Under $20 Date Night: Groupon and Points Programs FTW!

So yesterday Todd and I decided that we would go on our very first under $20 date. I’ll admit I was kind of excited out it, because I’d scored an awesome deal on Groupon the week before.

Now, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Groupon. There are some legitimately great deals on there, but those regular emails are always tempting me to spend money that I shouldn’t on things I don’t really need. It’s not a deal if you’re actually buying something that you don’t need and wouldn’t ordinarily spend money on, know what I mean?

However….frozen yogurt is something I can totally get behind. Seems like these places have sprouted up all over the city in the last few years. We’ve tried at least one other before, and while I’ll admit they’re tasty, they’re not all that cheap. However, I scored a Groupon that was $7.00 for $12.00 worth of frozen yogurt for two. Not bad. Even better? I nabbed it on a 20% off day, and so actually only ended up spending $5.60. Sweet!

Dear Groupon: Today I love you.

Dear Groupon: Today I love you.

We went off to Goji’s to try out their frozen yogurt on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Because honestly? Todd and I can (and do) eat ice cream no matter what the weather. We loaded up our bowls and waited for it to be weighed to find out the verdict. Did we stay within the $12.00 limit?

Turns out we didn’t. Be we were close. It cost us an additional 80 cents. I could live with that.

I'm pretty sure it was all of Todd's Reese's Pieces that put us over the top.

I’m pretty sure it was all of Todd’s Reese’s Pieces that put us over the top.

After our frozen yogurt (it was delicious, btw. Not sure if it was full price delicious, but if we could score another awesome Groupon deal like this one, we’d definitely go back), we decided to wander around downtown a bit. We popped into a few of our favourite shops, having a little poke around, like we sometimes like to do.  Basically we were just killing a bit of time until our movie.

We decided earlier in the weekend after hearing great reviews of the movie ‘Trainwreck’, we really wanted to go see it. Of course, we budget money for ‘date nights’ anyhow, but I’m often hesitant to pay full price to go to a movie…after all, what if it stinks? I’m kind of a cheap-ass when it comes to some things, and one of my big pet peeves is paying full price at the theatre for a movie I ended up not really enjoying.

However, this time, the risk was a little lower…since Todd belongs to a points program with Cineplex, and he saw that he’d collected enough points (from previous movie visits) for a free movie. The total for our two movie tickets ended up being $10.50. Awesome!

Even better, we both ended up really enjoying the movie.

So yesterday’s movie + frozen yogurt date ended up costing us a total of $16.90.

$5.60 +.80 for frozen yogurt (with Groupon)

$10.50 for movie admission for two (by using points program points).

All in all, our first experiment with the $20 date night ended up being a roaring success. I’m already excited about planning our next one.

Until next time,



It’s Sneaky, But It Works

popcornKelly and I wanted to catch a movie over the weekend, but were trying to choose the right time to see it. We had a late breakfast and wanted to catch the movie as a Saturday matinee…maybe around lunchtime.

The problem is that we would want to snack on something during the movie. And let’s face it, any money you save by going to a matinee (it’s about $1.50 per person around here) is long gone by the time you get to the concession stand.

Let’s face it…movie theatres may complain about crumbling profit margins due to illegal online downloading, but jacking up the food prices to compensate does not make me a loyal customer. If you’re going to try to tell me that your bag of popcorn and soda from a fountain are worth $10, then you’re nuts.

I don’t mind paying a bit of a premium for a premium product, but the popcorn costs the theatre about $0.50 and they pop about the same. Sorry, but I don’t like dishing out $15 for a combo pack that includes a chocolate bar or bag of M&M’s.

And I realize that places like sport venues do that all the time. I mean, do I really want to spend $13.50 for a hot dog and a beer at a baseball game? No, but a sporting venue is an entirely different experience than a movie theatre. To me, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

So when Kelly and I went out to our movie last weekend, we stopped off at the local Dollarama first. I picked up a bag of Kit Kat bites for $2 and a Dr. Pepper for $1. With taxes it came to $3.55. Kelly got a bag of chips, some Junior Mints, and a bottle of water for the same price. We put the items in her purse and walked straight into the theatre.

Now when you compare spending close to $40 in concessions for two people (after taxes) versus less than $10 from the local discount store, it’s really a no-brainer. Do we get hot, buttered popcorn? No, but I think we can survive two hours without it. What we DO get is some snacks for a major discounted price.

We’re not stealing from anybody (the Dollarama appreciates our business) and we’re going out on a date together. It’s sneaky, but it’s a money saver.