It’s that time of the year when I need to purchase the latest edition of The Entertainment Book for 2014 and 2015. Starting this year though, subscribers have the option of buying either the digital membership or the book membership. I still chose to purchase the book version as although the digital membership is a much easier option, I am much more comfortable bringing a membership card and a few vouchers with me.
For those reading this who are clueless what I’m talking about, The Entertainment Book contains discounts in restaurant dining, accommodation and travel, activities, attractions, theatres and cinemas, and retail services. These discounts last for the whole year, starting in June and ending on the last day of May for the New Zealand and Australia editions. These books are sold through non-profit, charitable, and religious organizations such as schools, hospitals, corporate social clubs, Rotary and Lions clubs, sporting clubs, day care centers, kindergartens, research foundations, scout and girl guide groups, surf lifesaving clubs, and local community services groups to help raise funds for their yearly activities. The offers range from 25% off the total bill to a complimentary meal or ticket admission.
Here’s what the Auckland edition for the year 2014 looks like.
I bought this one from the Child Cancer Foundation, through their online shop, for NZ$65. However, there are many other organizations selling Entertainment Books in Australia and New Zealand. Simply Google search “Entertainment Book (Area)” and you will find organizations that sells them. As of this writing, I am still asking for a list of organizations who sell them.
If you, your family, or friends go out to dinner at least a few times every year to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries,or simply to have a good meal inside a nice restaurant, then this is a very good book for you. Even if you have only used it a few times a year, the membership fee will pay itself pretty quickly.
In my case, the reason I bought this book was because my partner’s family goes out to dinner once a week, spending about NZ$100 or a bit more each time, and I had already thought of where I can get coupons and discounts in a way to help them save money. I think this is the second or third year I purchased the books, and generally it has worked good. My partner’s mom has also bought a copy for herself.
I have to admit, there are pros and cons of getting the book. You can be tempted to spend more than you bargain for. Also, you have to bring the card and vouchers with you all the time, otherwise it would forfeit the purpose of saving money when ordering food or other item or service. I had experienced this a few times and now have learned my lesson.
This is also great for couples or a group of people traveling especially if you are staying in one place for at least a few weeks. My partner and I once bought a Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown edition for our 10-day stay in Queenstown last year. We stayed at a friends’ place the entire time, used a few vouchers for dining and activities, and when we were ready to go home, we gave it to our friends as a gift.
While Google searching this book, I found something very interesting. The Entertainment brand of books actually came from the US, as I saw this link on how to save more money on a trip to New York. The link spoke about the Entertainment Book New York edition. And when I visited the Entertainment Book USA and Canada website, they are running a current promotion (only a few hours left) where both the digital and book membership costs only US$11 while the digital membership is US$19.99. I’m so jealous that their Entertainment Books there are much, much cheaper! But despite the jealousy, I’m glad for the opportunity to search it beforehand so I can buy it when I go to New York sometime. For locals and tourists going to the United Kingdom, although not called Entertainment Books, this list of dining discount cards as seen from The Guardian website may be helpful.
There are heaps of other discount cards for dining and accommodation on offer wherever you are in the world. The key is to simply Google search and ask people where you can purchase them.
Unless you have a mindset of not paying full price for almost anything, you wouldn’t really bother looking for discounts and deals. But if you are the type who likes these deals, then why don’t you try getting a book or card for yourself?