Thursday, January 17, 2013

My favorite deal sites

Who doesn't love to save money?  Not I.  :)

While I have mixed feelings about whether daily deal sites are actually good for businesses in the long run, one thing is for a consumer...I love'em!  I don't usually buy many of these, but I do have my "regulars" I check when I'm looking for something specific.  Every now and then a really great deal rolls around and I snatch it up.  Here are some of my favorites...

Every day, One Kings Lane features sales on lots of items - home decor, gifts, pet items, tableware, etc.  Instead of presenting members with a mass of products jumbled together, there are different categories for you to shop - everything inside high-quality and beautiful!  Items range from vases for $12 (originally $30) to antique or vintage tables for $3,000!  Sales usually last for 72 hours and the number of items are limited, so act quickly if you like something! 

My most recent purchase from One Kings Lane was from a pet sale they were having.  I couldn't resist the dachshund umbrella - it was so cute!  Bright blue with light blue dachshund silhouettes around the bottom.  It came in last week...and I couldn't wait for it to rain so I could use it!

Most everyone has heard of Groupon by now...right?  On New Year's though, I was talking with my roomie from college and she had never. heard. of. it.  You heard me right...crazy!  (I love you Holly!!)  :)  Groupon started as a daily deal site, featuring one company offering it's service/products at a steep discount (usually 50% or more).  Now, there are LOTS of deals each day.  Sign up for their newsletter and they'll email you deals in your area.

The trick is to not just buy everything that you might like.  Don't get carried away at the beginning - just get the ones you know you'll use, because they have expiration dates!  (Although, if you don't use the deal by the expiration date, you'll still have a $ credit for the amount you paid at that place of business - at least you don't lose your money.)

My most recent Groupon purchase was for a Truffle Making class with the Boston Chocolate School.  The 2.5 hour class (where you make truffles to take home!) usually costs $88 - the Groupon allowed me to take the class for $45!  Check out the blog about the class.

Score Big is a discount ticket website with a bidding system similar to Priceline's "name your price" system.  Enter your city/zip and they'll populate a list of available tickets and venues in your area - sporting events, concerts, plays, musicals, comedy name it.  

When you find an event you want to go to, put your bid in!  If tickets are usually $ $60...or $50...heck...shoot for $40 if you're daring!  Enter your credit card number, and submit your bid, and if it's acceptable, the tickets are yours!  If your bid isn't accepted, you're not charged just try again tomorrow a little higher.  

We've gotten great Sox tickets for 35% off just a few days before the game.  Always check this site first!  Don't pay full price if you don't have to!

Some other favorites are:

 - - HUGE selection  of stuff at great prices!
 - ideeli, myhabit, and ruelala are all daily deal sites/emails for clothes and accessories.  I've never used these, but have a lot of friends who LOVE them.
 - - don't buy anything online without using a coupon code.  Search by website and look for a code before you buy.  You can also submit coupon codes you find to help others out.
 - - My favorite part of this travel site is the "name your own price" (or bid feature) for hotel rooms.  We once got a hotel that was normally $225 per night for $75.  So cool!
 - - super similar to Groupon - sign up for their daily email list!
 - Costco, BJ's, Sam's - these member-only big box stores have a yearly membership fee, but more than make up for it with their discount prices.  We easily saved more than the membership cost us just from our savings on hummus last year.

**Check out part 2 here - more of my favorite ways to save money online**

You should also check out other companies you're a member of for discounts.

 - Health Insurance companies offer lots of discounts on reputable, healthy living companies - many of which don't typically offer discounts any other way.  Often times, gyms will have a "member perks" plan too, where they partner with other local companies to provide discounts to their members.
 - Your credit card company or bank will probably offer "points" for clicking through to a website through their online portal.  If your card has a cash-back or "perks" plan, you can rack up lots of points for the online shopping you were going to do anyway!
 - AAA is more than a car emergency company!  As one of the largest membership companies out there, they have amassed one of the largest round-ups of discounts ever.  Mentioning you have a AAA is a must when booking hotels, but can also save you lots of money when shopping at the mall or dining out.
 - AARP - similar to AAA, if you're a member, you should always ask if the retailer offers a discount when checking out.

When all else fails...just ask if the company offers discounts.  It won't hurt!  After Christmas, Travis and I went to the movies.  I asked if they had a student discount (since hubby is still technically in school).  The answer was no, but they offered me the senior discount instead...and gave it to both of us!

What are some of your favorite deal sites or club memberships to help you save money?  I'm always looking for new ways to stretch a buck!  And don't forget to check out part 2!


  1. With having a child - Goodwill and Once Upon a Child are amazing places to purchase clothes or toys for amazing prices! Great post!

  2. Forget coupons - you have the right idea here! Thanks for explaining them to us.

    I have a question and my daughter would make an "oh, mom" face at me but...I'm very skeptical and have avoided Groupon because I wasn't sure how trustworthy it is. You gave very sound advice about using it. My question - do you feel safe (financially) with Groupon?

    Thanks for this post and for giving us your experience.

    Reia from

  3. I feel good about using Groupon. The first time I was a little worried, but after buying 7 or 8 over the last few years, I've never had trouble. I like that 1) if the Groupon expires before you use it, you can still use the value you paid at the place of business and 2) they seem to have a pretty good return policy if you have trouble at the business (although I don't have personal experience with that). I'd say give it a try with a low cost deal first to get used to it first. :)

  4. These are some great tips! I have never heard of the score big site and I am so excited to try it out soon!! Thanks for sharing this with me :)

    1. No problem! I'm always looking for new deals/discounts. :)

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