What’s a Groupon?

Have you heard of Groupons?  They are the newest twist on coupons and discount books, available over the internet.  First, you find out if there is a Groupon group in your area.  You sign up for emails when the group has a Groupon offer.  When you get the email, it will offer you some sort of deal.  For example, today’s Deal in San Diego is a facial and massage ($109 value) for $49.  You can sign up to purchase the item if you are interested, but the deal doesn’t get confirmed until a specified number of people sign up for it.  Basically, the company is offering a great price, but only if enough people sign up.

Groupons that I have seen include restaurants, golf, shows, bus trips, rock wall climbing, massages, sporting events, groceries, and even teeth whitening.  The Groupon concept is pretty new (last fall) so I imagine that it will continue to grow.

Some groups have deals nearly every day, and some are less frequent.  Some groups are just getting started and haven’t even had their first Groupon yet (Virginia Beach/Norfolk is one.)

Buying Groupons isn’t going to help pare an already bare-bones budget, but if you are looking for a few discount splurges, it is a good tool for searching.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Geoff

    I live in SoCal and I use SocialBuy – they’re a similar service but they usually have more than one deal at a time and they’re up for more than just a day.

    I agree – if your budget requires you to forgo luxuries (going out to eat, getting massages), these sites aren’t very helpful. But if you can afford to eat out every now and then, they’re a great way to try new places and save money.

  • John Jellison

    Do you know of any of these in the Midwest (Nebraskas) ?

  • It would be nice if you could add Colorado Springs to list of cities.

  • Teresa, I wonder if there is a way to suggest cities to the Groupon people. Maybe you could email them?

  • William

    Teresa and Kate,

    No need to suggest cities, Omaha, Nebraska has been available on Groupon for a little while now :)

  • Very good article. I am going through some of these issues as well..