Friday, June 24, 2011

Get Your Groupon

As it gets closer to our wedding day I am increasingly becoming a bride on a budget. While it is fair to say that I am a frugal person all around – the type who rarely pays full price for anything – as my checkbook slips further into the red I have amped up my penchant for saving to a whole new level.

I do hate to haggle (but I will … oh yes I will), though I did wait to buy my wedding dress, honeymoon, reception d├ęcor and more on sale. But more and more the penny pinching has crossed over into all aspects of my life. That said, I refuse to deprive myself of fun times. And thanks to my new BFF, Groupon, it seems I have pre-paid for more than enough fun to keep me plenty busy these next 2 & ½ months until the “big day.”

If you’re not familiar with Groupon, you should be. It’s awesome. And there’s an app for that (an app that I own and monitor daily on my iPhone). GAR and I have enjoyed an outing to the Ice Bar (a bar that, as the name suggests, is made entirely of ice), several fine meals, a drag show and more thanks to specially priced deals acquired through Groupon. Heck, the girls and I happily Groupon-ed our way through Vegas – enjoying shows, spa services and pole dancing classes all for low, low prices.
Yes, thanks to Groupon I have been still living the life of luxury, even when I should be scrimping and saving to the fullest. But, there’s just one problem – I seem to have developed a slight addiction. I mean, who doesn’t love a sale? And sometimes I’ve found the Groupon’s siren song to be a little too tempting to resist.

I first realized there was a problem when I tried to convince GAR that purchasing a Groupon for a 4-night trip to Belize was a good idea. And, really, it was such a steal … and you get to stay in one of those crazy treetop huts! Oh, I wanted it bad. Though I knew how fiscally irresponsible it was I was too, too tempted. And, while I don’t know much about the country of Belize, I desperately wanted to be able to use terrible puns like “You better Belize it!” upon my return. And cool as it seems, I don’t think that fun wordplay is enough justification for a major purchase like that. Thankfully GAR was able to talk me down from that teeny ledge before I was able to hit the “purchase” button, but it was a close call.

But I am getting better. Really I am. Just last week I successfully turned down an amazing offer for 4 nights in a posh Miami hotel (that one is still hurting). But it’s getting harder now that Groupon has all sorts of competitors – Living Social, O-Deals (for the Orlando market) and others have popped up, each offering daily deals of their own. And, between GAR and myself, we have racked up a few deals that we still need to “redeem.”

Actually, we have a lot. A quick count showed that we still need to cash in meals at least 4 restaurants, take paddleboarding lessons, watch some stand-up comedy and have our teeth whitened … and that’s assuming we stay strong and don’t get sucked in by anything else along the way. But, hey, at least I know that – if money gets really tight – we won’t have to starve … or settle for anything less than a bright and shiny smile.

Oh wait, what’s this? Groupon is partnering with Expedia to form Groupon Getaways, offering unbeatable travel deals? This combines my two loves (other than GAR, of course) – traveling and saving money! Watch out Central America, I see some bad puns coming your way after all! Uh-oh … I am in big trouble …

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