To do this we frequent Restaurant.com and their monthly 80 percent off sales. We are able to buy $25 off coupons for local restaurants for $2. Every now and then I buy 10 or 12 of these for different places (and always via ebates.com for money back) -- some we've tried and some we've not -- and put them in the car. When we're out and feel like going to dinner, we have them on hand.
Today was one of those days.
We decided to try a new restaurant in Tacoma for which we bought a certificate several months ago -- El Guadalajara. Sounded nice enough and with a minimum purchase requirement of $35 (which I doubted we would exceed) and a $25 certificate we would have ourselves a cheap and delicious meal.
We wandered around in the car for a while burning gas -- but no worries! We were in for a cheap meal. We finally found the place, parked, got a (very excited and hungry) Dave out of the car and walked up ....
And it was closed. Not just closed but empty and completely and totally gone.
So we put a (very unhappy and hungry) Dave back in the car and drove to another certificate location -- Joseppis. It was delicious, but it was more expensive (it has a $50 minimum instead of $35).
And so here is some frugal math for you to determine whether or not we broke even:
Buying certificate for cheap meal: +1
Driving around looking for the place: -1
Finding place closed and wasting money on certificate: -1
Eating delicious italian food instead: +1
Spending more money than planned: -1
Total: -1 = frugal fail.
(meanwhile I'm trying to contact the web site and get my money back)