Birthday Freebies in the Willmar Area


It just so happens to be my birthday today and, as everybody knows, the best part of birthdays is stocking up on freebies from local retailers!

In case you’re unfamiliar with this concept, many vendors offer free and discounted products on your big day to help you celebrate. Some deals are even redeemable throughout your entire birthday month!

Many retailers require that you sign up for their e-mail list ahead of time, so plan ahead, and be sure to have an ID on you if you’re 16 or older, just in case.

Here’s the full list of places in the area that offer birthday specials:
A&W: Free root beer float when you join the Mug Club
Arby’s: Free shake when you sign up for e-mails
Applebee’s: Free ice cream with either chocolate or strawberry sauce (and a free birthday song!)
Burger King: Free hamburger Kids Meal for kids under 13 years old (BK Crown membership required)
Caribou Coffee: Free medium drink when you join their e-mail list and provide a photo ID
CherryBerry: Free frozen yogurt and toppings of choice
Culver’s: Free ice cream surprise when you join their e-mail list (In the past, treats have included a scoop of custard and an ice cream sundae.)
Dairy Queen: BOGO Blizzard—mini, small or medium (Sign up for e-mails online to receive your birthday coupon and other deals throughout the year.)
Dunn Bros: Free birthday drink when you sign up for their e-mails
El Tapatio: Free dessert and song, plus you get the honor of wearing a sombrero!
Erbert and Gerbert’s: Free sandwich during your birthday month when you join the Sandwich Society (must pick up a card from an Erbert and Gerbert’s location)
LuLu Beans: Free cookie of choice
Green Mill: Free small one topping pizza for adults who join their rewards program, and free kids meal for kids who join the KidSpace birthday club (both offers valid through your birthday month!)
Panda Garden: Free buffet on your birthday with a valid ID and a party of 6+ people (print coupon here!)
Qdoba: Free burrito when you join their e-club
Redbox: Free DVD rental when you sign up for e-mails
Papa Murphy’s: Free cookie dough when you sign up for e-mails (You’ll also be the first to know about deals throughout the year!)
Pizza Ranch: Receive a $5 bonus on your card when you join the Ranch Rewards program AND take out a free cactus bread when you dine in.
Spicer Castle: Free birthday dinner (up to a $15 value)
Taco John’s: Free cini-sopapilla bites when you sign up for e-mails

Know of other local businesses that offer birthday freebies? Comment below and we’ll add them to the list!

Dine Out for United Way of West Central Minnesota


Over the past few weeks, a number of local restaurants have been donating percentages of their sales to United Way on designated days. A full list of participating eateries can be found here.

If you’ve missed out on any of these opportunities to eat out for charity, you’re in luck! There’s just one day left TOMORROW on Thursday, March 26th.

This Thursday, the following restaurants will be participating:
Cornerstone Coffee: $1 from every latte or mocha (iced, steamed, or blended)
Domino’s Pizza: 15% of all sales
Jack’s of New London: 25% of all sales
Ruff’s Wings and Sports Bar: 15% of sales with flyer
Spicer Castle: 10% of all sales

This is an easy way to support United Way while enjoying some yummy local eats! Check out the full United Way of West Central Minnesota site for more details.

THE Shamrock Shake

I have a confession to make.

Until last week, I had never before consumed a Shamrock Shake.

I realize this is unacceptable, which is why I finally jumped on the bandwagon and took a trip through the Willmar McDonald’s drive-thru the other day to sample one of the trademark green shakes.

And the verdict?

Yep. It’s as good as they say.

Green, minty, and smooth, with a subtle vanilla flavor and a lot of creamy texture.

I was surprised by the very vibrant shade of green. I always pictured the Shamrock Shake in a soft mint green hue, but nope! Mine practically glowed in the dark it was so bright. Clearly it was full of kale or spinach or some natural green coloring…;)

The other thing that surprised me was the flavor. The Shamrock Shake isn’t mouthwash-level mint. It’s just plain, ordinary mint!

Mint + creamy vanilla soft-serve + whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Not bad, McDonald’s. Not bad!

