Groupon: A New Way to Find Discounts

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Hey Readers, have any of you heard of this new way of finding discounts, called Groupon? I recently came across it on Facebook as an ad. I was intrigued and signed up to receive deals in the Los Angeles area. Here’s what this cool new idea is all about. Groupon offers a different deal every day, ranging from gift certificates at restaurants (50-60% off is typical) to huge discounts on services ranging from mani-pedis to spa treatments to sports and cultural events (Cubs tickets in Chicago.) Groupon arranges these discounts with the offering business. Everyday, a number of special offers known as Groupons (coupons for groups) are sold via the website. When Groupon sells their targeted amount, the campaign succeeds and everyone who signs up for the deal gets it. Below is an example of how it works.

Pictured: A Sample Groupon, a Massage at a NY Spa is offered for $75.00 (50% off) if 60 Groupons are sold by June 21.

To date Groupon is up and running, in Washington, D.C., San Francisco , Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York. So far, over 130,000 people subscribe to their daily newsletters. If you have tried Groupon, drop The Recessionista a note and let us know how you like it. For best results, I advise checking the offer on Groupon with YELP! to see what those who tried the restaurant or spa think of it before you buy it on Groupon. If it’s not highly rated by YELP! users, then it’s no bargain, no matter what the price is.

I use YELP religiously for restaurants and I swear by it. Recently, I followed a great YELP review to the Blue Dolphin Italian restaurant in Katonah, NY. It was cheep and cheerful, and some of the best Italian ever. This week, I’ll be trying the Groupon + the YELP combo to see how I do. It’s worth a try to save a few pennies. Especially with the weekend coming. We all want to go out, we just don’t want to pay full price. Groupon may be an option for helping to find some good deals!


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Claudia

    June 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Recessionista!
    I like your site, I'm from LA and would like to know your yelp username so I can follow your reviews, I'm always looking for nice affordable places to go out.

  2. MH

    July 4, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Hi Claudia,
    Thanks for reading.
    You can follow me on Yelp at:

    I really swear by Yelp reviews. It's great feedback for real people, not paid adverts 🙂 Good stuff!