Looks like Sunoco was sick of 7-Eleven getting all the "free snacks" publicity.
A little over a week after 7-Eleven staged its annual Free Slurpee Day, Sunoco's "APlus" convenience store is offering free hot dogs. Just print out this coupon and bring it to a participating APlus at Sunoco station on Saturday, July 20, to get a free Nathan's Famous hot dog off its roller grill. The coupon is good all day on Saturday -- but only while supplies last, so get there early.
The giveaway won't be the national event that Slurpee Day is -- while there are thousands of 7-Eleven locations across the country, APlus at Sunoco is restricted to the East Coast. But that doesn't mean it's any less of a freebie: Gas station hot dogs may not be your idea of fine dining, but we're always on board with free food.
If you were wondering why Sunoco is giving out free hot dogs this weekend, it's because next Tuesday, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. And as it turns out, this fact hasn't escaped 7-Eleven's attention: It's offering free hot dogs that day. Unlike Slurpee Day, though, you can't just walk in and get the goods; you need to show the mobile-only coupon. Just download the free 7-Eleven app and present the coupon to get your free 1/8-pound "Big Bite" hot dog.
If you're hungry on Hot Dog Day but not in the mood for a hot dog, we've got good news. Tuesday is also the 49th anniversary of the founding of Arby's, so the sandwich chain is offering its classic roast beef sandwich for 64 cents. (The chain was founded in 1964, hence the price; they could have based the number 49 instead, but this makes them a little more money.) To get the deal, just go to the Arby's site, enter your name and print out the coupon. There's a limit of one per customer, and only while supplies last.
All this means that over the next few days, you can get two hot dogs and a roast beef sandwich for a grand total of 64 cents. Make the most of this opportunity.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.
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Sunoco, 7-Eleven Offering Free Franks for 'National Hot Dog Day'
When it comes to summer wines, classic buying tips apply: Many wine shops offer steep discounts on overstocked wines or partial cases. Beyond that, there are several inexpensive wines that are great summer chillers: Vinho Verde, for example, is a light, summery Portuguese wine that often costs $5 or less a bottle.
As for beer, if you're looking for something that hits the sweet spot between a run-of-the-mill Budweiser and a pricey microbrew, you might consider a German hefeweizen. These smooth wheat beers aren't too hoppy, are fairly crisp, don't have too much alcohol, and taste great with a wedge of orange. Alternately, if you still have fond college memories of Mickey's wide-mouths and Gennessee Cream Ale, you'll be pleased to know that inexpensive American cream ales are experiencing a renaissance.
When it comes to cost-effective beverages, it's hard to beat everyday sodas, but if you want a cheap soda that isn't loaded with high fructose corn syrup, the options get a lot thinner. A few weeks ago, we looked at some of the best bets at your local Asian market, but if you have a Latin American store in your area, you might try Jarritos, a Mexican soda brand that uses cane sugar instead of HFCS. As an added benefit, Jarritos comes in wide variety of flavors -- like watermelon, pineapple and tamarind -- that are sure to surprise your friends and family.
When it comes to decorating for a garden party, lighting is key. Mini Christmas lights are attractive and cheap: a strand of 100 lights will probably set you back about $8 or so. If you'd like a slightly retro look, tiki torches start at less than $5 apiece. Or, if you want to go with a more personal touch, you can try making your own citronella candles. Candle molds are only a few bucks, and a jumbo citronella candle will give you enough wax for several smaller candles.
When it comes to garden party snacks, it's hard to beat a basic cheese plate. They're easy to assemble, don't require cooking, and don't have to cost a lot -- all you need are a few types of cheese and a thinly sliced baguette. If you want to go whole hog, throw in some olives, slice up a few apples, and add in some slices of prociutto or sopressata.
If you want to go with something a little more summery, chilled gazpacho is a good option. The simple Spanish soup is tasty and inexpensive to make. And, if you really want to impress your guests, check out this watermelon blueberry gazpacho recipe from Food Republic: it's sweet, spicy, and absolutely distinctive!
One of the great secrets of classic Southern cooking is that the three classic meats -- pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken -- are not only delicious but are also extremely economical. Plus, pork shoulder and brisket will take several hours to cook, giving you the perfect excuse to sip beer in the backyard with your friends.
Nothing says summer like fresh watermelon, and the price is definitely right. But if you want to go a little more elaborate, here's an option: combine your favorite berries in a bowl (personally, I like a mix of blueberries, raspberries, and sliced strawberries). Add balsamic glaze to taste, and set aside in the fridge. When you're ready for dessert, take the berry mix and either drizzle over vanilla ice cream or pound cake, then garnish with whipped cream. For less than $15, it's a sure way to wow your family and friends.