How Groupon Steve Jobs-ed Me Into Attending the Food Network Festival

save-money-with-good-party-themes-1Using a search engine isn’t always the answer to finding fun events and things to do.

Here’s why and what to do instead.

As we all may know by now. . .

Website owners know how to work search engine optimization.

So we blindly go to their sites whether or not they are offering up the best information or not.

You’re leaving the fate of your precious free time into the hands of whatever the search engine gods’ algorithm has to offer the minute you type in a few keywords.

That may not always have the best information at the time you need it.

When looking online for new events and attractions, I can never seem to find the right thing at the right time.

Today you’ll see why I no longer use search engines to find things to do.

And more important, I’ll show you what to do instead.

Why Your Shouldn’t Use a Search Engine to Plan Your Precious Free Time

I’m excited to share this information with you today because you’ll hear plenty of other people boast about the the power of search engines.

And at times, it is effective but when you type into a search engine, you may not type in what you are really looking for. If you are looking to do something new, you may not even be able to put your finger on what it is you want to do. If your search term is too general, you may get a one size fits all answer. It that really tailored to your needs?

Steve Jobs said is best:

People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

This is what I believe Groupon does for people looking to attract new experiences into their lives that they otherwise wouldn’t know of. I purposely signed up for their emails because I was tired of frequenting the same types of restaurants and area events. If hubby and I made last minute plans to go out, we usually ended up at the movies or at an area restaurant that we’ve been to a hundred times before.

We needed to be pushed out of our comfort zones a bit. It’s easy to get stuck in routines. Sometimes you have to try something new but you don’t know exactly what is is you want to do.

Groupon makes it easy to keep things fresh and lively because you customize the types of deals you want to see. You are also trying the new place at a discount. So if you end up not liking what you tried, at least you didn’t pay full price for it. The bargain can be a little incentive to try another place instead of falling back to your safe, standby places.

I hit a grand slam with one of my first Groupon purchases. I was able to attend the FoodNetwork Wine and Food Fest in New York at a discount back in 2012. That deal felt more like a VIP invitation. This event featured food trucks in the NYC area. My ticket got me admission to try food from all of those trucks present, we also sampled an endless supply of wine, and then got to watch the Train concert. It was all in an effort to raise money for hunger.

There is no other way I would of heard of this event if I didn’t sign up through Groupon. That was a dream deal for me. I was able to combine my love of food, concerts, and NYC all in one discounted event. I also experiences the added bonus of walking through South Street Seaport and taking in a scenic view of the sacred Brooklyn Bridge.

One of the trucks featured was the award winning TV personality, chef, and food writer Andrew Zimmerman’s food truck. He’s well known and respected in the food world. He’s also the creator, co-executive producer, and host of the Travel Channel. He happened to be hosting the event as well.

So think of Groupon as virtual friend who is poking you to do something new and exciting. Sometimes your able to go and other times your not but the invitation is always there waiting for you.

Here’s how it works:

Whether you see a special ad that looks like the picture below of the latest deal . . .

or go straight to, here’s what you’ll see.


At times it can be hard to hand over your precious email to yet another newsletter or deal site. Well, unless your really diligent about planning and going to a website, this is well worth it. These are emails I welcome to my inbox. I love jumping on a good deal when it comes directly to my email. If it’s not something I’m interested in, I just delete it.


After signing up, you will then have to give your zip code to find deals in your area. This is the best way to find out about a new restaurant or try a place or event that you never heard of before. You can also sign up for other areas as well.


You then have to state your gender by clicking on the box that applies to you.


You will then customize the types of deals you receive and only get your favorites.


Once you click on a category. The grey colored heart icon will turn fuchsia.


Once you have finished picking out the categories of the deals you want to receive, click the done button at the bottom.


Expect awesome deals to come to your inbox. Don’t these sound interesting?



If something looks interesting you jut click on it to get more details.


The Bottom Line

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and do the same things over and over. Use Groupon to find something new and exciting to do. Welcome new experiences with your spouse of friends by signing up for customized deals.  Learn more here.

This post may include affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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