If you're like us you may catch yourself snagging a daily deal from the likes of Groupon every now and then. With the flood of daily deal competitors out there (LivingSocial, Google Offers, Eversave, etc) however, the hard part is keeping track of them all. Click past the break for some tips we use to corral up all those dogies.
An estimated 20% of daily deals purchased go unused and forgotten. Here's what you can do to make sure you're not on the wrong side of that stat.
1. Utilize your Smartphone or Tablet
Go to your Favorite To-do app and make a Tab, Folder, or Category for all your daily deals. Don't have a favorite to-do app? Then now might be the time for you to download Wunderlist. This great app is available for iOS, Android, Mac and PC and best of all it is F-R-E-E! Buy deals of various types? Make separate tabs or folders for each kind of deal so you can browse them when deciding where to go eat or shop.
2. Get disciplined
Each time you buy a deal, open the app on your smartphone or computer and then add the deal to the folder you created. For clarity put in as much detail as possible - the value of the coupon, the expiration date, and most importantly which site you purchased it from.
3. Add Reminders and Alerts
These deals expire, so set an alert or reminder weeks before the due date so you have time to use it. We set alerts 45 days ahead of the due date to avoid being in the middle of mass-redemption rush at restaurants or stores. From our experience it seems most people wait until the last week to use these deals, and you might be either hard-pressed finding a table, the restaurant is out of all the good stuff, or the store is cleared out of everything of value. We feel the 45 days is a good amount of cushion to avoid that potential fiasco.
4. Go Green while Saving Green
Lots of the daily deal sites have their own smartphone apps as well, allowing you to go paper-free. Put them all in a convenient folder on your iPhone or all on a page of your Android device. When it's time to use the deal all you have to do is cue up the app, find your deal, and give the redemption number to the waiter or merchant.
If you know you're going ahead of time it might be smart to open up the app at home and take a snapshot of the redemption number with your smartphone (press home and power button simultaneously on an iPhone). This is in case there are network issues at the restaurant or merchant and you have trouble loading the coupon when you need it most. Trust us, it happens.
5. Mark them off
Finally when you do use your deals be sure to mark them off your phone and mark them as redeemed on the site. The daily deal sites often don't manage this for us, so this last step is critical for avoiding having a deal you used but not sure you really did.
Don't have a smartphone or not into all the App hysteria?
The same steps work for your Google Calendar. Look under 'My calendars' and click on 'Tasks'. The Tasks window will appear on the right side of your calendar. Now simply relabel it to something more meaningful (such as 'Daily Deals') and then roll in all your deals. Rawhide!
(Images: Chris Perez)