The 12 Best Ways to Save in May

I’m not a coupon clipper…

You won’t find me on a weekend with the newspaper and a pair of scissors trying to save 50 cents on a gallon of milk.

But I do like looking for deals. And if those deals get me something for free… even better.

So today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for getting free meals and saving money on products this month.

May has a lot of great things going on – Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, spring festivals, ice cream…

Here are about a dozen of my favorite freebies this month…

May 4 – Shop for any Star Wars fans

If you have kids or grandkids who are fans of the Star Wars franchise, take advantage of “Star Wars Day” for great discounts. (It’s a great way to save on Christmas gifts.) Online retailer ThinkGeek has a 20% to 60% sale on all their Star Wars items. And select Star Wars items at Toys “R” Us are 25% off until May 20. They also have a $10 off any $50 LEGO purchase made until May 6. Find more details on Star Wars sales here. (Why is May 4 considered “Star Wars Day” by fans of the franchise? Check out our “Something Different” to find out.)

May 6-7 – Eat for free at Ikea

If you eat at furniture giant Ikea this weekend and make a purchase, you can deduct your meal from your in-store purchase. Your purchase total must be a minimum of $100 and you must be part of their loyalty program (IKEA FAMILY). It’s free to join and also sends you discounts and special offers. Check out the full offer right here.

May 9 – Free ice cream

Häagen-Dazs hosts “Free Cone Day” each spring where they give out a free kiddie scoop of ice cream at participating stores. You can use their online locator to see if they have any locations near you (we recommend only checking the box for “shops,” not “stores,” to find only their ice cream shops). (Note, Ben & Jerry’s and Dairy Queen offer free ice cream, but in April and March, respectively.)

May 12 – Free admission to a National Public Garden

The American Public Gardens Association began offering free or discounted admission to parks each year on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Their site is a bit tricky to navigate, but we have a link here. Some parks we found that are offering free admission are Nehrling Gardens near Orlando, Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville, and Tuscon Botanical Gardens.

May 13 – Free health screenings at Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club locations with pharmacies will offer free health screenings for anyone – even if you aren’t a member. These tests include glucose levels, total cholesterol and HDL, blood pressure, vision, and more. Find a location near you right here.

May 14 – Free gifts for Mother’s Day

Moms get treated to plenty of perks on Mother’s Day. For example, Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão will give moms a complimentary lunch or dinner to use at a future visit when they dine there on Mother’s Day. Similarly, website OpenTable shows restaurants in your area offering specials for this holiday. Find your local restaurants here. Once you find your location, scroll down to Your Local Dining Scene and click on Mother’s Day Specials.

Also, check around at retailers and spas for deals. For instance, we just found a $20 coupon at a local spa offering Mother’s Day packages.

May 16 – Free kid’s book

Kids who read eight books over the summer and fill out a journal can come in and choose a free book from Barnes & Noble. It starts May 16, so make sure to pick up a journal for your kids or grandkids to get started. Find your local store right here.

May 29 – Memorial Day offers

Memorial Day has tons of offers, with sales on everything from mattress stores to home-improvement locations.

Military members, veterans, and their families can find even better deals. For example, each summer beginning on Memorial Day, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to military families at more than 2,000 museums. You can find the full listing here.

Veterans and active military can also find free meals at several restaurants. The full list isn’t out for 2017, but in the past, these have included Shoney’s, Pie Five Pizza, and McCormick & Schmick’s. You can see last year’s list on Time magazine’s website, here.

May (and Summer) Birthdays


Summer is the season with the most birthdays. That’s why you shouldn’t miss out on any of the perks offered on your special day. Most simply require you to sign up for a free rewards program. Here are a few of the best:

Free coffee: Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, and Dunkin Donuts all offer free coffee on your birthday provided you have one of their cards.

Free pastries: Bruegger’s Bagels offers a free bagel and Panera Bread offers a free pastry for your birthday.

Free chocolate: Godiva offers different perks for birthdays, including things like free truffles. In addition, if you join the loyalty club and spend $10 on a purchase, you get a free piece of chocolate (limited to once a month).

Favorite stores: You might be surprised at which stores offer birthday-month coupons. Our writer Amanda gets a 20%-off birthday coupon to Vera Bradley each year and enjoys their coupons year round (especially around Mother’s Day). Shoe stores like DSW, retailers like Kohl’s, and even CVS Pharmacy offer coupons and savings on your special day.

There are a lot of places that offer additional birthday perks. DealNews has the most complete list out there. You can access that right here.

Enjoy your spring and savings this month!

What We’re Reading…

Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
Baltimore, Maryland
May 4, 2017