Today, the kids and I are venturing into the big city to go have some fun with unlimited bounce house play! Well, we have the opportunity to do something like this about once every 6 weeks or so. With 4 kids and a baby, it can be quite expensive to do these fun activities.
But this is where we have come to really recently appreciate Groupon and Living Social! These are discount group buying sites where you can get local activities, travel, services, etc. for 50% off or more.
We also have the Entertainment Book, which also gives us 50% off or more, but we often find things on Groupon and Living Social that is not in the Entertainment Book either.
We are actually taking our second Groupon trip too! We bought a 4-star, celebrity favorite hotel room reservation for over 50% off on Groupon for our NYC trip with the hotel location on Times Square. The first time we tried a group buying site trip was last year to a “short-drive” hotel stay close to home through Living Social and it worked beautifully and we got a lower price than even using all of our tricks we talk about in our How to Save on Hotel/Motel stays. The only problem is that you have to stay at that exact hotel, but they have quite a few on both Living Social and Groupon and they are for popular destinations. But most of us live within a few hours of a popular vacation spot.
Anyway, we are telling you all of this because we, probably like you, have known about Groupon and Living Social for a long time now. But we haven’t really utilized it a whole lot, until more recently. You might want to look at plans your family has for activities and travel, or salon services, or automobile services, restaurants, etc. We have yet to have a negative experience with buying from these two sites. Everything is at least 50% off, which makes for even easier and greater value use than many coupons. If you have a local salon that has 20% off any service, vs. a Groupon for a haircut for 50% off – which one will be the better value?
The other nice thing, the value you paid never expires. The promotional value does expire approximately 90-120 days (varies based on deal). What that means is that if you buy a $30 hair color at a popular expensive salon for $15 with your Groupon, if you let it expire after several months, you can still take your voucher into this salon at any time and use the $15 that you paid. It is a little bit of an insurance policy too.
So as another example, I bought an all-day unlimited Bounce Houses pass that is normally $10 per kid for $5 each (50% off). It expires on the 27th of February (I bought it back in November), so if we don’t use it by the 27th, I still have $5 each voucher to apply towards a visit anytime after the 27th.
During the Christmas season, one of the Christmas presents I bought for Alex was a car detailing. This company had coupons out for like $25 off a service, etc. but the Groupon was 50% off voucher. So I got him the full-service package for much less than any promotions they were offering. He has until the end of May to use the promotional value and a lifetime to use the paid value.
Another nice thing, I can usually buy many Groupons or Living Social vouchers to the same place. So if I find a buy one get one free coupon in the newspaper or something, it usually only covers two kids, but in the case of Groupon or Living Social, I can buy multiple vouchers to get one for each of us! So I did get enough bounce house vouchers for each child and saved 50% on everyone!
Living Social has also had some incredible 50% off gift card deals to national stores and restaurants too like Starbucks vouchers for 50% off (I stuck one of these in Alex’s stocking), McDonald’s vouchers for 50% off, Whole Foods voucher for 50% off and even Amazon vouchers for 50% off, just to name a handful of incredible deals!
Same thing with the hotel stays, you can buy multiple nights to combine in one trip to get every single night at 50% off! That is really cool!
There are often restrictions though, so you will want to read the fine print before you buy, but you may find yourselves like us and a few years behind the savings bandwagon and come to recently appreciate Groupon and Living Social.
Finally, they do run special promotions for their subscribers too. Back in November, I mentioned how Groupon sent me a free $15 to spend on anything. I bought a $30 voucher to one of Alex’s favorite restaurants (and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-in and Dives) for FREE because the $30 voucher was $15 (50% off) and this promotion meant it was a free Christmas gift that he loved!
Like I said, we have know about them, bought a couple of things here and there over the past few years and have even posted about them – but it is recently that we have grown to really use them as a primary source for fun, travel and services!
We encourage you to check these sites regularly, sign-up for their emails so that you can know about deals in your area, etc.! Stretch your budget further and further!
Head to Groupon HERE to sign-up for their daily emails for your local area
Head to Living Social HERE to sign-up for their daily emails for your local area
We typically find that we buy about equally from both popular sites. Have you utilized these sites much and what are your favorite deals?