I’m sure many of you are already familiar with Groupon, the popular daily deal site, which offers discounts on products and services in cities nationwide. What you may not know, though, is that in many areas, Groupon also offers limited time, instant savings, called Now! Deals.

After visiting the site and entering your zip code, you may choose between deal categories, including dining deals (pizza, Thai, etc.), desserts (fro-yo, ice cream, etc.) shopping, entertainment (Monkey Joe’s, museums, etc.), and service discounts (salons, auto work, etc.). A map pops up, showing you the location of the available deals in relation to your current position. A list is also provided, which gives the specifics of each deal, including the price, discount amount (usually 25-50% off), and the time frame for use: morning, afternoon, or evening.

Unlike regular Groupon deals, Now! Deals must be used on that day, between the hours stated. For example, a pizza restaurant near my home in Durham, North Carolina was offering a deal where you spend $5.00 to get $10.00, a 50% discount…BUT…you needed to redeem the offer by 4:00 p.m. that same day. This would have been a great idea if you were looking for a lunch out. On the other hand, another local pizza place was offering a deal of $10.00 for the price of $6.00. This was only a 40% savings, but the deal could be used until 11:45 p.m., making it a viable choice during dinner hours.

Groupon Now! Deals seem like a great way to save a little money on last minute shopping and dining. They are also a perfect way to cut spending on the go, as you can access deals on your home computer AND on a mobile device. When using a mobile device, Groupon identifies your location and pinpoints offers within close proximity. After purchasing your deal, simply bring in your voucher or present your mobile device, which will contain a barcode to be scanned by the merchant.

As an added bonus, deals that are purchased but not redeemed within the given time frame will be fully refunded. This sounds great to me, as sometimes days just don’t turn out the way you plan, and getting out the door isn’t going to happen, no matter how hard you try.

Interested in getting started? All you need is an active Groupon account. Head over "Now!" and start finding deals near you!

This has been a guest post by Allison from Durham, NC
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