If anyone is clicking on this post because he or she doesn’t know what Groupon is, then it’s nice to meet someone who is more of a late adopter than myself! Thanks for being here!
Being a frugal person, I’ve naturally heard of Groupon before, but I’d never used it until this week.
Today is my four-year (dating, not marriage) anniversary to Peach. It’s the longest relationship either of us have ever been in (and NO we are not planning to get engaged anytime soon).
Peach and I spent the last three years of our relationship long distance, and he recently moved to New York City for three months to do the student teaching component of his master’s degree. It’s an unpaid position, so he’s on a very tight budget and I only have so much available in my “sugar mama” fund.
I asked him to set an amount he’d be comfortable spending on our anniversary and I’d match the amount, then we’d make plans. We also put a ban on presents and prefer to put all of our money towards an experience.
Our contributions to the anniversary experience totaled to $80 and at first I struggled to come up with a plan. Everything I kept thinking about started to creep us towards the $150 mark (mostly due to my desire to see It’s Only a Play on Broadway).
Then I changed gears. I wanted us to do that didn’t exhaust our limited funds so we could do more than one activity.
After a day of asking friends for some suggestions, one finally told me to just get on Groupon and look for activities in NYC.
It didn’t even take me 10 minutes to find about 20 different deals I wanted to buy (therein lies the danger of Groupon!).
I aggregated a list of 10 choices and sent them along to Peach to have him narrow them down. I pointed out which ones could be combined to fit within our budget and which ones meant we could only do one activity.
Ultimately, we’ve opted for a two-part date. Tonight, we’ll be going to a wine bar/restaurant for a wine tasting (something we both love to do) which comes with three glasses of red, three of white and then one appetizer, two entrées and a bottle of wine. It was a $49 deal that’s said to be a $179 value. Then I ended up with a Groupon discount and got the deal for $39. I’m adding $30-$35 on for a tip though, because you should tip at retail price not on the discounted price.
Later this weekend, we’ll be going to the Museum of Gangsters. May sound like an odd option, but our first date was watching The Godfather, followed by another date watching Gangs of New York and we’ve watched all of The Sopranos together and the one-season-only Black Donnellys. Notice a trend? He’s Italian, I’m Irish and we like to debate, which has a superior mob.
We got a $20 Groupon deal for admission for two plus a tour. Unlike other NYC museums, this one doesn’t have a donation option.
Before the tip on our dinner, we’re at $59 spent on the anniversary.
After the tip, we’ll likely be $10 over budget, but I’m willing to bust our budget a little bit.
Using Groupon was an incredibly easy experience. You register for a profile, click on the item you want, input your credit card information and the deal shows up in your email moments later. You can print out the voucher or download the app and present the coupon in your app when you want to redeem the deal.
Perhaps I’ll need to update this after actually using the Groupon deals, but thus far, it’s been a frugal and worthwhile find.
43 responses to “Frugal Find: Groupon (and Happy Anniversary Peach)”
I do love Groupon. In the UK it is very good value for massages and facials, I have booked quite a few over the years. I have also used it for dinners and random activities. I had a holiday with it last year which was fantastic and so much more cheaper than paying for it with the tour operator directly. However…..
make sure you read the small print. Some deals can only be used on certain days and times (I have been caught out with this in the past). Plus, it is really addictive! A Groupon deal is only a deal if you actually need it!
I noticed the spa deals on there, but wouldn’t let myself look too closely yet. It will be an easy way to spend all my money. And good tip about the fine print. A friend had warned me about that, thank goodness, because I almost bought a Groupon that is only valid Monday-Thursday.
Happy Anniversary! Hope you guys have an awesome weekend! And if it makes you feel better, my wife is half an inch taller than me, so she has had to swear off heels forever 🙂
Thanks, Ben! And I would happily swear off heels forever. I only wear them to formal events and usually kick them off by the end of the evening (I was a maid of honor in the photo above).
Great use of Groupon in order to meet your anniversary budget 🙂 Love is love, whether you’re married or not and as someone who knows very well about a multi-year LDR, congratulations on staying the course with each other! Happy Anniversary 🙂
Thanks, Kassandra! I feel the need to be defending our decision to not get engaged because I get asked ALL THE TIME why we’re not when we’ve been together for so long.
Happy Anniversary and it’s nice to see you stretching that budget using discount sites. Enjoy your time together!
We sure will! I may need to write an updated post about the experience of actually using Groupon deals.
Yeah it’s fun to use Groupon from time to time on a date night on the cheap or a restaurant you have been wanting to go to. The danger is real.
I’m sure I could get click happy on all those deals!
Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a fun weekend. The Museum of Gangsters sounds like a ton of fun!
I better be fun! I can’t wait to hear about history of gangsters in NYC.
Happy Anniversary! Using a Groupon to get the most out of your budget is a great idea. I haven’t used Groupon before, but I’ve glanced at it, and just hadn’t found anything of interest. Lately I’ve been trying to spot a cheap “getaway” on there, as that’s what we’re planning to do for our anniversary. Have fun!
