I curse the day that I introduced my husband to Groupon.

My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to spending money. He’s a bit of a packrat; the type who is always on the lookout for a bargain or a great deal (regardless of what that deal is), and will buy freely and squirrel stuff away if he feels like he’s getting a good discount. I’m the type of person that purchases few items, usually buys things when I desperately need them rather than planning ahead and stocking up, and would rather pay a little more to get a product that will last (I hate shopping and I hate clutter, so I’d rather be one-and-done).

Groupon, Living Social and any other Deal of the Day site  (Woot, Babysteals, Kidsteals, etc.) will be the death of me. Hubby LOVES those sites because you can get deals that are worth 50% off or more of what they’re normally worth, and he buys stuff that we would never in a million years buy otherwise. You know why we wouldn’t buy it?? Because WE.DON’T.NEED.IT.

I mean, really…did we REALLY need a screaming, flying monkey toy?? Not just one, but TWO of them?? credit: woot.com

Granted, you can get some awesome deals on it – we got all of our kids’ attraction memberships there (aquarium, children’s museum, nature center, etc) and these are great because we probably would have gotten them anyhow. But in all honesty, these sites are only useful for people who can show some purchasing willpower.

In case you don’t know how these sites work, there’s a “hot deal” posted – these deals tend to represent a pretty sizeable discount over the full price.  For some sites, there’s a reserve number of purchasers that are required before the deal is considered valid. For other sites, there’s a limited number of goods available and the deal is good “until sold out.” For sites like Living Social or Groupon, you have until a certain date to use the vouchers or else the deal is considered null and you get a “credit” towards the full price of whatever it was that you purchased. What this means is that you have to be super organized about using the vouchers if you have a lot of them (which my husband does), and it can be stressful for the person who owns them because you have to juggle using the right ones at the right time.

Restaurants are his weakness. This makes me crazy because: 1) We never eat out (he has way more vouchers than we really need); 2) On the rare occasion that we do eat out, I often want to go someplace in particular but he says, “We should go to one of these 10 places that I have vouchers for.” 99% of the time, the vouchers are for places that I’ve never wanted to go, and I can honestly say that I’ve never used a voucher and said, “Oh my gosh, WHAT have I been missing??” Most of the time, I go and eat a meal that was OK but not stupendous enough to justify sacrificing our one night out in a blue moon in favor of going somewhere that we never intended to try in the first place. The worst is when he says, “We have to use this before it expires…” Well, buddy, you bought it, you use it because I don’t have the time to eat there and frankly don’t want to.

Now, I am not frowning on the concept of saving money – I am all for it – but it’s not considered saving money if you never needed it in the first place. I would be willing to bet that if we added up the purchase prices of all of these items even at their discounted prices, and then added up what we would have spent if we paid full price for some things but never bought the other things, we would have netted out more favorably having never purchased those “deals.”

Take this all with a grain of salt because tonight, I am writing this after having come back from a dinner that I hadn’t planned for (but the voucher was expiring) that was, quite honestly, awful – service sucked, food sucked. Afterwards, we had to go to the local frozen yogurt place to spend $25 worth on yogurt (again, because the voucher was expiring). Do you know how hard it is to spend $25 on frozen yogurt if you’re not a party of at least 6 people?! Even my kids went to bed complaining that their bellies hurt.

So yeah…I curse the day that I introduced my husband to Groupon.

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