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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Instant Deals

Technology seriously blows me away.

Surely you’ve heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, and the many other group buying coupon sites that allow you to get highly discounted prices on gift certificates to local restaurants, yoga studios and gyms, cleaning services, etc. You probably know how much I love bargain shopping by now (and if you didn’t, now ya do) so it shouldn’t surprise you that I am subscribed to almost every single one of these for DC and get overly excited every morning to see what the deals are for the day.

Just recently, (as in yesterday I think) LivingSocial launched an “Instant Deals” section on their site, which features local restaurants with deals you have to use, well, instantly. I got an email yesterday saying they were doing “$1 lunch deals” today on various places around DC, but wouldn’t reveal where the specific deals will take place until just before lunchtime today. I clicked over to browse the Instant Deals on the website, and it is wild. All the deals have a time frame – some have to be used in one-two hours, some have one day, some have longer. But, the bottom line is, once you purchase it, you have to use it by a certain time or your credit card is refunded and the deal is off.

I found a deal for $40 for $25 to a cute DC sushi place, Sushi Go Round that had to be used last night. I had to meet up with my friend Jillian to hand over some clothes she left at my place last Friday after the 5k, so I impulsively purchased the coupon and off we went.

Though it’s a rotating sushi bar inside, we opted to sit outside because the weather was absolutely GORGEOUS.

We started with a seaweed salad (my favorite).

Plus edamame.

And split both. These are two of my favorite appetizers at any sushi place, and they did not disappoint at all.

After munching on those, we got round one of sushi.

Spicy tuna rolls down the middle (one for each of us), eel avocado to the left (for me), and salmon to the right (for Jill). These were all fabulous. Jill didn’t think she liked eel, but then I made her try it and she loved it! I was actually surprised with how delicious the sushi was. I had been to Sushi Go Round once before and it was good but not great, but this time it was awesome.

So, what else to do but order more?

Spicy crunchy salmon roll to the left and sweet potato tempura roll (!!!) to the right, both to share. Both rolls were even better than the first – maybe because they were both fried? Winking smile Either way, totally delicious.

After we finished eating, I told our waitress we had a LivingSocial deal, so she sent the manager over to our table and he was geared up with an iPad. I pulled out my phone to pull up the deal.

He plugged that number into his ipad, and we got the bill for the remaining 35 cents. It was SO cool/crazy to watch the restaurant manager come over with an ipad, and then hand over our bill with the coupon applied. Technology is insane.

I headed home afterwards and was greeted by an exciting sight when I walked in my apartment.

Occasion-less roses, my favorite kind! Plus coffee (we were out) and…

A lentil smiley face. We’re cool like that.

Good job, Wil. =)

Do you participate in Groupon, LivingSocial, other group coupon sites or not so much? What’s your favorite one? Best deal you ever got from one? As I mentioned above, I love them all, but LivingSocial has been my favorite lately. I loved the $9 for two movie tickets at Fandango.com deal, and also 5 Bikram classes for $25!

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27 Responses

  1. Groupon for sure is my favorite! I mean.. they have some great deals. I try my best to only buy things that I really need.. not things that I want.. otherwise it is money that I would not have spent anyway. Today there are offering an oil change and car wash.. for 18$. YES PLEASE.. i will need to get my oil changed!

  2. Wow, it sounds like you had a really nice day!!! Sushi for less than a dollar and flowers waiting for you when you got home.

    I’m not sure if it gets much better than that!

    I really, really need to get more involved with technology =)

  3. Those roses are beautiful!

    I get emails from those coupon sites but I’ve never bought anything from them!

  4. I got two months of unlimited Bikram for $40!!! I’m going to cash it in once I finished up with my Bar Method classes. Love them! You should give it a try, they have one in DC. I can send you a complimentary class if you want!

  5. I just recently started using groupon and living social, but I love them. I get excited every morning to see what the deal will be.

  6. I use groupon and living social. I get the deals all the time but actually haven’t bought one yet! There’s a lot of coupons for the mass area and I’m in NH. So I haven’t found anything worth buying yet.

