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8 Genius ways to save money when you go to Dunkin Donuts

When waking up in the morning, there's plenty of things we could all be chowing down on to start the day right. Some people are fans of bacon and eggs, others cereal or oatmeal, but for me, the only breakfast food is donuts, and the only place to get them is Dunkin Donuts.

Sure, in recent times they've had to somewhat streamline their offerings, focusing more on the important stuff (that is, fried dough), but they're still the best place to go for a donut. If you're anything like me though, you'll probably want to make the most of your trips to Dunkin Donuts. To that end, why not check out these awesome ways to save a little bit of money every time you get a donut craving?

1. Get yourself a discounted gift card

If Christmas movies are anything to go by, giving is always better than receiving... unless of course, you're receiving a discounted gift card for Dunkin Donuts. The idea of a gift card, of course, isn't limited to this donut emporium, but it's definitely worth heading to sites like Raise, where you can score gift cards by paying a fraction of the price.

2. Sign up for perks

Sometimes, the only thing causing us to spend more than we need to at Dunkin Donuts is the most human of human failures; plain old, unadulterated laziness. By signing up for Dunkin Donuts' loyalty program you can score free drinks on any order over $40, as well as when you sign up, plus every year on your birthday. There's also an entire week dedicated to rewards members, where you can score exclusive benefits and perks. All at the tip of your fingertips. But there's just... so much effort involved.

3. Hold onto those receipts

At the end of every purchase at Dunkin Donuts, your server will probably hand you a piece of paper which details all the transaction you've just made. That's called a receipt, and if you're anything like me, you probably throw them away or shove them directly into your mouth, so as to never leave a paper trail. The Man is always watching. But by holding on to those receipts, you'll notice that on your Dunkin Donuts one, there's a code that enables to you to fill out a short survey. When you do fill it out, you'll be entitled to a free donut. Isn't that neat?

4. Pick up a Dunkin Donuts calendar

Yes, you've got a calendar on your cellphone, or on your wall so that you can remember your significant other's birthday (somehow, you still manage to forget). But by picking up the calendar that Dunkin Donuts puts out every year, you can get yourself coupons for a whole host of things, like breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and most importantly, coffee. They might not always be on display, but in that case be sure to ask your server if they've got any round back.

5. Watch a football game

Yep: you read that right. Nothing else necessary. Around the country, Dunkin Donuts will offer massive discounts on medium coffee if their hometown NFL team won the previous day. In places like New York, you'll only have to pay a dollar for a medium coffee, whereas if you're in New England, you can get that coffee for free (judging how well the New England Patriots have been doing this season, that's a lot of free coffee). Something to keep in mind ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

6. Really take advantage of Happy Hour

Folks, it turns out that your local watering hole isn't the only place you can have a great time at Happy Hour. Why get drunk on alcohol when you can get drunk on donuts? Between two and six pm, Dunkin Donuts makes a concerted effort to bring in more customers during its slow hours, which means that the clever ones among you can score yourself half-price coffee in that time.

7. Bring in your own cup

Like the royalty program above, this might take a teeny bit more effort than you're maybe used to, but if you can find yourself a reusable mug to bring into your local Dunkin Donuts branch, you can score free refills for as little as 99 cents a pop. Even better: you won't be making the enviroment worse by throwing away all that paper and plastic. That's what you call a win-win.

8. Join the AARP

This might not be applicable to everyone reading this, but if you're eligible to join the American Association of Retired Persons, you should be signing up right away - everyone who's a member gets a free donut with every large beverage. If you're already a member - then what are you waiting for? Stop reading this article and go get a free donut.

Well folks, there you have it. Life is short, but it's also full of donuts, so why not ensure you're ahead of the game when it comes to Dunkin Donuts? There might be a lot of effort required initially, but if you hang in there, you'll have a lasting benefit for when it comes to satisfying that sweet donut craving. I don't need to tell you twice.