I Like Coupons

I like Groupon. And I like Living Social too. In fact, I like all of the dozen or so (at last count) online coupon sites there are for the city in which I live. On average, I buy about two or three of these per month. I understand that online coupons aren’t for everyone. But these work for me because I’m a fairly organized person, so the ability to save money on the things I do and the places I eat can be achieved without too much burden.That said, I find that it does help to be methodical about this stuff. It would really bug me if I discovered a coupon I bought that I forgot about and has expired. To prevent from getting myself into that woeful situation, I have developed a methodology for managing my online coupons. And given the technology available today, that methodology is fairly lightweight.At a minimum, the information I track for each online coupon I buy is:

  • the face value
  • the expiration date
  • any restrictions (such as not valid on certain days of the week, reservation required, excludes alcohol, etc.)

Bonus information to track for each coupon is:

  • a digital copy (pdf or photo of a physical printout)
  • the amount I paid for it
  • the credit card I bought it on
  • the online coupon site I bought it on, along with the email account I used when I bought it
  • whether or not I sent a referral of this coupon to a friend, since some sites give me kickbacks for each friend that ends up buying from a referral of mine

But probably the most helpful thing I do is to add a reminder entry to my calendar for each coupon, one or two weeks ahead of its expiration. If I haven’t used it by then, I know I need to make plans to do so soon.

The best evidence of the usefulness of this methodology is that even after all the coupons I’ve bought, I have never yet had one go unused.

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