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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entertainment Book

We've always been huge fans of the Entertainment Book.  We started out buying just one -- the edition closest to my husband's office and using it primarily for dinners out and hotels.  As time went by, we found it to be such a valuable resource that we moved to purchasing two books -- one edition near his office and one edition near my work.  
I really thought that we got the most out of our Entertainment books.  We use the daylights out of those things.  By the end of the year, they are a dog-eared mess and barely holding together at the binding.  
I know other people who tell me that they are a waste of money and never get any use out of them.  So what do we do differently??

  • we team up with two other couples who also have the book.  We have seasons tickets together to a small local theater.  Each month after the play, we go out to dinner using the Entertainment book deals.  We go to very nice restaurants for very little money.  
  • we go out to lunch together -- date night, sort of.  When I'm off and can join my husband in the middle of the day, we pull a lunch coupon from the Entertainment book and head out for a lunch date.  We usually end up spending about $10 for the two of us and we have a nice time together.  
  • we utilize the coupons for savings on car washes.  Our Entertainment book has a set of coupons for monthly car washes at great discounts.  We alternate which car gets the royal treatment (they vacuum, do the windows, give you a fancy air freshener in addition to actually washing the car).  It keeps our cars looking and feeling great.  We feel richer and more pampered when our cars look great and feel great to ride in. Plus we're never embarrassed by the dog fur or other stuff in an uncleaned car.
  • we use the coupons from the grocery stores and convenience stores.  They're not always for things we really need or want --- the grocery store often has a coupon for free bread -- we make our own so I really don't want or need free bread from the store.  But it makes a great take-along to a pot-luck, or fine french toast for breakfast at work, or a donation to our community dinner.
  • We take it along with us when we travel.  You just never know what you'll find when you're out and about.  
But even with all of that usage, I just discovered that I am certainly NOT getting the absolute most out of my Entertainment Book.  I stumbled across a terrific e-book on maximizing the Entertainment Book written by Julie Parrish, one of the founders of Hot Coupon World.  Go here and you can download a copy for yourself.
Julie has me outdone by a mile. She actually buys three of these books each year (a total investment of about $60)  She figures she saves over $4,000 a year.   
There is also a deal going on right now that can get you the 2009 Entertainment Book for free!!  When you reserve your 2010 Entertainment Book, you get the 2009 Entertainment Book for free!  Go here to reserve your 2010 book and get the 2009 book as the bonus.  Can't beat that.