Gimme a break: Using coupons to have cheap fun

The economy sucks, unemployment is soaring and tuition has gone up, but we still need to go out and have some fun. Luckily, there are many companies ready to give you a coupon for anything from spas and restaurants to gun-shooting and Segway tours. The other day I bought a coupon for an hour of fencing with swords provided. Why not? When will I ever get another chance to do that?

Every day my inbox is flooded with offers to purchase a discounted certificate for various activities around South Florida. I barely have time to read all the emails, let alone try to do the things they are promoting before another discount floods my inbox. However, it’s great to have opportunities come straight to my email from companies like Groupon, Living Social, GottaHalfit and Dealtificate. They have separate offers for each part of South Florida or different interests for certain people, like Living Social Palm Beach or Living Social Families.

If there’s something you want to do, it’s likely that it will appear in a coupon offer from one of these websites. Let’s start with Groupon.com. As I’m writing this, they are offering a 52 percent off coupon for sporting goods in Coral Springs. Groupon is great and one of the best parts is the cat featured on their website, but you have a very limited time to purchase the groupons — usually one day. Also, Groupon has teamed up with Expedia to offer Groupon Getaways. Check it out when school gets to be too much and it’s time for a trip. Just not yet, it’s only the third week of school. The offers are good for a few days, unlike the daily Groupons, so there’s time to mull the offers over.

Most other companies give you more time to decide and GottaHalfit even warns you when time is running out. Right now they have specials on frozen yogurt, eye brow shaping, a round of golf and various dining options. Sounds like a great day out. Living Social has cupcakes and fitness classes, in case you eat too many cupcakes, and Dealtificate has deals on liposuction, in case those cupcakes have already caught up with you. Also, check out Hot Deals in South Florida, Coup Tessa, The Bank Atlantic Center, Social Goodies, Eversave and Restaurant.com for other coupon specials.

Each company will gladly send you an email every morning with their daily and continuing deals. Just don’t sign up for them all — you’ll never get your homework done.

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