Collect $578 in free food on your birthday

Several people did in fact get back to Joe with reports of their own good deeds that his actions inspired.

One woman wrote to say she paid for another person's lunch in the car behind her at a Wendy's drivethrough. "[Thanks for] opening my eyes as to how we all can help one another in this crazy world of ours," she noted. 

Another person wrote in to say they quietly paid for the lunch of a girl who had apparently lost her debit card. The payer was greeted with a tearful thank you in the parking lot for their kindness.

http://youtu.be/Wkj2QL0jEAk

"My birthday this year ended up not being about me at all, but about helping others out and showing love to strangers for no reason at all and expecting nothing back from them in return," Joe says. " It was beautiful to see the smile on their faces and their genuine appreciation."

Joe's birthday freebie obsession began in 2011. That year, he collected 31 items. He was shooting for 50 freebie items last year, and this past year he more than doubled that by crossing the 100-freebie mark.

As you might imagine, Joe is a pretty thrifty guy in many areas of his life. He loves stocking up at the grocery store when things are on sale, and he routinely looks for damaged or discontinued reduced priced items.

"I'll buy 3 jars of Baconnaise when it is on sale because it rarely goes on sale, and I know I'll use it up eventually," he says. "Fresh produce is one thing I will buy at regular price, but [I] will buy the lowest priced apples or carrots to save money."

A few areas where he won't compromise quality over price include toothpaste and toilet paper.

"I will pay more for good toilet paper," Joe says. "I cannot tolerate the cheap one-ply rolls. Charmin Extra Soft. Period."

(Too bad Joe doesn't know that high quality toilet paper comes remarkably cheap!)

Want to be like Joe? He's shared 3 simple tips to get you going on your own birthday freebie spree

Have a unique and compelling story with a personal finance angle that you'd like to see told on ClarkHoward.com? Reach out to us at chsite@clarkhoward.com. 

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Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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