May deals: Where to get free food and other discounts this month

Kelly Tyko

Moms, teachers, nurses and military, May is your month.

Restaurants and businesses have special deals and freebies for Mother's Day, National Teacher Appreciation Day, National Nurses Week and Memorial Day.

There's also plenty of savings for the rest of us with Cinco de Mayo at the start of the month and National Burger Day May 28.

Here are some of the big days for free food and discounts along with ongoing specials, available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out. Also, some will require you to have a restaurant's app or be signed up for emails.

Bookmark this page because it'll be updated frequently with more specials.

Businesses with 20 or more locations can submit meal deals here for the June roundup.

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Not impossible: Burger King plans to release plant-based Impossible Whopper nationwide by end of year

May 30-June 9: Win Chipotle burritos

Watching the NBA Finals could earn you a free burrito.

Chipotle is giving away up to $1 million worth of free burritos during the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The promotion, which also includes free delivery, starts  starting Thursday, May 30.

The Mexican fast-casual chain announced it will be live tweeting a unique code good for the chance to win a free burrito every time an on-air announcer says the word “free” during the official coverage of the series.

Up to 500 free burritos will be given in the first half of each game based on the mentions of "free." In the second half, up to 1,000 free burritos will be given away. To enter, text the correct code to 888222.

The promotion is limited to the first 20 on-air mentions of “free” during each game, according to the terms and conditions.

"We know that basketball fans are some of the most passionate fans in sports, so we're putting even more, about one million dollars more, on the line by 'freeting' through these final games," said Chris Brandt, Chipotle chief marketing officer, in a statement.

The free burrito codes will be valid for any regularly-priced entree through July 14.

Chipotle also will be offering free delivery Thursday, May 30 through June 9 with a minimum $10 order on the Chipotle app, Chipotle.com or through DoorDash. If the series continues, the free delivery may also be extended. 

Taco Bell also could be giving away free tacos based on the men's basketball championships with its “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion. If the road team “steals” a win from the home team, the fast-food chain announced it will give away free Doritos Locos Tacos June 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. local time or any time that day for customers who order online or with the mobile app.

May 14: Impossible Whopper expands

Burger King’s Impossible Whopper is going south.

The fast-food chain announced Tuesday that its continued test of the plant-based burger was headed to Miami, Florida, Columbus, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama.

Burger King started a pilot of the Whopper developed by Silicon Valley-based  Impossible Foods April 1 at 59 restaurants in and around St. Louis. In late April, the company said the St. Louis pilot “went exceedingly well and as a result there are plans to extend testing into additional markets in the very near future.”

The chain also said in late April and again Tuesday that it plans to make the meatless, vegan burger “available to all guests nationwide by the end of 2019.”

An Impossible Whopper Tour Bus will roll through each new market for a limited time and offer “all sorts of games, music, and free swag to celebrate the launch of the plant-based burger,” Burger King said in a statement.

May 15-Sept. 1: Planet Fitness Teen Summer Challenge

High school teenagers ages 15 to 18 can work out for free at any of the more than 1,700 Planet Fitness locations nationwide May 15 through Sept. 1 as part of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge initiative. Free fitness classes specifically for teenagers will also be available Monday through Friday with certified fitness trainers.

“At Planet Fitness, a healthy and active lifestyle should never be a challenge – which is why we’re flipping that notion on its head with the launch of the nationwide Teen Summer Challenge,” Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau said in a statement.

According to the fine print, teens must work out at the location they sign up at and are not permitted to use other locations. Teens under 18 must bring a parent or guardian to sign up but after the waiver is signed, the teens can workout alone.

All teens who sign up are automatically entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes and 51 teens across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will be randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship with one teen winning a $5,000 grand prize.

Learn more at www.planetfitness.com/TeenSummerChallenge.

May 14-June 27: Subway kids' meal Aladdin deal 

For a limited time, Subway's kids meals come with a way to get free tickets to the new Aladdin movie in theaters May 24.

The world's largest restaurant chain is giving away Fandango promo codes for free children's tickets to the new Disney movie with purchase of "Subway Fresh Fit for Kids" meals, while supplies last and at participating restaurants. Each Fresh Fit For Kids meal also includes one of four collectible Disney’s Aladdin-themed activities.

According to the fine print, the free tickets are worth up to $11 and expire July 3 or when Aladdin is no longer in theaters, whichever is first. There’s a limit of four Fandango promo codes per household.

Learn more at www2.activaterewards.com/subway.

May 27-June 2: Potbelly grad promo

Through Sunday, June 2, graduates get a buy-one-get-one offer when they show their graduation tassel or student ID at participating Potbelly Sandwich Shops.

