Entertainment Book membership – why you need one

Fantastic avo smash from Little Oink – we enjoyed a discounted brunch a few months ago courtesy of the Entertainment Book

Another year and the 2019-2020 Entertainment Book is out.  Actually, it’s been out for a while – and I have already used it several times.  In fact, I had only had it for less than 48 hours when we were out brunching enjoying the benefits of the book.  Smashed avo has never looked so good. (And hubby loved his bacon and egg roll with cappuccino)

I sell the Entertainment Book for my work’s social club.  The most common thing people say to me is “oh, I wouldn’t use it”.  I used to think that, too. Being a frugalista, I’m not big on regular fine dining (although I really love good food and love socializing with friends.) But now I realise that so long as we go out twice a year for a meal and use the book, we will be ahead. 

However, the biggest value that we get I often not in dining out. As much as I love eating out, my Neil and I are now in that nesting phase where we are more focused on moving towards being financially independent so that we can travel and follow our passions.  But even as a frugalista with a reduce the mortgage savings goal, we still eat out from time to time.

How much did I save last year?

eWish cards (great for alcohol at Dan Murphy’s for our wedding)$90
Chemist Warehouse$60
Subway$30
Dining out (around eight times)$210
Petals flowers$20
Baker’s Delight$12
Total:$422

So even though last year wasn’t a big going out time, the Entertainment Book saved us around $422.  As we are currently on a $50/week challenge, this is equivalent to over two months’ worth of food and grocery money. Not a bad saving!

So, to answer the question was it worth it – the answer is YES.

I am sorry to see that in the 2019/2020 the popular Chemist Warehouse offer is no longer available. However, Priceline is now has special deals as well. I love Priceline – especially when it is having a sale on cosmetics.

I was a bit confused this year as we signed up for similar specials with the My NRMA rewards app, and also with a Frequent Values program through my new HSBC credit card.  In many cases the restaurants are the same. Do I even need the Entertainment Book membership?

While the other programs are indeed provided by the same company as the Entertainment Book, there are certain offers that are only available to Entertainment Book membership holders.  And the amount of discount available is often less. Plus there are a range of special offers available only through an Entertainment Book membership, including airline specials. And then there’s the fact that your charity or community group of choice gets 20% of the value of your membership.

The Canberra 2019-2020 Entertainment Book

I’ve been selling the Entertainment Book to people through my work social club, and this always gives me the opportunity to ask repeat and new buyers what they think about the product.  I used to think the books contained dud restaurants, ones that struggled to get real customers throughout the door.

Let me just say that in my experience as a food blogger, the selection of restaurants in the Canberra Entertainment Book membership (which is the book that I have) is impressive.

But don’t just listen to me! See what some of Canberra’s top foodies have to say.

One of my good food blogger friends, Michele, has created a new Facebook page – My Canberra Entertainment Book. And on there you can find news and reviews of some great restaurants that are in the Canberra Entertainment Book.  Including a few reviews by me and some of my food blogger friends.

I’ve had a squiz at the new Canberra membership.  In the past I would flick through the hardcopy book and bookmark things. Well, I must admit I did do this with the promotional book. But I also spent time going through the new specials on the Entertainment Membership app and creating a favourites list.  This is such a handy function.  What took me so long to discover it?  Once I had created a list, it was good to see it come up as a point of inspiration to remind myself when I wanted to think of good places to go.

What is on my list?

Well, for the benefit of Canberra readers, here are some:

  • Buvette in the Hotel Realm complex;
  • Momoda a new funky restaurant at Civic with a cute back entrance near High Ball – they do a great version of Taiwanese style low cooked pork belly (luroufan);
  • Little Oink and its sister restaurant, To All My Friends – both at the Cook shops;
  • Natural Nine at Casino Canberra;
  • Binnay’s in Lonsdale St;
  • Debacle in Lonsdale St;
  • Podilato, a Meditarranean restaurant at the Mantra Hotel on Northbourne;
  • Vapiano (consistently good);
  • Dobinsons Bakery Cafe (because their cakes are soooo yummy);
  • Lanyon Vikings;
  • Zierholz Brewery;
  • Pepper Lunch (my husband took me there on an early date – he knows the way to my frugal heart);
  • Clancy’s Restaurant at Cooma.

So these are some of the things that I am enjoying with my Entertainment Book membership. What is your best Entertainment Book experience?

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