Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Groupon or not to Groupon

I know some people simply HATE Groupons, Dealmobs or any of those online deal places, but I am a huge fan and have saved BIG bucks using these things. I get daily emails from Dealmobs, Groupon and Online Athens Daily Deals and I buy 3 or 4 a month. I just LOVE saving money--who doesn't??
We have gotten deals on just about everything from furniture, food, pet vaccinations and handyman services at deeply discounted rates. One or more of them will usually have a restaurant coupon once a week. If its somewhere new we are interested in or somewhere we usually eat I may buy one or two vouchers. There's this nice little place that serves tapas in town and I have used these deal coupons there several times. This week was a good week for me and my coupons. I got $200 worth of handyman services for $96 and a trip to the vet including heart worm test, exam, parvo/distemper and 3 year rabies for $59. Both have fairly long expiration dates, so sometime this summer my porch will get repainted and my dog will get her shots. I have heard from friends that they don't like them because they forget to use them or felt ripped off because of something in the fine print. I hear ya! I know our first coupon for a restaurant had some odd inclusion in it about when you could eat, so now we read the fine print on every deal very carefully before we buy. I also keep a running tab of what deals we have bought on a folder on both our phones and desktop. This way I know whats expiring and what we have available for the week. I also print out the vouchers for dining and keep them in the car in case we are out shopping and get peckish. Also, having these coupon vouchers for dinner makes it easier to decide where to go to eat if we can't agree on a restaurant. Sometimes I just can't make up my mind and hubby will get anxious if we've spent the afternoon shopping and I start waffling about where I want to go to eat. We let the coupon decide.
The thing to remember though is to read the fine print! Most of them are pretty straight forward, but if you aren't sure about something, they list the business name and address on the deal page, so call and ask. Also, keep track of expiration dates and keep them somewhere where you remember to use them! Though a few of these sites will refund what you've paid if you don't use them before they expire, not all of them do, so its best to read their terms of service. So when I put my feet up on our leather storage ottoman or the mahogany end table we got new for $25 a piece I smile and remember to check my email for new coupons.

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