I’ll admit that I subscribe to both Groupon and Living Social. I mean, I’m all for getting a deal when I need a deal, but four years of living frugally have taught me this: not every deal is a deal is a deal.
The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs agrees, arguing that most people who click on the Groupon or Living Social deal in their inbox are doing so because they “want” what is offered, not because they “need” it.
So what would qualify a “need”? Well, I’ve seen these daily deals related to doctors and dentists. If you’re in the market for a new practitioner, then getting that first visit at a discount seems to make a lot of sense.
However, recent deals on Groupon in my area have all focused on either what I would describe as “wants” (deep conditioning for your hair, Zumba class) or deals that don’t apply to my lifestyle (discounted kiddie gym classes; my kids are teenagers). Living Social isn’t much better (more kiddie gym classes), but two recent deals did have me thinking that they were worth buying up.
One such deal that gave me pause was discounted museum admission–always good in my book to get some culture, especially when you can do it for less (though I’ll be investigating free museum admission opportunities when shooting video for my “frugal in New York” ideas this month). The other deal was $200 off a new mattress. Well, considering it’s been about a decade since I bought a new mattress–and you should really replace your mattress every 7 or so years–this one seemed timely and practical versus impulsive.
I’ve yet to buy a daily deal coupon from either Groupon or Living Social, but I’m sure sooner or later I will. What about you? What great deals (or duds) did you get via Groupon, Living Social, or another daily deal service?