Monday, May 11, 2009

Entertainment Book=Psychological Advance

“That was a great idea, Mom!”
You sit up and take notice when you young adult daughter says something like this. She had been reflecting on a day a several years or so ago when she popped into the car exhausted after track practice loaded down with 15 Entertainment books.
“Coach says the first one to sell all 15 gets $50.00.”
“Take him a check.” I said and pulled my checkbook out of my purse. I knew we would sell all the books. Why not capitalize and make the $50.00? We did it! ---And so began my love affair with the Entertainment book. I bet you have one in your city. In fact, I would wager that you have one somewhere but have never used it.
Adventure and exploration appeal to me—which for me lies outside my front door. Many ethnic foods and different quadrants of the city are represented in the book. I am a tourist in my own town. I love people and particularly enjoy catering to independent Mom and Pop operations. The Entertainment Book is loaded with start-up businesses many of which get first-rate reviews in the local paper as well as established fast food chains. Retail and entertainment coupons give the buyer a great return on their initial investment for the cost of the book. Here are half-dozen pointers I’ve picked up over the years.
1. Keep the Entertainment Book in the car otherwise it’s never there when you need it.
2. Keep the plastic card for the better restaurants in your wallet. Don’t let that little plastic strip slow you down, it’s not necessary to call and activate the card before using it. My husband and I have fun romantic dates at the better restaurants. We write a few short comments on that page taking in the ambience, the server and the food. We’ve built great memories together and multiplied them and our savings by using the little blue card.
3. Read the fine print in the back of the book as well as on the individual coupons. “Valid anytime” does not mean holidays –Valentines Day for instance. Although, if you arrive and realize that you aren’t complying with the coupon in some way, ask them if they would honor the coupon, anyway. Many of the establishments are small, start-ups or long time favorites and don’t want to turn away business.
4. Tip the server on the tab before any discount is taken. Even though my husband and I order water with lemon and rarely dessert we never short change the server.
5. Always check the Entertainment Book before you make a purchase. It’s difficult to keep track of all the retail discounts. After purchasing a large wedding cake for my parent’s 50th wedding party at a popular bakery in town I spied a 50% off coupon at that very bakery.
6. Be flexible. There will be surprises i.e. we found ourselves eating in a Mexican restaurant hosting a transvestite fashion show! The food was great and service was great. A situation like this we call “scramble therapy”. The most common disappointment is finding the place is closed after you arrive, call ahead and check.

Let me know if you have garnered any savings using the Entertainment Book on hotels or car rentals. We have always done better with our Costco card or other promotions than with the Entertainment Book. However, this year we tried something new and ordered an Entertainment Book for a vacation destination. We traveled to the Nashville area this spring and in five days saved over $60.00 after the cost of the book and shipping charges. Before leaving the Nashville area we passed the book and card onto a young couple living on a budget hoping that they would have as much fun as we do stretching their dollars.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you think Sunny. $50 is a lot of money, especially when you compound it. =)