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February 24, 2009


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The reason I don't buy Entertainment books is because A. they are often forgotten and collect dust, B. contain too many lousy deals, and C. you have to spend money to save money, which I believe is the biggest con when it comes to clipping coupons, especially this kind of thing that you don't really need in most cases, i.e. do you need that free hamburger and fries?

Matt --

I agree. If you let them sit, they aren't worth it. I used to do this, but by using the approach above, I've been able to make sure the book wasn't wasted.

Also, there's TONS of savings to be had if you already eat out a lot (which I do for business/charity work purposes). I'm already planning to spend that money (i.e. it's not extra money I HAVE to spend to save), so why not save some while I'm doing so?

Finally, I agree that there are a lot of unused coupons. I'll probably only use a fraction of the offers in saving my $200. Maybe I should offer the others to friends? A group of people could save a TON by buying one book and splitting it up.

You mentioned the cost is $25 if you'd paid full price. One tip I'll add is always buy the book through a rebate site like FatWallet, MyPoints, Ebates, etc and you'll never pay full price in the end.

The current best value out there is clicking through for a $10 rebate paid back to you about 3 months after you buy the book. I bought my 5th 2009 book a few days ago and my final cost will only be $9.50 after I get that $10 rebate back in May.

Additionally, you can do a little research on each time you want to purchase another book to compare the various reward sites and see which site is currently offering the best rebate.

The problem I always have with these books is that it makes me spend more.

"Ohh B1G1 pizza deal! I'm in!" whereas normally I probably wouldn't have ordered a pizza.

So am I up $10 cause I got a free pizza or down $10 cause I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

But that is the case with all coupons, I suppose. But if the coupons are local and represent a sampling of stores that you do frequent I bet these books can be a great deal!

Oh, I didn't see the comments before I posted.

FMF -- you mentioned you eat out a lot for business purposes. How do the people you are doing business with react when you pull out a coupon for a free appetizer or for $5 off or... etc.

Just curious because it seems in the business world frugal is NOT looked upon favorably, at least in my experience.

My Life --

See my quote in the article above:

"For discretion, when I pay the bill, I put my credit card along with the coupon into the credit card "folder" the waiter provides. When the bill comes, the coupon is deducted and I pay as normal."

Yeah, I saw that. But I seem to remember A LOT of "present coupon before placing your order" deals. I guess at that point you could just decide to not use the coupon. I also haven't gotten one of these books in 5-6 years.

My Life --

Those offers are relatively few (where you need to present the coupon first.) And when I haven't, I've never had a problem getting the discount anyway.

I can usually find similar coupons in the mail/newspaper/online for free. That being said, I'd love a free book!

When I last purchased the book a few years ago, there were a couple of restaurants that wouldn't take the coupon anymore. They said they told the Entertainment book company to remove them from the listing, but they never did. It's partially the owner's fault for having a TINY sign outside saying they do not take the coupon anymore, but we ended up having to pay full price for our meals. There were also restaurants that were out of business in the book. I live in SF. I stopped purchasing the Entertainment book after that.

The only thing I saved a lot on were car rentals. Their car rental codes were practically worth the price of the discounted book (buy later in the year) sometimes.

I buy one to support my kid's school but I hate it. Half the coupons are for places 20 miles away. If they made a book that match my region more closely, it would be useful.

I agree, take it with you. I'd use it for a while, but it aside and forget til late in the year. Many coupons expire in Nov, not the end of the year

The only things I have really used the book for in the past were movies and bowling, they have deals, but the I don't usually use or go to those places. For those who do, its a good deal.

I've used the "e-book" in our area -- a similar idea, but not as upscale as the Entertainment Book. I know ours has a lot of coupons for ski packages. Some people barter those coupons with friends for other coupons they will use. We keep the e-book in the car for those days running errands when we're going to grab lunch before we faint ... we can look for a coupon first. And I usually pull out the "purely free" coupons and put them in my wallet so I can be sure to use them. Thanks for the giveaway!

I used to get this book but now it is a real waste of time. Why? Because Americans need to lose weight, big time baby! Buy one get one free at Burger King, free frosty, one large pizza with free bread sticks....

Also, many of the places are sub par establishments that I wouldn't get caught dead in much less pay for crappy service and food.

Blah! No Entertainment Book for me...not even as a gift!

