Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Smart Way for Daily Deal Shopping

moneyImage by Glikò via FlickrAuthor Bio: Kevin is the author of the DebtEye Blog. He is the co-founder of DebtEye and a certified credit counselor.

Daily deal websites have taken the web by storm over the past few years. I usually advised my readers to unsubscribe from the newsletters, but I soon came to realize that some of the deals can actually save you money.

At first, I was against subscribing to some of the daily deal sites because it created a lot of impulse shopping. I was buying “coupons” for items that I didn’t need, and a lot of these actually went unused. A prime example of this is when I bought a $25 Virgin America voucher which was valued at $100. I didn’t read the fine prints, and didn’t know I had to book a reservation within a certain date.

Budgeting is all about saving money right? When you come to think about it, this is what daily deal sites are trying to do. If you’re able to keep disciplined in purchasing the coupons, it can definitely make a difference. Here are some ways you can prevent yourself from going a bit too crazy with daily deals:

1) Spend money wisely – If you’re a fan of daily deal sites, make sure you include this in your budget. It can count towards your entertainment category or your food if you intend to only buy coupons for restaurants. Set a limit on how much you’re willing to spend on it every month. If you can stick to your budget, then it shouldn’t be a problem!

2) Take your time- If you see a deal that you like; take a second to really ask yourself if you really need it. Is it a necessity, or is it a luxury? The truth of the matter is that it’s not going to go way forever. There’s a high chance that a similar coupon will resurface. If you have regrets on not buying it the first time around, you’ll always have a second chance!

3) Niche Markets- As I mentioned, the boom of this industry caused a handful of niche daily deal companies to emerge. Some of my favorite ones are (Aisle50 & CampusCred). Aisle50 focuses solely on grocery items, and have partnerships with some of the major grocery chains. You’ll end up buying items that you need, and they probably won’t go to waste (unless you don’t end up eating your food). CampusCred focuses on daily deals for college campuses which includes tons of restaurants. This is deal for college students who tend to eat out often.

4) Extreme Deals – Once in a while, a new daily deal sites will emerge and giveaway pretty useful coupons. Some of these include a $10 for $20 Amazon gift card or a $4 AMC movie ticket all in hopes to gain subscribers. Jump on these deals before it gets sold out, because these are items that you’re definitely going to use in the future.

5) Use Your Coupons – Lastly but not least, use your coupon! If you’re the type of person who forgot to use your coupon, that’s exactly the reason why a secondary market for unused coupons emerged. If you don’t think you can use your coupon within the expiration date, make sure you sell it to get something out of it at least.

So there you have it. I confess that I started to subscribe to some of the daily deal websites, but I’m definitely more cautious on what I purchase. Use common sense when purchasing coupons, and make sure it’s a necessity, not a luxury!


  1. I'm a big fan of these daily deals. They really try to make you spend more than save by buying things that you might not actually need...yet. The important thing is to know which are necessities and which can be postponed.

  2. You can get easily hooked on these daily deal sites. In the long run you are buying a lot of junk you don't really need.


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