May 28-July 29: Olive Garden deal

Through July 29, Olive Garden has its popular “Buy One, Take One” promotion. Starting at $12.99, order select items and take a second entree home.

Learn more at www.olivegarden.com.

May 29-31: Burger Day deals continued

Tuesday, May 28 was National Burger Day aka National Hamburger Day but here are a few deals that continue.

Dairy Queen: Get a free hamburger with purchase of a malt or shake Tuesday through May 31 with an offer on the DQ mobile app. Download at www.dairyqueen.com/app.

Morton’s The Steakhouse: The National Burger Month special is available through May 31. Get a burger with matchstick fries and paired with a glass of Michael David “Earthquake” Zinfandel for $36.

Ruby Tuesday: Through May 31, enter the Ruby Tuesday Burger Jackpot at www.rtburgerjackpot.com for a chance to prizes including free burgers, the grand prize trip to Las Vegas and free Ruby Tuesday for a year.

TooJay's: The Florida-based chain has a new burger lineup through July 28 and is giving members of its Delicious Rewards program double points in May.

Wayback Burgers: For National Burger Day Tuesday, get a signature burger for $3. The chain also has been celebrating National Hamburger Month with a month of surprise deals for customers who have the Wayback app. Offers vary and include discounts, double or triple points or a free side or drink. Download the app at www.waybackburgers.com/loyalty. The app isn't need for Tuesday's deal.

White Castle: The fast-food chain known for its slider burgers is celebrating National Brisket Day through May 31 with a buy-one-get-one free deal. Get a free BBQ Brisket Slider with purchase of one with a coupon posted at www.whitecastle.com/value-offers.

National Hamburger Day 2019 deals: Where to get ongoing sign-up offers

May 31: Baskin-Robbin’s deal

On Friday, May 31, get a regular or kids-sized scoop of ice cream for $1.70 or two pre-packaged quarts for $7.99 as part of the ice cream chain's Celebrate 31 promotion, which occurs with months that have 31 days.

Ongoing offers

Applebee's: May is Military Appreciation Month and participating Applebee’s restaurants are offering active, retired military servicemembers and their families to dine and receive 10% off their bill. Also for the month of May, get the Dollarita margarita for $1 at participating restaurants nationwide.

Bahama BreezeThrough Friday, May 31, the chain has $5 classic margaritas and $10 Create Your Own Premium Tequila and Rum Flights at participating locations.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Through June 14, get $10 off a $40 food purchase with a coupon. One offer per table, per visit. For online orders use promo code 10OFF40.

Chili’s: The $5 Margarita for May is the “Tequila Trifecta,” which is made with Cuervo Gold Tequila, 1800 Reposado Tequila, Sauza Blue Silver Tequila, Triple Sec and fresh sour. 

Chipotle: Through June 23, sign up for the chain's new nationwide loyalty program Chipotle Rewards and make a $5 or more purchase to get free chips and guac. Sign up at www.chipotle.com/rewards or on the Chipotle app.

The Greene Turtle: Through June 2, get Endless Tacos in buffalo or grilled chicken for $9.99.

Hardee’s: For a limited time, the Hardee’s Original Roast Beef sandwich is available as a two for $5 regular size value meal at participating locations.

Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries: Through June 30, get a four-inch cheesesteak with fries or tots and a drink for $6.99.

Ike's Love & Sandwiches: Through Sunday, June 2, get any of Ike's most popular sandwiches for $7 including the Menage a Trois, Matt Cain and Meatless Mike. Must purchase chips and a drink and present this Instagram coupon.

Sonic Drive-In: This Teacher Appreciation Month deal is for teachers and “those who appreciate them as much as Sonic does,” the fast-food chain says. Through May 31, get a free Route 44 drink or slush with purchase when ordering on the restaurant’s app with promo code TEACHERS. Download the app at www.sonicdrivein.com/app.

Taco BellThrough June 9 at 2:59 ET, get 15% off one Party Pack. Sign up for offers at www.tacobell.com/register.

TGI Fridays: Through June 9, get unlimited refills of Fried Shrimp or Coconut Shrimp with purchase of select Whiskey-Glazed entrées. One offer per person.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill: For a limited time, get $2 Sauza margaritas and $4 Patron margaritas all day at participating locations.

Wayback Burgers: The chain is celebrating National Hamburger Month with a month of surprise deals for customers who have the Wayback app. Offers vary and include discounts, double or triple points or a free side or drink. Download the app at www.waybackburgers.com/loyalty.

White CastleThrough June 28, the fast-food chain has a deal every Wednesday for Western Wednesdays. Wear western attire and get two free BBQ Original Sliders with any purchase.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: May deals: Where to get free food and other discounts this month