The month of December can be expensive.
There are gifts to buy and holiday parties to prepare for and more gifts to buy.
But thankfully, there are also some ways to save this month and a few sweet days too.
Dec. 4 is National Cookie Day, Dec. 8 is National Brownie Day and National Cupcake Day is Dec. 15.
Bookmark this page because it’ll be updated frequently with more freebies, meal deals and additional ways to save.
Here are the best deals, big days and ongoing specials, available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out.
Dec. 25: Christmas freebies
Cumberland Farms: Get a free cup of coffee, hot or iced, from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Christmas at the convenience store chain’s nearly 600 locations. No coupon necessary.
Sheetz: From 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., Christmas, get a free cup of coffee at any Sheetz location.
IHOP: Most locations are open regular hours Christmas. Through Dec. 31, 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.
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Chipotle Mexican Grill: Through Jan. 7, college football fans can get free delivery on any Chipotle order $10 or more for the first-ever “Chipotle Free Delivery Bowl.” To redeem the offer, place a delivery order on the chain’s mobile app or online at order.chipotle.com. No coupon code is needed and orders $10 or more will be eligible for free delivery.
Papa John’s: To celebrate the launch of the new and more rewarding Papa Rewards program, Papa John’s has a contest going on through Jan. 6. Learn more at www.papajohns.com/PapaDough.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: For a limited time, travelers passing through Terminal C of Philadelphia International Airport can purchase a special meal at the terminal’s Popeyes – an “Emotional Support Chicken,” a fried chicken meal in a specially designed, chicken-themed carrier box, perfect for taking onto the next flight.
Taco Bell: Get a free drink with any purchase through the app or website once-a-day through Feb. 1. According to the fine print, this deal is available at participating locations for web and app pay ahead orders only.
New Wendy’s and McDonald’s deal
Starting Wednesday, Dec. 19, Wendy’s is bringing back its Giant Junior Bacon Cheeseburger – also known as the Giant JBC – and its signature $5 meal deal.
The combo deal, available for a limited time at participating locations, includes the Giant JBC, four-piece chicken nuggets, small fries and a small drink for $5. The burger also is available a la carte for $3.49. Pricing and participation can vary.
On Dec. 17, which was Maple Syrup Day, Wendy’s announced its new Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich was available for a limited time for $5.60.
Earlier this month, Burger King announced the $6 King Box, which includes choice of a select entrée, a small order of fries, a small drink and two chocolate chip cookies.
And McDonald’s announced on Dec. 20 it was bringing back “2 for $5 Mix & Match Deal,” including a new Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
Dec. 13-31: Chipotle deal for Hinge members
If you use the dating app Hinge, you can save on your next date at Chipotle.
Through Dec. 31, Hinge members will receive a unique buy-one-get-one free code via email. The code can be redeemed at participating Chipotle locations online or in-store, according to the offer’s fine print.
There’s a limit of one free item per Hinge user with the purchase of an entrée item of equal or greater value.This offer cannot be combined with other coupons or promotions and additional restrictions may apply.
Learn more at www.chipotle.com/hingebogo.
More December deals
Applebee’s: The December drink of the month is the Dollar Jolly, a $1 Jolly Rancher Vodka Drink available in cherry or green apple at participating locations.
Burger King: Cini Minis, considered a fan favorite from the ’90s, are back for a limited-time with a four-piece costing $1.49 at most locations. The treat also is available for delivery exclusively on Grubhub. With $10 or more Grubhub orders, get a free order. A coupon code isn’t needed and the freebie should unlock once you have $10 in your cart.
Chili’s: The December Margarita of the Month is the Red Nose Rita, a mix of Sauza Blue, Cointreau, Monin blackberry syrup and strawberry puree. The margaritas are $5.
Dunkin’: Through Dec. 30, get a medium-sized Dunkin’ latte or cappuccino for $2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at participating locations.
Hungry Howies: Through Dec. 31, buy two medium one-topping pizzas for $5 each with promo code DEAL40 at participating locations.
IHOP: Through Dec. 31, 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.
Kolache Factory: Through Dec. 31, buy a dozen dinner rolls and get the second dozen half off in store. This deal is not valid online.
Red Lobster: Through Dec. 31, take 10 percent off To Go orders with promo code LOBSTER65. This deal excludes delivery.
Scooter’s Coffee: Get a $1 off any holiday trio drink with the mobile app through Dec. 31. This is a one-time only deal.
Subway: For a limited time, buy a kids meal at participating restaurants and get a code for a free ticket to “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Wendy’s: For a limited time, buy a $2 Frosty Key Tag for a year of free Frosty treats. Learn more here.
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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 email@example.com.