Smart Buying

How to Get Free Ice Cream

Take advantage of these frozen treat giveaways and special deals.

Mmmm, ice cream. It's one of Americans' favorite desserts and is consumed by more than 90% of the nation's population, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. In fact, ice cream is so popular that, in 1984, President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

Now that the weather is warm, it's the perfect time for ice cream. What's better than a scoop on a hot summer day? A free scoop, of course. Several ice cream -- and frozen yogurt -- shops offer freebies throughout the year. Some require you to join a club and sign up for e-mail alerts, but others simply give it away.

Baskin-Robbins. You can get a free 2.5-ounce scoop on your birthday (plus special offers and coupons) if you sign up for the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club at www.baskin-robbins.com.

Ben & Jerry's. The Ben & Jerry's scoop truck is traveling along the East and West Coasts giving away free frozen Greek yogurt. Find out which cities the truck will visit and when. Also, its scoop shops have a Free Cone Day each year in the spring -- usually April.

Bruster's Real Ice Cream. This ice cream franchise with 220 locations in 18 states offers free mini ice cream cones to children shorter than 40 inches.

Carvel. Join Fudgie Fanatics to get a coupon for buy one, get one free ice cream treats.

Cold Stone Creamery. You can sign up for the eClub to get two ice cream creations for the price of one and a coupon on your birthday for a buy one ice cream creation, get one free.

Culver's. Kids get a free scoop of frozen custard with a kids' meal at this restaurant chain with more than 450 locations in 19 states.

Dairy Queen. Join the Blizzard Fan Club to get a buy one, get one Blizzard free coupon. Kids also get a free ice cream treat with a kids' meal.

Dippin' Dots. Join the Forty Below Zero Club to get a free cup of Dippin' Dots ice cream on your birthday.

Friendly's. Join the BFF Club and get a free three-scoop sundae with the purchase of an entree for enrolling and a free birthday treat.

TCBY offers free frozen yogurt to moms and dads on their special days. It also offers a loyalty card you can use to earn points with each purchase. Once you get 30 points, you get $3 of store credit.

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