Save Money at the Movies
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Sep 28, 2011

Save Money at the Movies

Sitting on the couch with a bag of microwave popcorn and a $1 DVD rental is a cheap way to entertain yourself, but sometimes you get a hankering for a tub of buttered popcorn and a movie on the big screen. When this occurs, only a trip to the cinema will do. The problem: movie tickets these days – the cheaper ones - cost approximately $10 apiece, with popcorn adding another $8 and drinks tacking on an additional $5, adding up to a grand total of $23 per person for a simple trip to the movies. For a family of four, this means a cost of almost $100 just for a few hours of big screen entertainment.

You shouldn't have to take out a personal loan just to take your loved ones to the movies. Thankfully, there are ways to trim your entertainment costs. Consider the following money-saving tips.

Choose Tuesday Two-for-One
Some theaters offer a special deal on Tuesdays, or another day of the week, in which two people can see a film for the price of one. This advertising gimmick is meant to draw in business on days when cinema traffic is usually its lowest, such as a Tuesday or a Wednesday. If you don't mind seeing a movie on a weekday, you automatically slash your entertainment costs by up to 50% by taking advantage of this option.

Take in a Matinee
If you can make it to a matinee instead of a nighttime flick, you can save a significant chunk of change. Morning and afternoon movie tickets cost significantly less than evening showings; expect to save $3 or more per ticket.

Look for Discounts
Members of large employment groups and unions are often eligible for movie ticket discounts; check with your local theater to see what their policies are. AAA and Costco members enjoy reduced prices in certain theaters; find out if any of the organizations you belong to are extended such benefits. Students and seniors also frequently enjoy lower prices at the movies.
Even if you don't fall into any of the categories mentioned above, you can still save money at some theaters with a movie rewards card. This card works like the frequent flyer program; the more money you spend, the more discounts and/or rewards you earn. Another option is to search for movie coupons or other special offers online.

Free and Reduced-Cost Films
Some theaters offer free or reduced-cost viewings of older films. Although it's not the same as watching a brand new blockbuster for the first time, seeing an older movie in a theater can inexpensively satisfy your craving for big screen entertainment.
Bring Snacks
Popcorn is one of the cheapest snacks you can make at home, but its price is significantly inflated at the movies. Soda and candy can also be purchased for far less money at a grocery store than a movie theater. Save yourself some dough by bringing your own snacks to the theater. Don't flaunt your actions, however; many theaters discourage this practice because they're hoping you'll invest in their highly priced snacks.

Visit billeater to learn more about how to save money on the costs of everyday living.