Regular readers know I like free stuff, and I enjoy sharing information about getting good deals, so let me tell you today about the avalanche of goodies I'll be getting for my birthday.

You already may know that lots of companies will give you freebies on your birthday, usually in exchange for signing up to receive their email. But let me tell you, there are some great offers out there, and it doesn't really have to be your birthday to get them.

In fact, I think it's a terrible idea to tell companies your actual birth date. Birth dates are often used online to verify that you are who you say you are. It's not exactly secret information — lots of people put their actual birth dates on Facebook — but why give out more data points about yourself than you have to?

The idea behind birthday freebies is that a company will give you something, once a year, typically in exchange for giving them your email address and some demographic information, such as your age. So I'll sign up for their freebies, and I'll tell them I was born in October, and I'll tell them what year I was born, but I usually make up the actual day.

So they get what they want, and I get a cup of coffee, or a burrito, or a cookie or whatever.

What makes these deals worth signing up for is that, typically, you'll get a coupon that's good for a period of time, and not just on the “birthday” date you've chosen. And you'll get one every year.

There's no way a person could use all these freebies during the course of a single day. There are some places that will give you freebies on your actual birthday if you just show up and prove it's your birthday, with no signing up required.

I don't bother with certain promotions, such as getting a free appetizer or dessert if you buy a meal. The best deals are true freebies, or unusually good discounts, at convenient places.

Some examples of good deals:

Just show up: Present your ID on your birthday and Firehouse Subs will give you a free medium sub. Denny's will give you a free Grand Slam meal.

Sign up, get food and beverages: Sign up for Starbucks rewards and get a reward (free beverage or food item) on your birthday, good for 30 days. Baskin-Robbins will give you a free ice cream. Moe's will give you a free burrito. Bojangles' will give you a biscuit sandwich.

Dollars-off coupons: Sign up for its emails, and Mellow Mushroom will send you a $5 coupon on your birthday that's good for several weeks. Jason's Deli has a similar $5 coupon deal, and so does McAlister's Deli. Don Pablo's (there's one in Greenville) will give you a $10 coupon good for a month.

BOGO deals: Some places, such as Cold Stone Creamery, will give you a buy-one-get-one coupon.

And even golf: Sign up and Stein Mart will send you a coupon on your birthday. Legend Oaks Golf Club will also send a coupon for golf.

Lots of companies will also give you something free for signing up for their email, such as a free cookie from McAlister's, cheese dip at Moe's, or a biscuit sandwich from Bojangles. If you don't want tons of junk mail, pay attention to which boxes you check or uncheck when signing up for an email subscription.

Most of the birthday-related deals I've mentioned involve national and regional chain stores that have such information on their websites. Know of any good local deals? Post a note on my “David Slade — Post and Courier” Facebook page.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.