the happiness project
Has the economy got you down? Finding it hard to afford those $50 haircuts and dinners out? Cranky from foregoing massages and high-priced, exciting events?
Here's how I did it.
Part 1: Sign up for the Deals
This is the most time consuming part, but I'll let you ride the coattails of my previous research. I had already used, pretty regularly, services like Groupon which offer amazing deals at 20-80 percent savings off retail. All I had to do was find as many similar types of services as I could, and sign up for their email lists so that I could get daily notifications of what deals were out there. Many of them also have smartphone apps, making it even easier to scout the discount. Here are the major ones that I used:
- Buy With Me
- Morgan’s Deals
- KGB Deals
- Urban Dealight
- Living Social
- Plum District
- Google Daily Deals
And to keep up with them all, a handy service called YipIt.com will track and email you an aggregated list of all the daily deal sites. If you don't want to receive emails from so many sites, I would recommend installing the phone app for several of the big ones and then subscribing to YipIt.
Part Two: Watch for deals you want and will use regularly
I had a two-pronged approach toward using my deals, which was very effective. First of all, when I would see deals that I knew I would use, I would buy them on the spot. Discounts for my favorite restaurants or ones I wanted to try, for the massage I felt overdue to get, movie tickets, oil changes for my car.
I used these methods to buy a lot of fabulous things during my discount month. In addition to fantastic meals, I scored the ACL one-day tickets by using a KGB Deal for 50 percent off event tickets through SuperStar Tickets, and then signed up for a trial there to get another $25 rebate. Total net cost for the Sunday ACL pass was $26 including shipping - a savings of two-thirds.
Part Three: Take advantage of local free and low-cost offerings
Not everything has to come from a coupon or discount deal, however. When you're paying attention, you'd be surprised at how many free and low-cost things there are to do around town. One night, my boyfriend and I took advantage of a free Grupo Fantasma concert at the Long Center, co-hosted by your very own CultureMap. We also enjoyed the thrilling and innovative Trash Project performance created by Forklift Danceworks, also presented for free (we did make a donation to the worthy organization at the event).