This week I have been sharing 10 more ways that our family saves money on household expenses. #1 & #2 focused on additional ways to save money while shopping. #3 & #4 showed two ways that our family saves money on hair care. #5 & #6 discussed two ways to save money on school expenses and kids activities. #7 & #8- I shared some ideas on saving money on online shopping.
Today I will wrap up this series with some suggestions on saving money on entertainment.
#9- Make going out to the movies less expensive
Our family loves, loves, loves to go out to the movies. Last week we went to see “Secretariat” and it was outstanding. Although we have a rather enormous collection of kids DVDs at home, there is nothing quite like the big theatre experience, as you sit enthralled by the performance, munching on popcorn! But man, it can cost a lot! A kid’s ticket is $8, and an adult ticket is $11, but it seems like everything coming out this days is in 3D which can add a $3-$5 up charge per ticket. To take our family to the movies it can cost over $100 just to buy the tickets! And don’t even get me started on the $7.50 for each bag of popcorn or drink!
Obviously the cheapest route to go, is to wait for the DVD release, or at least until the movie is playing at the lower-priced second-run cinemas. And many times, if a movie only looks to be “okay”, that is just what we do. But when we really want to see a current release, there are several things we try to do to bring down the cost of our outing:
- Go early- some theatres have “a.m. screenings” on holidays and weekends where they lower the price to just $6 per ticket. And most theatres will charge adults the kids ticket price if you go before 4pm.
- Skip the 3D / IMAX version. I don’t know about you, but my younger ones spend most of the time trying to keep even the kid-sized glasses balanced on their little noses.
- See if your theatre has a loyalty card, that you can swipe when you purchase your tickets and snacks, and allows you to accrue points towards future ticket purchases.
- See if your theatre has partnered with any local businesses to offer discounts. Our local cable company (Cablevision) has a rewards program, and they have partnered with some of the local movie theatres to offer 2 free tickets and 2 discounted to Tuesday shows, and 4 discounted tickets for every other day of the week. That’s a nice deal to take advantage of.
- Check your local entertainment book for discounted theatre coupons
- And finally, this kind of teeters on the edge of “playing by the rules” (okay, it breaks them completely, I know) but save on over-priced movie drinks and candy by bringing our own drinks from home (water bottles, juice packs) and small ziplock bags of candy for each child. Then I buy a large popcorn and split it with my kids by bringing along brown bags to give each child their own popcorn bag.
#10- Eat out less- and stretch your dollar while eating out
Obviously the way to save money on dining out, is to not do it! But since we all enjoy eating out on occasion, you can save some money by looking online for coupons for the restaurant that you are heading to. A great place to check is www.restaurant.com, often you can buy a gift certificate for a restaurant at 80% off of the value price. Another way to stretch your dollar is to order adult entrees for your kids and split them between two or three children (it is usually a healthier choice too)- and I hate spending money out at a restaurant for something like Easy Mac’s and hot dogs!