Daily Deals – are you missing out?

Lately I’ve gotten a few questions from friends about sites that are similar to Groupon as I don’t show up anywhere for anything without a coupon anymore. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

  1. Groupon – The first one on the scene to offer great deals – sign up for other cities if you are traveling. Great app.
  2. Living Social – You can get a family or escape edition of deals in addition to their daily ones. Great app.
  3. Eversave – My latest find & I’m loving their daily deals.
  4. City Steal – Great local steals.
  5. Scout Mob – The coupon is free. If you see an offer you like, just click a button to receive the coupon via text message or e-mail. You’ll only pay when you show up – only in a few cities right now but growing!
  6. St. Louis Daily Fix – Outstanding deals at local restaurants, salons, spas and more in St. Louis.
  7. Care 2 Daily Deals – Organic, green, good-for-you, good-for-the-planet products at up to 70% off.
  8. 8 Coupons – Lists all the deals from the top sites (including Groupon, Tippr, BuyWithMe and others) & lets you search via map or zip code.
  9. Buy With Me – Like many other sites, if 3 friends buy from your referral, yours is free.
  10. Daily Candy Deals – Offers limited number of coupons so you’re not fighting with hundreds of other purchasers, but limited cities currently.
  11. Spa Finder – Only in NYC, LA, Boston, Philly & Miami

Others I’m missing? Let me know!

Outrageous Offermatic!

I had never heard of offermatic until last week when my sister, Nancy, sent me an email about it and all I can say is – WHERE THE HECK HAVE I BEEN? Michael Arrington describes it best, “offermatic is the freak love child of Mint, Groupon & Blippy“.  Here’s how it works: You register your credit cards with Offermatic via the Yodlee back end (which is secure). Offermatic then downloads your individual credit card purchases and matches offers from advertisers relevant to your purchase history. If you buy something at Home Depot, for example, you may get a $30 off coupon from Lowes. You’ve spent money on textbooks and you get a special offer from Chegg. Etc. All offers will be 40% – 90% off normal retail, says Offermatic.

Within 5 minutes of registering my main credit card, I received a FREE $25 gift certificate from Restaurant.com and $5 off coupons for Walgreens & Macy’s. Check it out!

Fantastic frugal fun can be found!

Last night we went out and except for the cost of a babysitter, I was a really cheap date.   I also advocate for swapping babysitting with friends to avoid this cost as well but it’s a crazy travel week. Anyway, we made (free) reservations online at OpenTable for dinner and I had specifically looked for restaurants offering 1000 points to dine as usually you only get 100. With only 2000 points, you get a $20 gift card to any of their participating restaurants so we were 1/2 way there when we checked in.  I also happened to have a Living Social coupon for the restaurant so our meal was 56% off the regular price. We ended the evening with a concert at a local venue where we had a buy 1,  get 1 free coupon for their music series from the Entertainment book.

We typically don’t leave the house anymore for any dining or entertainment without scouting out the above sites or these below:

Some of these sites are affiliated with a specific city but the majority have something to offer to everyone.  Let me know if there are other sites where you save!

Lighten your Load

If you are tired of carrying multiple reward/loyalty cards around in your wallet or on your key chain, there are a few new apps around that can lighten your load… and save you money.  The CardStar App lets you easily store, manage and quickly retrieve your reward, club, and loyalty cards on your Smartphone, where they can be scanned directly from your screen at most merchants. If you are like me and have yet to upgrade to a Smartphone, get the CardStar Card which enables you to combine up to six cardmobilimembership and reward cards on one printed card. Also, receive coupons and deals to all your local and national merchants, at no cost to you!

Key Ring uses also bar code scanner technology to create a digital copy of all your loyalty cards and stores them on your phone; retailers simply scan the bar code from the screen. Key Ring also provides and easy way to collect and redeem special offers from your favorite retailers. Last but not least is Cardmobili which does everything these two do and has gotten some of the strongest reviews.

Click You Tube Key Ring App to see the app in action!

No Better Time to Shop!

imagesMany states will be offering a tax free weekend this weekend or sometime in August so grab your back-to-school lists and get shopping! Check out the following states for details: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C. & West Virginia.

Locally, St. Louis’ tax free weekend is this weekend (August 6-8) and applies to:

  • Clothing under $100
  • School supplies under $50
  • Computer software under $350
  • Computers/computer equipment under $3,500
  • Note: Some cities and counties in Missouri elect not to participate.

If you happen to do any of your school shopping at Target, they will begin offering a great new program in the fall which entitles you to 5% off everything in the store with a Target credit card.  The new 5%-off program (for every purchase, every visit) will replace Target’s current program in which account holders receive an initial 10% off coupon and existing cardholders earn coupons for a future shopping visit. No exact date has been set but I’ll make every attempt to post the date when it’s announced. For more great tips on back-to-school shopping and the tax free weekend, check out this great article on About.com.

If You Love GROUPON …

… then you need to sign up for these other sites that offer amazing daily deals as well. I’ll admit that I still get most of my great deals from Groupon but these other sites are catching on quickly.

Adility Daily Deal works much in the same way as Groupon in that Adility brings you a fantastic deal in your city each day and then the deal is on if enough people join the deal that day. What is different is that instead of printing the certificate yourself, Adility will mail you your certificate ($1.50 shipping) within 24 hours and they arrive within 3-5 business days. While it’s a little inconveinent if you want to go somewhere that day, it more that makes up for it with a recent deal I got for $39.99 for 30 min facial, 30 min massage, plus haircut & style!

Currently only in St. Louis right now, but intending to expand soon is City StealCity Steal is a collective platform designed to allow you the ability to experience the best that your community has to offer at incredible savings. Each day they offer a new Steal for a great restaurant, service, activity, or event in your community. Read the rest of this entry

Do you know how hard it is to find a mint quote? This one if from Evan Esar and it sort of fits for the article but I got tired of looking for the perfect one.  I could really call it, “Want help mananging your money” but that’s not very creative. Anyway, my friend Lisa turned me onto this wonderful site called mint.com and for the first time in my life I am working with an actual budget.

As it states on mint.com, they download and categorize your balances and transactions automatically every day— making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth. I already use online banking for everything from my checking, debit, credit cards, and paying most of my utilities but Mint.com puts all my accounting in one place so I constantly have a quick overview of everything.  Money and Kiplinger’s magazines both rave about this site and it is safe & secure. Read the rest of this entry

Dining Out (for less)

As today’s economy  becomes increasingly characterized by clipping coupons and “staycations,” people are finding it harder to justify a nice dinner out.  I’ve created a quick system that I call my ‘One in Four.’  If a restaurant passes one of these four tests, we can go.

1)      Is it listed on opentable.com?  This is a fantastic site that lists thousands of restaurants throughout United States, and abroad.  Once you locate your city, you search for restaurants alphabetically, by cuisine, or by neighborhood.  Pick a date & time, book it, and when you check in at the restaurant, you are awarded 100 points.  Sometimes restaurants award up to 1000 points for an odd seating date and time.  After 2000 points, you earn a $20 dining cheque for your next meal out.

2)      Can you get a gift certificate for it on restaurant.com? This site allows you to purchase $25 gift certificates for as little as $2 if you catch an 80% off sale.  Watch the restrictions and fine print but we’ve used a lot of these to discover new restaurants and enjoy past favorites. Read the rest of this entry