No one can say it often enough: Thank you for your service, veterans and active-duty military members.
But as nice as it is to hear those words, free goodies are also a nice token of appreciation.
And since this Saturday is Veterans Day, there’s plenty of tangible gratitude coming your way.
Free Food for Vets and Military Members This Veterans Day
Looking for some free eats? The following restaurants have confirmed give away meals, coffee and more to vets this Saturday.
Veterans and active-duty military members can score a free meal from Applebee’s this Saturday with proof of service. You can choose from seven of Applebee’s signature dishes, including Butcher’s Meat and Potatoes, Chicken Tenders Platter, Oriental Chicken Salad, Fiesta Lime Chicken and Double Crunch Shrimp — and, of course, a good ol’ American burger.
2. Bob Evan’s
Bob Evans will offer military members and vets a free meal from a sumptuous-looking six-item menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options. You can redeem this freebie any time on Nov. 11 with proof of service.
3. California Pizza Kitchen
Whether it’s pasta, salad or pizza you’re after, you’ll eat it for free at California Pizza Kitchen this Saturday.
Veterans and active service members can get a free entree when they arrive in uniform or show their military ID this Saturday. Choose from a special menu that includes some of CPK’s favorites, like BBQ chicken pizza, Thai crunch salad and Bolognese spaghetti.
Active, inactive and retired military personnel can flash their military IDs, and Denny’s will give them a free Build Your Own Grand Slam on Friday, Nov. 10 between 5 a.m. and noon.
The dish includes your choice of four breakfast items, from pancakes to eggs to hash browns to bacon.
This joint might be best known for its ice cream, but it also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can get one of those meals for free if you show up at Friendly’s with your military ID this Saturday.
You can choose from two menu options: the customizable Big-Two-Do Breakfast or, if lunch or dinner is more your style, an All-American burger with fries and a drink.
Stop by Hooters this Saturday, Nov. 11, for a free entree from its special Veterans Day menu, which includes 10-piece traditional or boneless wings, a Hooters burger, a Buffalo chicken salad and a Buffalo chicken sandwich. Participation and menu items may vary by location, and you need to purchase a beverage to get the freebie — but at least you can have whatever sauce you want!
7. Mission BBQ
This Southern and Midwestern joint’s tagline is “The American Way,” so we weren’t surprised to find out it’ll support vets this Saturday with a meal and dessert!
Drop by your favorite Mission BBQ location Nov. 11 to get a free sandwich and slice of cake (while it lasts).
8. On the Border
Ready to spice it up? On the Border continues its Veterans Day tradition by offering all military members a free create-your-own combo meal — that’s 150 combinations to choose from, so be prepared to make a tough decision! But don’t worry, you’ll have time to decide because this offer will be available all day long! Just be sure to bring proof of service.
9. Red Lobster
Red Lobster will offer vets and active service members a free appetizer or dessert from a special menu. The menu includes six appetizer options and five dessert choices. All you have to do is flash your ID or proof of service on Saturday, Nov. 11.
10. Red Robin
This Saturday, you can enjoy a free Red’s Tavern double burger and a bottomless order of steak fries when you show proof of service at Red Robin (Yummm).
No purchase is necessary, but it won’t count toward your Red Robin Royalty rewards accrual.
11. Ruby Tuesday
All former and active military members can enjoy any appetizer — up to a $10 value — for free at Ruby Tuesday on Saturday, Nov. 11 by flashing their military ID.
12. Texas Roadhouse
Swing by Texas Roadhouse for lunch this Saturday to enjoy a free meal and beverage with proof of service. You’ll have 10 entrees to choose from, some of which include two sides, so make sure you go hungry! You’ll also get your choice of drink: iced tea, sweet tea, soft drink or coffee.
On Friday, Nov. 10, grab your military ID and head to IHOP to get free red, white and blue pancakes — those are buttermilk pancakes smothered with blueberry topping, scattered with glazed strawberries and finished with whipped cream.
IHOP will also donate $1 from every red, white and blue combo purchase from Nov. 1-30 to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.
14. Buffalo Wild Wings
Craving hot, delicious wings? Who isn’t?
Head to your local B-Dubs for a complimentary small order of wings and a side of fries any time on Saturday, Nov. 11. The offer doesn’t include a drink, and you have to dine in.
Ready for some carb-loading? Fazoli’s will offer active-duty, inactive and retired military members a free serving of spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce when you flash your military ID or show up in uniform, no purchase necessary. This deal runs from Friday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 12, so there’s no need to rush in. Fazoli’s will also roll out a year-round 10% discount on any purchase to all military service members who show proof of service.
