MIAMI (CBS4) – A new trend in saving money has people looking at social media for savings. People are hoping on group saving sites and buying coupons for more than just a cheap meal at a new restaurant.

They are using the daily deal sites for health and medical related deals.

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In fact, new numbers show in 2011 consumers spent as much as $230 million on deals in the health and medical category. CBS4 caught up with Stephen Fox saving money at the dentist.

“It is definitely worth it because you save a lot of money,” said Stephen Fox.

Like so many south Floridians, Fox, a graduate student from St Thomas law school in Miami Gardens, has medical needs.

“I am in that strange window. I am not working full time. I am not on any group health coverage. I am too old to be under my parents,” said Fox who headed to Living Social and found a deal at the Miami Center for Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry.

For $35, he received a consultation, exam, x-rays and a teeth cleaning all for an 85 percent savings.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Fox. “I thought it was a great deal and chance to get into see the dentist after a couple of years.”

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According to the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention, 46 million Americans under the age of 65 have no health insurance and have to pay out of pocket even for the basic medical attention.

“They get it at a significantly reduced price and they are able to know exactly where they stand with their mouth and have a clean mouth afterward,” said Dr. Jan Zeigler of Miami Center for Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry.

A great idea right? Dealradar.com seems to find the numbers to support that, the daily deal comparison site found an increase in medical related deals in 2011

  • Eye care went from 82 to 207 in 2011.
  • Skin treatment started at 298 and went to 1393 in 2011
  • Dental grew from 764 to 4,429.
  • Weight Loss started 2011 at 80 and grew to 2888.

South Florida daily deal Expert Natalie McNeal, who operates her site www.thefrugalista.com shared a warning to keep you from falling into the daily deal trap.

“These are great deals but you need to watch out because you can end up spending so much money on things you don’t need that it defeats the purpose and you end up spending more money than saving,” said McNeal.

For Dr Zeigler, the idea behind his deal was to bring a smile to his patients

“We’re in some very challenging times. I figured it was my opportunity to give back to the community,” said Dr. Zeigler whose idea is really making a difference.

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“I just think it is a great opportunity for people like me who are on the fringe,” Fox said. “And they don’t normally put their dental health on the highest priority but it is something important you should take care of.”