deal I got is when they stacked my referral credits. Nice!  Caveat: if you try to get cash back through TopCashBack, you probably won’t get any cash back if you use a promo code (however, if you do the same thing with eBay you will get cash back, make sense?)

I like a lot of the items, to name a few: Dark Chocolate Covered Quinoa Bites (it’s candy!), Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Sweet Jalapeño Lentil Crisps, Raspberry Twists, Organic Whole Wheat Animal Cookies, Jalapeño Flavored Corn and Quinoa Puffs, Dry Roasted Salted Pistachios, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Pearled Farro, Organic Hot Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa, Organic Butternut Squash Soup, and Organic Lentil Soup.

One caveat is that they have at least one packer who packs certain items upside down. No bueno.

They don’t put their maple syrup under the vegan section, so I wondered why not.  I’ve read two articles that say some maple syrup manufacturers use animal fat or lard to defoam it after boiling.  But the Well and Good article by Tehrene Firman (October 2, 2018), says that organic maple syrup uses certified organic vegetable oils, not animal fat. The Brandless maple syrup is organic, so why is it not vegan?

The Whoop Wellness article says it’s because PETA called a boycott on Canadian maple syrup because of the massive seal slaughter.  The Brandless maple syrup is a product of both the USA and Canada. So there you go.  The article also says it’s not vegan if it has added animal ingredients, but the Brandless maple syrup is purportedly pure maple syrup.  The article also says it’s not vegan if the manufacturing facility also produces items with animal ingredients. Oh-kay.

PINCHme is a sample site that sometimes offers vegan samples, like for example, Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic, coffee, tea, candy, tomato paste, or a vegan formula hair care product.  But they offer a lot of non-vegan stuff too, which you can reject (like, today I rejected non-vegan mayo!)  Basically, they have these Sample Tuesdays, where you can go on their web page at 12 pm Eastern time and accept whatever samples they might offer.  But not every Tuesday will be applicable to you.  Yours will be about once a month.  However, they might offer you something on a non-Tuesday, but ask you to take a survey to get it. They recently offered me non-vegan cookies if I took a survey and uh, no thanks to that.  One caveat is that I’ve had at least two orders never show up.  Whether they were misdelivered or just never sent, who knows; they don’t send you a shipping notice or tracking number.

Robinhood: As you know, I have my own diversified stock portfolio on Robinhood that I got for free.  But I am willing to pay money for one share of Beyond Meat, but I’ll wait until it’s lower than $60 or at least not much higher.  I’ve seen it as high as $79.80 (right now.)  However, if the ruling elite says a working class person can own part of a corporation for free, why wouldn’t he or she accept?  But, one caveat is that you can’t name a beneficiary on your Robinhood account.

Hey, look at the Veggie Grill in La Jolla!

Veggie Grill Expansion: Veggie Grill is planning on expanding to New York and Boston.  So write down my invite code and use it to join the rewards app shortly before going (you may get a sign up freebie that will expire shortly later): JillB7768

Carma Project: Use my unique link to check for a deadly Takata airbag. For a limited time, you’ll even be able to get a $5 reward for doing it.  Limit one reward per owner, while supplies last. Restrictions apply. U.S. residents only. Offer limited to new Bitmo users only. Mobile number on a valid U.S. carrier required. Messaging rates may apply.

Wild Edibles: Did you harvest and eat any dandelion greens from your yard this spring?  I did.  There were also lots of wild chives in the winter which will have seeds soon and I’ll share with buddies.  Just make sure to verify from a reliable source you have edibles rather than poisonous plants.  Remember the animal killer in Into The Wild?

Birthday Freebies and Other Referrals and Information

Daiquiri Ice Cone & Iced Decaf Coffee with Almond Breeze

Unfortunately, now that I live in an obscure location I missed out on so many of my favorite birthday freebies like Veggie Grill (invite code: JillB7768), Native Foods, Sprinkles, and PizzaRev (invite code: JillBall226). But my neighbor suggested we take a road trip so I could get some more of my birthday freebies, so we went to Lubbock, TX.

Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins

These two restaurants were in the same shop in Lubbock, which made getting two birthday freebies pretty convenient.  At Dunkin’ Donuts I got a large iced decaf coffee for free (a $2.59 value), but there was a $0.50 charge for adding almond milk, making the out of pocket cost with tax $0.54.

At Baskin-Robbins I got a freebie dairy-free/fat-free daiquiri ice cone.  It was actually a sign-up freebie rather than a birthday freebie because I had just signed up.


Birthday coconut refresher freebie from Dunkin Donuts. Plus avocado toast.

DD 2021 update: I got the birthday freebie, a coconut refresher, and also ordered an avocado toast with a gift card I had stored in the app. I was pleasantly surprised. Now I’m not even seeing a reason to get obese off vegan donuts.  But still they should make their donuts vegan non-GMO anyway.  But the weird thing about the app is that if you add a bunch of small gift card prizes, they aren’t totaled up, but are separate, which doesn’t make a lot of sense if you ask me.

Cicis – My Cicis

Specialized vegan pizza from Cici’s

I got a free buffet at the Cicis in Lubbock, which was cool because you can request that they make you a vegan pizza since their red pizza sauce is vegan. But I don’t believe the marinara sauce at the buffet is vegan. But the French dressing is.  For some reason the cashier needed to take hold of my phone to input the code even though I could have just read it aloud.  My referral code for My Cici’s rewards is: JillBalla15

PETA wrote about Cici’s here.

Red Robin – Red Robin Royalty®

I got a free build your own vegan burger at the Red Robin in Lubbock.  It comes with a “bottomless” side dish so you can get fries and steamed broccoli (the waiter said you can alternate between different side dishes.)  Here’s another article that explains getting a vegan burger at Red Robin.

Firehouse Subs

I did get my free veggie sub from the Firehouse subs in Lubbock, TX. My order was Medium Veggie Wheat, no cheese, no mayo, olives, cucumber, chopped pickle, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, pepperoncini.  It was a $6.19 value.  It also came with chips, which I didn’t even realize. My buddy saw people taking bags of chips and asked an employee if we could too and the answer was yes.  I still haven’t reviewed their nutrition menu; I simply relied on another web page.  My referral code: aqe9h

Auntie Anne’s in the South Plains Mall.

Auntie Anne’s

I went to the one in the South Plains Mall to get my free pretzel. The discount was $3.29. However, I’m not sure if I actually got one without butter because the employee got the pretzel out of a display case already baked and aren’t they supposed to get a raw dough one and bake it without butter? Who knows, but I told the employee “no butter” twice, but for some reason to scan my app he had to take hold of my phone and spend a lot of time figuring it out. Usually, it’s just scan, then next, then another scan. Who knows.

There were some other birthday freebies I could’ve tried to get in this same mall, but I forgot about the Sephora Beauty Insider one and Finish Line notified me about my birthday freebie like eight days after my birthday and I had forgotten to check on it in advance.

2021 update: The birthday freebie pretzel from Auntie Anne’s was too difficult to claim.  Instead of letting the customer claim it at the counter the customer was required to order on the app and there was no place in the app to say “no butter.” Then it also wanted a credit card to pay for tax.  If Auntie Anne’s ever improves by just making everything vegan, then here’s my Invite Code: JILESC05183.


Luckily O’ Rileys Auto Parts stores seem to be everywhere, so it shouldn’t be difficult to redeem your $5 birthday freebie that you get for being a valued O’Rewards member.  There also seem to be a lot of gift card giveaways in sweepstakes each year, so you can pay any balance with a gift card.  They give you a month to redeem your $5 freebie.  I got a magnifying glass because I realized I had given my only one away. But then I thought of a good idea for vegans. They sell window markers for writing vegan messages on car windows, so you could get that for free with your birthday reward and then put the vegan message on your windows!

2021 update: I used the $5 birthday reward towards a bucket because my other one got hail damage.

Ford Expedition with Window Message in Mira Mesa (neighborhood in San Diego, CA)

Jersey Mike’s

I didn’t get a chance to stop in at Jersey Mike’s, but the good news is that they gave me a coupon for a free regular sub and a 22 ounce drink.  The coupon is good for a whole year.  Who knows if I’ll get a chance to use it.

