I am a fan of buying certificates online. Certificates ranging from restaurants, to spas, to places of entertainment (movies/bowling) can at some point or another be found for reduced prices. The thing to remember is to buy as much as you can when they are reduced, to pay attention to expiration dates (how many certificates will you using during that time period) and to be open to ideas (be willing to compromise your favorite restaurant to try a new restaurant.)
On the rise are collective buying sites, like Groupon. This is when a certificate goes live (becomes available) when a certain number of people agree to buy it. Another site that is a great resource and is spreading like crazy is Living Social HERE. Currently, you can save 50% or more on restaurants, spas, sporting events, hotels and other local attractions. The current cities include Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, NYC, Atlanta, San Francisco, The Twin Cities, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham, San Fernando Valley and Chicago but MANY more are being added in 2010, so sign up so they will email you when your city goes live.
Each deal, on Living Social, a new deal is advertised. If you get 3 of your friends to buy it, you get the deal for FREE!
I encourage you to sign up for both Groupon and Living Social now. They both have different deals each day and you can register your local area. If you area is not available, it might be come available soon. While you are waiting for your area to become available, sign up for a place near buy or a place you visit often.
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