Paris may not be the most expensive place to live as an expat (I think the honors go to Moscow) but it sure ain’t cheap. But if you are clever and patient, there are bargains to be had. Here are just a few ideas for enjoying the Parisian lifestyle when you’re counting your centimes.
Vente-Privee.com: If you’ve got a hankering for designer clothes but not the budget, sign up for e-mail notifications from this on-line site. You will get e-mails when a promotion is on. Move quickly to make your purchase before stocks are depleted. The offers are frequent (sometimes more than one a day) and the range is wide. For example, this week, you can take advantage of sales on Longchamp bags and Hector & Lola cashmere sweaters. In addition to clothes, the site also offers deals on shoes, wine, household items, beauty products, and even toys.
La Fourchette: You can use La Fourchette to make restaurant reservations but the real reason to use it is to take advantage of the special promotions: up to 50 percent off the bill, a glass of champagne, dessert, etc. You can sign up to receive the offers in your e-mail or opt out of the e-mails and just use the site when it suits you. You won’t find the hottest new restaurants here (as they can fill up tables without the extra promotion) but if you cross reference the good buys with restaurant reviews, you can enjoy a good meal at sharply reduced prices.
The way it works is they negotiate some pretty great deals with companies all over France and then they publish them on their Web site (or you can choose to receive their daily e-mails). If enough people decide to participate, the “deal” is validated and they e-mail you your gift certificate. There are several ways to pay – I usually use PayPal. FYI: The payment is only taken from your account if the deal is validated.
Here are a few that I’ve chosen – a massage + foot reflexology for 18€ instead of 50€, a 36€ gift certificate for the Happy Days Diner for 18€, a 15€ gift certificate for Jeff de Bruges chocolate for 7€, etc. Plus a surprise for C for our anniversary, but more about that later….
Groupon is available all over France, not just in Paris, so feel free to check out their site. And if you do decide to sign up, it’d be great if you could do it through my parrainage link here.
And don’t forget the Web site of the guide book Paris Pas Cher. While it’s not as extensive as the guide itself (which is available in pretty much every book store in town), it is free!
What are your favorite Paris deals?