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Super Savings Saturday: Sam’s Club and my discovery of Groupon!

We didn’t get a whole lot in the way of groceries this past week. But last Saturday, my husband stopped by Sam’s Club for their free entrance event and he picked up some yeast and organic greens.

Now, lest you wonder if we’ve really turned into salad-eating monsters due to P90X, let me reassure you that we did not consume all two tubs of salad ourselves. 🙂 We shared a lot of it with our extended family on our trip.

The tubs of organic salad were $3.98 each and the yeast was $2 per package. So our total at Sam’s Club was around $13 with tax.

All of us pitched in and brought food to Arkansas, so we only ate a few meals out while we were gone. We did buy a half gallon of milk, some cheese, a few veggies and juice, but that was it. So, we stayed under $40 in grocery spending this week — though we spent a little extra on eating out (which came from our vacation envelope).

When we came home late Friday evening, this package was awaiting us:

My first Groupon purchase of 3 pounds of dried cherries, cranberries and golden raisins! We’re going to use these in our Homemade Instant Oatmeal.

I mentioned on my Facebook page last week that I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to jump on the Groupon bandwagon. And I can’t! I’ve heard rave reviews about this website for so long, and I’ve even mentioned it here a few times. But I always thought it was the sort of thing where the deals and coupons wouldn’t really save us money, they’d just encourage us to spend more.

However, I went ahead and signed up — and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. In fact, I did a little happy dance a few times this week when I received the Groupon deal email for the day and discovered it was a deep discount for something I was already planning on buying in the next month!

Now, you definitely could spend more by buying stuff from Groupon if you’re not on a strict budget and giving every dollar a name. But I’m pumped about how much we’re going to be able to maximize the mileage of our envelope money thanks to Groupon.

For instance, last week alone, I was able to buy a $25 gift certificate to a local thrift store for only $10 and a $40 gift certificate to a local salon for only $10! I need to purchase my children some clothes, so I might as well spend $10 to get $25 worth. And I was planning to get the girls’ hair cut this month, so I might as well spend $10 to pay for a voucher which will cover the costs of four hair cuts.

Do you see the beauty of this? You can watch the Groupon deals as they come into your inbox and then stretch your envelope dollars a lot farther by purchasing the deeply-discounted deals which will be for things you’re already going to be buying — only now you can get them 50% to 75% off or more!


Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

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  • Jessica says:

    We love Groupon. Glad you’re on board! I buy ones for restaurants here and there when I can and when I see something we want to try. Date night has been so much better. We used to get all hung up on where to go out to eat. Now we just flip through our Groupons and pick one. AND it’s already paid for and we know we got a great deal!!

  • I love buying yeast in bulk from BJ’s (a warehouse club in the northeast). I couldn’t believe how cheap it was compared to the little packets at the grocery store! I also like to buy vanilla in bulk because it is way cheaper. BJ’s lets you add a family member for free so my mom added my to her account- I don’t have to pay for a membership and she gets rewards dollars back for my purchases because she has a premier membership. Win win for everyone!

  • I have to admit, things like groupon and make me so nervous! They seem too good to be true. So many people have such great things to say though, I should probably just take the leap and try.

  • Andrea says:

    Groupon is saving me so much money! Sam’s Club – not so much. I wasn’t impressed with the savings – I can do better with a sale and a coupon!

  • Sally says:

    That deal from the Nutty Guys really got my thoughts started about including dried fruit in recipes. My question, though, is: how can I order these excellent deals online and also stick to a cash grocery budget? Do I buy one of those prepaid Visa cards (and pay the activation fee) or is there some other way to do this?

    Making the jump to a cash grocery budget was a big step in the right direction for our family and I want to improve on it a little by picking up a few deals online.


  • Kelly says:

    I LOVE groupon! We do our eating out on groupon. It makes that envelope stretch too. I am glad you are encouraging it. The more it grows the more savings and deals they will be able to offer.

  • Lynette says:

    I’m still considering jumping on the groupon bandwagon. Sounds promising though.

  • Amy says:

    hmmm I may have to actually check out this groupon!

  • Carrie says:

    Crystal, I too feel like Groupon has changed my life! Especially since as bloggers we can rack up lots of “Groupon bucks” and get the certificates for free.
    This week I redeemd one for $20 at a local bookstore for a birthday gift, and am thinking about taking the family out to a $40 dinner tonight. I consider it all free since I am spending “bucks” I got through the affiliate program.

  • Taya says:

    I sure hope that Groupon will expand further in Canada one day so I can take advantage of the deals!

  • Amanda C. says:

    Groupon for Las Vegas just isn’t what y’all’s sounds like — it’s always random restaurants that are super far away, or really expensive novelty activities (helicopter rides, indoor skydiving.) Is there any way I can tap into other cities Groupon deals?

    • Becky says:

      @Amanda C., Our closest Groupon city is Philadelphia (about 2 hours from home) and we see the same thing. For example, today’s deal is a helicopter ride for two, for $149. So, I am right there with ya!

  • Ashlea says:

    My problem with this is how do I use groupon and stick to my envelope system. Groupon requires an on-line purchase with my debit card and I’m not sure how to do this without making a mess of my system. Any ideas? This is a problem when I run across a great amazon deal as well. Help!

  • I started using Groupon when deals started being offered in my area. I have bought several and have always been pleased with my purchases. We even found a new restaurant we love!

