Best Veterans Day Deals and Freebies for 2018

On Veterans Day, which takes place on Nov. 11, Americans honor those who have served in the military. To show a little extra appreciation, restaurants and businesses offer special discounts, free meals and deals to veterans. Sometimes these promotions extend to the family members of active-duty military and service members as well.

These are the best freebies and deals that current and retired service members can get on Veterans Day 2018. Note that some of these promos take place on Nov. 12, which is when Veterans Day is observed.

For all these offers, you must present a valid military ID or proof of service. The restaurant offers listed below are for dine-in visitors only and not good for carryout orders.

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Applebee's: Free meals for veterans and active-duty military on Veterans Day is an Applebee's tradition. This year, those who have served get a free full-sized entree on Nov. 11. The eight options for this year's free meal are the classic bacon cheeseburger, a 6-ounce USDA select top sirloin dinner, chicken tenders platter, double crunch shrimp, fiesta lime chicken, Oriental grilled chicken salad, Oriental chicken salad and three-cheese chicken penne.

Bar Louie: During operating hours on Nov. 11, veterans and active military can get a free burger or flatbread, up to a $15 value. Plus, from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12, Bar Louie will allow diners to donate via an add-on to their checks to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that provides support for military families.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Veterans and active-duty service members can get a free small order of boneless or traditional wings and fries on Veterans Day. This offer is available at participating locations only, so be sure to call ahead.

Cracker Barrel: On Nov. 11, veterans can choose between a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or a specialty coffee beverage. Cracker Barrel's specialty coffee drinks include the Goo Goo Cluster latte, mochas, lattes and vanilla lattes. This promo is offered at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations nationwide.

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Famous Dave's: The barbecue chain will salute vets on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 with a Two-Meat Salute. That refers to the free platter all former and current military personnel can get on those days. Those eligible for this deal can choose two different meats, which include Georgia chopped pork, country-roasted chicken, BBQ chicken, Sweetwater catfish fingers, Southside rib tips and Texas beef brisket, and complete the meal with a choice of side and a cornbread muffin.

Great Clips: On Nov. 11, veterans and current military members can receive a free haircut or a card for a free haircut to use in the future. Nonmilitary customers can get in on the action, too, by purchasing a service for themselves and receiving a free haircut card to give to a veteran. All haircut cards received during the Veterans Day promotion are redeemable until Dec. 31, 2018.

McCormick & Schmick's: The seafood and steak chain is offering all veterans and Gold Star honorees a free entree from a special Veterans Day menu on Nov. 11. Some of the options include salmon rigatoni, buttermilk fried shrimp, tender beef medallions and the McCormick's cheeseburger.

On The Border: The Mexican food chain will give active and former military members a free Create-Your-Own-Combo 2 Meal on Nov. 11. The combo lets you choose any two items from the combo menu, which includes tacos, enchiladas and empanadas. The meal is served with rice, beans and endless chips and salsa.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery: From Nov. 10 through Nov. 12, veterans get a free entree. Plus, the chain will be serving a limited-edition Veterans Day IPA Nov. 10 to Nov. 17. From each pint, 25 cents will be donated to a local veterans charity.

Ruby Tuesday: All military personnel with valid military ID can get a free appetizer of up to a $10 value on Nov. 11. Options include Bangin' Shrimp, loaded potato chips, BBQ pork meatballs, mozzarella sticks and more.

[See: 12 Habits of Phenomenally Frugal Families.]

SmileDirectClub: This is the biggest-ticket Veterans Day special on this list. From Nov. 9 to Nov. 12, the at-home invisible braces company will give veterans and active military $200 off the purchase of an invisible aligner.

Tractor Supply Company: Veterans, active-duty military and their dependents can receive 15 percent off their purchases at Tractor Supply Company stores on Nov. 11.

Companies and products mentioned in this article may be promoted on

Kristin McGrath is a shopping and deals expert. A graduate of American University with a degree in journalism, she specializes in helping shoppers make the best money decisions, whether it's choosing the right financial product or getting the best deal on purchases big and small. You can see more of her work and get tips for saving time and money at