Friday, March 27, 2009

Text Me Those Coupons!

This world is full of technological advances and I'm forever being surprised by what they come up with next. I'm happy to say that this newest way to utilize technology means more savings for me and you.

In our family, with the our recent pay cut, we are always looking for ways to save money. Unfortunately, this has meant we have much less--if any--discretionary, or entertainment money. That was one of the first things to go. It just made sense for us to not go out anymore (not that we did much to begin with), and to make all of our meals here at home.

There have definitely been times when I didn't feel like cooking and longed to dine out with the family instead of coming up with a meal to please six people. I actually do enjoy cooking, but there are days that just get away from me and I'm left feeling exhausted and still have to figure out dinner (or lunch if we've been away from home and doing errands all morning). I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

We haven't gone out to eat in quite a while, because I just couldn't justify the expense when it costs so much less to make the same meal at home. For our household, we can easily drop $40 (with tip) at Wingers, and that's with the adults drinking only water. Conversely, if we were to make everyone a nice burger (we actually do those very well on the grill) and homemade french fries at home, and even splurged on a two liter of soda, we would spend maybe eight dollars--max.

Yesterday, however, I did not want to cook. It was my birthday and I wanted to take it easy. Go figure. Well, dear hubby was fine with that. He had planned, after a long day at work (trying to get 10 hours in one day to make up for the Mondays he is no longer allowed to work), to pick up some steaks at our favorite butcher shop and make me dinner. I was very much looking forward to this.

Well, he gets to the butcher shop and finds it closed. The sign on the door said it was due to the hard economy. So....that was out. He went to our second favorite place to buy steaks and found they discontinued the ones we liked, but were offering lesser quality steaks at a higher price. I told him to just forget it and come home.

Our good friends offered to get some take-out with us, but they've already done so much for us, I couldn't possibly let them do this. Though I did like the idea of eating out with them. We decided to look for coupons online for restaurants in our town and go out to eat together.

As a result of this online search, I found the coolest site! It's called Frogzog-Mobile Frugality. You go there, type in the keyword of the type of business, or thing you're looking for, then enter your zipcode. It pulls up all businesses that work through them (and there were quite a few in our little town), and tells you the offers they have. You then choose the one you want, enter your cell phone number and they text you the coupon. That's it. No spam, no cost, just an easy way to save some money with a coupon. We got $5 off our order with this service. All we did was show the coupon when we got our check and it was taken off. Easy, easy!

So while I could feel guilty for splurging, I actually feel pretty good because we I found another way to save money. They have more than just food services participating in this, so go ahead and check it out. Of course, you do have to have a cell phone with text messaging for this to work.

There was another site I found, but it's only for the state where I live. It's called Go Utah. There you can print or email the coupons you find. We would have used this service, but the coupons we wanted were actually expired, so I think they need to work on keeping it updated.

If you don't have a cell phone, or if you aren't in Utah, just try doing a search for the coupon/business your looking for, you can usually find some great deals this way.

Also, I know that if you go to Coupon Mom, you can buy gift cards for restaurants at a reduced price and get more for less when you dine out. Sounds good to me!

I'm not planning on doing more dining out now, because we still save money by cooking at home, but it's nice to know that if we do decide to splurge on special occasions, we can find some great deals and it won't break the bank.