Kung Fu Tea

I didn’t get a chance to visit Kung Fu Tea because I don’t live anywhere near one now (one coming soon to Albuquerque), but I wanted to give a shout out to everyone who used my referral link. Who would have thought it would be my most popular referral link?

2021 update: Looks like the sign up freebie has been lowered from $4 to $1:

Get $1 in-app credit for each friend you refer who downloads the app and gets a drink! Each referred friend will also get $1 in-app credit too!

Checkout 51

They offered a dollar cashback on a vegan cupcake purchase, but I didn’t get a chance to do it and sadly, I don’t live near a Sprinkles anymore. (If you can offer me a job and a relocation package so I can live near a Sprinkles let me know.) But the reason I am mentioning the Checkout 51 app again is because since the last time I wrote about them, they started a referral program, so now you can get my awesome referral if you want to test out this app.

Tip: If you are doing a screenshot of an online receipt make sure the date is in the screenshot. Also, always read the terms of the offer you want to redeem.

2021 update: I did get the birthday dollar cashback on Brave Robot ice cream.  Also got the rebate from Brave Robot (check their webpage to see if they still offer the rebate.)  Also got cashback from Ibotta. You can get cashback on a lot of vegan stuff from Ibotta, My referral code is BOUUTSV.

Freebie Share of Stock from RobinHood

Robinhood Markets, Inc. [US]

I heard about the offer to get a free share of stock from in a commercial during The Dream podcast (show about Multilevel Marketing schemes.) (If you have a podcast feel free to give it a shout out in the comments. Since winning an Apple gift card and a Bluetooth speaker, I have learned that downloading podcasts is a good way to find entertainment.)  I ended up getting a share of SNAP, a camera company.  Here is my referral link so that you can get a freebie share of stock from  Now vegans have no excuse not to have their own investment portfolios, since they are supposed to be trying to be “a major economic force….

When you get your link to claim your free share of stock, you have to do it through the app or it won’t work. That’s how it was for me anyway.

Update: So, there was a scandal because they couldn’t handle volatile stocks. That’s okay, I can still accept the freebies.  And there are some other investment accounts that offer sign up freebies as well (but for how long who knows.)

WeBull: And it does let you name beneficiaries. Hooray!

Coinbase: I like Coinbase because it not only offers new users a sign-up freebie, but also sends them invites to learn about cryptos and earn freebies. Imagine that, being rewarded for getting education. Goes against American principles.  However, keep in mind, these promos may not always be offered.  And the bad news is that it doesn’t let you name a beneficiary.

CashApp: My referral code is RHGLCPV.

e.l.f. Beauty Squad

I signed up after my birthday so I don’t know what the birthday gift is.  I signed up because I noticed there hadn’t been any free shipping deals for awhile and then I saw that e.l.f. had a rewards program that offered the customer free shipping on the next order.  I also found a 20% off promo code on

2021 update:

The link that I previously provided expired and now I simply have an ELF referral link.   This link is to “REFER A FRIEND TO PURCHASE.”

Get 175 points (worth $5) for every friend who uses your share code on their first purchase (of $25 or more). Your friends will enjoy $5 off when they purchase items with your code.

I didn’t claim the birthday freebie this year because when I clicked on “redeem” the birthday freebie nothing showed up.  But I had already recently claimed a $10 reward so that’s okay.  Last year I claimed the birthday freebie, a Makeup Mist & Set, and I like it.

Pizza Hut “Hut Rewards”

Pizza Hut Rewards didn’t offer me a birthday reward even though the Hut Rewards page lists as a benefit, “Birthday reward: We appreciate you and want to celebrate your day.” But the reason I am mentioning them is in case you played the “They Win You Score” sweepstakes and wondered how to make your promo code prize vegan.  Basically you put the order in for bread sticks and a bottle of Aquafina water.  The web page doesn’t let you type a message that you are rejecting the bread sticks because they have dairy (maybe on normal orders, but not when using the promo code), so you have to let the restaurant know.  The cashier will get confused, but it’s not that difficult.  You just want the dipping sauce to freeze and save for later so you can eat it with something vegan.  Here are the ingredients:


Papa John’s – Papa Rewards

Last year I mentioned that you can potentially get a vegan birthday freebie (with the free 10 points) from Papa John’s, but what I didn’t realize is that you have to be on their e-mail list to get the offer, so I didn’t try it this year. Maybe some time in the future.


