This story was updated on March 15.
In the third month of the year, the march of manufactured food holidays rolls on, bringing discounts and freebies to a store or restaurant near you. The arrival of spring sparks some warm-weather deals, and even St. Patrick’s Day may offer up ways to save some green.
Deals often pop up at the last minute, so bookmark this page and check back for updates, especially for promising events later in the month like National Pi Day (March 14) and the March Madness college basketball tournament (starting March 19).
In the meantime, enjoy getting something for nothing (or close).
Pancakes and pie
IHOP celebrates Free Pancake Day on Tuesday, March 12. Visit any IHOP restaurant to get a free short stack of the restaurant’s original buttermilk pancakes.
Math nerds don’t need to be told that March 14 is National Pi Day (in honor of 3.14, the rounded-off numerical value of pi). That means $3.14 pizza pies at restaurants across the country—or in some cases discounts on dessert pies (like $3.14 off pies at Whole Foods).
Download this coupon from Boston Market to get a free pot pie with the purchase of a pot pie and drink on March 14. At Marie Callender’s restaurants, you can get a free slice of pie when you buy an adult entrée.
Spring arrives on March 20, and if the change of season has you hankering for warm-weather pleasures, you’re in luck.
March 20 is Dairy Queen Free Cone Day. You can pick up a small vanilla soft serve cone for free at participating non-mall locations. Although it’s not required, you’re encouraged to donate to The Children’s Miracle Network in exchange.
Every year Rita’s Italian Ice offers free ice desserts on March 20 to celebrate the first day of spring. Stop by from noon to 9 p.m.
Hoping for an early spring? Visit a Baskin Robbins on Sunday, March 3 between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. for a free sample of a featured “Milkshake Mixology” flavor combination.
More to eat
Pancakes, pizza, and ice cream are just the beginning. March is jam-packed (no pun intended) with food holidays that dangle the possibility of deals. March 9 is National Meatball Day, and at Carrabba’s Italian Grilllocations you can get a free Meatballs & Ricotta when your order two entrees.
Last year, Brio Tuscan Grill and Bravo Italian Kitchen both marked National Ravioli Day on March 20 with buy one, get one free offers on pasta dishes.
The other indulgent celebrations include Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (March 1), Oreo Cookie Day (March 6), and Popcorn Lover’s Day (March 14). That’s not to be confused with National Popcorn Day back in January.
You can feed your mind for free as well in March. During the first weekend—March 2 and 3—all Bank of America credit and debit cardholders can get free admission to more than 225 museums across the country. (Special exhibitions, ticketed shows, and fundraising events are excluded.)
And if you’ve ever wanted to put your Good Will Hunting cap on, sign up for this free MIT Sloan School of Management online course, which focuses on the future of work and “how best to develop a personal plan for lifelong career success,” available starting March 19.
Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, which should mean free lectures and author book signings in your community. In a less cerebral vein, this Washington, D.C. gym is offering a free trial in the hopes you’ll sign up for its special Women’s History Month women’s-only weight lifting program, no doubt.
St. Patrick’s Day
On March 17, the annual Feast of Saint Patrick, it’s not all about green beer. Restaurant chains often get in on the action with freebies too.
You’ll find lots of Irish-themed, limited-time offers: Shamrock Shakes at MacDonald’s (back until March 24), Tim Horton’s Clover Donut, Irish Creme coffees at Dunkin’ Donuts, and green bagels from Bruegger’s Bagels. At Dairy Queen, the blizzard of the month is green (mint oreo), and you can buy one blizzard, get one for 99¢ through March 17.
Krispy Kreme is bringing back green glazed donuts through March 17, plus offering a chance to win a dozen original glazed donuts a month through St. Patrick’s Day 2020.
Tired of all things green? On Monday, March 18 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. you can get a free sample of the “Affogato,” or espresso poured over ice cream, at combo Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins stores.
No holiday needed
Even if you’re not in the mood to celebrate any of these manufactured or actual holidays, you can create your own with a “just because” card from Hallmark. Every Friday this month through March 22, Crown Rewards members can pick up a complimentary card on “Free Card Fridays.”
If you happen to celebrate your birthday in March, stop by any Ulta or Sephora to pick up a free birthday gift (with a purchase), typically a travel size version of some popular makeup, skincare, or fragrance.
Meanwhile, you’ll get a Clinique bonus gift with a purchase of as little as $29 at participating Dillard’s and Boscov’s department stores this month.
You many not have a winning bracket for March Madness, but you may be able to score some freebies and discount during the annual college basketball championship, which kicks off on March 19 and runs through April 8.
If you’re a Chili’s rewards member, the Chips and Choice promo lets you pick a free queso, guacamole, or salsa with any chips purchase from March 21 to March 24.
Last year, Wendy’s gave away free burgers and cookies with any purchase throughout March (the best way to check out this year’s deals is to download the Wendy’s app and view its “Offers” section).
Also in 2018, Little Caesars vowed to give away a free pizza lunch combo if a 16th-seeded team beat a No. 1 seed, and the improbable happened when University of Maryland Baltimore County shocked the University of Virginia in the opening round.
Help with spring cleaning
If the arrival of spring has you planning landscaping or other home improvement projects, check out your local Home Depot throughout March for free workshops (for adults and kids). On March 9, you can bone up on the dos-and-dont’s of lawn care. No green thumb required.