How To Be Entertained On A Budget

ticket stubs and cash

We spend a lot of money each year in our efforts to be entertained. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent $2,482 on entertainment in 2013. That figure seems pretty steep, but there are some things that we can do in order to reduce the amount of money we spend in our own households.

Discounted Movie Tickets

Everyone wants to see the hot, new movie as soon as it premieres on the weekend, but that is also the most expensive time to see a film at the cinema. You can save a little cash by waiting until the weekend is over, as midweek prices are generally quite a bit lower. Most movie theaters also offer “early bird specials” wherein you can get a deeply discounted ticket for the first showing of the day.

An added benefit of going to the movies early in the day is that you have your choice of seating since the theaters aren’t as packed as the more popular late night showings. You can even get these savings when you purchase your tickets in advance through sites like Fandango.

Have a Lunch Date

Another benefit of going to the movies early is that you can hit your favorite restaurants for lunch instead of dinner. The lunch menu at restaurants is typically much more affordable than the dinner menu. Impress your date by taking her to a “fancy” restaurant during lunch hours, it won’t be as expensive as dinner, but you still get the brownie points of taking her somewhere nice. You also get to experience trying new cuisine that you may not have been able to otherwise afford.

Local Performance Theaters

You don’t have to see a show on Broadway to enjoy a live performance. May towns and cities have local theaters with affordable ticket prices; some are even free to attend! Look up your town’s community theater and see what they’re offering. They usually have several different performances to choose from, some of which are specifically geared towards families and children. Local performances can be a great, inexpensive way to get in some entertainment as a family. If you’re lucky enough to live near a major city, you can also look on Ticketmaster for events near you.

Decide to Stay In

Nowadays you don’t have to even leave the house to be entertained. Cable and satellite companies have comprehensive packages with hundreds of channels available. It is also less expensive than seeing new movies at the cinema when they come out.

Services like Directv on demand allow your whole family to rent new movies at one low price, which certainly saves over purchasing four separate tickets at the cinema. Plus, it’s very flexible. Unlike with theaters, where you have to work around their show times, with on demand you choose the time that is convenient for you and your family. There are often discounts online that can save you money on the overall service as well.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to break the bank in order to be entertained. There are many ways to save money on entertainment, like going to early bird movies, and eating out for lunch instead of dinner. Utilize your community for inexpensive and family friendly entertainment in the form of live performances, or small art galleries. Or stay in and enjoy entertainment from the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your friends and family. The choice is yours.

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