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13 places where you can score free food

An employee of Ben & Jerry's scoops ice cream into a cone outside Union Station in Washington, DC.
Saul Loeb | Getty Images
An employee of Ben & Jerry's scoops ice cream into a cone outside Union Station in Washington, DC.

You never need an excuse to eat ice cream. But if you were craving one, look no further than Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day.

Stop by any Ben and Jerry's scoop shop location between noon and 8:00 p.m. on April 4 for a free scoop of any flavor, a deal the company puts on annually. Free Cone Day originally started back in 1979 to celebrate the ice cream shop's first year in business, and it's been a favorite tradition ever since.

Because there are few greater joys in life than free food, CNBC rounded up 12 other places where you can score even more freebies all year. Mark your calendar accordingly.

Baskin Robbins: Sign up for Baskin Robbin's Birthday Club and commemorate becoming another year older with a free cone.

Chick-fil-A: Don your best cow-themed attire for Chick-fil-A's annual Cow Appreciation Day and receive a free entree in return. Chick-fil-A hasn't announced the official 2017 date yet, but look out for it around the second week of July.

Dairy Queen: You know you love DQ Blizzards. Make it official by signing up for the chain's Blizzard Fan Club. You'll immediately receive a two-for-one coupon, as well as surprise treats on your birthday and anniversary of joining.

Dunkin' Donuts: National Donut Day might not be as official a holiday as Thanksgiving, but it's one day where it's easy to know what you're grateful for. Dunkin' Donuts typically offers a deal to commemorate the occasion: Last year, the store handed out free donuts with the purchase of any beverage. Check out what they're up to this year on June 2.

IHOP: Every year, the International House of Pancakes declares a "National Pancake Day," where customers can enjoy a short stack on the house. In return, IHOP asks for a donation to one of their charitable partners. National Pancake Day already passed for 2017 on March 7, but watch out for it to come around again next spring.

Insomnia Cookies: Stop by Insomnia Cookies on National Cookie Day, December 4, for a free cookie with any purchase. Pretty sweet.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are displayed in a shop in Washington, DC.
Nicholas Kamm | Getty Images
Krispy Kreme doughnuts are displayed in a shop in Washington, DC.

Krispy Kreme: Double the donuts, double the fun. Be sure to stop by Krispy Kreme as well on June 2, for a second National Donut Day treat. Last year, the chain handed out free donuts to all, no purchase necessary.

Moe's Southwest Grill: Become a member of Moe's Rockin' Rewards program and receive a free cup of queso when you sign up. The free food doesn't stop there: Come hungry on your birthday for a free burrito.

Panera Bread: Earn a free pastry from Panera Bread just for signing up for the restaurant's MyPanera rewards program. Don't forget to head back on your birthday for another free treat.

Peet's Coffee: For National Coffee Day in 2016, participating Peet's locations handed out a free medium coffee with the purchase of any food item. Look out for the holiday to come around again on September 29.

Rita's Italian Ice: Just as temperatures begin to rise, Rita's provides patrons with an easy way to cool down: free Italian ice on the first day of spring. Though spring has already sprung for 2017, the giveaway will be back on March 20, 2018.

7-Eleven: Stop by any 7-Eleven location on the brand's namesake date, July 11, for a free small Slurpee. If you're a regular, download the 7-Eleven app for weekly deals, such as free coffee with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich.