How (and When) to Use Groupon

By Kristin Manganello, Copy Cutie

credit: Groupon (Flickr)It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. It doesn’t take an economist to know that we’re in a bit of a pickle when it comes to our collective fiscal situations. But thanks to innovations in technology and social attitudes, you don’t need a bank account the size of Daddy Warbucks’s to have a great time in your dating life. With services like Groupon and Living Social at your disposal, it’s easy to take your guy or gal out for a great time and save money. Still, just because these amazing tools are readily available doesn’t mean you should be clipping your cyber coupons for just anything — or at all times. 

If you’re in the initial stages of dating someone, leave the money savers at home for now and opt for simple dates. You shouldn’t bounce your checkbook for someone you don’t know very well, and your focus should really be about developing a dynamic together, not creating expensive distractions. But if you’re past the trial period and have settled into a sweet syncopation, then go for the Groupon — and use it creatively. Sure, a two-for-one fro-yo deal can be sweet, but do you really need a coupon for something so vanilla? With so many choices, use your cyber clippings to step out of the dinner-and-a-movie rut. Here are our top three picks for types of online bargains to check out.

Get wild.  If you live in a city, hightail out of the urban jungle and go into the wilderness for a hiking trip or camping. Getting in touch with nature and seeing beautiful scenery that looks like it's been transported from a Thomas Kinkade painting will speak to both of you on a deeper level. If the great outdoors aren’t your thing, check out some sporty activities, like rock climbing or water skiing. Take advantage of the nice weather to try new things that you wouldn’t normally consider or have the money to spend on.

Cook something up.  Keep an eye out for cooking classes. Learning how to make crepes or cheese together will create a sense of camaraderie between the two of you. Even though you’re not playing a sport, it's good to feel like you're both on the same team. If you’re not into kicking it in the kitchen, there are tons of other classes to choose from, ranging from boxing lessons to fine art instruction. Figure out what tickles your fancy the most and snag a deal. 

Take an adventure off the beaten path.  You can definitely find a jewel in the rubble of humdrum if you dig for it. If you and your honey share the same offbeat passion, scan Groupon and Living Social to see if there's a deal that will suit your interesting tastes. You might discover something you never knew existed. For example, if you both love cheesy sci-fi classics, it would be awesome to find a recently renovated drive-in theater offering half-off tickets for a midnight showing of The Brain That Wouldn't Die. Think outside the box!

Seen any cool date-worthy online deals? Tell us about it in a comment below!