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Saving Money with Groupon and Living Social Daily Deal Sites

Another fun and thrifty money saving tip from us here at GetOutOfDebt.org: daily deals!

If you’re looking for a great way to find fun things to do and still save money you may want to check out daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social.

I have become addicted to these websites – always excited for the next day’s deal. When I wake up in the morning, usually the first thing I do (aside from hitting my snooze countless times) is open up my Groupon and Living Social apps to see what new and exciting deals are up for the taking.

For those unaware of these internet gems, they are daily deal sites that feature deals in your local areas. Usually these are for things to do, places to see or restaurants to eat at. The deals usually last for 24 hours and can sell out if terribly popular.

For example, in my area, Groupon offers today a featured deal of $49 for $375 at a local dentistry for an exam, X-rays and cleaning. When you click on a deal it will show you the price, value, discount and amount you save. For this particular deal if purchased you would save $326, that’s 87%! You can see how many have purchased the deal, your time left to purchase and a detailed description about the company.

On Living Social today there is a deal for $35 which will give you $75 to spend on custom framing. That’s 53% savings! One of the things I love about living social is if you share that you’ve purchased this deal on a social networking site, such as Facebook and/or Twitter, you have the possibility to get your purchase for free if three or more people purchase the deal by following your link. Saving Money with Groupon and Living Social Daily Deal Sitesphoto © 2006 Groupon | more info (via: Wylio)

I could actually benefit from both of these deals. I need to visit the dentist and have a gorgeous art print that needs framing. If I was in the position to do so, partaking in both of these deals would really save me a lot of money. I will usually research the company before jumping in on a deal to see if it is a company I want to visit.

One thing that is easy to do with these deals is think “hey that seems great!”, purchase it and never use it. Prime example: my paintball experience Groupon from a few months back. At the time it seemed like a great idea and paintballing is something I’ve always wanted to try. However, as time creeps by and I’m getting closer and closer to the expiration date, I realize that was $16 I just lost. It is always important to check the expiration date on the deals to see how long you have to use them. I will print out all of my deals and put them into a time sensitive order so I know what needs to be used first.

It is also important to keep in mind, like with any deal, what is realistic to purchase and what isn’t. I often snag deals that include local breweries, wineries and restaurants. Every now and again you’ll see a big name brand store like Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble offering 50% off of their products but for the most part it is local stores and restaurants offered. I love this aspect of these sites because it not only allows me to save money but to also try and revisit local places I usually grow to love.

Groupon began in 1998 in Chicago, Illinois and has been flourishing every since. They now have multiple offices in the U.S and according to their website, provide services in more than 500 markets and 44 countries. Living Social is based out of Washington D.C. and is claimed to be the “fastest-growing company in the social-building category” according to their website.

Both of these sites provide daily deals, surprises and savings. Be on the look out for other daily deal sites that are popping up all over the place. Please comment with your favorite daily deal sites below!

Saving Money with Groupon and Living Social Daily Deal Sites by

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About Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller
  • barcode software

    Thanks for sharing, it was very knowledgeable on the chosen subject, I will look forward to read such interesting blog further.

  • Really??

    jeeeez…of all the things to gripe about. Have you read the most recent TASC testimony?

  • Robertplattbell

    Sorry Amanda, but you can’t spend your way to wealth, and most of these online coupon Gimmicks are just that – gimmicks.

    Like frequent-flyer miles credit cards, they entice you with a perceived “bargain” – they throw pennies at us, hoping we spend DOLLARS. But spending is spending, not SAVING.

    And while they say you will SAVE MONEY with their coupons, you are not saving money, as in putting it in the bank, but rather you are spending, and in most cases on impulse purchases – i.e., things you do not NEED.

    THIS is how people get into Credit Card Debt and end up on your site with these gut-wrenching stories. Encouraging them to SHOP seems to me to be a bit cruel, if not in fact sick.

    As for Dentists, shop around. The one without the big ad in the yellow pages and the ad on the radio is going to be your best bet. We are awash in a sea of Dentists in this country, and oddly enough, most gravitate toward urban areas where people will pay more for cosmetic or unnecessary procedures, because they have insurance.

    My previous Dentist, in the Washington, DC area, charged about $89 a visit (in Crystal City, Arlington) and I was with him for 20-years. And ex-Navy guy, he was not into the latest trend of “selling” patients on services.

    Using a coupon to go to a Dentist is problematic, as I suspect the type of Dentist who would do this might be the type who would view the coupon as a “loss leader” to bring in more business – by suggesting unnecessary work.

    I think it is a false economy. And with something as personal and important as Dentistry, you need to find a competent and honest person, and not look for one-time price gimmicks.

    The rest of Groupon is just shopping. And shopping is not saving, just spending.

    The best financial advice is to walk away from gimmicks like Groupon. There are no savings there. It just encourages you to spend.

