The Economy Must Be Improving

Without looking at any numbers or statistics, I can tell that the economy must be getting better.

Why?

Because good coupon deals are getting harder to come by.

We like to eat out.  We use a variety of sources, including the Entertainment Book, Restaurant.com, and coupons in the local papers to find deals.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed lately:

  • Recently, my wife and I were going to go to a local Mexican restaurant, and use an Entertainment coupon that we’ve used every year.  It was a buy-one-get-one special up to $8 off.  Saving $8 was a good deal, but when I went to grab the coupon, this year they had added ‘with the purchase of two beverages’.  Typically, we just get water when we go out, and with even a diet Coke being $2.50 these days, that would net to a ‘savings’ of $3.  Not such a great deal after all.  We ended up finding a different Mexican restaurant with a coupon that didn’t have this restriction.  But I’m seeing more and more of this popping up.
  • Many restaurants that participate in Restaurant.com offer $10 or $25 gift certificates for purchase on the popular site.  Even with Little Boy Beagle, many times buying $25 worth of food and drinks is too much, so we typically look for $10 certificates.  More and more, though, the $10 options specify that they’re for ‘Lunch Only’.  We like going out for dinner, so these too have been harder to come by.
  • Many coupons in local papers have gone from buy-one-get-one-free to buy-one-get-one-half-off.

Coupons haven’t disappeared, but it’s apparent that they are getting less generous.  I have no problems with this.  If a business is seeing an uptick in sales, the pressure lessens for them to get people in the door at reduced rates.  Still, as someone who loves saving money and makes no apologies for it, I have definitely noticed this trend increase over the past few months.

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4 thoughts on “The Economy Must Be Improving

  1. I have noticed a huge decline in coupons in my area as well. Our Sunday paper now only has coupons about once a month. Not sure if it is the economy or what but I certainly wish coupons would come back.

  2. I believe inflation has hit the food costs of restaurants hard, but they can't raise their menu prices on cash-strapped customers.

    That's why value menus have broken the 99 cent barrier and packages are shrinking on grocery store shelves.

  3. @Jackie – I haven't noticed a decline in the newspaper coupons yet, but maybe that's coming (hopefully not).

    @Bret – I've seen the value menu items go up as well. Actually this has surprised me, because I remember eating off the $1 menu back in the mid-90's, yet many places still have the same items on them now. A $1.19 menu is fine with me as far as that goes.

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