50 free things you can get this fall

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Updated Sept. 20, 2018: Every season comes with its own set of annual, timely or surprise freebies. As the cooler weather sets in, here are 50 free things you can get this fall. Because, let’s face it, you’re going to blow at least some money on Pumpkin Spice lattes.

1. Chick-fil-A

Sign in or create a Chick-fil-A account before Sept. 29, 2018 to receive a free eight-count order of nuggets.

2. Starbucks

Celebrate National Coffee Day on September 29 by looking for a free cup of joe at past-year participants, like 7-Eleven, Cinnabon, Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee and Wawa.

3. Money

Seriously. Get a $50 bonus from our partner Wealthsimple when you open and fund a new account with a deposit of $100 or more. You'll get another $50 bonus if you transfer enough to qualify for Wealthsimple Black (available to users who invest $100,000 and up).

4. Smithsonian admissions

Score two free general admissions tickets to a museum or cultural institution on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine. (Yes, we know Sept. 22 is the technically last day of summer, but this long list of participants made this freebie too good not to mention.)

5. Sonic slush

Download the drive-in chain’s app and get a free medium-sized slush or soft drink.

6. Pumpkin-carving patterns

Design the best pumpkin on the block by downloading free carving patterns or stencils from sites like Better Home & Gardens, HGTV and Pumpkin Pile.

7. Credit freezes

As of September 21, credit freezes are free for everyone. Learn what a credit freeze is and why you should consider one.

8. Life insurance quotes

Policygenius can help you easily compare life insurance quotes across companies.

9. Del Taco

Toast to the tortilla by picking up a free or discounted taco at a nearby Mexican restaurant or chain on Oct. 4—aka National Taco Day. Last year’s participants included Taco Bueno, Taco John’s, Del Taco and Chuy's.

10. Farmers market samples

Not only can you support local farmers, but you can enjoy some fresh produce at the same time. Not sure which market to go to? We’ve got a list of the best farmers markets in each state.

11. REI outdoor classes & outings

Enjoy the Fall weather by taking one of the free classes REI offers all-year-round. Find an event near you, like gourmet camp cooking lessons or backpacking in Yosemite National Park, on the brand’s website.

12. Flu shots

If you have traditional health insurance, including Medicare, you can get your annual flu shot, sans co-pay, because current health care law stipulates plans provide free preventative care.

Bonus tip: Policygenius readers looking to save on prescription drugs can get $20 off their first fill with Blink Health, a free discount drug program.

13. Krispy Kreme

Score a free sweet treat of National Dessert Day, October 14. Friendly’s, Mrs. Fields, Red Lobster, The Olive Garden and perennial free-food day participant Krispy Kreme all offered some type of dessert deal in 2017.

14. Hershey candies

Who says you’re too old to go trick-or-treating? Pick up some free or discounted treats from the brands celebrating National Chocolate Day on October 28. Past participants include Ghirardelli, Hershey and Shari’s Berries.

15. Free meals to kids in costume

Look for free kids meal deals on Halloween, as restaurants tend offer more than just candy to kids in costume on the spookiest day of the year. 2017 participants included Baja Fresh, Bertucci’s, Carrows, Hometown Buffet and IHOP.

16. Subway

Celebrate National Sandwich Day on November 3 by looking for deals at your local deli chains. Last year, McDonald’s, PotBelly, QuickCheck and Subway ran buy one, get one free specials.

17. National Parks admission

Take advantage of the last entrance fee—free date in 2018 and visit one of the participating National Parks on Veterans’ Day (November 11). Speaking of Veterans Day …

18. Thank you freebies for veterans

Restaurants and retailers traditionally honor veterans, active military personnel and their families by offering free meals, haircuts, hotel stays, car washes and more on or around November 11.

19. Hockey

Kids ages 4 through 9 can get some free ice time on Nov. 10, as part of Come Play Hockey Month. Limited equipment is available at participating rinks, which can you search for here.

20. Easy money tips & more

Want future freebies & money tips sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free Policygenius newsletter.

21. Smoke detectors

The American Red Cross offers free smoke detectors (plus installation) to needy families in certain states through its Home Fire Campaign. Check with your local fire department as many offer similar services.

22. Budgeting template

Tighten your budget ahead of the holiday shopping season using this simple spreadsheet.

23. Cooking classes

You don’t even have to leave the house to expand your skill set. Try a free cooking video class, courtesy of sites like Craftsy.