  • Amanda Miller

    Bob,

    I’m sorry that you feel so strongly against my article. I would like to point out that the topic of this article was about “looking for a great way to find fun things to do and still save money”. If people are looking for new things or places to try, these are fantastic sites and deals to partake in if they are looking for a discount.

    You seem very passionate about the dentistry portion of the article. I appreciate your comments and insight into some companies’ procedures and mark-ups. Unfortunately, most dentists in my area cost $200+ for a cleaning, exam and x-rays. If I’m ever in Ithaca I will have to get the name of your dentist!

    I did mention however, “I will usually research the company before jumping in on a deal to see if it is a company I want to visit”. I never mentioned that consumers should impulsively jump on a deal, it is always better to research any product and be well aware about what you are purchasing.

    I also mentioned, “It is also important to keep in mind, like with any deal, what is a realistic to purchase and what isn’t”. Consumers should always be smart in their shopping. However, if consumers happen to find a great local deal that they could benefit from (like my framing and dentistry needs) in a future purchase they are planning on making or a new experience they have always wanted to try these sites provide a cheaper and more cost effective way of doing that.

    Saving money in the bank is by far the best way to create a safety net and plan for the future. Just because you’re saving doesn’t mean you need to punish yourself from having a good time, and why not do it at a discounted rate? Just like your food analogy and dieting. If someone is on a diet does this mean they can never enjoy a piece of chocolate cake again? I like to think of these sites as the low-calorie sweets to any thrifty shopper’s monetary diet.

    All this being said, I respect your right to disagree.

    Amanda

  • Steve Rhode

    Bob,

    How do you really feel about it?

  • Robertplattbell

    You can’t spend your way to wealth, just as you can’t eat your way to slimness. Groupon and these other spending sites only encourage consumption, which is how your clients ended up in debt in the first place.

    While a $49 dentist visit may sound like a “A Great Savings!” over a $375 Dentist visit, that is a false economy – and typical of the “shopper” mentality. Using phoney or inflated prices as references is NOT sound financial planning.

    Instead, find a good dentist, who is reasonable. My Dentist in Ithaca, NY charges $79 for a cleaning, day in, day out, without a “coupon” or Groupon, or whatever. So not only it is cheaper than $375, it is cheaper consistently and over time.

    Also note that many Dentists are crooked – and these chain dentistry sites will use come-on pricing or “free exams” to get you in, and then convince you that you need a lot of expensive unnecessary work – financed all on time, of course.

    We are talking $5,000 to $10,000 of unnecessary dental work. BEWARE OF ANY DENTIST WHO OFFERS A FREE OR DISCOUNTED EXAM!

    There have been examples of people being told to have healthy teeth extracted, or so-called one-visit periodontial treatments, which are bogus. Just walk away from these sort of gimmicks.

    Frankly, I am a bit surprised that you are posting this sort of SPAM on a “get out of debt” site. SPEND LESS, NOT MORE, and shopping sites like Groupon encourage spending.’

    As the author admits, she is “addicted” to it – time for a 12-step program, Amanda!

    The problem with a SHOPPING site like GROUPON, is that they present a bargain and THEN you decide you want it.

    This reverses the ordinary process of purchasing, where you decide you want something and then go hunting for the best price and quality.

    What you are doing with GROUPON is IMPULSE-BUYING which is how most Americans get into intractable Credit Card debt in the first place.

    Turn off the noise of the media and television, Amanda, and think about SAVING money (in the bank) not SPENDING it.

    You cannot SHOP your way to WEALTH. Real wealth doesn’t come in SPENDING WISELY but in SAVING WISELY.

    And sites like GROUPON or LIVING SOCIAL are just going to encourage you to SPEND, period!

    And there are no real bargains on such sites. Marking down a joke price by 70% is no bargain – if the resulting price is still above market value.

    I certainly hope the rest of the advice on this site is better than this blatant SPAM for GROUPON!

    Regards,

    –Bob.

  • Robertplattbell

    You can’t spend your way to wealth, just as you can’t eat your way to slimness. Groupon and these other spending sites only encourage consumption, which is how your clients ended up in debt in the first place.

    While a $49 dentist visit may sound like a “A Great Savings!” over a $375 Dentist visit, that is a false economy – and typical of the “shopper” mentality. Using phoney or inflated prices as references is NOT sound financial planning.

    Instead, find a good dentist, who is reasonable. My Dentist in Ithaca, NY charges $79 for a cleaning, day in, day out, without a “coupon” or Groupon, or whatever. So not only it is cheaper than $375, it is cheaper consistently and over time.

    Also note that many Dentists are crooked – and these chain dentistry sites will use come-on pricing or “free exams” to get you in, and then convince you that you need a lot of expensive unnecessary work – financed all on time, of course.