    What I do when I have to put a purchase on my debit card is immediately remove the money from my cash envelope. I put it a note on it, so I know it needs to go back into the bank. I usually just deduct the amount from the cash I pull out of the bank each week or you could make a separate deposit. It’s an extra step but well worth it for me!

    • Melissa says:

      @Dana @ The Coupon Challenge, we have a similar system. If we make a purchase online (or I forget the cash at home and use debit instead) I take the money out of the envelope we would have used. Then, in put it in a separate envelope labeled DEPOSIT and this money gets deposited back into the bank on our next trip.

  • Joy says:

    There is only one Groupon location in my state, several hours away from where I live. Is it still worth it for me to sign up?

  • Beth says:

    @ Amanda – there are often groupons out there that are for online stores – things that you could get no matter where you live. There are some frugal bloggers that compile the groupons that anyone could use, regardless of where you are…. and that way you can still get a great deal even if YOUR city doesn’t have great deals.
    For example – Colorado Springs just had a groupon for $75 worth of wine from Wine Insiders for $25…. my inlaws are big wine drinkers, so I bought that groupon and now have Christmas ready to go for them. Since it’s a groupon for an online site, it doesn’t matter that I don’t live in Colorado Springs. Saving Cents with Sense is the blog that emails out about the groupons in different cities – so you might want to sign up for her email updates.
    Crystal – so glad you found groupon! I’m relatively new to it as well, but I’ve been shocked by the deals that come to my inbox. $3 for $10 worth of Coldstone Creamery? Why, yes! Sounds good to me! 🙂

  • Tammy L says:

    Thanks for sharing about Groupon! I’ve seen it advertised but now with your recommendation (thrift store coupons?!) I think I’ll sign up. 🙂

    • Tammy L says:

      Okay, I was looking through the past deals for the Seattle area and I think this will be a good way to do some family field trips (museums) affordably, or to get a discount for sight-seeing with family members from out-of-state. 🙂 It looks like most things are at least 50% discounted, which is a great deal if it’s something a person is already interested in! Children’s museums are on my list of “want to do’s” for homeschooling, as we have never been to one!! 🙂

  • Lana says:

    Would love to try groupon but it is too far away.

  • I’ve only taken advantage of groupon once, but it was for a local natural grocery offering a great deal (50%) off groceries. I don’t think that it hurts to sign up for it, even though you don’t take advantage of most deals, because when that one sweet deal comes along, it will be worth it! I signed up for another groupon-like site recently just when I was really needing a haircut, and it was for
    my favorite salon!

  • jill says:

    I get excited each morning checking the Groupon deal too! My fave so far is the 8 swim lessons we bought for $40 for my son! We were about to spend 180-200! AND it is at a place very close to our house. Yay Groupon! 🙂

  • Heather D says:

    I just purchased a year membership to a local kids wildlife museum @ 50% off!!! This winter won’t be so long with things like indoor trick or treating and winter wonderland. I also subscribe to other cities I know I’ll be visiting within the year and look for deals in advance.

  • sara says:

    For people that have the envelope system, take the money out of the envelope and put it in “next month” envelope, label it and when next month comes in just withdrawal the rest from the bank to complete.

    maybe that can work.

  • Mrs. R. says:

    In our area–Central Indiana—Groupon hasn’t been helpful at all to us, disappointingly.

  • Heather says:

    I really wish that I had a groupon city closer than 2 hours away. I get sad when I see all the deals that I can’t get. Sniff, sniff.

  • Jennifer says:

    I visited Groupon’s site and have a question…
    It says that a certificate is good for one use only. So, in Crystal’s salon example, she’d have to get 4 haircuts done in one day, right? No, 2 now, 2 later?

    I checked out the recent deals for my nearest city and it seemed to be mostly “tourist” activities — resorts, expensive restaurants, spas, etc.

    • Crystal says:

      Different Groupons have different fineprints. I always read them before buying. In the case of the salon, they said you could get credit for what you didn’t use for your next visit. So I’m planning to use half one visit and half the next.

  • Heather says:

    Very similar to Groupon, there is a new company called They don’t have as many locations as Groupon yet, but they’re growing. And a percentage of each purchase goes to a local charitable organization.

  • Deb says:

    I just read this about Groupon in Forbes, those numbers are staggering and that kid is only 29!

  • I continue to be appreciative of the posts you and others (especially Crystla Collins over at the Thrifty Mama) make, to help me shop better, more effectively, more efficiently. And the most fun part of all — giving away a lot of nice hygiene products to visiting friends, families, and even the homeless guys on my block (in the city of Chicago!) God bless you, and us all.

  • Diana says:

    How do you use the cakes of yeast? Is it still loose yeast like in the jar or do you have to “scrape” it off of the cake? That’s an incredible price! 🙂

  • Jill says:

    Groupon is great for those that live in urban areas, unfortunately for us, the nearest city that participates is over 4 hours away.

  • I also love Groupon. We scored a full-sized mattress for my son and only had to pay $150!

  • Kim says:

    Haven’t been thrilled with Groupon so far – maybe it’s because I live in a large tourist town (Orlando) but most of the deals are for stuff I wouldn’t buy anyways. I did see a salon deal similar to the one you mentioned (pay $15 for a $35 gc or something close to it) but the price of the haircut was something like $40 and it was only good with one of their stylists. I’m glad I waited for my $6.99 Great Clips coupon instead – not quite as high quality of a haircut but doable and for less than half the price.

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