I’ve got a referral link for the EcoATM although I’ve never actually made any money from it; just recycled useless devices.  My personal code for the EcoATM is thrillracerESQ.

Get Green for Going Green

ecoATM is a super easy way to get rewarded for recycling your phone or tablet. Use my code at checkout for an extra $5.

Friends will receive a Share Code for a $5 bonus on the first device they trade-in at an ecoATM kiosk. Friends must enter the My Share a Code at the time of trade-in and the Friend’s device trade-in value must be $50 or more to qualify for referral rewards and use of the My Share Code. Device trade-in value is determined solely by ecoATM. Customers with past trade-ins are not eligible to be referred. The Eligible Referrer will receive a $5 Visa® Prepaid Card for each Qualified Referral, limit 100. ecoATM employees are not eligible. Visa® is a registered trademark of Visa, Inc. and is not a sponsor or otherwise associated or affiliated with this Offer.

Yo Tea Go & More (Clovis, NM)

Yo Tea Go & More restaurant

Update: It went out of business.  Looks like an H&R Block is there now.  Clovis, NM is wide open for a vegan franchise restaurant.  It doesn’t have a single vegan restaurant, which is pathetic.  Many of the residents are obese and/or drug addicits.

Yo Tea Go & More in Clovis, NM (Curry County) is like a Yogurtland and teahouse combined. They give out $5 gift cards on Facebook for their “Tuesday Tea Trivia” promotion so you can try it out for free. They also have little cups so you can sample different teas.

Georgia Peach granita with pecans and cherries.

I got a peach flavored dairy free frozen dessert (“granita”) and topped it with pecans, almonds, peanuts, cherries, and raspberries. Pretty good. I also tried a couple unsweetened iced tea samples. Also good.

The restaurant is spacious too.

Dairy free.

Apps, Restaurant Rewards, & Referrals Updates (Plus Some Restaurant Reviews)

If you read here about a sign up freebie or birthday freebie or special bonus, make sure to check the web page to see that it is still being offered.

Native Foods 

Inside a Native Foods Café restaurant in San Diego.

Back in February, Native Foods launched a new app and offered a $5 freebie for downloading (good for 2 weeks from the date you sign up.) With the $5 freebie I got the oatmeal crème pie and potato salad side to go for $1.39 out of pocket. I decided to eat half of the oatmeal crème pie one evening and the other half the next, but it ended up being 2/3 then 1/3 because it’s too delicious to stop eating!

When you claim your Native Foods reward you get a redemption code and QR code.  The cashier said I could not use the redemption code, just scan the QR code. (But you should be able to do either way.)

Use my code JillBalla3501 or click the referral link from your mobile device to earn extra points. Native Foods is in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, Colorado, Oregon, & Chicago. Gosh, I wish it was in the High Plains too!

The Veggie Grill app needs to be updated.  I have a new Invite Code now: JillB7768.  There is still a $5 off freebie for those who haven’t joined yet.  Locations: California, Illinois, Oregon, Washington. Gosh, I wish there was one on the High Plains!

Hey, look at the Veggie Grill in La Jolla!

Dunkin’ Donuts uses Almond Breeze in the iced mocha latte upon request

Dunkin’ Donuts

When you join Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks, you get a Free Beverage Reward.  After you sign up, you have about three (3) months to claim your free vegan beverage.

However, the catch is that you have to purchase a $2 gift card and add it to your account (although, sometimes there is a promo to get a free $5 if you add $10).  For some reason I couldn’t use my reward and my gift card at the register in the same transaction. I don’t know if that was because the cashier was confused or you can only use the gift card online for pickup (which I did later.)  Anyway, I got a large Vegan Iced Mocha Latte with almond milk.  $4.19 of the price was free, but there was a .25 surcharge for the almond milk that wasn’t free.  This PETA article tells you which food items are vegan.

