As you know, I’m not a big fan of Groupon and there are certain things that I will not consider a Groupon for. Though I’m not much of a coupon clipper, I still like saving money 🙂
Enter, the Entertainment Book (EB). It is my answer to dining out and enjoying my city, without breaking the bank and IMHO, much better than Groupon.
The EB has the following sections: Casual and Dining out, Fast Food, Entertainment & Sport, Golf, Hotels, Travel and Retail. The sections with the most number of coupons are Casual Dining out and Fast Food. 🙂
How to use the EB
The 2012 EB comes with a membership card and a smaller card that attaches to your key chain (sorry, not sure what that’s called), and of course, the book itself.
One can use the EB in 2 ways.
- Clip out the desired coupon and use. You don’t need to show your membership card to use the coupon, so feel free to give them to friends 🙂
- Certain deals require the membership card. These deals are listed in the EB book. Just show your card and mention the deal – you don’t need to present the EB page.
Yes, it’s really that easy. And I like the EB more than Groupon because I am not bombarded with daily deals and I don’t have to pay anymore. Just a one time fee of $35 🙂
The Most Bang for your Buck
Most of the dining out coupons are Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Sometimes there is a limit to one coupon per table, so you get the most bang for your buck by going with one other person. However, there are some restaurants (usually buffets) that offer the same deal for up to 4 to 6 people in a party. Make sure you read the fine print!
They have great rental car rates (from personal experience) from almost all the major car rental companies. For example, Budget has a deal where you get 20% off plus your 3rd weekend day free, and it’s reusable 🙂
The EB has a list of hotels and their numbers for almost all the provinces (except East coast) in Canada and many US states. I haven’t tried their hotels personally, but my co-worker used it for her trip and got $60 cash back just for booking through them.
You can also order the EB for the area you are traveling to! I haven’t done this, yet. Has anyone had experience with this and would like to share?
How I use EB Coupons
The book is the size of a 400 page novel, so it’s not really convenient to carry around. Also, since the EB are usually for a “greater area” of a major city, there can be a lot of coupons that may not be my vicinity.
I like to go through the EB and clip out the coupons I will likely use. Maybe they are restaurants I frequent, or I’d like to try. Maybe a cinema close by. Or my favourite shoe store. Then, I keep that stash of coupons in my purse, so that I won’t be caught off-guard.
Even though BF also likes to save money, he doesn’t like to go to a place just because I have a coupon for it. Understandable. So I try to only use the coupon to a place that we would go anyway. Whether we had a coupon or not.
In the time that I’ve had my first EB, I find that it pays for itself easily and then some. It is most helpful for at least 2 people using it, or if one has a family. You won’t save much money from the EB by just dining out alone (unless you usually have 2 entrees).
There are a lot of admission discounts to science centers, zoos, cinemas, kids special events that would be great for families.
I haven’t figured out the online membership, yet. Last year, I think there was an extra fee of $5 to sign up for additional coupons, online so I didn’t do it. Not sure if it’s the same this year. Does anyone know?
Disclosure: I bought my first Entertainment Book from a co-worker last year for $35. This year, I got the 2012 Entertainment Book online for $30. Both with my own cash. I have not been compensated by Entertainment Book for this review, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. However, if they’d like to give me free book of better yet, offer a free one for one of my readers, that would be AWESOME!! 🙂
Do you have the Entertainment Book for your area? What are some of your money saving tips?