By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re used to treating yourself on your birthday why not take a break this year and let retailers do the splurging?

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on what you have to do to take advantage of the latest marketing trend.

Lisa Michelle heads to Dunkin Donuts for her favorite drink. And on this day the $4 Strawberry Colata is free. Her $10 lunch at Red Robin also is free.

Why? It’s Lisa’s 46th birthday and she’s spending it collecting everything from free food, free lotion to free lipstick.

She’s also cashing in a $3 discount at CVS, a $5 one at DSW, and enjoying a $20 eyebrow waxing at Ulta for free.

And to get all this all she had to do was go to company websites and  give up her email address.

What do retailers gain by offering something free?

“They’re hoping they can market to you,” says Paul Swinand, a Morningstar retail analyst. “If I can get that person to come back, I probably recouped my investment in the free service.”

Lisa also received 2 free games of bowling, a hand treatment from Aveda and other free food and desserts. All in all, she snagged about a hundred dollars in freebies.

“I had no idea that you can get so many freebies. I feel like I literally went on a shopping spree,” Lisa says.

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