We are down to the weekend of our Entertainment Book fundraising campaign and, like me, you might be thinking, “How am I going to sell 27 of these and win that drone?” Ha, okay, I’m not actually thinking that. Though it would be handy for spooking the neighbours or figuring out what all the giggling is about in the hot ub next door. No, more likely, you’re wondering, “Why would I even bother buying 1 of these stupid coupon books?” Not to worry, friend, we’ve all been there at least once in our Sam Livingston parental careers. Let me show you how to “sell” these coupon books to yourself, your family, your neighbours, or your co-workers. There’s actually a surprising amount of value in them for that $40.
The best value in my mind, and the one that easily justifies the price tag, are the 2 for 1 Coupons at Stage West Calgary. These make great Christmas presents for a special couple in your life or even yourselves. Two years ago we used two such coupons and bought four tickets to see Spamalot at Stage West as a gift for my aunt and uncle. Normally such an outing would cost over $400, but with the Entertainment Book coupons it was half that cost. The show was fantastic and we all had a terrific time. Saving in excess of $100 twice over made it even better.
Groceries are another easy way to earn back the $40 you spend buying the book. Safeway may no longer be part of the program, but Calgary Co-op and M&M Meats still are and both offer $5 off a purchase of $50. Even though these franchises aren’t my go-to grocery, they regularly offer great sales on staples I routinely purchase. When a great sale hits the shelves, I stock up and add enough items to get to that $50 threshold and save $5 buying what I’d buy anyway. You can do this six times each which adds up to a lovely $60 in savings.
And if you don’t actually wish to prepare a meal, there’s always fast food. Don’t lie, you go there, I know you do. We all do. Granted, some go shockingly more than others, but we all venture into our favourite fast food joint be it for a celebratory pizza meal after a championship soccer match or a much needed hangover breakfast the morning after a wedding reception.
If you’re like me and have a kid who bizarrely doesn’t like pizza, save for the crust, then the Free Crazy Bread at Little Caesars is a great coupon. Also, if you’re like me and are a stay-at-home parent with no prying eyes or loose lips at home to rat you out to your spouse, the 2 for 1 Burger deals at A&W and Harveys are true pleasures, pleading colon be damned. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but fast food is no longer cheap food and those burger deals add up savings quickly. You know, if you do it a lot, not that I would know personally or anything.
Plenty more options are available too, from Papa Johns, Arbys, Quiznos, Mary Browns, and Peters’ Drive-in all of which offer multiple coupons for free items or 2 for 1 items. And this list doesn’t even include the myriad other joints with single coupons in the book. There really is something for everyone looking for a quick bite.
But maybe you’re not looking for a quick meal? Perhaps you just want a cool treat on a hot summer day. Or maybe it’s someone’s birthday and you need a cake, stat! Marble Slab Creamery is willing to help with $5 off a Slab Cake and 50% off Ice Cream Cones. Not to be outdone, DQ joins the coupon parade with $5 off Any DQ Cake or 2 for 1 Royal Treats plus a couple 2 for 1 Burger deals from DQ Brazier. Or maybe you just want a smoothie from Orange Julius. Seriously, they’re actually good now and more than just weird orange juice.
Okay, now that you’re nice a fat you’re likely looking for an excuse to walk around a bit or at least get out of the house and burn a calorie or two. The Entertainment Book contains many coupons offering discounts or 2 for 1 deals on entry to various museums and attractions in and around Calgary. We’ve made good use of these in the past and not just the obvious ones. Some of those off-the-beaten path attractions are surprisingly fun to visit on a day trip with the kids. The kids will love Extreme Air Park. $10 off Calgary Zoo Admission and 2 for 1 Zoo Lights Admission are both family favourites. 2 for 1 Admission to Heritage Park, Fort Calgary, Calgary Tower, Cobbs Corn Maze, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Frank Slide, Military Museums, Aero Space Museum, and Museum of Miniatures (honest, the kids will like it) will keep your family busy on weekends for weeks to come. For the Fred Flintstones in the crowd, you’ll find Free Games and 25% Discounts for bowling at Bowling Depot and Chinook Bowladrome. Lloyd’s Roller Rink has just the venue for those of you desperate to get those bell bottoms out of the closet and a Free Round of Mini-Golf at Monsters Mini Golf will give you an excuse to don those gaudy golf slacks you inherited from Uncle Phil.
See? Getting your $40 out of this book is easier than you ever imagined. All of the above will do it several times over and I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s all in the Entertainment Book. Really! There are dozens of Free Meals to be had at “real” restaurants all over the city. These are terrific for date night or a special lunch when your spouse has a Friday off work. Oil Changes, Dry Cleaning, and Gym Memberships all can be had at nice discounts just as easily as Paint, Jewelry, Clothing, and Flowers can. Once you dig in you quickly find that there are more useful coupons in the Entertainment Book than you ever imagined.
And do you know what is the best part of all? You get to do it all again next year! Ha, I jest … sort of. Really, though, the best part is that your efforts help provide the funds your Sam Livingston School Council uses to enhance the educational experience of your child. Next to the Casino fundraiser, which occurs every 18 months, the Entertainment Books are by far our largest fundraising event and has regularly provided between $10,000 and $15,000 to our coffers each year. That money goes towards everything from supplemental school supplies to buses for field trips to extra-curricular programs such as Alien In-Line Skating and Trickster to major technology upgrades and additions such as the Smart Boards in every classroom and the full suite of iPads. Your efforts help your kids directly in meaningful and thrilling ways.
As our 2016 program winds down, I encourage you to sell as many coupon books as you can. It can be a pain in the derrière (look at me being bilingual), I get that, but each sale benefits the kids and helps continue to make École Sam Livingston one of the very best schools in the City. The School Council greatly appreciates your support, your generosity, and your time in making this another successful fundraiser at a time when we fully realize budgets are tighter than in the recent past. Thank you and good luck selling over the final weekend!
Phew! That was hard work writing all that. Think I’ll reward myself with not one, but TWO, deliciously sinful burgers for the price of one!