Five Websites That Stretch Your Dollar
Everyone nowadays is looking to make their dollars stretch even further. More people are clipping coupons, watching for sales, switching from premium to basic, and so forth. What's interesting to me is that the growth of websites to help consumers stretch their money has also proliferated. Here are five that I have used often.
Everyone knows about Groupon. It first started off as a website that can give you some great deals from local merchants. You can usually get as much as 50% off from regular prices. As its popularity with members continued, merchants have begun using them as part of their marketing. Recently, I was able to buy a movie ticket for $6 to see One for The Money. I also bought a voucher for $10 to get $20 worth of goods at a local gelato place. And Groupon continues to evolve. In addition to their "Daily Deals" you can get "Now! Deals" which are limited time offerings, usually from restaurants to entice you to come in for a snack or lunch or dinner before the time expires. Groupon also offers "Getaways" where they bundle together packages for a very low price, but unlike Expedia or Travelocity, they concentrate on nearby areas. So if you live in Philadelphia, there's a weekend package for two at a bed-and-breakfast in Amish country for one low price which might include not only two weekend nights but a dinner at a nearby restaurant and drinks at a local bar. The newest offerings from Groupon is "Goods" where they offer you some amazing products at incredible prices. I bought a Bloggie from Groupon for under $100 with free shipping from Sony. I missed out on a Revolve universal solar charger which they offered for $40 including shipping, it usually retails for $100. Darn! That's the thing with good deals, you gotta catch it quick to take advantage of it.
LivingSocial is a lot like Groupon. In fact I usually use both because if I don't find something on one, I can usually find something on the other. Just like Groupon, LivingSocial has "Today's Deals" where you can take advantage of some great product offerings from local merchants or restaurants. Some recent offerings were for stone massage, $50 voucher for $25 from Edible Arrangements, and one month unlimited classes for Hot Yoga. Just like Groupon, LivingSocial has "Instant Deals" where you can take advantage of good prices from local restaurants before the time expires. Unlike Groupon, LivingSocial offers things for "Families" which are activities that are geared for children; there was an offering piano lessons, ballet lessons, and a one-year subscription to Zoobooks. "Escapes" was offering a nightly rate of $64 at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City which includes $15 credit towards the hotel cafe and access to the health club. "Adventures" are activities that you can take part in, such as Wine Tasting with cheese and charcuterie pairing in Washington DC for $35 -- of course that was sold out.
People know about Travelzoo's Top 20 newsletter where you can find out about the latest airfare and hotel bargains. What people don't know is that they have local deals for entertainment, bars, and restaurants. For example if you are traveling to New York, you would want to know if you can see "Spiderman, The Musical" for up to 40% off, or get $5 off a regular priced ticket for the popular guided tour to NBC Studios, or get 25% off a ticket to Ripley's Believe it Or Not in Times Square. Looking to beat some of New York high prices? Take advantage of Travelzoo's offer at the new popular restaurant, Mamajuana Cafe, where dinner for two including cocktails only sets you back $59 when it would normally cost you $132 without the deal.
I love using Restaurant.com. It allows me to be able to enjoy nice restaurants inexpensively and I don't have to wait for LivingSocial or Groupon to offer me a good price. What you do is sign up at Restaurant.com where you can search for one of the many restaurants that make up their roster and you buy a certficate. So for example, if I wanted to eat at a restaurant called Butterfield, I would buy a $25 gift certficate for $10. I take that certificate have dinner and the restaurant takes $25 off the bill. I'm basically saving $15. There's usually a minimum that you have to buy at the restaurant but it's each to reach that minimum. What is great about Restaurant.com is that you can actually save on the price of the certificates. If you are a subscriber, they will email you whenever they have sales on their certificates. So for example, a $25 certificate that would have cost you $10 might only cost you $2 or $3 so that you can even save more on the price of your meal. I usually wait when they have 90% off deals on their certificates. so that a $25 certificate only costs you $1. That usually happens only once or twice a year so you have to be ready to take advantage as soon as you get the email because they run out of certain restaurant certificates early.
If you like movies like I do, I use bulktix.com a lot. They offer discounts on the price of movies from various theater chains. I use AMC movie theaters because there's many of them where I live and I can get the best deals from bulktix.com. An AMC Gold Experience ticket which has no restrictions only cost $8.99 while a Silver Experience ticket costs $7.49. The Silver Experience ticket can be used after two weeks have passed from the movie's initial introduction. With a minimum of ten tickets you get a bulk discount of 5 cents per ticket, that's 50 cents from the total which is not bad. Standard shipping is only $1.99. So depending on how much the price of a movie ticket is where you are you can save as much as $5.
In addition, if you like to have snack while watching the movie at AMC, you can get a snackpack deal where you get a small popcorn and small soda and it costs you only $6.99, a real steal considering how much snacks cost at movie theaters nowadays. Bulktix uses amazon.com to checkout and the website has many good reviews.
These tickets also make popular gifts.
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