Here’s what DD Perks tells you about the freebie beverage: “A Free Beverage in any size of your choice includes any iced or hot coffee, tea or latte, hot chocolate or Coolatta®. All cooler beverages are excluded.”

Dosh is a cool cashback app. When you sign up and link a credit card you get a $5 cashback freebie. When you book your first hotel through the app you get a $25 bonus plus regular cashback.  Use my referral code.

“$15+ million cash back since April ’17” – Dosh

Johnny Rockets

If you join the Johnny Rockets EClub, you will get a coupon for a free vegan black bean burger with the purchase of “an entrée and a drink” (means you order two Gardein vegan burgers, fries, and a beverage, then one of the vegan burgers will be free; a $6.69 value.) The coupon is good starting the day after you sign up and then for two (2) weeks.  Lewis and I went to the one at the Opry Mills Mall because I won a trip to Nashville. After we ate the vegan burgers, J.D. Haas swung by wearing his Adelaide, Australia shirt and I told him about the vegan burger deal. He said, “I haven’t eaten meat since 1977.”


The sign-up freebie is a $5 gift card through the app.  I’m actually not sure if you have to be referred to get it or you just get it when you sign up.  The app says to “invite friends” who will get a “free gift card upon sign up.”  If you want me to send you an invite, I’ll need your mobile number.  You can swap the card you get for a different one.  For example, I got a Panera card and swapped it for Chipotle. I then combined the $5 Chipotle card with Chipotle’s offer for freebie chips and guac (with a purchase) for signing up for the app. (The Chipotle deal was a limited time offer. They don’t seem to have a sign-up offer now, but will supposedly “launch a long-awaited loyalty program in 2019,” according to Reuters.)

Door Dash is a web page for ordering food. I decided to try it from the Hotel Preston in Nashville because I had a $15 promotional credit in my account that I had never used.  I ordered from The Wild Cow.  The menu didn’t say if all the items were vegan (just specific ingredients), so I just presumed they were. I chose Chipotle Seitan Tacos ($11.25) with the following specifications:

Tortilla Choice: Flour

The avocado was missing from these Chipotle Seitan Tacos from The Wild Cow.

Side Choice: Pineapple Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)

Sour Cream Addition: Vegan Sour Cream

Avocado Addition: Avocado

The tacos were great, but the avocado addition that I paid for was not on the tacos.  Also, no utensils were included in the bag.

Lewis chose Peanut Tempeh Tacos ($11.00) with the following specifications:

Tortilla Choice: Corn Tortilla

Side Choice: Pineapple Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)

Avocado Addition: Avocado

He said they were good.

We also got Spinach & Artichoke Dip ($7.25), which was pretty good, but we had to get utensils from the hotel’s restaurant in order to eat it.  Here’s the breakdown of the cost:

Subtotal: $29.50

Tax: $2.73

Delivery: $3.99

Service fee: $2.95 (This fee was hidden, so I’m not sure if there was an option to delete it because I didn’t even see it before placing the order.)

Dasher Tip: $2.00

Discount: -$15.00

Total: $26.17

So, as you can see, the $15 discount mostly just covered the extra charges rather than the food. Now the referral discount is $7, so if you want to try it here’s my referral code.  If you are not planning on ordering right away you may want to wait and see if there’s another promo making it $15 instead of $7. Who knows.

An example of getting cash back on vegan items from Checkout 51.

Checkout 51 is a cashback program that is both an app and web page. You can potentially save money on vegan items.  I tested it and it worked, but I’d have to experiment with it more to see if it really saves the consumer money.  It probably depends on whether the vegan items you want to get are easy to find and a good price to begin with.  The stores I shopped at did not have the vegan varieties that they would have had in different locations.  Make sure to read the terms of each item you are interested in.  Once you have $20 cashback in your account you can request the money.  I have $4 now for purchasing apples, canned beans, crackers, and Sapporo beer.

