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3 Simple Ways to Save Money at the Movies

Movie Theater

Do you have a favorite family night activity? With a family of eight, we often look for frugal fun for this crew. Meaning free walks on the beach or bringing a picnic dinner to the park or some other low-cost option we can all enjoy. I must confess that movies at the local theater fell low on our list, not because it isn’t fun, but because it adds up to a pricey night. Movie night has never been a priority of ours because of our big family and the big price tag.

When we want to watch a movie, we typically settle for renting a Redbox DVD and microwave popcorn. Brownies are a bonus. The kids drag their pillows and sleeping bags out and line them up across the living room floor. (That’s a lot of sleeping bags!). Hubs and I supervise from the sofa until the sleepy bug bites the littles and they climb into our laps. But those movie nights on a budget are a thing of the past!

All of that changed last year when I discovered these secrets to saving money at the movies. I’m not exactly a closet frugalholic so everyone that knows me knows I’ll pinch pennies anywhere we can. My former impression of movie theaters as money pits has changed drastically. Here’s how we make our movie money work for us:

  1. Tuesday night special. Did you know most theaters offer a discounted ticket price on Tuesday nights? You can get several dollars off per ticket which is a great deal for this family of eight! Check out your local theater for their Tuesday night special and save movie night out for the mid-week instead of the mad rush on the weekends.
  2. Rewards cards. I never used these until recently when the woman at the ticket counter suggested putting money on the card and then turning around and ordering our tickets with it right then. Every time you use your reward card, it’s more points toward free foods and tickets. And who doesn’t like a good freebie?
  3. Snacks. Some people can sneak in snacks but not this mama. I’ve been caught red-handed with Twizzlers and Twix so now we settle for the snack bar foods. There is no longer a need to spend $100 bucks on your crew’s snacks! Simply order a large refillable popcorn and a large refillable drink. To keep everyone seated during the show, I ask at the concessions for candy boxes (the cardboard boxes all the bulk candy comes in) for each kid. We scoot over and pour popcorn in each box, refill, pour again, and refill until everyone has plenty of popcorn for the whole movie. Brown lunch sacks also work well for splitting up refillable popcorn. The concession stand employees also great about handing out plastic cups so you can split up your drink the same way. This is a great way for everyone to have their snacks and eat it too (and stay seated throughout the show!).

These three simple tips are suggestions anyone can use to save money at the movies, whether you’re viewing solo or with a crowd. Spring Break and Summer are right around the corner and the perfect time to try out these money-saving movie tips. I can’t wait to hear how you make your money work for you at the theater. Do you have other tips for saving money at the movies? What new releases are on your radar?

About the Author

Amanda Wells is the proud wife of her smokin’ hot third generation farmer husband and they have taken Psalm 127:5 literally –raising their quiverful of six kids on the farm. She loves baking, reading, writing, and arithmetic (kidding!).  Amanda writes about faith, homeschooling on the farm, and family life at farmwyfe.com.

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