Two big names dominated in the Internet deals world in 2011: Groupon and LivingSocial. The two sites function very similarly: Both offer new deals every day on food, travel, tickets or something else from a local business. If you live near a big (or perhaps even small) city in the United States or Canada, Groupon and LivingSocial will have something that interests you.
New deals appear every day, and the deals themselves may differ a great deal. Some deals are only good for the day they're available, while others can be used months after purchase. When planning dining and entertainment schedules on a budget, the latter are the best to watch for. Remember: Because you buy the deal in advance, it's important to follow through and not let that money go to waste.
Movie tickets via Fandango, vacation packages through Expedia, cheap food at local restaurants -- they're all available on Groupon or LivingSocial. You can sign up at either site (or both) with an e-mail address to have featured deals show up in your inbox, and you can always browse the deals by category on Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com. Both services also offer mobile apps for smartphone users.