Denny’s Build Your Own Vegan Burger: I finally tried the vegan burger at Denny’s because a sweepstakes gave out a BOGO coupon (a $9.39 value.) (It wasn’t a prize, just a freebie. My prize was free coffee, but I didn’t use the coupon because the terms only allowed one coupon per visit.) The first time I was going to use the coupon I called the Denny’s in Clovis, NM to ask if they had the vegan burger and they were all sold out.  That should be a hint to restaurants that no sane person wants a burger made of murdered creatures.  Ironically, the menu highlighted “100% Beef Burgers” in big bold letters and the “veggie patty” option was disclosed in fine print. So, it’s interesting that they sell out of the veggie patty anyway. Think how many clueless people might opt to order the veggie patty if it jumped out at them on the menu.

Build Your Own Vegan Burger at Denny’s (one free with BOGO coupon)

Anyway, the burger is pretty good. When I asked the waitress which bun was vegan and if the bourbon sauce was vegan, she sent over another employee who explained that they were vegan, but manufactured in facilities that manufacture animal products. Lewis and I were like, “We want to order now!”

O-Live: Referral Program: Maybe Get Some Free Olive Oil

If you use my referral link, maybe we can earn rewards:

Rewards. Upon referring 1 friend, OLISUR INC. disperses one PDF file of the O-Live &Co. Cookbook. Upon referring 5 friends, OLISUR INC. disperses one discount code valid for 20% off any purchase made on the website, This code will be sent via email after the campaign concludes. Upon referring 15 friends, OLISUR INC. disperses one code valid for a free bottle of olive oil purchased from the website, Shipping fees may still apply. This code will be sent via email after the campaign concludes. Upon referring 20 friends, you receive one raffle entry into a drawing for the prize of a trip to Chile. After referring 20 friends total, every 10 additional friends will earn you one additional raffle entry.

The Viral Referral Contest will end in the first week of October 2018. OLISUR INC. will announce the winner on October 6th, 2018.

PowToken: Recently I was listening to a podcast called Sordid Details to monitor for shit talking against my hero (the hosts were totally shit talking, damn them), but they were also talking about Bitcoin and trying to make sense of it.  I can tell you I don’t know squat about it. I only own some POW ‘lite’ because it was a freebie:


To claim your free POW ‘lite’ simply sign-in using your Facebook or Twitter account (you can make a separate claim from each!) Next claim: 13,549 POW ‘lite’, worth $0.20

Here’s my referral code, but you’ll have to try it later because:

POW dev team has made the decision today to temporarily pause the development of our “bridge” functionality in order to address core architectural weaknesses to the site and service. All access and functionality has been suspended for a period of no less than six weeks, in order to allow this to take place. (Facebook, April 18, 2018)

Microventures: Last year Microventures offered an opportunity to invest in a vegan enterprise, a Plant Power Fast Food franchise. Gosh, I wish someone would open one on the High Plains!  So, anyway, keep checking to see if they have any future opportunities to own a piece of the vegan rock.  (Like, maybe I’ll start a truck stop franchise on the High Plains!) If you find an investment opportunity you like, you can use my referral link to get a free investment credit!  Whoa, more vegan rock for free!

Rewards I Haven’t Tested

Now that I live in an isolated area I won’t be able to test a lot of apps and restaurant rewards unless I travel or something.  So if you want to test any restaurant rewards and apps to see if you can score vegan freebies, go ahead and then report back with your referral code.  I’ll use it whenever the opportunity arises.  Make note of sign-up freebies and birthday freebies and keep checking for changes and updates on the menus and in the offers.

California Pizza Kitchen

Purportedly you get a free Small Plate when you sign up, which can be “white corn guacamole and chips” according to this Peta2 article. But according to the article nothing from the dessert menu is vegan, so your birthday freebie will be wasted.

Noon Mediterranean restaurants are in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.  According to Happy Cow, they have “veg-options.”  Here’s what the Noon Mediterranean web page says:



*Free Entree Only Applies For First Time Users. Will Receive Link To Claim Entrée After Email Verification.  Please Allow Up To 90 Minutes For Processing.

This Is Your Chance To Get Free Food And Prizes Doing The Thing You Love — Eating Noon Mediterranean.

Receive a free entree just for signing up* and chips and hummus on your birthday.



Luna Grill: They Need Vegan Bread, Desserts, and Beyond Burger!

House salad with falafel was my go-to freebie lunch from Luna Grill.

