Whether to Buy an Entertainment Book

We're just home from a delicious lunch at Origin India (my heart still belongs to Tamba on the Strip, but this may be an apples-n-oranges comparison) and a fun outing to the Atomic Testing Museum, the latter courtesy of a 2-fer-1 coupon in the Entertainment book. Some photos to be posted, you know, later.

Entertainment books are back on sale at my school again, although the price has gone up to $30 this year. (Still a five dollar savings over the website.) Is it worth it? We really enjoyed ours this year, so buying a new one seems to be a no-brainer decision. But first I shall tally up what we've used so far (with another two months before the 2009 coupons expire), amounts approximate, and see if the actual numbers match the perception of value:

  • 3 Tomatoes and a Mozzarella - $12 (definitely dodged half of a bullet - too bland for us)
  • Atomic Testing Museum - $12 (since Mike still has no govt-issued local ID - we really should fix that - although his green card renewal was just approved, all zippity-snap, and this one is good for 10 years)
  • Coyote's Cafe and Cantina - $20 (plus we discovered a new fave restaurant)
  • Sammy's Woodfired Pizza - $20 (still find it bizarre that the menu doesn't match the name or the decor)
  • SuperMex - $10 (again, I'm glad we found out cheaply that there is no good 24-hour Mexican food in Las Vegas)
  • The Greens Buffet - $10 (an edible buffet in Primm?! Miss Ashley's left us so scarred.)
  • Viva Michoacan - $12 (another terrific find, courtesy of the book)
  • Borders - $4

That was it? Eight coupons? Really?
Update: Mike reminds me that we used a coupon at El Burrito, home of the $17 nachos. Still - only nine coupons?

To be fair, we did try to go to a couple more restaurants, but they went out of business after the book was published. (And have since been joined by several others. Sharper Image, La Cage, Linens-N-Things, The Melting Pot... Melting Pot? Really? Supposedly the Summerlin location will reopen soon, but not soon enough for there to be a coupon in the new book.)

So, we spent about $20 and saved about $100, for a profit of $80, plus the discovery of two great restaurants and one pretty good restaurant, not to mention the bonus of not paying full price for the two places we had already wanted to try (and ended up not liking at all).

Conclusion? The 2009 book was a good value.

It's only September: how much more value can we realistically crank out of this amazing work of literature? These are the coupons I'd really like to use in the next eight weeks before the book expires:

  • Cafe Heidelberg - $12 (apparently they do a toasted and breaded Camembert sandwich with cucumber salad?)
  • Bed, Bath, and Beyond - at least $3 (we need a new humidifier filter)
  • CSN Planetarium - $5 (or $10 if it's really good; there are two coupons)
  • Las Vegas Natural History Museum - $8 (but they have the same coupon on their website right now, so this may not count)
  • Regal Entertainment Group - $4, up to thirty-two times (too bad I never remembered these coupons, right at the front of the book, each time we went to the movies this year... although we pretty much just go to Rave at Town Square now)
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe - $5 (this will happen - I will stop paying full price because I left the book at home - arrrgh)
  • Sammy's Woodfired Pizza - $9 (again? They may as well call this Sammy's Entertainment Book)
  • The Maple Tree - $8 (I just like the name of this breakfast place and since seeing it have been determined to visit)
  • Viva Michoacan (whoa, I just saw the fine print that says I can print out a new VM coupon on the Entertainment website every month? wooooo! And.... hold on.... VM is not in the new 2010 book, so they're no longer listed on the website, so I can't print a coupon, and now I am sad.)

    BUYER BEWARE: your web-based coupons are no longer available when a new book comes out, even though your print coupons are good through November.

  • Cold Stone Creamery - $5 (because ours is now actually back in business)
  • Luv It Frozen Custard - $5? (file this under Good Intentions - I know it's a Vegas institution and my visit is overdue)
  • Pike's Pass Miniature Golf - $? (because it was too windy to play on top of Carnival Splendor and I am still unsatisfied)
  • Borders - $? (it's a bookstore; I'll find something)

Boy, now I'm kind of tired, thinking of all these places to go. Since this book has already paid for itself and then some, maybe I could get the new book and hit the ones I missed in 2010? Except for Viva Michoacan, of course.

Or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Or Luv-It Frozen Custard.
Or Cold Stone Creamery.
Or Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Or Borders.

Because none of those are in the new edition. And Cafe Heidelberg has gone from 2-for-1 to 20% off.


I wonder what it costs to put your coupon in the book? I wonder if the advertisers have been taking a beating from the coupons that they can no longer afford?

I looked over the website for the 2010 book and... I don't know. I guess we'll see how spiffy the planetarium is, or maybe buy the book online later in the year when it is cheaper.


06 September 2009 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)