We live in an area that doesn’t offer much for entertainment, so when a local fun center opened, we were all thrilled. The fun center has a large arcade, laser tag, bowling, bumper cars, and go karts. This year, my daughter asked to have her birthday party there. We usually celebrate her birthday at home with several friends staying overnight, but since we are moving, I agreed. When we went to check on prices, I was surprised that their value birthday party package cost $150! VALUE package?
For $150, we would get two large 1-topping pizzas, a pitcher with unlimited refills, 10 30-minute arcade cards, and a party room for 1 hour. I explained that we only had 7 people attending, but was told that the price would be the same. I did not book the birthday party, and we left. I started looking for alternatives to a party package, and decided to view their prices online. I was disappointed to see that there were no time cards for sale, but instead cash cards that started at $20. With each game costing around $3, you can imagine how long a $20 card would last. With 7 cards, I’m already up to $140. That value package started to look like the most bang for my buck. I checked out the food menu to add in the price of pizzas and drinks, which added another $44.75. However, as I scrolled down, I noticed three different combo deals. Combo #2 included a 1 large 1-topping pizza, 4 30-minute arcade cards, and 4 drinks with unlimited refills for $29.99. By going with two combo deals, we ended up getting exactly the same as the party package, but with a few upsides. First, each child was able to choose their own soda since we had refillable cups instead of a pitcher. Second, we weren’t rushed with only an hour in our party room to eat. We sat at a large table in the food court, and took our time. The kids were able to leave their sodas at the table, and come back as they needed to for drinks and refills. Third, it saved me $90.02, and everyone had a blast. There’s a few lessons to be learned here.
1.) Always Look Online
When we arrived for the party, we noticed that these combo deals were not listed at the front of the center where you pay for your activities. In fact, we were told we had to go to the food court to make the purchases, as the combo deals were not handled up front. I probably would have never known about these deals if I had not checked online.
2.) Always Get the Best Value for Your Money
After 3 hours of arcade time, we still walked away with 3 cards to use at another time. How did we enjoy 3 hours of arcade time with 30-minute time cards, and have 3 cards left? The kids broke off into two groups. We would give each group a card, instead of giving each individual a card. Remember, these are timed cards not cash cards. For 30 minutes, they could use the card on all of the arcade games. At one point, we had $40 worth of credits in the Jurassic Park game. Once the time ran out, we would give them another card. After 3 hours, we still had 3 cards to use at another time. Guess we will be headed to the arcade this weekend!
3.) Don’t be Impulsive
After speaking with the employee, it seemed that the value package was the best value. However, I always like to check things out myself, or go home and think about it. Don’t make an impulsive purchase because you think it’s the best deal. Go home, check it out, and make sure that you really are getting the best deal.
We should do this with all of our purchases. Following these three rules has saved me a lot of money, and I hope it does for you too. Excited about an awesome deal that you found? Share your experience.