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Does Groupon Really Save You Money?

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“With all this money I’m saving, we’re going to go broke!”

My mom jokingly says this to my dad when she gets home from a shopping trip. Even though she finds awesome deals, she still has to spend money to get those deals. This is how Groupon often makes me feel. I upgraded my world and got an iPhone a few months ago and while I won’t go as far as my friend who has over 250 apps on his phone (how do you even remember where everything is?!), I have accumulated about 50 apps. One of them is Groupon.

Gym trial, coffee, and yoga

I’ve used Groupon a few times before and enjoyed the great deals I’ve purchased. I became a member at my current gym thanks to a Groupon that got me a 3-month trial membership for $30. I would have never discovered my love for Body Pump if it wasn’t for that Groupon. I also got a deal for a local coffee shop and 5 yoga classes. All three purchases ended up being well worth the money. However, having Groupon readily available on my iPhone makes me want to buy things I don’t need.

I literally just bought a Groupon

You read right; I bought a Groupon as I wrote this article. Man, they’re good! Writing about Groupon obviously made me want to check out the local deals and go figure- our favorite restaurant with authentic Latin American food had a $10 deal for $20 worth of food. I’m such a sucker! Let me explain how this purchase is justified and how you can possibly justify future Groupon purchases…

Is the Groupon purchase in my budget?

This question must be asked before a Groupon is purchased. Dave and I allocate a set amount each month (let’s say $100) toward entertainment. If we want to get that $50 Groupon for a $100 massage, it will come out of the entertainment budget. However, we only get $100 total so if April 15th rolls around and we’ve hit the $100 limit then that means we’re eating at home the rest of the month and friends will have to come over if they want to chat over a cup of coffee. Also– don’t forget to account for the few extra bucks if you spend over the Groupon amount and for a tip if applicable! If you don’t have a budget established, spontaneous spending habits can really add up and apps like Groupon can really screw up your budget.

What deals have you purchased from Groupon? Do you find that you buy things you don’t need?

This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.

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AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

15 Comments

  1. I don’t buy often, but we’ve gotten a few AMAZING deals through Groupon. 🙂 We got a sunset dinner cruise on the Chesapeake in a small sailboat with two other couples for only $150. I gave it to my husband as an anniversary present.

  2. The key to using Groupon effectively as a way to save money is to buy coupons for things that you would spend money on anyways. We have bought a couple of restaurant coupons lately, and they might not have been restaurants that we would have necessarily visited, but they will be incorporated into visits that we would make to ‘a restaurant’ regardless.

    • It is a great way to try new things, especially restaurants! I would never pay $45/month for yoga but the 5 class deal for $20 was fun and a good change to my normal routine.

  3. The trick is to have the budget decided on beforehand. As long as you stick to a budget regarding how much you’re willing to spend, things will be great. As soon as you start to try to convince yourself with phrases like, but it’s such a good deal I just couldn’t pass it up. That’s when you know you’re in trouble.

    • You’re right, it’s not hard to convince myself I want something! It takes much more self-control to evaluate if I really need/want the product.

  4. Just like any other deals, coupons, or sale out there, you should only get it when you really need to buy one. Just like the BOGO deal, do your really need 2 of those? Toiletries I understand but 2 shoes? Were you planning to buy one in the first place. So, I really try to think it though first.

  5. I’ve never used groupon but might give it a try. The only interaction I’ve had with Groupon is on the stock exchange and I stay FAR AWAY from that stock.

  6. Absolutely. Temptation or lack of control is what is not worth it. I have gotten 3 GREAT deals from Groupon. I saved a nice amount of money but that is it.

    Unless you are seeking these things…

    No you don’t need a kayaking experience.
    No you don’t need a safari experience.
    No you don’t need 10 dance lessons for $20.

    Control, focus and patience makes groupon well worth it.

    • Patience is key. It helps having a spouse on the same page financially because we can ask each other questions like ‘do we really need it?’ or ‘is it in the budget?’

  7. I am really fond of groupons. It is like getting a little extra of what you spend.

  8. I haven’t ever purchased anything off groupon but I have purchased from a local site that does something similar. Like you mentioned it has to come out of our plan budget. So if I spend all of my money getting a great deal from a restaurant, that could be the only place we end up eating for a while. On of the local deals acutally gets you a gift card for half price, can only buy one deal every couple of months. The best part about the gift card is I can then use a coupon on top of the discount I already purchased.


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