Use Social Buying Sites to Spice Up Valentine’s Day

by Kevin on February 7, 2011

Ah, February. The month with my least favorite holiday. (If you haven’t heard, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.)

The short version goes like this: you should be celebrating your love for each other every day of the year, not when megacorporations want to sell you overpriced chocolates and flowers.

But, I know there’s a good chunk of the population out there that do celebrate Valentine’s Day. They go out, have an expensive night on the town, and enjoy each other’s company.

Fine, but if you’re going to do that why don’t you try to save some money along the way?

Use Group Buying to Save Money on Interesting Dates

If you haven’t heard there’s a little thing called Groupon and its prime competitor¬†Living Social.

These sites sign up thousands of users in designated local areas, then sell that user base to local businesses. Those businesses offer amazing deals to the users, and the buying site gets a chunk of the deal.

It can drive a lot of traffic to an unknown, new, or refreshed local business.

It can also save you a ton of money while encouraging you to try something new in your area. A win-win if you’re looking for something neat to do.

Try Something for Half Off

If someone offered you 50% off of an experience that you wouldn’t normally consider paying full price, would you try it? That’s the draw of some of these group buying deals.

This can be effective date material and I’m proof of it. A few weeks ago Groupon offered what amounted to 50% off at a local bowling alley. My wife and I aren’t exactly big bowlers (although, ahem, I did take bowling as a class in college…), but I thought it might be a fun date to get us out of the house. Plus I love not paying full price on something I enjoy doing already.

I sent her a text message not knowing if she would really want to do the bowling thing. I didn’t want to blow $10 if we weren’t going to go. This was her reply:

“well sure I would love to have a bowling date with my hubby!”

Well, that settled that. I ordered the coupons and they’re ready for our use.

Use Social Buying on Things You Already Use

The best kind of discount is one that is easy to get and works for things you already use. It’s like getting the free coupon in the mail for your favorite restaurant. Groupon and Living Social can be just as easy since they e-mail the discounts to you (or you can check them using an app on your smartphone).

Living Social received a large investment from Amazon recently, and they ran a $10 for a $20 Amazon gift card. I was not a current user for Living Social, but this got me and my wife on board. We signed up and each purchased because we’re regulars at Amazon. Shortly after that a $7 for $14 worth of food at Moe’s. My wife loves Moe’s, so we each bought one of those as well.

So whether you’re looking for new date ideas ($125 for a one hour hot air balloon ride? Sweet!) or just looking to save money at places you already shop, social buying sites are another avenue for you to try.

Hey readers, tell me about your favorite Groupon or Living Social deal. Did you use it as a date or to surprise someone? Share in the comments!

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