Monday, April 25, 2011

great deals, great city

The Grad Students proclaim that we're never moving out of this great City. The thing is, it isn't cheap to live here. I used to write a lot about all the great deals we find here, but haven't mentioned any recently.

I love deal sites, like really love. I think the business model is practically genius. Although the businesses make close to no profit on the deal, they are exposed to a brand new population segment, consumers get great deals, and the deal site makes a nice profit creating jobs in a rough economy.

So, I thought I'd go over some deals that we've bought in the past year...

Most recently, Best Study Partner and I went over to Papatzul in SoHo, a Mexican place where we received $15 for $30 worth of food through LivingSocial. We both ordered quesadillas (our usual favorite) but these were a little too fancy and a little too greasy. The guacamole was great, but throughout ordering we were told to hurry because they were switching over the dinner menu. Then it was impossible to get our waiter even though there was only one other table seated. I wouldn't go again.... (This is prob a good time to remind everyone to always tip on the original price). On the bright side, with a diet coke for both of us, we each only paid an additional $9, which makes the place a great deal.

Last semester, Best Study Partner and I bought a Beach Bum tanning package for $28 for a month of tanning through LivingSocial. This is a great deal, but I won't promote tanning any further...

Moe's Southwest Grill may be my favorite type of fast food. I am a quesadilla junkie. Dental Student and I both bought a $10 for $20 worth of food from Groupon. There is a location right by Dental Student's school, which makes it a perfect walk with Havi for a study break!

I think every New York City 20-something was chatting about this deal. American Apparel launched a deal - $50 worth of apparel for $25 from Groupon. Law Student got a new dress and two new headbands and Dental Student got a white sweater and grey shirt. For two grad students who spend more money on their pup then their clothes, this was a fun time!

Time Out New York is a super amazing magazine with cover stories ranging from "Free New York" to "Best Happy Hours," so we scooped up a 12-month subscription for only $12 from Groupon. We don't think we'll renew it, because we can get this information online, but it's great fun to receive every Monday.

New York Magazine is Law Student's absolute favorite. She cannot live without it. But her mom told her that the number one thing you cut on a budget is magazines. So when Groupon posted $13 for 54 issues, she jumped on it. And she may just ask for a renewal for the holidays...

In the old apartment we had a cleaning woman clean our apartment once til it shone for only $30. So when we saw a deal for Today's Maid Service for three hours of cleaning for $49 from Groupon, we grabbed it. Mistake! First of all, we really don't need a cleaning woman in this small space, even once a year, regardless of the price. But the woman didn't do much besides chat with Law Student for three hours. Kinda a waste.

Last year Dental Student and Law Student headed over with Brooke and Jer (Brooke claims credit for introducing us) to the National Comedy Theater from Groupon. It looked like something different to do on a Friday night. For $9 we watched two hours of improv comedy with a bag of popcorn. Ah, NYC at its finest...If we're ever bored on a weekend again, we'd go!

I'm manicure-obsessed. In this city its impossible to find a cheap one, but I found a great place by me that offers a perfect mani for $8 and a free one every 10 times you visit. I visit every other week. Down by where I go to school the manis are usually around $20 a manicure, so I skip that. So when I saw a deal for the premiere place by school, Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa, I jumped on it! Groupon offered $12 for the hot lavender manicure which is usually $25. It was so. worth. it.

A few weeks ago, Dental Student and I treated ourselves to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Amber. We received $20 for $40 worth of Japanese goodness via Groupon. They have locations all over the city, be sure to check it out!

We always try to do something experiential for our birthdays, so one year I took Dental Student on Urban Oyster's Street Cart Food Tour. ScoopStreet gave us the opportunity for $20 each (55% off) to try four award winning food-carts around NY. We loved it so much we are even attending the Vendy Awards this year!

Lastly, there have been pet deal sites jumping up all over the place! We recently bought Natural Balance Potato and Duck treats off PetSimply for 50% off. They shipped the treats to us within the week. Too bad we can't feed em to her right now...

From now on, we'll write as we use em!

Quick pointers
1. There are over 30 deal sites for major cities right now, and subscribing to all of them can get overwhelming. If you're dedicated to a good deal like we are, subscribe away, but set up a Gmail filter for em, so that you don't wake up 30 times at 3:00am
2. Don't let your eyes get bigger than your wallet. Look at the deal to make sure its really a good deal. Today, BuyWithMe offered 50% off AMC movie tickets, but only for shows that have been out for two weeks. You may not want to be restricted like that.
3. Make sure you're actually gonna go on that nature hike, or that restaurant across town or else instead of a deal it becomes a money pit. (Unfortunately, I've learned that lesson with 2 mani/pedis and a facial already). And watch expiration dates!

Happy dealings!


  1. thanks for the petsimply link! I have a Kayak adventure that I purchased from Town Hog....I have a month left to use it but no time :-\

  2. We've been living on our Groupons lately, and we've actually found some good Restaurant.com for a lot of the outdoor places in our neighborhood that we would frequent anyway. I started subscribing to the Groupon where my family lives because they always have some kind of good touristy deal. I have to check out that pet one!