I do think Groupon is really only effective if you’re in a city/larger town that offers a lot of deals. Or perhaps on vacation to such a destination. I’ll have to check out their Getaways, but it sounds like an easy way for me to start dropping a lot of money on travel!
Groupon is my go to gift- you just have to comb through all the fine print carefully before purchasing. I recently went on a twilight booze cruise of Manhattan with the bf for his bday and a whale watch with my mom out on the Jersey shore for her bday.
I saw that twilight booze cruise! Was it worth the deal?
Make sure to buy your Groupon through ebates to get 6% cash back:
Interesting, hadn’t heard of doing it through ebates before.
Happy Anniversary to you and Peach!!! Your celebration sounds awesome! I have never heard of the Museum of Gangsters, you will have to let me know if it is worth it. I advise my clients in NYC to date on Groupon or How About We all the time. There are so many great, cheap date ideas, you just have to look. Enjoy!
Oh, I get How About We ads on Facebook all the time. I’ll have to look into using them too.
Hooray for Groupon! I ended up buying a few of these to create a cool b-day for my wife. It’s a fantastic site, mostly because the ideas for what to do are so varied.
I will have to tell Peach to create a birthday schedule for me out of Groupons!
Happy Anniversary to you and Peach! You two are such a cute couple together. 🙂 And I love how respectful you are of Peach not having a lot of extra cash at the moment (I wouldn’t expect anything less from you either!). My husband and I are the same height (6′) so when I wear heels, which he encourages me to do, I tower over him. 🙂 Have a wonderful time and a great weekend!
Thanks, Shannon. And of course! Gotta respect his cashflow situation, just as he respects my frugal ways. And I love that your husband encourages you to wear heels. 🙂
Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your celebration with us! My husband and I have a difficult time forcing ourselves to spend money on our anniversary. So we’ve started “rewarding” ourselves for each year by increasing the amount each year. Not a lot (esp since we haven’t spent much from the beginning), but it’s fun to watch the amount slowly grow and know that it symbolizes a longer and more committed relationship each time.
That is a really cool idea! I’m going to have to share that with my frugal, married friends.
I actually think the dangerous part of groupon for most people is buying something and then never using it. My roommate does that ALL THE TIME. I would be curious to know the number of them that just go unused.
I bet it’s really high. I can see how easy it is to fall into that trap too.
Happy Anniversary! It’s okey to have known lately about Groupon. At least, you used it for your special day. I myself always on the look out for good groupons offered on the net, which we use for special occasions most of time. Enjoy using more Groupons, I suppose.
Happy anniversary! You two are so cute together! Way to go on celebrating frugally! I never remember to check for Groupons, suppose I should start…
What are your normal frugal tricks? I love to get any suggestions.
I just used a Groupon to get my hair cut and highlighted. I LOVE groupon!!!!!
I need to get into it for spa deals. I might end up spending some big bucks there if I’m not careful.
Congratulations on reaching four years, Erin! I’ve definitely found some great deals on Groupon and Living Social. Mostly for fitness related stuff. I realized recently that I could probably afford yoga by jumping studios based on whomever was offering a current deal.
Gaming groupon. I like it! I found a kayak trip + wine tour I really wanted to do with Peach, but it was the weekend of FinCon. Whomp whomp.
I love Groupon (and Living Social and Amazon Local and…), but it’s like shopping a sale. Sometimes I have the impulse to buy because of the deal and not because I NEED it. With caution it’s great! My husband and I are going on a chocolate tour in a couple weekends courtesy of Groupon. And we both really, really want to see It’s Only a Play!
I saw the chocolate one (if it’s the same one) and it looks awesome! Let me know how it goes.
Happy anniversary!! Enjoy your weekend! And I hope the time Peach is in the city is wonderful!
I’ve used Living Social once a few years ago when all these sites came out. It was fine. Since then, I have no interest. Every single yelp review is now just a rant about how poor the person’s GroupOn experience was. I really think it can hurt businesses more than help, granted that is the businesses own fault to begin with. Also, they are coupons! And we all know that coupons typically get us to spend more money than we would have before.
Agreed! The rants are awful. I’m glad I didn’t check yelp before I bought the dinner we used, because the reviews were AWFUL! All one stars and complaining about the food and service. Granted, Peach and I aren’t foodies, but we had a great time. We had no issue with the food nor the wine they served and were happy about the entire experience. Glad a few negative nellies didn’t ruin us picking that restaurant.
I love Groupon, but like many others have said, sometimes it´s too much fun! I have to limit the amount of time I spend browing their deals (not to mention Living Social, too) because then I just want *everything* and try to justify it to myself by saying it´s a bargain! Although when I travel and have overnight layovers, I definitely use Groupon to find a nice hotel for cheap, instead of a cheap hotel for cheap…
Wow! Seems you had a great time with your husband.
Not husband 😉 Just boyfriend. I’m one of those rare unmarried personal finance bloggers.