    We are talking $5,000 to $10,000 of unnecessary dental work. BEWARE OF ANY DENTIST WHO OFFERS A FREE OR DISCOUNTED EXAM!

    There have been examples of people being told to have healthy teeth extracted, or so-called one-visit periodontial treatments, which are bogus. Just walk away from these sort of gimmicks.

    Frankly, I am a bit surprised that you are posting this sort of SPAM on a “get out of debt” site. SPEND LESS, NOT MORE, and shopping sites like Groupon encourage spending.’

    As the author admits, she is “addicted” to it – time for a 12-step program, Amanda!

    The problem with a SHOPPING site like GROUPON, is that they present a bargain and THEN you decide you want it.

    This reverses the ordinary process of purchasing, where you decide you want something and then go hunting for the best price and quality.

    What you are doing with GROUPON is IMPULSE-BUYING which is how most Americans get into intractable Credit Card debt in the first place.

    Turn off the noise of the media and television, Amanda, and think about SAVING money (in the bank) not SPENDING it.

    You cannot SHOP your way to WEALTH. Real wealth doesn’t come in SPENDING WISELY but in SAVING WISELY.

    And sites like GROUPON or LIVING SOCIAL are just going to encourage you to SPEND, period!

    And there are no real bargains on such sites. Marking down a joke price by 70% is no bargain – if the resulting price is still above market value.

    I certainly hope the rest of the advice on this site is better than this blatant SPAM for GROUPON!

    Regards,

    –Bob.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Bob,

      How do you really feel about it?

    • Amanda Miller

      Bob,

      I’m sorry that you feel so strongly against my article. I would like to point out that the topic of this article was about “looking for a great way to find fun things to do and still save money”. If people are looking for new things or places to try, these are fantastic sites and deals to partake in if they are looking for a discount.

      You seem very passionate about the dentistry portion of the article. I appreciate your comments and insight into some companies’ procedures and mark-ups. Unfortunately, most dentists in my area cost $200+ for a cleaning, exam and x-rays. If I’m ever in Ithaca I will have to get the name of your dentist!

      I did mention however, “I will usually research the company before jumping in on a deal to see if it is a company I want to visit”. I never mentioned that consumers should impulsively jump on a deal, it is always better to research any product and be well aware about what you are purchasing.

      I also mentioned, “It is also important to keep in mind, like with any deal, what is a realistic to purchase and what isn’t”. Consumers should always be smart in their shopping. However, if consumers happen to find a great local deal that they could benefit from (like my framing and dentistry needs) in a future purchase they are planning on making or a new experience they have always wanted to try these sites provide a cheaper and more cost effective way of doing that.

      Saving money in the bank is by far the best way to create a safety net and plan for the future. Just because you’re saving doesn’t mean you need to punish yourself from having a good time, and why not do it at a discounted rate? Just like your food analogy and dieting. If someone is on a diet does this mean they can never enjoy a piece of chocolate cake again? I like to think of these sites as the low-calorie sweets to any thrifty shopper’s monetary diet.

      All this being said, I respect your right to disagree.

      Amanda

      • Robertplattbell

        Sorry Amanda, but you can’t spend your way to wealth, and most of these online coupon Gimmicks are just that – gimmicks.

        Like frequent-flyer miles credit cards, they entice you with a perceived “bargain” – they throw pennies at us, hoping we spend DOLLARS. But spending is spending, not SAVING.

        And while they say you will SAVE MONEY with their coupons, you are not saving money, as in putting it in the bank, but rather you are spending, and in most cases on impulse purchases – i.e., things you do not NEED.

        THIS is how people get into Credit Card Debt and end up on your site with these gut-wrenching stories. Encouraging them to SHOP seems to me to be a bit cruel, if not in fact sick.

        As for Dentists, shop around. The one without the big ad in the yellow pages and the ad on the radio is going to be your best bet. We are awash in a sea of Dentists in this country, and oddly enough, most gravitate toward urban areas where people will pay more for cosmetic or unnecessary procedures, because they have insurance.

        My previous Dentist, in the Washington, DC area, charged about $89 a visit (in Crystal City, Arlington) and I was with him for 20-years. And ex-Navy guy, he was not into the latest trend of “selling” patients on services.

        Using a coupon to go to a Dentist is problematic, as I suspect the type of Dentist who would do this might be the type who would view the coupon as a “loss leader” to bring in more business – by suggesting unnecessary work.

        I think it is a false economy. And with something as personal and important as Dentistry, you need to find a competent and honest person, and not look for one-time price gimmicks.

        The rest of Groupon is just shopping. And shopping is not saving, just spending.

        The best financial advice is to walk away from gimmicks like Groupon. There are no savings there. It just encourages you to spend.

      • Really??

        jeeeez…of all the things to gripe about. Have you read the most recent TASC testimony?

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