Setting and maintaining a holiday budget will be the smartest thing you do all year.
The month of December can be expensive.
There are gifts to buy and holiday parties to prepare for and more gifts to buy.
But thankfully, there are also some ways to save this month and a few sweet days too.
Dec. 4 is National Cookie Day, Dec. 8 is National Brownie Day and National Cupcake Day is Dec. 14.
Bookmark this page because it’ll be updated frequently with more freebies, meal deals and additional ways to save.
Here are the best deals, big days and ongoing specials, available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out.
Domino’s: Through Sunday, Dec. 2, get 50 percent off all menu-priced pizzas ordered online, via apps and Domino’s AnyWare ordering with Google Home, Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Slack.
Hardee’s: On Tinder? If you are and you match with “Chris P.” you’ll get a buy-one-get-one free offer on Hardee’s five-piece chicken tender small combo to redeem through Dec. 9.
Moe’s Southwest Grill: Instead of kids eating free, this is a parents eat free deal. Through Sunday, Dec. 2, with the fast-casual chain’s smartphone app and a kid’s meal purchase, get a free adult entree up to $8. The child needs to be present and this offer is in-store only.
Pizza Hut: Through Sunday, Dec. 2, get 50 percent off all menu-priced pizzas with promo code 50OFFNOV2018.
Dec. 1: Worlds AIDS Day
These aren’t deals but ways to give back.
Blaze Pizza: In support of Worlds AIDS Day, Blaze is offering a new Peppermint S’more Pie in each of its more than 300 restaurants and has committed $5,000 to support (RED)’s effort.
Starbucks: On Saturday, will donate 20 cents for every latte purchased in participating U.S. and Canada Starbucks stores to the Global Fund to help (RED) fight AIDS.
This holiday attraction at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs won’t cost you a thing.
Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
More sweet deals are expected.
DoubleTree: The Hilton hotel brand known for its warm cookies announced it’s celebrating the made-up holiday by giving guests and non-guests a free cookie Tuesday at U.S. DoubleTree locations.
Great American Cookies: Get one free original chocolate chip cookie at participating stores Tuesday. No purchase necessary and limit one per customer.
Insomnia Cookies: Get a free traditional cookie with any in-store purchase Tuesday at the chain’s 145 locations. Then Wednesday and Thursday, get one free traditional cookie with any delivery order and for one week get 20 percent off shipping orders.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza: Coupon Club members can get a free pizza cookie with purchase of a large specialty pizza. Sign up for the club at www.mountainmikespizza.com/coupons.php and you can also access club member coupons at the same link.
Mrs. Fields: Get a free cookie with any purchase Tuesday.
Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip: Buy three classic cookies, get three free Tuesday.
Penn Station East Coast Subs: With any sandwich purchase Tuesday, get a free chocolate chunk cookie bite.
Schlotzsky’s: Get a free small cookie when you buy an entree Tuesday. Entree meals include sandwiches, salads, pizza and flatbreads.
Dec. 5: The Cheesecake Factory’s birthday deal
To celebrate the restaurant’s 40th anniversary, The Cheesecake Factory is partnering with DoorDash to give away 40,000 free slices of cheesecake on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The promotion starts at 11:30 a.m. local time and is available through 10 p.m. Wednesday or while supplies last, according to the offer terms.
To get the free slice, place a DoorDash order and use promo code FREESLICE at checkout for a credit up to $8.95 for the slice.
Also Wednesday through Dec. 11, get free delivery on all Cheesecake Factory orders through DoorDash.
Dec. 8: Schlotzsky’s Guest Appreciation Day
For Schlotzsky’s Guest Appreciation Day, starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 8, customers can get a year’s worth of sandwiches for $30. The Schlotzsky’s Rewards app is needed to purchase the package to get one The Original Sandwich weekly in 2019. The first 100 guests at each location will receive a free 4 count Cinnabon Classic pack with purchase of the deal. Learn more at www.schlotzskys.com.
Applebee’s: The December drink of the month is the Dolly Jolly, a $1 Jolly Rancher Vodka Drink available in cherry or green apple at participating locations.
Burger King: Cini Minis, considered a fan favorite from the ’90s, are back for a limited-time with a four-piece costing $1.49 at most locations. The treat also is available for delivery exclusively on Grubhub. With $10 or more Grubhub orders, get a free order. A coupon code isn’t needed and the freebie should unlock once you have $10 in your cart. Burger King also has a DoorDash deal with an item just for dogs.
Chili’s: The December Margarita of the Month is the Red Nose Rita, a mix of Sauza Blue, Cointreau, Monin blackberry syrup and strawberry puree. The margaritas are $5.
Hungry Howies: Through Dec. 31, buy two medium one-topping pizzas for $5 each with promo code DEAL40 at participating locations.
IHOP: Through Dec. 31, IHOP has a kids eat free deal and a special holiday menu inspired by “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.” Kids 12 and under receive a free entrée from the kids menu with each purchase of an adult entrée from 4 to 10 p.m. daily.
Wendy’s: The fast-food chain has extended its $1 fries deal. Through Dec. 26 at participating restaurants, get a small, medium or large fry for $1. Not valid with any combos. Also for a limited time, get a $2 Frosty Key Tag for a year of free Frosty treats.
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at email@example.com.
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