I really felt old last year when I broke down and bought myself The Entertainment Book.
My parents and grandparents sometimes exchanged them at Christmas when I was younger and hitherto, I’d never felt the appeal. However, when hanging out with other moms, it’s one of those items that often magically appears out of the Mary Poppins-esque tapestry bags of our comrades with kids. In fact, I found myself idly leafing through the book on calmer days when I was planning things to do with my kids.
If you’re naive to the wonders of the book, it’s an annual coupon collection made available in early fall, with most coupons held valid for a full year.
I thought for this week’s Patch, I would:
1. Discuss whether I got my money’s worth when I broke down and bought the book for the first time last year.
2. Evaluate what coupons are in and near Parsippany that might be worthwhile, to see if next year's book is worth purchasing.
Was buying my 2011 Entertainment Book worth it?
Here’s the math:
I paid $25 for 2 books around Christmas as a special, buy one, get one free promo (I used the other as a gift). So, my book cost $12.50.
I used the following coupons:
- $20-ShopRite in Parsippany (they offered a $5 coupon per season, which came in handy)
- $8-Fuddruckers in Parsippany
- $10-Valentino’s in Parsippany
- $5-(estimating) McDonald’s in Parsippany, free kids' meal
- $22.50-Land of Make Believe, in Hope, (buy one, get one free admission)
- $12.50-Wild West City, in Netcong, (buy one, get one free admission)
I saved $78 using coupons from my book minus the $12.50 I spent, so basically I’m up $65.50 and, in leafing through the book, I definitely see a few more coupons I can use before they expire in November.
What merchandise or experience is in the book near our town this year?
Here are the available coupons within five miles of Parsippany:
- Bensi, Route 10 E, Whippany and Route 10 W, Denville ($10 coupon)
- Chand Palace, 257 Littleton Road (2-for-1 dinner, up to $10)
- China Inn, 126 Myrtle Ave., Boonton (2-for-1 dinner, up to $6)
- Delizia Restaurant, 308 Wooton St., Boonton ($5 coupon)
- Don Jose Mexican Restaurant, 200 Rte 10 W, East Hanover ($15 coupon)
- Fuddruckers, 3159 Route 46 East ($3 coupon)
- The Red Barn Restaurant, 446 Main Road, Towaco ($5 coupon)
- Tipperary Pub, 199 Smith Road (2-for-1 dinner, up to $12)
Some of the family friendly events easily accessed from Parsippany include:
- Wild West City: 1 free admission
- Space Farms: 2-for-1 admission
- Keansburg Amusement Park: 2-for-1 discount
- Imagine That Museum: 2-for-1 admission
- The Morris Museum: 1 free admission
- Museum of Early Trades & Craft: 2-for-1 admission
- Community Children’s Museum: 20 percent off admission
- New York Yankees: 15 percent off
I'm hoping there's another Land of Make believe coupon, although it's not listed!
Since the list price of the book is currently $35 and I was able to get the book for around a third of that, I will be hanging in there waiting for a deal to emerge. I’ll post deals on Patch when they start to appear.