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Being a Foodie on a Discount

25 Aug

Before I get into some of the fabulous deals I’ve used this week, I just had to share this funny piece from The Onion, my beloved Austin bastion of satire: Extreme Couponing Craze Increases Newspaper Theft. Funny stuff.

After my nephews left, I didn’t go out much on the weekend. I bought a few grocery items and cooked at home on both Saturday and Sunday. Recuperating from five days with two pre-adolescent boys.

Monday brought a very busy, long work day of catching up. So in the evening, I treated myself to a fantastic sushi dinner at Sushi Japon, courtesy of Groupon ($15 for $25 coupon, savings of 40%). It’s a very unassuming little place along I-35 just north of 2222, and one of my favorite sushi spots. Always very good – try the Hot Night roll. And by the way, Sushi Japon always offers their own coupon for 15% off. I used the Groupon Now tool, which is a super useful system to find out what deals are available at the moment, near your physical location. You can find something to eat, shopping, massages and lots more – deals to be had within a certain time period that day. When you use the mobile app, it’s terrific because it will list the deals closest to you first. No need to pay full-price when you have tools like Groupon Now and Scoutmob to tell you what’s nearby, at 30-60% off. Continue reading

A Family Visit on the Cheap

21 Aug

My nephews cool off with the bumper boats at Austin's Park & Pizza

This week I started my newest 30-Day project, Living on a Discount. Also this week, my two nephews came to spend their annual “week at Aunt Shelley’s house” summer visit. So, with nine and eleven year-old boys in tow, we set about to see what fun things we could do in Austin all week, under the parameters of my Discount-Only experiment.

The first day, we spent the entire afternoon at Austin’s Park & Pizza, an arcade and amusement park on I-35 in north Austin (Pflugerville, actually). This is a huge place where, for one price, you get a wristband that allows you unlimited access to all the rides and activities in the park, as well as a large pizza buffet and drinks. The regular price is $19.95 per person, with $10.95 for kids 40-43 inches tall (free for under 40 inches tall). I bought a Groupon several months ago for $9 each – saving me more than $10 per person, or 50%. Continue reading

New 30-Day Project: The Month of Living on Discounts

16 Aug

Today I start my newest 30-Day experiment – using only coupons, Groupons and other discounts on everything I buy. I already take some good advantage of things like Groupons, but this 30-day period I will push it to the limit to see if I can live for an entire month doing only that with everything I buy. A guy named Josh Stevens lived off Groupon for a entire year, and blogged about it. Keep reading for more rules and guidelines that I’ve laid out for this challenge.

TED Talk: Try Something New for 30 Days

And if you want a little more insight into why I’m doing this year of 30-Day lifestyle experiments, check out this terrific video on TED. Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests trying it for 30 days.

“It turns out, 30 days is just about the right about of time to add a habit, or subtract a habit, from your life.”

Matt hits on an aspect which has been major for me in this whole project: living in a very conscious way. Continue reading

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