How to use Groupon

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How to use Groupon, save money and have fun

Deals of the day websites are the best thing to happen to thrifty consumers since the clearance rack. This is a relatively new business model and the company leading the way is Groupon.

Go to the website at and the first thing you’ll need to do is enter your email address and zip code. Now brace yourself because the next thing you’ll see is a world of good times and great deals. Cheap dates, spa days, restaurants, here we come!

Learning how to use Groupon is a snap. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Browse. Scroll down for a peak at the current offers available in your area. Depending on where you live, you’ll see a mix of services and goods. For instance, NYC temptations include spas, optical and dental services, yoga classes, tourist activities, theatre and of course many restaurants.                                                                                           * Not yet ready to buy? To the left of the screen, you’ll see things broken into categories including products, getaways, holiday-oriented and Now! Deals - these typically expire within a few hours and often include dinners and sweets.
  2. Find something you gotta have whether its a dinner out, mini vacation or basket of chocolate. Click the image and read the details and fine print. Look at the expiration date and make sure you’ll be able to use it in time (these usually last a few months to a year). Read what the deal includes and what it doesn’t. Spa services are very specific, for example.

  3. Ready to buy? This is the easiest part of how to use Groupon. Click the BUY! Button to the right of the image. This will take you to the payment page. Enter your credit or debit card information. Double check this is the deal you meant to click on. Then verify that you want to make the purchase.
  4. Congratulations, you’re one of us. Unless you purchased a Now! Deal, expect your Groupon by the next day. You’ll get an email saying it’s ready.
  5. Print it so it’s there when you want to use it. Log in to the website with your email and password. Mouse over your name at the top right of the page. Click on “Groupons”, the top option. Every deal you buy appears on this page until it expires or you mark it as ‘Used’. Hit 'Print' and read the redemption instructions.
  6. Mark the expiration date on your calendar.
  7. Time to use your deal. Go to the business and present it to the sales associate or server first thing. Review what the deal is specifically for and use it on those things. Note the exclusions, like wine or additional services. At restaurants, most servers take the printed paper with the payment at the very end.
  8. Note that gratuity still applies to the full value of goods or services you purchased. This means that if you’re enjoying a $40 meal for $20, you still need to tip for a $40 meal.

Cool things and tips on how to use Groupon!

Deal sites are perfect for anyone trying to find ways to save money. One of the coolest things about this site is the referral bonus. Most people are hesitant to try to refer their friends because it gets annoying when it’s over done. However, the offerings are extremely varied and the discounts, at 40-70% off, really are a good deal. Plus, the rewards add up to real money. You get $10 in Groupon Bucks for everyone you refer who buys something.

At a time when many businesses are struggling, these group deal sites shine a spotlight on local businesses. The volume of people who purchase them are what allows small businesses to offer such steep discounts.

If you’re a small business owner, look into offering one to boost business. Crunch the numbers first to be certain that you won’t lose money, and then stock up enough to accommodate the offer.

One important thing to note is that every deal has a minimum number of people needed for it to be 'on'. If enough people don’t purchase the deal you wanted, no one gets it- all the more reason to share with friends. When this does happen, you don’t get charged.

You’ll receive a daily email now that they have your address. You can limit emails by going ‘Account’ under your sign in name and clicking on the ‘My Email Subscriptions’ tab. Check or uncheck reminders and specific types of deals to customize your settings.

Deal sites are a great resource for treating yourself, saving money on gifts or going out on cheap dates. It’s also an easy way to explore your community and try new things without breaking your budget.

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