Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Gift of Groupon

Growing up, my parents did a good job teaching me not to talk to strangers.  Since moving to Tennessee I’ve had to re-learn this behavior, since Southern folks tend to have a different take on who is considered a stranger (mainly, no one).  I’m getting much better at greeting random passerbys and I’m finding I can even carry a full conversation with just about anyone on the street that decides they want to start one.  I guess I shouldn’t brag that I’ve mastered this art just yet.  I noticed that most times I chit chat with complete strangers for any extended period of time I somehow end up bringing up ‘Groupons’…which in retrospect is kinda weird.  I honestly don’t know how it’s come up in so many random conversations, but it could have something to do with the fact that I think they’re absolutely fantastic.  If you don’t know what Groupons are you’re about to find out- I realized if I felt compelled to share them with strangers I definitely had to share them with you!  They’re not exactly related to home design (though the one from Nashville today was, which is what inspired this post), but they can literally save you thousands of dollars and will definitely beautify your life!  Groupon is a group coupon (as the name suggests); the way it works is simple.  One massive coupon from a local business is provided daily, offering savings from 50-90% or more.  Most offers sound something like this “Spend $50, get $100 worth of food and beverages from….” or “Purchase $150 Symphony Orchestra tickets for $30”.  There is a purchase involved, but you get significantly more than what you pay for 100% of the time.  If enough people buy the Groupon (the number varies), the deal is on…if not, you’re not charged anything.  The service has become very popular, so it’s very rare for a deal to not receive the minimum number or purchases.  Groupons are offered for over 50 cities, all you have to do is choose one (or however many cities you frequent), enter your e-mail address at the top of their site and they’ll send you a daily e-mail with the deal of the day.  If you don’t see a city by you fear not, they add locations all the time!  There’s even an area where you canmake suggestions for cities to add.  I looked through some past Groupons today, they included huge discounts to exotic restaurants (Lebanese, Thai-French, Jewish-Latin), Memberships (Miami Art Museum, Adler Planetarium in Chicago), Spa Treatments (massages, facials, mani-pedis, the whole shebang), Classes (Salsa, bellydancing, cooking, wine-pairing) and literally hundreds of other heavily discounted once in a lifetime activities (six laps and instruction in a NASCAR Nextel Cup Car, skydiving, hot air balloon rides, whale watching, etc.).  Every time I buy one I’m shocked at the discount…to be honest sometimes it’s so inexpensive I half expect it not to work when I redeem it, but it always does!  


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