Well, it was great winning lots of gift certificates to the Luna Grill on the radio in San Diego, but now I don’t live near one, so goodbye to free house salads with falafel for awhile. They even gave out lots of freebie coupons in the Get 1 Free publication when they had a grand opening in Scripps Ranch.  They also had a sign-up freebie shareable for joining LUNATIC RewardsTM, as I described in a previous post.  I presume this freebie is still offered as the Rewards page refers to the “Free Shareable,” but sometimes sign-up freebies are limited time promotions (like with Chipotle, for example.)

If you haven’t done so recently, the LUNATIC RewardsTM app probably needs an update.  I recently earned 25 BONUS points for inviting myself.  Here is my invite code: JillBa4860

I want to thank the cool people who used my invite code so I could get free veggie kabobs.  If you get one for making a referral make note that the code you get is for the a la carte veggie kabob rather than the entrée one (the cashier may get confused if you just say “veggie kabob.”)

I do, however, think they are insane to not have vegan bread.  Their pita has dairy and their multigrain flatbread (lavash) contains honey.  As I mentioned before, honey has been shown to have weed killer in it.

At least, according to their To Go Menu, Luna Grill uses “project verified, non-GMO oil that is free of trans-fat and soy” to make their “marinades, dressings and fried items.”  They also started promoting Meatless Mondays (murder free Mondays.)

Meat eater wasted salad in Lake Forest, CA.

On one visit, the employee, Samuel, asked me if I wanted dessert.  I replied, “No; it sucks that your desserts aren’t vegan.”

He said, “We can only do so much.”

I looked at the dessert case, noticing that those cupcakes could easily be made vegan and said, “Make them vegan!”  When I received a menu for Fresh Brothers (Pizza · Salad · Wings) I noticed their desserts were vegan!  So there’s no excuse for a restaurant’s desserts to not be vegan. And what sucks is that the birthday freebie from the Lunatics app isn’t vegan!

Oh, and then the dude who sat near me didn’t eat all the dead chicken from his plate, which means that he probably doesn’t really care for meat.  Otherwise, why not save it instead of wasting “food”?

I’ve seen this dog at the Luna Grill in Torrey Highlands on more than one occasion.

Recent e-mails in April 2018 announced the Beyond Burger. (Plant based burger, but not offered at the Camino del Sur location, and also, “Not able to prepare vegan style.” WTF? “The revolutionary plant-based burger prepared with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and spicy feta.” A dairy product?)

So, one of Luna Grill’s problems is that they offer stuff that should be vegan, but for some reason they make it not vegan. What is that about?

Do you like her shorts?

2 Restaurants in La Mesa, CA (San Diego County)

Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill

Banbu Sushi is by Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza

Located in Grossmont Trolley Center where motorists are directed to park in the Pravada garage, which is spacious.

Vegan miso ramen

The good news is that they have a couple vegan entrees on the menu.  I got the vegan miso ramen.  I picked out the mushrooms and saved them for my dog.  The portion was big enough that I saved some for the next day.

The bad news is that the place is smelly when you go in because they’re making stuff out of eels. Ewwww! That’s why you’ll need a strong drink. I got the blue diamond martini.  (The online menu doesn’t list the drinks so now I have no idea if the alcohol was vegan friendly.)  To start I got a house salad with vinegar & oil (because their dressing isn’t vegan.)  The waitress tried to take the vinegar and oil before I was done using them, but luckily I stopped her because I saved the olive oil with the mushrooms for my dog.

House salad

The crazy thing is this place is popular.  I went in for an early lunch and it was already busy.  A pair of innocent sailors sat by me, Clark (chick) and Zhao (dude).  I kept looking at them to see if they had a point of view, but they just didn’t.  After they were done with their non-vegan food, four fat nurses from Kaiser Permanente took their place.



