We all know that when it comes to treating your special someone, it’s the thought that counts. Well, the thought and a good meal. But who says you have to spend a pretty penny to spoil your sweetheart? This year, fall head over heels for free food on Valentine’s Day! These are some restaurants that have offered some of the hottest Valentine’s Day deals in the past, and are likely to do so again in the future – but always make sure to call your local restaurant ahead of time, so you don’t wind up with a disappointed date.
Valentine’s Day Freebies
The popular Mexican restaurant has been running its “Qdoba For A Kiss” buy-one-get-one promotion for years. All you’ve got to do is give your beloved a quick smooch at the counter, and you’ll get their entrée (of lesser or equal value) for free! Sure, your honey’s kisses are always sweet, but they’re somehow even sweeter when they come with a free burrito.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Krispy Kreme has offered free Valentine’s-themed doughnuts for all rewards club members with the purchase of another item. If you’re hoping to snag their yet-to-be-announced new deal, make sure to keep your eyes peeled and sign up for the rewards program – one year, their promo ran over a week before the actual holiday!
Jack in the Box
If the popular fast-food chain is offering the same deal as they have in the past, you’re going to want to download their mobile app, stat. In prior years, customers placing an order using the app got a free five-piece order of mini churros or cheesecake. Convenience and free dessert? Sign us up!
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
If the way to your Valentine’s heart is with caffeine, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has you covered. Before, the chain offered a sweet coffee BOGO deal: buy a cup of coffee after 2 PM, and get another coffee (of equal or lesser value) for free. Stop by one of the chain’s 1,000+ stores with your sweetheart, and get caffeinated before date night.
Customers might get a bit salty if Auntie Anne’s doesn’t bring back their BOGO pretzel deal for Valentine’s Day! In prior years, customers buying one of their heart-shaped pretzels got another one free with a coupon from their website. Check back closer to February 14th to see what goodies Auntie Anne’s might be offering this year.
Don’t have a significant other this Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry – there’s still free food out there for you. Head to Hooters, buy 10 wings, and get another 10 wings for free… when you shred a picture of your ex! That’s right; Hooters is offering free food to customers who destroy pictures of their ex-lovers. It’s a cathartic and delicious Valentine’s Day deal.
Potbelly is another restaurant that’s supporting all the single people on Valentine’s Day! Last year, Potbelly offered a free cookie to all single customers. All you had to do was let the cashier know you’re single, and that cookie was yours. Just make sure you confirm the deal is going on this year before you march up and announce your relationship status. Otherwise, the cashier may think you’re the friendly neighborhood over-sharer.
Valentine’s Day Meal Specials
Buca di Beppo
There’s something about Italian food that feels so romantic. Maybe it’s the scene from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp of two dogs swallowing opposite ends of the same strand of spaghetti. Or the song Amore (“When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”). Whatever it is, make your own romance with Buca di Beppo’s “Classic Love Package” for $49.99 which includes heart-shaped lasagna, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. Or, if you’re ordering take out get a free heart-shaped Margherita pizza. That’s amore!
Not in the mood for a traditional dinner? Reserve your table online at White Castle instead! Each Valentines Day, the restaurant hosts a unique table service dining experience complete with hostess seating, tableside service, and decadent cuisine, including Sliders, of course. It’s even better if you and your sweetheart have fond memories of going there on dates together.
For over 11 years, Waffle House has also transformed its space into a fine dining establishment on Valentine’s Day. Instead of a greasy spoon diner, expect white tablecloths, candlelight, flowers, and music, along with their traditional menu favorites. Join their email club to be the first to know when reservations open.
Other Budget-Friendly Date Ideas as Low as $20
We’ve put together a unique list of creative Valentine’s Day date ideas that are free or cost as little as $20. These budget-friendly date ideas are sure to leave your sweetheart swooning for more!
Make it rain! With balloons that is…
On as many small pieces of paper as possible, write short memories, things you appreciate about your sweetheart or sayings that have a special meaning to only the two of you. Then, fold up the pieces of paper and put each one inside a balloon. Enlist your friends for some help blowing up the balloons or rent a helium machine for an afternoon. Fill up your loved one’s room or car with these balloons and wait for them to be surprised!
Be a kid again – but lose the crowds
Try an off-season activity, like going to the zoo or theme park, playing putt-putt golf, or even visiting Disney World if you have the time and resources. You’ll avoid the crowds and lines that usually plague such places. There’s something special about having the whole place to yourself!
Pack breakfast in a backpack
If you work non-traditional hours, this idea might be perfect for you and your valentine. Wake up before the sun, put on your athletic shoes, and head out on a nearby trail with headlamps or flashlights. In your backpack, bring a thermos of coffee, individual bottles of juice, a backpacking stove (these can be purchased for as little as $25 online), a few eggs, and maybe some bacon. As the sun comes up, cook up your breakfast and sip your coffee together as you watch the city wake up!
Recreate a restaurant at home
This one will take a little effort beforehand and you’ll need to enlist a friend, family member, or your kids; but don’t worry – it’s worth it! First, avoid having to make reservations by pre-ordering and picking up dinner from your favorite restaurant. You can also check out the deli section of your local supermarket. Then, decorate your house like the theme of the restaurant. For instance, if you’re having Italian, put up an Italian flag, hang olive leaf garlands, and put candlesticks in wine bottles. The cheesier the better! Then, have your friend, family member, or child dress up like a waiter and use the accent of the country your home and food is themed as, which would be Italian in this example. Print out menus of the night’s selections and treat your sweetheart to a night out…without ever leaving your home.
Celebrate before (or after)
Avoid the rush of Valentine’s Day and do something special the day before or the day after! If you and your date agree on the day after, you’ll be able to take advantage of post-holiday markdowns on Valentine’s gifts, decorations, and flowers. You can also do Valentine’s Day lunch or breakfast instead of dinner. Entrees can be less expensive and many restaurants offer a lower-priced lunch menu.
Keep an eye out for coupons
Watch coupon sites for unique experiences like glassblowing, painting, cooking, or dancing classes, and purchase one for you and your valentine. Your city may have its own discount site, or you can visit sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Yipit, Scoutmob, Thrillist, and Bloomspot. You may not be able to do the activity on Valentine’s Day, but you can present it as a gift on that day. Or, buy restaurant and experience coupons ahead of time and use your coupon/s for a full day of discounted fun!
Go on a local food tour
Some call it “culinary tourism,” but we like to think of a food tour as a vacation for your mouth. On a food tour you walk, bike, ride, or drive with a group of people and a tour guide to a predetermined set of restaurants. Do an online search for food tours in your city and you’ll find a host of companies that put their own unique spin on these delicious adventures. Some are themed around the history of a city while others are themed after a certain type of liquor or mode of transportation.
Recreate your first date or meeting
How did you two meet? What was the first movie you watched together or the first restaurant you went to as a couple? Whether you danced at a bar, met at a coffee shop, or had lunch at the corner deli, recreate your first date to the best of your ability…including the clothing!
“Find ye buried treasure!”
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that requires a GPS device and a sense of adventure. Using GPS coordinates, you navigate to a location and then attempt to find the “geocache” or hidden container at that location. According to Geocaching.com, there are millions of caches around the world just waiting to be found. Visit Geocaching.com to start discovering the hidden treasures around you, and pack a picnic for some romantic flair!
This February holiday is all about love, and there’s nothing we love more than free food, meal specials, and other fun and affordable ideas on Valentine’s Day! We do our best to connect you to all things free and affordable, from free safe driving apps to free car A/C repair checks. Follow Direct Auto on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on freebie deals near you!