24. Checked bags

Consider getting an airline-branded credit card to skip the checked bag fee at your carrier of choice when you head home for Thanksgiving.

We have a ranking of the best and worst airlines here.

25. Extra credit card rewards

If you’re good with plastic, opt for a card with a signup bonus (big points, miles or cash back after you spend a set amount in your first few months), then charge holiday travel or gifts to score those rewards simply buying stuff you budgeted for already.

26. A box o’ stuff

Share your opinions on PINCHme.com and get a box of free samples from major brands, including Dove, Garnier, Keurig and Listerine.

27. Yoga classes

Stretch it out on Sunday mornings at Lululemon, the upscale athleisure-wear brand, with a free yoga class. Mats are included. Dates, times and offers may vary by location.

28. Mini-makeovers

Sephora offers free 15-minute mini-makeovers if you want to learn how better blend your foundation or achieve that perfect smokey eye.

29. Freebies for Fido

BringFido.com will send you samples of dog food, treats and other little pet perks in exchange for your email.

30. Podcasts

Whether you’re at the gym or commuting on the train, you can enjoy a free podcast about any topic. You may have to endure a few ads for stamps and life insurance, but it’s worth it.

Here are the best personal finance podcasts.

31. Scarf-knitting patterns

If you’d like to try your hand at knitting or crocheting a scarf for the cooler seasons, loveknitting.com has several patterns you can download in exchange for your email.

32. Knife-sharpening

Get your favorite piece cutlery ready for Thanksgiving by bringing to your local Williams-Sonoma. Their experts will sharpen and hone it you for free.

33. Turkey talk

Butterball’s Turkey Talk hotline has experts on call throughout November and December to help you cook the main dish. Talk to one via online chat, email or calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372).

34. Free shipping

Skip shipping charges at major retailers by doing your holiday-shopping on Dec. 14, 2018, this year’s annual Free Shipping Day.

35. Credit reports

Head over to AnnualCreditReport.com and request your annual free credit report from the major credit bureaus.

36. Credit scores

Keep a closer eye on your credit scores on a regular basis by tapping credit sites or even credit card issuers that provide free monthly monitoring.

37. Coloring pages

Crayola offers free downloadable coloring pages for kids on its website, while adult artists can find pages here.

38. Waxing session

First-time guests at a European Wax Center can get a select service, including eyebrow, underarm or nose waxes for free.

39. Johnny Rockets burger

Get a free burger by signing up for the diner chain’s newsletter.

40. Photos with Santa

No need to pay for a pic with St. Nick. Plenty of retailers, restaurants or municipalities offer free photos with the big guy during the holiday shopping season. In 2017, Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s Deli and PetSmart hosted Santa-centric events.

41. Dunkin Donuts

Warm up on December 13, aka National Cocoa Day, by looking for deals and freebies at local cafes or national chains, like Cumberland Farms or Dunkin Donuts.

42. Holiday party invitations

Save a few dollars on your holiday party by inviting friends and family via Evites.com. The social planning site has plenty of free evites among its selections.

43. Excel lessons

Become a spreadsheet expert over the long holiday weekends by taking the free tutorials, templates and training available in Microsoft’s Excel Help Center.

44. Sizzler entree

Get a free entree at the restaurant chain by signing up for its Real Deal eClub.

45. Holiday recipes

Change up your holiday menu by tapping sites like The Food Network or The Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas for free recipes. Check out these grocery shopping tips before you hit the stores for ingredients.

46. Language lessons

Use Duolingo a free app to learn different languages or brush up on the ones you took back in high school.

47. Baskin Robbins

Download the Baskin Robbins app to get a free regular scoop on your next visit.

48. Gift wrapping services

Some retailers offer free gift wrapping services or materials to holiday shoppers. Check for wrapping stations in Bed, Bath & Beyond and ask Banana Republic, Gap, Nordstrom and Sephora for free boxes or gift bags.

49. Gift tags

If you can’t find a free gift wrapping service near you, save a few pennies by printing out free downloadable gift tags. The Spruce Crafts has a great selection.

50. Christmas carols

Celebrate the holiday season by streaming well-known Christmas hits on Spotify or Pandora. Download your favorite tinselly tune on sites like Amazon (more Prime hacks here) or ChristmasGifts.com.

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Image: CherriesJD