You may have heard of a huge annual coupon book that is known simply as The Entertainment Book. Compiled specifically for your local area, it includes discounts for restaurants, movie tickets, movie attractions, and services like car repair or nail salons. The most common are 2-for-1 or 50% off. If you enter your zip code online, you’ll be able to see the coupons inside ahead of time. (Some people also buy books from tourist places like Orlando or Hawaii.)
The retail price varies by area, but is usually around $35 to $50, although you can usually find an addition discount on the site (they know their target demographic of bargain hunters). Currently, you can buy the 2011 book for about $5 + free shipping if you agree to pre-order the 2012 book at $5 off retail + free shipping. In addition, you can go through the shopping portal Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus) and get an additional 30% cash back.
I have never bought one myself, mostly because of my love/hate relationship with coupons. I love discounts but never seem to remember to bring coupons along, and that makes it even worse than not having it at all! However, I was recently given an Entertainment Book as a present. This thing is thick! It was a thoughtful gift, and now I can actually see if this thing will save me money.
So far, flipping through it, I’m happy to see that they do cover a lot of nearby vendors. The deals are very localized, so my preliminary advice would be to look through the deals online, and add up which ones you know you can use without changing your existing shopping habits. Then, cut your expected saving by 50% for a margin of error. If you can still save money after that, then consider purchasing.
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 6/16/11, 5:00am