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Day 7: is this saving money, or not? The Groupon debate

So, you guys probably know about Groupon, the website that offers a different deal everyday, localized to your city. These tend to me things like, "for $25 get a $50 gift card to this store that is very inconveniently located and to which you would not ordinarily go," which is obviously not saving money, not really.

But today's Groupon is for the gym I am debating joining. It is $42 for 10 day passes to the gym, a savings of 51%, for new members only.

The question I am pondering is: is this frugal?

Because, on the one hand, yes, it is. Paying $42 for 10 passes is a great deal, and I can use these passes to attend the aquafit classes I was planning on going to anyway. But I hadn't even been thinking of buying a set of day passes, I had been thinking of getting the off-peak membership.

There is only one way to figure this out...


Off-peak 6-month pass vs. Groupon 10 pass deal
So, looking at the schedule for the sorts of things I would be attending, let's say I attend 2 aquafit classes per week. The Groupon deal works out so that each time I go to the gym, it will cost $4.20. And that I will use up the deal in 5 weeks of twice-weekly classes.

Keeping the same average numbers (classes 2x a week), the off-peak pass will work out to be... wait a sec, math is not my strong suit... The off-peak pass means that $230 for 6 months. Which is $4.79 per class, assuming I go twice a week for 6 months.

So... the Groupon deal is cheaper on a per-class basis. But I have to use up one pass every day that I go to the gym - with the membership, I can go more times than that. Like, if I'm hanging around my house and bored during open lane swim times, I can go over without using up a coupon. So, let's say that twice per month, I go to the gym one extra day per week... that would work out to be, for those weeks, it would just be $3.19 per visit. Whereas the coupon will always be $4.79 per visit, no matter how many times I go.

So, the winner?

Off-peak membership! There is more flexibility for how many times I go. But it will only be more frugal if I do go at least twice a week, and one extra time per month on top of that.

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