Sunday, February 27, 2011

Save Big: Family Outings, Dining, Date Night & More - Group Coupons

This one technique or approach to coupons/discounts has created a new way of buying/spending for my family. And honestly, when you start counting up the savings for the value received, well it's just something that should be shared with others.

I only originally decided to give my first a try, an Austin Perks deal, back in the fall of last year. It was actually for a pretty well-known local Austin restaurant, Romeo's. The local radio station which hosts/offered the deal was actually doing a clearance. So, I ended up purchasing $50 worth of food and drink to this tasty Italian inspired venue at a cost of $12 – I kid you not!

Once I made that first purchase, the rest just came naturally. My son's birthday was coming up in a few months, so I had my feelers out for any possible great deals that I could take advantage of in that arena. And then, bam, out comes a Groupon offering discounted all inclusive tickets to Austin's Park and Pizza. So, my sleepover went from a plain sleepover to an evening of go karts, pizza, laser tag, brownies, rock climibing wall, video games and more at an incredible price -- &7.95 per person—and oh yeah . . .a sleepover at our house afterwards!

Since then, my husband and I have enjoyed fantastic meals and service at numerous restaurants all at an average savings of 50% off (some are even more!). In addition, We've picked up some laser treatment hair removal for mom (9 sessions all for only $99), a wine tasting tour in a limo with 12 of our friends, massages, shows, vacations, basketball games and so much more.

There are several of these group coupon deals that you can take advantage of. However, I'd say the most well-done/well-known version would be the Groupon. In addition to being able to print out your coupon, they've also come up with a mobile app that allows you to pull up your discount on your smart phone and then the wait staff just writes down your groupon # from there – no printing (or in our case printer) required). Unfortunately, because Groupon is what I would call the ‘trailblazer,' it also tends to bring the largest number of purchasers. So, generally if you have a Groupon to a reasonable well-known restaurant, in addition to waiting the standard day following your Groupon purchase, I'd suggest waiting a month (of course this depends on your expiration date) until you redeem your deal. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a restaurant/establishment overflowing with other Groupon users. We went to local Mexican restaurant Vivo the other day. And, even after about a month from when the coupon went out, our waitress showed us a stack of other Groupons that had also been used that same evening.

To top it all off, these group coupon deals are available in several cities around the nation. When my husband recently planned our first trip to Las Vegas, I was started accessing the Las Vegas Groupon and saved lots of money by purchasing dining and spa services to enhance our stay. In addition, we've also started viewing San Antonio's version of several of these so that when we visit family in the Canyon Lake area we can take advantage of some of the great deals offered there.

Below you'll find convenient links to several of these awesome discount options. Feel free to try them out. If it's not for you, it's easy to unsubscribe.

Austin Perks
Living Social
Deal Swarm

NOTE: If you haven't done these before, be sure to note the time the deal is available. For some, you may have the option to purchase over a few days, others will note that only a limited quantity is available (meaning these could (and usually DO) sell out before a full day's time). Most, however, seem to offer potential buyers about one day to purchase the amazing discount.

You also want to note, of course, the expiration date of the offer. Some will last a year. Others a few months. Finally, a few will be built around a particular date of a show or game and then will expire at that time.

OK. With all that said, don't delay. Start saving today and make getting out of the house affordable again!

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