Lunch is on Sizzler until 4 p.m. on Saturday, so be sure to bring proof of service or show up in uniform and be ready to choose from three delicious entrees, including six jumbo crispy shrimp, 6-ounce tri-tip sirloin steak or Malibu chicken. You also get your choice of side and beverage.
17. Cracker Barrel
If you save room for dessert this Veterans Day, then stop by Cracker Barrel for a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake when you show proof of service.
Cracker Barrel will also honor military service members by donating 20% of the proceeds from online and in-store purchases of Lodge cookware to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to “build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they’ve worked so hard to protect.”
18. Little Caesars
If you’re in the mood for pizza this Saturday, stop by Little Caesars between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a free $5 Hot-N-Ready lunch combo. All you have to do is mention this offer and show proof of service, and you’ll be on your way with four slices of DEEP!DEEP! Dish pepperoni pizza and a 20-ounce Pepsi product.
If you have an eventful Veterans Day planned for Saturday, swing by Krystal between 6-11 a.m. to score the most important meal of the day for free. All military service members who show up in uniform or present a military ID can enjoy a free sausage biscuit. The offer is available both in-store or at the drive-thru.
20. Dunkin’ Donuts
Since “America runs on Dunkin’” and you protect America, be sure to claim your free donut of choice from Dunkin’ Donuts this Saturday with proof of service.
Dunkin’ Donuts will also donate $10,000 to Homes for Our Troops, a privately funded nonprofit organization that “builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans.” Up to 100 veterans who have been, or will be, provided with custom homes through the organization will also receive a year’s worth of Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cup pods along with a new Keurig brewing system, all donated by the donut shop.
21. Golden Corral
If you don’t have dinner plans for Monday, Nov. 13, you do now! Golden Corral will host its Military Appreciation Night from 5-9 p.m. and will give out free meals to all military service members with proof of service.
If you’re feeling super-hungry when you wake up this Saturday, head to Shoney’s. All veterans and active military members can enjoy free access to the all-you-care-to-eat freshly prepared breakfast bar from 6-11 a.m. with a valid military ID.
23. Spaghetti Warehouse
Spaghetti Warehouse will celebrate Veterans Day all weekend long with a three-day buy one, get one coupon. Starting Friday, Nov. 10 and running through Sunday, Nov. 12, all military service members, and friends and family can use this printable coupon to buy an entree and get one free. Be sure to print out the coupon before you go or present it to your server on your mobile phone.
You can choose from lasagne, any original recipe spaghetti or grilled chicken Alfredo. Along with this, you’ll get sourdough bread and your choice of a salad or soup.
24. The Melting Pot
If you love steak, this one is for you! The Melting Pot will honor all military service members on Saturday Nov. 11 and Sunday, Nov. 12 with a complimentary steak-lovers entree. No purchase is required — all you have to do is show your military ID to enjoy this freebie.
25. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
On Saturday, Nov. 11, all military service members are invited to Perkins Restaurant & Bakery to enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Bring proof of service to receive a free Magnificent Seven breakfast, which includes two eggs cooked your way, two pieces of meat — sausage links, bacon or ham — and three pancakes, so make sure you go hungry!
Other Veterans Day Freebies and Deals
Now that your belly’s full, check out these other freebies and deals that support veterans and military members this month. Some of these are open to civilians, so you can help celebrate our military members’ sacrifices even if you’ve never served!
26. Great Clips
Know a vet whose coif is looking a little less than ship-shape? Need a quick snip yourself?
Head to Great Clips for a haircut this Saturday, and you’ll get a free haircut card to give to your favorite veteran. They can redeem it until Dec. 31, 2017, with proof of military service.
If you’re a vet yourself, head in on the 11th for a free haircut then and there, or grab a card if you want to come back later.
27. The National Park Service
Need to get some fresh air after all that free food, vets?
Head to your favorite National Park this Saturday, and you’ll get in for free. In fact, so will all your friends and family, even if they’ve never served.
What better way to honor your sacrifice than to go out and actually be on the land you fought for?
28. Bed and Breakfasts for Vets
Maybe you want to celebrate Veterans Day with a getaway.
If so, consider staying at a bed and breakfast. Several inns and B&Bs have teamed up with B&Bs for Vets to offer a free room for a night on or around Veterans Day. All you need is proof of service and a credit card to hold the room — please note all cancellation policies will be in effect at participating properties.
Psst, vets in Southern states: Maybe save your grocery shopping for Saturday.
Publix will offer active military members and vets 10% off their purchases on Veterans Day when they show their IDs. This might be a good time to stock up!
30. Dollar General
Dollar General will honor veterans, active military and their immediate family members with an 11% discount on all qualifying purchases, both online and in store Saturday, Nov. 11.
Jamie Cattanach is a writer whose work has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.
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