Wrap up 2018 and welcome the New Year with some freebie fun.
New Panera Bread rewards members can have one last free bagel Monday. If you have a 2018 Chick-fil-A calendar, it’s the last day to redeem a free chicken sandwich.
Monday is the last chance to get Applebee’s and Chili’s festive December drinks and the last scheduled day of IHOP’s special Grinch menu and a kids eat free promotion.
Many national restaurant chains end gift card promotions on Monday, many which offer freebies to use in 2019.
According to NationalDayCalendar.com, New Year’s Eve also is National Champagne Day, and if you’re in Nevada, PT’s Tavern restaurants are giving away free champagne to guests at the stroke of midnight.
And with all the celebrating, AAA is reminding party-goers to be safe. Participating AAA Clubs will provide free rides for members and nonmembers in many parts of the country through Wednesday as part of its holiday safe ride program.
The season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest times on the road when it comes to impaired driving, AAA said in a news release citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Deals and freebies
Here are the deals available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out.
Bahama Breeze: For this Caribbean-inspired New Year’s Eve celebration, get the chain’s Legendary Island Cocktails for $2.19 from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to close. Offers and times can vary by location. The Legendary Island Cocktail menu includes Killer Bee, Painkiller, Goombay Smash, Zombie and Dark ‘N Stormy.
Bob Evans: Starting 3 p.m. New Year’s Eve and on Tuesday, Jan. 1, get two select adult entrees for $9.99 each, plus get free kids meals.
Cumberland Farms: Get a free cup of coffee, hot or iced, from 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve through 5 a.m. New Year’s Day at the convenience store chain’s nearly 600 locations. No coupon is necessary.
IHOP: Through Monday, IHOP has a kids eat free deal and a special holiday menu inspired by “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.” Kids 12 and under receive a free entrée from the kids menu with each purchase of an adult entrée from 4 to 10 p.m. daily.
Main Event: Starting at 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve, choose between all-you-can-play activities or all-you-can-play arcade games for only $10.95 per person. No reservations required.
Metro Diner: Jan. 1 is National Bloody Mary Day and Metro Diner will have $2.99 Bloody Marys Dec. 31 through Jan. 4 from open to close.
PDQ: On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, buy 25 hand-breaded tenders and get 10 free.
PT’s Tavern: For New Year’s Eve, the chain is offering an extended happy hour, a champagne toast and giveaways at all 60 locations. Happy hour will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. and then from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. with 50 percent off drinks and discounted food. At the stroke of midnight, guests will get complimentary glasses of champagne.
Sheetz: From 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve through 4 pm. New Year’s Day, get a free cup of coffee at all Sheetz locations.
Smoothie King: On Monday, Dec. 31, bring in any fast-food coupon and get $2 off a Smoothie King meal replacement smoothie.
Wienerschnitzel: These deals are for New Year’s Day at participating locations: Get up to five orders of Chili Cheese Fries for 99 cents each Tuesday or get Chili Dogs or Corn Dogs for just $5.95.
Here are some of the ways to get free rides Monday night and early Tuesday morning. More areas will also offer services so check with your local transit authority.
AAA Holiday Safe Ride: This freebie should be used as a last resort, according to AAA. Through 6 a.m. Wednesday, participating AAA Clubs provide free rides for members and nonmembers in parts of the country including Florida, Ohio, California and Texas. Rides are confidential and free within a 10-mile radius. Times and date of offer vary. Find participating AAA Clubs here or call 855-2-TOW-2-GO or 855-286-9246.
Public transit systems: Los Angeles, Austin, Texas and Chicago are offering free rides along with several other major cities. Miller Lite is offering free rides in the Quad Cities region in Illinois and Iowa, Milwaukee and Twin Cities.
SoberRide: This Washington D.C. program partners with Lyft to offer free rides up to $15 on New Year’s Eve. A promo code will be posted at www.soberride.com noon Monday and will be valid between 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 4 a.m. Jan. 1. This offer is valid for new and existing Lyft users while supplies last.
Uber: Sign up for the car sharing service and get your first ride free (up to $15) when you use the code MILLERTIME18. This offer expires Feb. 27.
Other programs: In Detroit, the Christensen Law firm in Southfield is paying for rides home from the bar through its “Safe Ride Home” program, the Detroit Free Press reports. In Texas, Lyft users can get $5 off a ride with promo code NYEPLAN18.
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Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.