We love to go to the movies, but we love it even more when we can go to the movies and save money at the same time. After all, taking six kids to a movie can get pretty expensive if you don’t do it the right way. With movie ticket prices and snack prices going up, how does one go to the movies on a budget?
Here are a few ideas:
• Go to a matinee
One of the easiest ways to save money on your movie experience is by going to a matinee. Often times, the matinee is significantly less expensive than an evening showing. Plus, you generally aren’t as hungry or enticed to purchase snacks from the concession stand as you might be in the evening.
• Sign up for your movie theater’s rewards program
I can’t stress how important this is. Our family goes to the movies a lot, and I LOVE to see the ticket that says, “Free Small Popcorn,” “Free Small Soda” or “Free Movie Ticket.” How does this work? Every time you swipe your theater rewards card, you accrue points on your purchase (which generally includes ticket and concessions purchases). You do NOT want to miss out on the amazing freebies you get by signing up for the theater’s rewards program! It’s perfect for the movie lover on a budget.
• Go to the movies on “special” days
We love to go to the movies on Tuesdays where we live. Why? On Tuesdays, it is only $2 for a small popcorn, as opposed to the regular $6. You can pay $1 more for a medium, and $2 more for a large, which is refillable.
• Watch what you eat
When we go to the movies as a family, we usually buy a large popcorn and then divide it up among the kids. The great thing about a large popcorn is that it comes with a refill. So we also ask for six trays when we purchase our popcorn. We head to the movie auditorium and give everyone his or her tray, and then go down the line pouring popcorn into it. Then, once the bucket is empty, head back to the concession stand for a refill. The best $8 spent for a family of eight! We also avoid purchasing sodas or candy by bringing our own water bottles and bags of candy or other snacks.
• Use gift cards
When asked what your family wants for birthdays or holidays, why not tell them gift cards? You can use your gift cards to enjoy some family time at the movies. This makes it especially easy on your budget!
• Get cash back on your purchases
Check to see if your debit card or credit card gives you cash back on your purchases. Put your earned-back cash in a family-entertainment fund and use that money to purchase movie tickets and snacks.
• Check Fandango
Check sites such as Fandango to see if coupons or other money-saving offers are available. For example, right now, with VISA Signature, you can get 20% off your purchase of $25 in Fandango gift cards.
How do you and your family go to the movies on a budget?
Shannon is the author of The Mommy Files where she focuses on motherhood, family-fun activities, traveling, and recipes. To read more by Shannon, visit TheMommy-Files.com or follow her on Twitter @TheMommyFiles.