Rumor has it that McDonald’s sells Shamrock Shakes through the end of March (sometimes earlier if supplies run out), so if you’re a first-timer like me, snatch up a Shamrock Shake of your own soon before they’re gone!

25% off at CherryBerry today and tomorrow!

Heads-up, Willmarites! CherryBerry of Willmar is once again offering a discount for us froyo lovers!

Today and tomorrow, March 23rd and 24th, CherryBerry is offering 25% off all purchases.

I’m not sure there’s any better way to celebrate the arrival of spring! Now if we could only get the spring weather to stay…

Caribou BOGO!

Today only, March 19th, Caribou Coffee is offering buy-one-get-one-free coffees for all Caribou Perks members!

To become a Perks member, you basically just need to give the barista your phone number. Each time you use a perk, they’ll ask for your number, and that’s all you need to verify your identity! You can begin the process on Caribou’s website to start receiving e-mail updates and offers.

I’ve been a Caribou Perks member for a year or so, and I can vouch for this program. It’s free, there are deals quite often, and they don’t spam you with constant e-mail. It’s definitely a #win in my book!

Best of all, it’s always fun to surprise someone with an unexpected mocha or chai. 🙂 My coworkers and I love to find random people to bless with a coffee – sometimes that’s all it takes to brighten someone’s day just a little! If you don’t have somebody to share a BOGO with, I can assure you that most anyone would love to be on the receiving end, and it’s just as fun to be the giver!

Check out the Caribou Perks program if you haven’t already – you can support a local Minnesota company, fuel your caffeine addiction, and maybe even make someone’s day in the process. 🙂

1/2 Price Frozen Yogurt at CherryBerry Today!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I can claim no Irish blood, but I am totally on board with wearing green if it wins me some discounted froyo…

And it’s our lucky day!

Today only in celebration of St. Patty’s, CherryBerry of Willmar is offering 50% off your yogurt! All you need to do is show up in green and present the coupon from the Willmar CherryBerry’s Facebook page.

See you at the toppings bar!

Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen!


Attention, Willmarites!

Today just so happens to be Dairy Queen’s 75th anniversary, and participating Dairy Queen locations across the U.S. are giving away free vanilla cones to celebrate!

This deal is only good today, March 16th, so hurry to your favorite DQ before it closes for the night! I just grabbed my complimentary cone from the 1st Street Dairy Queen, and it was every bit as sweet and creamy as any DQ cone should be.

If you’re feeling generous, participating stores are accepting donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Be sure to leave a little something if you have some extra cash or change on hand!

Since the newly constructed Highway 12 Dairy Queen is still getting its finishing touches for a late spring opening, run to the 1st Street location before 9:30 p.m. to take advantage of this freebie!

Rumor has it that the Spicer location is also participating in this event, but I have yet to confirm this. Spicer’s DQ is open until 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy your ice cream tonight! #winningWillmar


Hello, Willmarites, and welcome to #WillmarWins!

If you’re anything like me, you probably feel out of the loop sometimes when it comes to Willmar and the surrounding areas. You wonder what – if anything – is going on in this community, and you get frustrated when you Google to no avail, finding nothing but two-year-old Yelp! reviews and old calendars that have never been updated. Restaurants open and close; events come and go, and half of us don’t seem to know about any of it until it’s all over.

Maybe you love this town as much as I do, and you know that there must be hidden gems waiting to be discovered around the Willmar area and Kandiyohi County (That’s can-dee-o-HIGH for you foreigners, not can-dee-YO-hee like some Twin Cities natives might incorrectly suggest).

Or maybe you’ve found these gems already, and you’re dying to spread the word!

Where can you find the most decadent desserts in all of Kandiyohi County? Do any stores around here stay open 24-7? What’s on the menu at LuLu Beans? Which lake is best for families with young kids? What is there to do in this town?

Let’s find out. There are plenty of #wins to be found in the Willmar area, and I’m determined to pin them down, with your help!

Follow #WillmarWins on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest #wins, and be sure to subscribe via RSS (I like Feedly) to keep up with each new post!