Eating out is often an indulgence, sometimes a necessity, and usually costly. It can also be a lot of fun. Where we choose to dine out is a personal decision but most of us can be helped in our decision making if we can find good food in a good venue that offers good value. For those of us on the lookout for bargains, restaurant coupons can push us to try new restaurants or influence us to return to the restaurants we know that we like. A great coupon can even help us to decide that it is time to try again a restaurant that we already have experienced and not enjoyed as much as we would have liked.
Restaurant coupons come from a lot of sources. Local magazines usually include advertisements that an be clipped for discounts. Every week my mailbox is filled with fliers and mailers from a bunch of local restaurants who want to offer me five dollars off of a thirty dollar purchase or a free appetizer if I visit on a typically slow night. My newspaper sometimes has such coupons on plenty of restaurant websites do, too. I am sure that your experience is the same.
For me, however, five dollars in savings is not enough to influence me. Whether I spend thirty-five or forty dollars is too marginal a savings for me to consider it. My experience with a restaurant will usually be far more important than a five dollar coupon or a free order of wings (which I would not eat, anyway, since I am a vegetarian).
When savings are substantial, however, I am likely to more aggressively pursue them. Two new web services have emerged in the past few months which are giving me just such savings. Groupon and Half-off Depot offer deeply discounted gift certificates to restaurants and services in select cities throughout the USA and Canada. I suspect that there are similar web services in other countries but I have not had occasion to explore them.
Today I will be enjoying dinner with my family at a local pizzeria using gift certificates that I recently purchased at Groupon. Groupon deals are offered for a limited time, typically one per day, and only accepts orders if a minimum number of members (you have to register as a user) agree to purchase the gift certificates.
On the day that I recently visited Groupon, the deal of the day was for our favorite local pizza parlor. I was able to purchase three gift certificates with a twenty-five dollar face value for only ten dollars each. As a result, tonight’s dinner which I expect will cost fifty dollars based on menu prices will only cost me twenty dollars out of pocket — savings that easily justify eating at a restaurant that I know my family enjoys.
Similarly, I recently enjoyed a day of paint ball with my son at a local paint ball facility. Normally a day pass (including equipment, CO2 and paint balls) costs a little more than forty dollars. With the passes that I purchased at Half Off Depot, I paid only thirty six dollars for both of us to play. Not surprisingly given the company’s name, I saved about fifty percent by shopping at Half Off Depot.
What sources have you found for great, deeply discounted deals?