I really hate coupons. I lose them. I forget about them. I rarely (if ever) use them. I know, I’m very behind in the whole coupon thing, considering what savings divas my LOL compadres are. I am, however, totally into the idea of virtual coupons. You know, for things I actually use (restaurants, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, eco-friendly cleaning stuff) and not for the stuff I don’t use (diapers, boxed dinners, Scrubbing Bubbles).
So, there are a few of these virtual coupon places popping up. The grandaddy is, of course, Groupon (which today is featuring Groupons for Mayberry), where I’ve gotten some great coupons for things I actually use: Farm Fresh Delivery, Herbs and Spice, Benken Garden (herb garden time!). They don’t always feature things I use (they’ve had a lot of daycare and dental-care related coupons; I don’t have kids but I do have dental insurance…) but in general, they’re good deals. You have to print them, but they’re all in one place– much easier to keep track of. They do have an iPhone app that lets you check which Groupons you have when you’re out and about.
There’s now a locally-based “groupon” type site, which just launched on Saturday, called WouldURather. This one’s pretty neat– instead of buying a coupon/gift certificate, and when enough people buy, the coupon is valid, WouldURather asks you to pick between two deals: which one would you rather buy? Clever.
Today’s WouldURather, for example, asks: would you rather get dress alterations or a couture wedding gown? Both are useful, but not everyone needs a wedding gown (though I definitely have dresses that could use some alterations). Two price points, but similar offers– kind of cool. And this month, all proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen. No iPhone or Droid app yet.
Restaurant.com is another one I like: you can get up to 80% off of $25 gift certificates to many restaurants around town. There’s always a coupon code, so it’s always a good deal.
I make as many restaurant reservations, whether here or on the road, on OpenTable.com. They give you 100 points for each reservation you make and keep, and those add up to $25, $50 or $100 gift certificates fairly quickly, particularly if you take advantage of 1000 point reservations, which some places do at slow times or as promotions. Open Table’s apps are available for iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Droid phones.
Upromise also offers restaurant rebates that apply towards your kids’ college tuition (or student loans, in my case), up to 8%. They’ve got a special deal right now that if you dine out with one of their affiliated restaurants, you get $15 towards college. Pretty cool. They have an iDine app for the iPhone, Blackberry and Droid.
Any coupon tips and tricks for dining out? Share them here.
(Photo used via Creative Commons license, courtesy dmdonohoo on Flickr)