Yes, I am a self professed thrift-o-holic, a coupon clipper champion, and a FrugalMama and Oh, I have one more confession to make…I’m also a GROUPON groupie. It’s something I can’t deny. I get high off of the deals on the little Groupon app on my smartphone. Just as my EastBay folks say, “I hella love Oakland!” “I hella love GROUPON!” Whoever invented this thing is a pure genius! I actually found out who created this awesome , terrific, fantastic company . His name is Andrew Mason, a local guy from Pittsburgh (go figure) . He started GROUPON in 2007, however he is no longer in charge of this perfect machine which now is head by CEO/ Investor Eric Lefkofsky. I don’t really care who is running it now , all I know is that it is great and I’m in “deal heaven.” I have been officially sworn in , by myself of course and maybe a few friends as a “GROUPON groupie” about 6 months ago. I noticed that this app was one that I was frequenting more and more, and purchasing from more and more. I love it! They have definitely reeled me in as an avid customer with the deals that I subscribe to as a thrifty lady! Writer Dave Roos describes GROUPON as “coupons on steroids” and I totally agree! His description is also very cute and true! The discounts start at 50% off and go as high as 90% off!!! You sign up and let them know what category of items or services that you are interested in ranging from food & drink, health & beauty, to home services and an extensive array of goods to choose from. You key in your local area of choice and search until your heart is content. The app will remember all of the areas of interest you pick, including your credit card number which can present a problem if you are security prone. I suggest a password on your application so no one but you can get in and shop. I have found some fantastic deals on my beloved GROUPON to date including carpet cleaning services for 70% off the regular price, quality spa facials for way cheaper than I’ve ever paid ! as well as portrait studio steals for my daughter , and tutoring sessions through a reputable company for my son! I have saved so much money and continue to gather great ideas on things to do in the future for myself and my entire family! I really love the “date” night deals, and have taken my boyfriend out to dinner on quite a few GROUPONS! The scary thing about it is that you can get too excited and just start purchasing all these GROUPONS and forget to use them by there expiration date, or get so busy with life and forget to use the product or service all together! A few of my friends have had that issue and so have I. I once forgot to use a dance class GROUPON because the particular class was held at an odd time for me to realistically make it and I let it expire. I simply called the owners of the dance school and they were okay with still honoring my GROUPON and allowing me or my daughter to take classes to use up the amount that I paid. GROUPON also has a “PROMISE” to their customers; If you don not use a GROUPON voucher before it’s promotional value expires, a trip, or attend an event through GROUPON and are disappointed by your experience, they will work with you to make it right or give you a refund. Even in the case where an event is cancelled, or rescheduled or a business closes permanently. GROUPON, like all institutions is far from perfect but for me, my experience has been great. so great that I recommend my co-workers, friend’s and even “YOU” to log on and try it. Groupon has won awards, and has garnered the ability to offer such large discounts because it guarantees owners a minimum return on their investment. It is also a good possibility of the business becoming an overnight sensation. I was just on the site earlier, looking for a hair stylist to chop off my mane! Never know she could later become the next “Paul Mitchell” of the EastBay area! You can print out your GROUPON redemption code or take your smartphone or tablet to the business to redeem your service. It’s so convenient and fun! As FrugalMama, you know I love to save and I obviously enjoy being a GROUPON groupie! So much i could almost be their spokesperson! Yea, there’s LivingSocial, AmazonLocal,(which I have also patronized), and I’m sure many more companies with similar angles. GROUPON is my first love and I am still smitten! Hooked on the thrills of the much needed steals! Sign up and watch how you will be on my groupie bandwagon. Until next time, Smooches and tell GROUPON I sent ya!