10 ways to save money on entertainment

Working your way out of debt or to financial freedom doesn’t mean you should stop living altogether. Entertainment not only brings joy but some of it nurtures the mind (especially of the young ones). Following is a list of 10 ways to save money on entertainment. These happen to be 10 ways we apply or have applied in the past on our way to become millionaires. Whether you want reach financial freedom or want to get out of debt, these saving can help with both.

Get memberships, they often pay off after 2 visits, I wrote a whole thing about it. We mammanaged to save over $4,000 a year as we simply go to a lot of places repeatedly. Why you ask? Well a public museum doesn’t get boring that easily. Instead of wandering through aimlessly try reading the little plaques next to the exhibit. If you want to know how the numbers break down for us you can read How we save over $4,000 by getting memberships

Buy an older version of X-box, Wii or PlayStation (or dust off the ones you have).  The consoles will be cheap and used games abound. My kids play on our 10 year old WII and don’t know any better (until those play dates start ramping up). I still have an old X-box that by the time the kids are old enough (to play Halo) will be booted up again and I’m sure we’ll get a few more hours of entertainment out of it.

Pack snacks when visiting an attraction, beats having to pay premium for the food and drinks there. We all know that buying food and drinks at places like the zoo or 6-flags come at a huge premium. You can’t blame the places; it’s where much of their profits come from. That said if they don’t ban you from bringing your own cooler (I know some do) then by all means take your own snacks, food and drinks. I could save you a bundle.

Buy attraction tickets online or at your grocery store. They tend to come with sp_julysalediscounts. Most attraction will pre-sell tickets online and they almost always tend to come with discounts. Wouldn’t it be more profitable for these places if they could drop their $5 an hour ticket booth attendants. As much as I support labor I say go for it, save a little. Some attractions like 6-flags actually sell their tickets at local grocery stores and tend to come with really decent discounts.

Check your cable bill and see if you can get your 5 years old package for less, chances are you can. Cable companies will not call you when they lower the prices on packages. Package do however get lowered or replaced all together. When we got our cable at our latest home HD was still something of a novelty and very expensive. We managed to take our cable bill down and actually end up with more channels and faster internet. You can read all about it in Stick with cable and still save hundreds.

Cheap Movie tickets. Almost every theatre has “Cheap movie day”, you can see your

movies at considerable discount (unless it is 3D in which case they happily charge you a little extra again). Our local theater offers half off Tuesday which is when you’ll find me at the movies (if there is a movie worth watching). Check your local theatre. Beside the cheap movie day you may also look for a budget theatre near you. If you can wait long enough for a movie to come to Netflix then certainly these theatres that get movies only a couple months after release are for you.

Hmm, back to that 3D surcharge; why not simply watch movies in 2D. Unless the exhausting 3D is really worth the money to you. Is it me or do your eyes hurt after watching 3D? The day they create the technology to let me watch 3D without the nasty glasses, I’ll reconsider this one.

Smuggle candy. Live dangerously and see if you can sneak some candy into the theater. Sure they may kick you out but when’s the last time you saw someone get frisked. Then again how about you just skip snacking for a whole 2 hours. Sure it’s a stretch for some but give it a try. I’ve stopped buying the Gallon sodas some years ago and find I no longer have to run for the bathroom just when the movie reaches its peak of excitement.

Spend less dining out. After your mortgage, car payments and credit card bills, dining out may be one of the bigger expenses. It was for us. We found that we were spending over $500 a month on dining at one point in our lives (And this was before kids). Dine out a little less. We saved loads by sticking to a fixed dining budget. There are several ways you can save on dining out. First, dine out less; instead of eating out twice a week try only once a week. Instead of ordering spirits or even sodas for that matter simply order water. Set yourself a budget for dining out. We try to live by $170 a month which (with a bit of challenge) allows us to eat out about 4 times a month.

Kids can Bowl for free. If you like to take your kids bowling check to see if your local

bowling alley had discount bowling hours or coupons. They like to fill their lanes even in the quiet hours. Check out http://www.kidsbowlfree.com. With kids bowl for free program you can also buy a very reasonable family pass. The same goes for your local roller-skating rink and possibly even the local ice-skating rink (our unfortunately doesn’t).


There you have it, 10 very easy daily (or should I say weekend) ways to save on entertaining yourself and your family.

Good luck reaching your financial goals




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About Maarten van Lier

Maarten came to this country with a suitcase and a diploma. He created a financial plan and goal to become a millionaire in 10 years. He successfully turned his financial goals into reality, wrote a book about it and now blogs actively in hope of inspiring other to do the same.