Getting Our Group-on

So if you are one of my Facebook friends or Twitter pals, you probably know I have a serious love of all things Groupon. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, though, and don’t know what Groupon is, it is basically a shared group discount to local businesses/restaurants. The discounts are usually pretty good. The little trick is that there needs to be a minimum number of people to buy in to the discount before it goes “live.” But so far, nothing we’ve participated in has failed to happen due to lack of interest.

Also, every time someone uses my referral link and ends up making a Groupon purchase themselves, I get $10 worth of Groupon money deposited into my account towards a future Groupon purchase.

Confused yet? Bottom line: I have a nice little savings account of Groupon money stored up right now. Sweet.

Anyway, last month one of the local Groupons of the Day was this: For $20 you get a $50 certificate to Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood restaurant. I looked at the fine print a little closer and noticed they would let you use two of these for a table of 8 or more.

Now I’ve never been to Mike Shannon’s before, but thought it sounded like a nicer family restaurant. It’s baseball themed, for the love of Pete! I thought this: my parents are coming to town soon. Wouldn’t that make a nice evening out for the eight of us? I was thinking $100 would easily feed 8 people. I was thinking it would cost $40 worth of my Groupon money, but not really cost me anything at all. That was what I was thinking. I bought two.

I told my friend, Anna, what I was thinking. She asked me, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?” Okay, so she didn’t shout at me, but she very kindly suggested I check out the menu prices before hauling my entire family over there for a budget-friendly dinner out. So I did.

Did you click the link? Did you laugh at me? Did you find out, like I did, that there is no stinking way on the planet you can feed eight people there for $100, even if four of those eight are under twelve?

Not. Gonna. Happen.

So last night we sent my parents out for a nice dinner. Tonight, Craig and I went.

If you checked the menu prices, you will know that in addition to it being impossible for eight people to eat for $100 at Mike Shannon’s, but it is also impossible for two people to eat for $50 there. It is impossible unless…unless you plan ahead. We did that. We decided before we got there we would share our meal. Knowing you are going to do that on the front end makes it much easier to scan the menu for what will work once you get there.

Here’s how we made it work: We ordered the 20oz Prime Rib for $35, the Butcher Style Caesar Salad for $8 and the Hand Cut Fries for $8. Our total came to $50 even. I know. If you do the math, it comes to $51, but when our bill came, it was $50 plus tax ($5.xx).

All we had to pay was tax and tip and we had one very excellent salad, steak, and fries for $17 and some change.

And I can tell you this – it was plenty of food for two people. I’m not sorry at all we had to share.

It was one of those once-in-our-lifetime experiences, but for $17, it was a super one!

Anyway, that’s my long way of saying, if you haven’t heard of Groupon, you should check it out. And click my link on your way. *wink*