Hooley’s in Grossmont Center

Located in Grossmont Center near Macy’s.  I know I reviewed this one before, but I figured my further research required me to update.  Sadly, they haven’t updated their menu with vegan options. So, again I got the grilled zucchini tacos specially prepared to be vegan.  I got the carrot sticks as a side because none of the other sides were vegan (not even the beans!)  So, last time I got a salad which was purportedly vegan, but now it’s not.  Anyway, the salsa was too hot which caused me to eat the carrots fast like Bugs Bunny.  I also got the whiskey sour with Jameson again. However, my gift certificate had enough for me to order something else so I got a baked potato and a side of avocado.  I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and malt vinegar, which was really good and a better option than the grilled zucchini tacos, in my opinion!  They need to update their menu, however, to reflect a more evolved age.

Now I almost forgot to mention that a Facebook troll purports to reside in La Mesa.  This person is threatened by anti-natalists. I figure I should just copy and paste the definition of antinatalism so that anyone can see it’s nothing to feel insecure about!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antinatalism, or anti-natalism, is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that people should refrain from procreation because it is immoral. In scholarly and in literary writings, various ethical foundations have been adduced for antinatalism.[1] Some of the earliest surviving formulations of the idea that it would be better not to have been born come from ancient Greece.[2] The term “antinatalism” is in opposition to the term “natalism” or “pro-natalism”, and was used probably for the first time as the name of the position by Théophile de Giraud (born 1968) in his book L’art de guillotiner les procréateurs: Manifeste anti-nataliste.[3]

Kung Fu Tea: Find a Freebie Vegan Beverage


Kung Fu Tea in San Diego

I’m doing an entire blog post based on one freebie beverage (or $0.58 in my case) from Kung Fu Tea because I found the app and menu to be a little more complicated than usual, so why not help others gain clarity? (I’m so generous.)

App: The app is run by Level Up, the same company that does the Veggie Grill rewards app (I would like to thank the sweet people who used my referral link), but I found I had to enter my credit card before the QR Code would show up (which I didn’t need to do for Veggie Grill, however, they are launching a “new VG Rewards app” soon.)  I then did a screenshot of the QR Code and printed it out because I’m not the type of person who likes to whip out my phone. And besides, sometimes you have to change the brightness on your phone to 100% before you can scan it off your phone.  So when you sign up for Kung Fu Tea Rewards you will get a $4.00 credit, which will say: “Free drink (up to $4) on first purchase.”  Their FAQ is not clear on how long you have to use it.

Another way to be referred, apparently

Menu: Currently, their Nutrition page only refers to calories, sugar-level, gluten, and caffeine. I presume they will update this information eventually based on consumer demand. Until then I would just use best judgment and avoid anything that sounds like it has dairy, honey, gelatin, etc.  I tried the mango slush, which was purportedly vegan according to the cashier. Delish. I owed $0.58 after the freebie $4 was applied.

Menu at Kung Fu Tea

Spaghetti at House of Bites – Miramar (San Diego)

House of Bites in Miramar.

Back in October, Get 1 Free Deals gave out freebie $20 vouchers. I hope vegans were smart enough to grab theirs.  I got one to use at a fast casual restaurant in Miramar, House of Bites. It’s in the Miramar Village Plaza north of the US Marine Corps Air Station (there would be no war if not for them.)

Fine print from the House of Bites voucher.

The good news is that you can order their spaghetti marinara without cheese, the salad without cheese (the Italian dressing and balsamic vinaigrette are purportedly vegan friendly too), and bread without butter.  So, it’s a good deal when you get a free $20. I suppose you could purchase a voucher too and it would still be a good deal if you used a promo code, since two (2) spaghetti entrees pre-tax totals less than $20.  However, the fine print on the voucher doesn’t say anything about alcohol not counting towards the $20, but the owner told me that’s how it is, so make note of that. The voucher does say, however, “Tax and Gratuity are not included.”

Spaghetti marinara and bread.

Funny thing, I saved the red onions from my salad in a container and the owner wondered why I was doing that. I said I was going to use them later and he offered to fill up the container with more. The next day I made a vegan-version of Herbie’s Herbed Potato casserole because the most difficult prep work was done for me already. And I must say I’m super impressed that cool Morrissey doesn’t like onions. (Chrissy Iley, Morrissey, Sunday Times Magazine, Nov. 26, 2017)

Make sure to do the #VeganChalkChallenge everywhere you go because an idiot on #NextDoor hates it.