I love the book and use it for car washes, dry cleaners (they have one for each month) and many car washes and dry cleaners in my area take competitor’s coupons so I easily make the cost of the book back. Also, I always share it with my friends after I have torn all my fave's out. It's also great for trying new places for date night.. I ALWAYS call before to make certain they still accept the coupon.

My boyfriend and I buy the Entertainment book and trade coupons for ones we'll actually use via a Yahoo group that's set up for that purpose. That way, I can get rid of all of the McDonald's coupons, and get a whole bunch of coupons for businesses in my town.

If you can get duplicates of coupons you know you'll use by trading ones you don't, it makes more sense (and cents) for everyone.

If you work in any large organization, there will always be some some helpful parent selling one of these books, so they're easy to come by. My simple rules:

(1) Like any other purchase, check it out before buying. If there's not an obvious deal in the book--coupons for something you already purchase--give it a miss.

(2) READ THE WHOLE BOOK. You'll be surprised how often you ask yourself "Don't I have a coupon for that?" I wasn't too impressed with the last book I bought (band fundraiser) until I found a full page of dry cleaner coupons, guaranteed to delight my frugal and fastidious frau.

(3) Keep the book in the car you use for your shopping and outings. If I ask my wife "Want some lunch?" she immediately reaches for the coupon book. We've had some cheap and tasty meals, thanks to the coupon book.

(4) Act like Diamond Jim: GIVE the "clunker" coupons to friends and co-workers. You'll be surprised at the things they find desirable that you would never buy, and amazed at the goodwill and goodies that show up in return.

(5) Re-read the coupon book occasionally, since your tastes change and you're always getting a bit smarter about shopping. I do this while waiting for my wife at the dry cleaners. I've found some nice surprises.

I got my 1st Entertainment Book free after rebates through the CashBaq website. I even got free shipping. They're half-price now, with a rebate from Cashbaq, making the price quite low. Thanks for your tips on how to make the most from the book.

I would love to win. I have gotten these before and the grocery coupons are great. All of them are good, but sometimes I find that some of the places are out of the way or on the other side of town. I don't want to waste gas to get a deal. There are some nearby though. :) I share mine with friends too.

I find the restaurant coupons to be useful as well as the local entertainment BOGO coupons.

What a great post! I've never bought one but have seen ones friends have had. I'd love to check one out! I've using more coupons in the past 6 months and found that the savings really add up!

I think the book is good. I purchased one for my parents for Christmas and they enjoy it. I was thinking about getting one for myself if I could find one.

I have purchased multiple books for the Milwaukee WI area for a number of years. This past year, in particular, has seen a disturbing increase in the number of "welcher" restaurants who refuse to honor them, always trying to blame the book for listing them in error, new management, etc. It's always a good policy to check before you go, because nothing kills one's appetite faster than a restaurant that sticks it to you right before you eat!!!! I think this may be my last year with Entertainment, for that reason. If you can trade, though, and if the restaurants don't play games, it can be a great deal, especially if you wait and buy the books discounted.

I like your list attached to the front of the book idea. A few more tips from me:

We fold the corners of certain pages in the book that contain coupons to nearby restaurants, then if we're out and about near our home, we can easily find the coupons that apply to nearby establishments.

Always search online! There are additional online discounts (some recurring monthly) that are not in the physical book. When we want to go out to eat, we always start off by searching on

i have mixed views on the entertainment book. i think you can save alot of money with the book if you plan ahead and use it wisely. i have bought them in the past and have gotten my money's worth. there are alot of good deals and you can really save some money.. only down fall i have seen that some of the coupons they offer were for places that were either shut down, dont exist, or out of town. but majority of it was well used and saved me some money. just remember careful planning and use them to your advantage


Yes...entertainment books are really helpful if you use it. But it's the same with me as few of my friends already mentioned that they forgot to go through the book. However, I use to go through the entrainment book for the first time and check the information, but when I should use it, I usually forgot and the coupons get wasted.

I like your tips on using a entertainment book. I'm sure that this will help me to save money. I will apply you tips from now onwards. Thank you for the good information.

I love the Entertainment book although I do forget and not use as much as I could. I have brought from a school fundraiser and paid only $10. Four $5 grocery coupons immediately gave me double my investment. Theater ticket savings added up st $3 per person each visit. Three of my favorite restaurants have coupons in there which I clipped and kept in car for saving of $27. Also buy one get one entry to Adventuredome (here in Las Vegas) was another $25 value. I figure I saved easily saved over $100 with very little effort. I am purchasing again this year and implementing the pointers above to save even more - I love the coupon matching idea!

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