By Sheryl Smolkin
Read this article and comments at Moneyville.ca
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not very frugal. Maybe that’s why I have unused coupon books piling up in the bottom drawer and I find the new eBook “Free Stuff on your birthday for Canadians” more exhausting than exhilarating.
The free downloadable book is co-written by groceryalerts.ca bloggers Steven and Lina Zussino – the self-styled “Canada’s Frugal Couple.” It contains 140 pages of birthday freebies organized by province and category (i.e. beauty, children, dining, entertainment, golf, retail).
I downloaded the book and to find out how much money I could save, I tried to plan a hypothetical birthday, taking advantage of as many deals as possible.
I decided to start by picking up a dozen free bagels ($6) at What a Bagel on Bathurst St.in Toronto. Next, I headed down to Kula Yoga at Bloor and Brunswick for a free yoga class ($8). Then after driving across town for over an hour, I arrived at Candlebrook’s Hair Studio at Pharmacy and McNicholl for a shampoo and blow dry worth $22.
I barely made it to a late lunch with three friends at Le Commensal at Bay and Gerrard, but I saved $30 on and 10 per cent off the whole bill. I also felt very virtuous because the restaurant is vegetarian.
My birthday is in June, so I thought spending the late afternoon at Ontario Place (admission $22) or golfing at the Bushwood Golf Club in Markham (value $55) might be nice. But instead, I decided to do some shopping before meeting my husband for a birthday dinner at Bb bistro + brasserie (value $42) at Yonge and Gerrard.
I saved dinner at Giorgio D. Restaurante (worth a per cent discount equal to my age, i.e. 61 per cent) and a free show at Yuk Yuks (value $19.47) for another day as Giorgio’s offers the deal for 10 days before and after birthdays, and Yuk Yuks gives customers free entry anytime during their birthday week.
So at least in theory, I could save hundreds of dollars if I raced around town to take advantage of multiple freebies on and around my birthday. However, I haven’t factored in the cost of gas and it certainly wouldn’t be my idea of a relaxing day.
If you download a copy of the book and remember to take advantage of even one or two deals on your birthday, you can save money and feel good that you got something for nothing for simply making it through another year.
But if you are like me, by the time your birthday comes around again, you’ll forget the name of the e-book or where you filed it. And when someone special offers to take you out for your birthday to a favourite neighbourhood bistro and throws in a free spa day, you may decide that’s enough of a bargain to avoid trekking all over town just to save a few more bucks.
See: Free Stuff on your birthday for Canadians.