How to Ensure You Use Your Groupons and Other Daily Deals
I have an embarrassing admission — when I moved across the country six month ago, I left a small wave of unused daily deals vouchers in my wake.
I felt awful about it — I hate wasting money! But as my life got busy preparing for a cross-country move, I found myself forgetting expiration dates, meeting friends for goodbyes at non-coupon restaurants because they were more convenient, and in the end, leaving some vouchers because I simply ran out of time and couldn't find anyone else who wanted to use them.
Granted, I did have a lot going on at the time. That said, no matter how calm or busy your life is, it can be easy to buy a Groupon, Living Social, or other daily deal coupon on impulse and forget about it. If you're the sort of person who loves purchasing daily deals, but isn't always great at using them, follow these techniques to make sure you get the most out of your coupons. (See also: Do Daily Deals Make Good Gifts?)
1. Put Deadlines on Your Calendar — More Than Once
For months I put the expiration dates of my daily deals on my Google calendar, thinking that would be enough to remind me to use them. And sure, I'd remember...two days before they expired. This left me scrambling to use the coupons. Now I also put a two-week warning on my calendar as well so I have plenty of time to plan.
2. Get Deals With a Buddy
My friend Chantal is my exercise buddy. When I see an interesting deal for dancing, spinning, or another type of exercise, I'll forward it to her. If we both decide to get it, we're able to keep on each other to make sure we use the deal. This technique works for just about any deal, too — before you buy, find an interested friend to check out a restaurant with you, do a spa day, or take a tour.
3. Use the Voucher Immediately
Why procrastinate? If you're a strike-while-the-iron-is-sizzling type (or a forget-that-the-iron-is-on type), use your deal as soon as you get it.
4. Keep an Entertainment Folder
If you don't want to use your voucher immediately, you can at least print it immediately. Keep your unused vouchers in a folder somewhere prominent in your home, and when you're trying to think of where you want to eat or what you want to do, flip through your entertainment folder, grab a voucher, and go. You can also keep vouchers in your bag or wallet if you want to impulsively use one when you're out and about — just make sure it's not one that requires a reservation.
5. Remember — You Can Use Your Vouchers After Their Expiration Dates
Even if you pass the deadline of the "promotional value" of your deal, you can still redeem the purchase value of it. For example, if you paid $15 for $45 of sushi and you forget to use the deal before it expires, you can still get your $15 with your voucher. It's always best to check the terms of your individual deal, but generally, this is the case.
Do you have any techniques for making sure you use your daily deal vouchers? Share in the comments!