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I Succumbed to Groupon

Yep, I didn’t Groupon.  Then I tried it once.  And now I think I am a Groupon regular.  I wouldn’t call myself an avid user yet, but I definitely have figured out the draw…

My First Groupon

Okay, so my first Groupon was actually a gift that I simply repeated.  My younger sister wrote Mr. BFS and me a really sweet thank you note in January when she moved in…and accompanying the note was a $10 Groupon to Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (OLFY).  You already know that I think frozen yogurt is crack (and my sister knew too since she reads my blog, lol), so that was like the best thank you gift ever!

We ended up using the Groupon together later the same week and it worked just as advertised.  We got our yogurt, checked out with the Groupon, and successfully got $10 of credit for a $5 Groupon purchase overall.  So my younger sister sent me a referral link a few days later, I signed up, and I bought a $5 Groupon for $10 at OLFY that we used a couple of weeks later.  Yay for yummy firsts!

(Side note:  If you end up wanting to try Groupon out after this, please feel free to use my referral code:  http://www.groupon.com//raf/UserReferral_rp/121015/10r1act/lk/uu46873974)

My Groupons to Date

Since January, I have bought 5 other Groupons.  Having more friends that live close by has led to more activities including seeing movies in actual theaters instead of just our media room (although, we do enjoy Redbox movie nights very frequently too).  So all 5 of my other Groupons so far have been to movie theaters.  :-)

  • I bought 2 Groupons for $8 that covered 2 movie tickets to our local Movie Tavern.  So, a ticket for hubby and me twice for a total of $16, which is half price ($32 total value).  We used those pretty quickly.
  • Then I bought 3 tickets to the Studio Movie Grill for $19.50 total that covered three evening shows and a free drink with each ticket ($36 value total).  My friends and I used those the same night.
  • Finally, I have 2 Groupons for 2 movie tickets each waiting for the Alamo Drafthouse that I bought for $18 (a $40 value).  They expire towards the end of April, but I think we will be using them at the end of March for a group outing.

How to Use a Groupon

They try to make it really easy.  Here is how it boiled down for me:

  1. Go to Groupon (hopefully via my referral link) and enter your location.
  2. Either browse the results or try searching for a specific category or place.
  3. When you find one that interests you, click on the title or the green button that says “View Deal”.
  4. READ ALL OF THE DETAILS so you know exactly what you are buying and when it expires.  Remember, READ IT ALL!
  5. If you find one you want, click “BUY” and it will take you to a checkout screen.
  6. If you have a gift code, check the box that says “Use a promotion or gift code”.
  7. If not, fill out your checkout info and submit by clicking “Complete Order”.
  8. Once your order is complete, you can print your Groupon or find it in “My Groupons” anytime you log into your account.
  9. Follow the instructions on the Groupon for redemption you will be good to go!  One of my close friends usually uses her smart phone to get her Groupons redeemed since the bar code is scannable.  I print mine out since I am always worried about my cell phone battery.  Either way, it works.

Tricks of Grouponing Correctly

I know you’ve probably heard of amazing deals AND horror stories about group discount sites.  I have.  Some of my friends and family swear by Groupon while a few people I’ve spoken to seem to think they are like payday bad credit loans.  There seems to be some definite rules that you have to set for yourself:

  1. Don’t buy a Groupon for anything that you wouldn’t have done anyway, UNLESS
  2. You specifically are buying a Groupon to try something new that you already had on your mind.

If you don’t already go to that movie theater, event, or restaurant AND you never even thought about it before you saw that Groupon in front of your face, DON’T BUY IT!  You probably won’t use it.  It only turns out to be a good deal if you use the suckers an have a great time for like half price.  :-D

Do you Groupon too?  Why or why not?  :-)

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9 comments to I Succumbed to Groupon

  • Several people around us are Grouponers, so I figured I’d try it, too. Can’t be left back in the 20th century, can we? :) So I singed up some time last year.

    That’s when I discovered how weird I am. Day after day I looked and looked, and… nothing! Nothing that I eat, drink, watch, wear, go out to or play are ever on Groupon! I am so out of it!

    The only explanation I can think of is the stuff I buy is already so heavily discounted or well known those vendors don’t feel the need to market through Groupon. That, or they’re also all still stuck in the previous century! :)

    Great post!

  • I got burned a few times, so now I have groupon’s emails filtered out of my inbox so I never read them unless I’m searching for gift ideas or date night ideas.

    The thing that happened to us was that companies that I bought groupons for kept going out of business before the groupons expired. We got “groupon credit” back, but now I just have groupon credit sitting there unused. It was a PITA.

  • I feel like even though you save money through Groupons it just leads to more spending occasions, so all “saved” money is lost.

  • You’re a little behind the times here, no? ;) All I hear about daily deal sites in the news now is that their sales are crashing and burning as former users have become disenchanted. Personally I never got into it – I don’t need any additional temptation to spend.

  • I used to love Groupon but haven’t really used it in forever!

  • Yes, Groupon is crack. Just wait until you find out about the others: living social, Yipit, Eversave, and many more. The good thing is the value never expires. Even if the actual coupon expires, you can still use the groupon for the value you paid, so you never actually lose money. Welcome to Groupon Addicts.

  • I tried it once, but never ended up getting anything. I had my eyes on all sorts of groupons though!!!

  • Interesting post, thanks for the tips. Great point about not doing something just for the “steal” value.

  • [...] Groupon can be overwhelming but also beneficial. This post from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff takes you through a new Grouponer’s first experience and offers some tricks to successful [...]