You are probably aware of the major discounts and deals offered by retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, were you aware of the many lesser-known national “holidays” every month where you can score freebies while celebrating the existence of your favorite foods and drinks?
The trick is knowing what day your favorite holidays fall on and what stores you can visit to satisfy your cravings at a discounted cost. There are enough other food- and drink-related (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) holidays out there to get you a full year’s worth of freebies and deals; no matter your palate’s desire.
To help you track and observe your favorite theme days, we analyzed 315 food, drink, retail, and official holidays right here for you. But we’ve also gone a step further by letting you know which of these holidays are the best for scoring freebies and deals and also when these freebie holidays are, so you never miss a National Bourbon Day or National Taco Day – among many others. To ensure that our directory is up to date, we’ve only included the most commonly recurring freebie days. Grab your calendar, and let’s get you some food and drink deals!
Best Months for Celebrating
When the first frost hits, many of us start counting down the days until Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. These days are fun to celebrate in the wintertime, but our research shows we have even more to revel in the fall months than in winter. There are 38 national or theme days in October, more than any other month. Of the 38, the majority are food-related. January and July follow October with 31 and 30 “holidays,” respectively.
Although 30 of October’s theme days are food-related, January has the most drink-related holidays (nine), followed by June, July, and August. July also has a significant number of food-related holidays (22), as do November and February (20 each). June finishes last for food-related days, and April has the fewest number of holidays overall.
Other days were created to honor sports and pets, but they’re sparse compared to food- and drink-related celebrations.
National Food Holiday Guide
The holiday season is jam-packed with opportunities to score free food, thanks to the national days that celebrate everything from hot sauce to ice cream sundaes. Here is your guide to food hacking the coming months of the holiday season.
If there were “cheat months” for your diet, those might be best reserved for October and November. During these months, you can find deals on pizza and booze, as well as an array of candy and desserts. There is also a day in each of these months designated to celebrate your love of greasy and/or fast foods.
November might be the most caffeinated month for food deals, featuring separate days for espresso and cappuccino deals. It’s important to note here that you can double down on November 10 and grab a free or discounted pupusa and/or a vanilla cupcake, depending on your preference for something savory, sweet, or both.
After Thanksgiving, the national food calendar starts to ease off of the almost-daily offering of fast foods and treats. Despite fewer offerings, December is a notably sweet month featuring baked goods and candy, beer, and a sweet Latin eggnog-like cocktail called coquito, which is traditionally enjoyed around Christmas.
After the blur of the holidays are over, there’s still plenty of opportunity to celebrate. February has a ton of deals and freebies ranging from types of candy to Mardi Gras specials, or if you’re in the mood, Valentine’s Day. With or without a valentine, you can take advantage of numerous promotional giveaways and specials; heart-shaped pizzas and other food items will be sure to make the holiday a lovely occasion.
Best National Holidays for Deals
While there are numerous opportunities to shop throughout the year, some holidays are better than others in terms of the sheer quantity of deals they offer. Which holiday offers us the most cost-saving opportunity? We analyzed the number of annual searches for various holidays and their associated deals in order to find out:
It’s no surprise that Christmas is one of the most popular holidays for consumers. It’s also a pricey holiday for the average American household. According to a poll from the last holiday season, Americans plan on spending around $1,500 per household this year! Consumers are also searching for Christmas deals online more than any other holiday. Veterans Day and Thanksgiving were also very popular, out-ranking some well-known consumer-centric holidays like Valentine’s day and Halloween.
Here’s a Few Examples of Deals
Ok, ok, now that you know about these “holidays” what kind of freebies and deals can you expect? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see! Most stores wait until just before the day itself to notify customers of their promotion. But what we can say is that we’ve seen many local shops as well as major chains, and online retailers get in on the action each year.
For example, many pizza chains like Domino’s and Papa John’s house major discounts on both National Pizza Day and Pi Day, and you can usually expect to grab some free doughnuts on National Doughnut Day from Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme. Or maybe you prefer ice cream? On National Ice Cream Day Carvel, Edible Arrangements, Potbelly, Insomnia Cookies and many others usually participate! Even goPuff, the convenience store delivery app, got in on the action last year offering a free pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream with any purchase of at least $20.
Popular Deals in Your State
It’s nice to have a pulse on the nation’s theme days, but which holidays does your home state prefer? Using Google Trends data, we found out which states are more likely to search National Beer Day vs. National Wine Day, National Pepperoni Pizza Day vs. National Cheese Pizza Day, and other culinary combats. See what side your home state took in these food rivalries.
According to the data, some interesting regional patterns were evident. The majority of Southern states preferred wine and cheese pizza, but when it came to pasta and sandwiches, things got dicey. The West was keen on beer, cheese pizza, hot dogs, and lasagna. New Yorkers and Jersey residents showed a preference for spaghetti and cheese pizza.
Treat Yourself on Your Favorite Holidays
After viewing our data, it’s clear that holidays are no longer limited to celebrating religious events or honoring historical figures. Your favorite cuisines and beverages now have spots on the calendar. While you may not get a day off from work to celebrate National Wine Day or National French Fry Day, you will likely have access to discounts and, in some cases, freebies. Our findings show that for everything from National Handbag Day to National Cheese Curd Day, there are businesses out there that want to treat you.
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We gathered search volume data for 3researched 315 food-, drink-, retail-, and official-related holidays using SEMrush that offered deals or freebies. Then, Wwe found the search volume for the holiday itself, as well as “holiday name” + “deals” to see which days had the most popular deals., resulting in 33 national days, determined by their high search query volume. We visualized these popular days in order to give consumers a view of the best national days of deals.
Then we conducted internet research to determine which holidays had promoted deals and giveaways. We limited our search to five deals per day, and we included deals/giveaways from the most recent celebration (usually 2019).
When comparing the popularity of two days directly, we used Google Trends. For example, we compared the search volume in the last 12 months for “National Tequila Day deals” vs. “National Beer Day deals.” States were colored by the term that had the higher percentage of volume. Some states were tied.
Deals and giveaways are subject to change every year. Our analysis only includes five deals (at most) for each holiday.
Fair Use Statement
If you know someone with a popular or obscure holiday liking, we hope you’ll share our findings and calendar for noncommercial use. Please link back here, though, so that readers have access to the entire study, including the methodology.