  7. Sweet Potato Roll—my new favorite 🙂
    Buywithme.com has some great deals—I scored a CitySports $40 for $20 coupon there last month.
    I love that with the new Livingsocial instant deal your credit card is refunded if you don’t redeem it in the allotted time frame.

  8. I love them all but I have to calm down with buying them all the time, I have a bunch I haven’t used and I keep buying more! I can’t resist a good deal.

    I would say too that LivingSocial has been my favorite lately, but Buywithme is my all time favorite!

  9. Beautiful roses! Just because flowers are the best.

    We are using a Groupon to this upscale pizza place that I love tonight. I pretty much have only done restaurant ones so far. My boyfriend has done massages, golf lessons, and a bunch of other stuff. Such a great deal!

  10. I bought a Groupon for a nice Parisian cafe for my boyfriend’s and my 3-year anniversary to use next week. I love Living Social, too—such good deals! I’m actually going to be in DC visiting a friend at the end of May, and I LOVE sushi; I may have to check this place out for myself 🙂

  11. Awesome! I would love a sushi deal!

  12. I love all those sites! I just saw that they only have the instant deals in DC and they look awesome– I hope they bring them to Boston soon!

    Love flowers for no reason, how sweet of wil 🙂

  13. My favorite deal so far has been $20 for $40 credit at Elite Runners and Walkers, which is the best running store in Pittsburgh. It encouraged me to start running again and make an investment is a good pair of shoes.

  14. I have a sushi groupon to use next week. I’m so excited!
    I got flowers for no reason yesterday too! There must have been something in the air that made guys romantic 🙂

  15. The roses and lentil smiley face are the best part of this post. Oh how I love romance.

    I don’t do coupon sites, but I’m also not good at budgeting. I’m going to check those out.

    p.s. – I went to Benihana last night and had sushi too. How do you calculate sushi on WW. They have a generic sushi reference – I figure its about 8 points for basic rolls. Maybe 13 for the big Spider, Dragon type rolls. Am I completely off?

  16. I don’t participate nearly enough in the awesome deals. i am always tempted to buy the massage ones because that is my faaaavorite hobby 🙂

    I want sushi now 🙂

  17. I love Groupon and Living Social. We use it a lot for eating out. It’s much cheaper!

  18. i LOVE sushi-go-round 🙂 And the LS instant deals are AMAZING 🙂 (LS is my favorite!)

  19. Good job, Wil! He should write a blog on how to impress a girl. I’d be happy with just the smilie face! 🙂

  20. I sometimes check these sites when I travel. I love a good deal! I will check out this sushi place on my next DC trip. Sushi is one of my favorites! 🙂

  21. I just did the Living Social $1 deal for lunch!! 🙂

  22. I had bought 2 coupons last year for the same restaurant at once. We used one of them and last month when we remembered that we had another one, we realized it had expired already 😦 I’m not a good planner! As for your $1 lunches in dc, wow amazing.

    I think for any coupon site, its important to read the fine print. The offer might be a bit misleading sometimes. And of course, check the expiration date (argghh!) 😉

  23. Awww those roses are stunning!

    But what I REALLY love is that sushi! I just made a sushi post myself a few days ago – spicy tuna rolls are heaven, aren’t they? Love your selection.

  24. I’ve never heard of Buywithme.com so thank you for mentioning it! I have to be really careful with the coupons I buy. They get me eating out more, which I love, but I have to be careful.

    Great post!

  25. Aw such a sweet boyfriend! I love it! That sushi looks so yummy!

  26. I am signed up with Living Social and Groupon, but I’ve had to ban myself from using them. Every single coupon I’ve bought, I’ve let expire. I suck with this! Instant deals might be better because I would have to have a solid plan to use them plus I like the idea that if I flake, I get my money back!

    • I can’t tell you how many groupons I have purchased and let expire! I do love that they refund you your money if you don’t use them in time, but I hear the deals are only in DC for now.

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