An Australian woman took advantage of birthday promotions to eat free for a whole week.

By Gillie Houston
Updated May 24, 2017
Free Meals for Birthday
Credit: © Betsie Van der Meer / Getty Images

Frugal folk, meet your new hero. One Australian woman has taken the time-honored tradition of getting free food on your birthday to a whole new level.

Brisbane resident Lucy Sweeney not only set out on a mission to eat for free for an entire week, but broadcast her escapades via a Facebook event titled: Lucy's Free Food Week 2016. The goal? Cash in on as many restaurant birthday freebies as possible before the week was up. According to Sweeney's Facebook post, many food venues offer birthday deals through a rewards card or program—so, the cherry-on-top of your cost-free sundae might be a bevy of promotional emails.

By Sweeney's own account this particular mission took a good amount of planning and forethought. Some restaurants "require booking ahead of time, some just need proof of ID and nothing more. It's taken me a decent amount of time to suss all of this out," she says. For anyone considering taking on this undertaking for themselves, there are other logistics to keep in mind. Some restaurants only offer deals on your actual date of birth, whereas some give you a wider time frame. Some deals can only be redeemed in certain stores, whereas some require the birthday person brings a paying customer along to get their freebie. Though these are all things to be considered, the reward is a week full of eating like royalty, for no cost to yourself (besides a likely decline in personal health).

At the conclusion of Sweeney's free food exravaganza, she concluded that "A free food week is totally doable... and then some. There are places I haven't even redeemed yet." Included in her free meals, which Sweeney posted photos of throughout the week, were burgers, cups of ice cream, lamb shanks, burritos, cookies, smoothies, noodles, waffles, ribs, fried chicken, and cake (naturally).

Sweeney admits that when it came to her health, "It was physically difficult to complete this challenge. I actually wasn't prepared for the response my body had—bloating, stomach cramps, lethargy..." as might be expected from a week full of "ice cream for breakfast" and gut-busting, birthday-worthy serving sizes.

But when all was said and done—and eaten—Sweeney saved $364 on meals over the course of a week, leaving her with plenty of spare cash to buy one heck of a birthday present for herself.