spending

How to Score Big Bargains on Super Bowl Sunday

If Cam Newton, chicken wings and funny commercials aren’t your things, you can score great values while others watch the big game.

When Super Bowl 50 kicks off on Sunday, about 190 million Americans will be glued to barstools and sofa cushions for the evening. That's bad news for businesses across the country that sell things other than pizza and beer, and many of them will offer great deals to lure those who are willing to skip the big game (or at least watch it on tape delay).

So if Cam Newton, chicken wings and funny commercials aren’t your things, you can score a great value on the following.

Ski trips. Ski resorts offer discounts steeper than a double black diamond on Super Bowl Sunday. Skiers who buy lift tickets in advance on Liftopia.com can find savings of up to 65% at top-notch ski destinations. "On Super Bowl Sunday, resorts historically see half the crowds compared to other peak-season Sundays," says Liftopia CEO Evan Reece. So lift lines will be short, and trails will be clear.

Spa services. If skiing isn't your speed, you may prefer to spend the day being pampered. "Many spas offer promotions targeting individuals with time to themselves as spouses and friends are busy watching the big game," says Howard Schaffer, VP of Merchandising at Offers.com.

The Silverado Resortand Spa in Napa, Calif., for instance, will offer spa-goers 25% off its best available rate, a $50 resort credit and passes to the Vermeil Wines tasting lounge in downtown Napa. You can find deals on spas near you on SpaFinder.com. Or, Schaffer adds, "Even if there's no promotion advertised, many spas will offer you a deal if you ask, as business is likely to be slow."

Hotel stays. Enjoy a mini-getaway at select hotels, suggests Benjamin Glaser, a features editor with DealNews. The site currently features stays in Las Vegas starting at $22 a night and in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as low as $38 a night.

To get there, start your low-fare search on JetBlue if you’re at all interested in the big game. On Sunday evening, the airline will show a live broadcast of the game on flights while serving Snyder’s of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces and $1 first-round alcoholic beverages.

Local attractions. "The best way to maximize vacation value on Super Bowl weekend," says Christine Sarkis, senior editor of SmarterTravel.com, "is to head somewhere that’s usually crowded" (but isn't because of the big game).

For instance, the Nashville Zoo's "Zooperbowl" promotion, with half-price admission, is one of many discounts offered at zoos nationwide, says Schaffer. Similarly, he says, museums often offer special rates and perks to visitors on Super Bowl Sunday, such as the 50% discount at more than 40 Seattle museums in honor of the city’s museum month in February.

Restaurant meals. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the slowest days of the year for restaurants, according to reservation booking site OpenTable. Take advantage by looking for a reservation at the steakhouse you’ve been meaning to go to. Regina Conway of SlickDeals.net recommends purchasing a discounted gift card from a card resale site such as CardCash.com, where Fleming's and Ruth's Chris gift cards are currently discounted by 16.5% and 11%, respectively.

If it's dinner and a show you seek, check LivingSocial and Groupon for discounts of up to 50% on concerts and plays, says Brent Shelton, an online shopping expert at FatWallet.com.

Online shopping. If you don't want to go out, you can always sit back and let the deals come to you. Online shoppers can expect an avalanche of exclusive offers on Super Bowl Sunday, says Shelton. "They have a huge captive audience this day, so the competition for good deals to get your attention weighs in the consumer's favor."

FatWallet will aggregate many of these deals in its "Mobile Sunday" promotion. In addition to scoring sales on select items, users of FatWallet's Cash Back mobile app will receive cash-back incentives, such as 6% on Sears purchases and 5% on Nordstrom items.

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