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Frugal Birthday

January 9th, 2007 at 09:20 pm

I turned 29 on Sunday. It was odd to think that this was the last birthday I'd truly be 29-- after this people can rightfully make the joke, "It's your 29th, right? [wink, wink!]" In all honesty, age doesn't bother me, (yet).

To celebrate, we went out to one of the better restaurants in town and saved ourselves some cash by purchasing a dining certificate beforehand from Restaurant.com.

If you haven't yet used the Restaurant.com site, I highly recommend checking it out. Basically, you go to the site and buy "Dining Certificates" for a certain dollar value off your meal. Typically, a $25 off certificate costs $10, but the site often runs discount specials.

We bought our $25 off certificate while they were running a 60% off special, so we paid only $4 for a $25 off coupon. The drawback is that you are required to "present you certificate" prior to ordering, so it can feel a little awkward and more like a coupon than a gift certificate. If I were single, this isn't a move I'd make on a date, but since I'm married and both my partner and I are full time students, we quickly recovered from the awkwardness. The way I look at it, the establishment chose to list themselves in Restaurant.com, so they shouldn't be too shocked and appalled when people show up to use certificates. Also, be sure to read the fine print-- most certificates include a minimum purchase price for meal, some of which are double the certificate amount.

For dessert we had an ice cream cake at home. I clipped a coupon for an ice cream cake and casually left it on the counter while making a not so subtle comment about how I like ice cream cake and my birthday was right around the corner. Mr. Bean took the bait the swooped the coupon.

For a birthday present, Mr. Bean rented a steam cleaner and we spent the greater portion of my actual bday steam cleaning the sofa and carpets. My friends got quite a hoot out of this, but I was quite happy. I can be a bit particular about cleanliness, but Mr. Bean is not. Having his help for an entire day (weekend) doing a thorough cleaning was a great present. Plus, our formerly dingy looking sofa looks new again. In an ironic twist, while we were returning the steam cleaner, the cat puked on the carpet-- something she rarely does. Luckily she picked two discreet spots. Otherwise... well, I'll just leave it that she picked two good spots.

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