Ways to Enjoy Entertainment on a Budget
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Ways to Enjoy Entertainment on a Budget

Posted on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 6:12 am
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Even when you're on a budget, it is important to set a little money aside for entertainment. Here are 5 ways to get entertainment on a budget.Even when you’re on a budget, it is important to set a little money aside for entertainment because let’s face it, we all need some time to relax and have fun. If you don’t have $50 to spend at the movie theater or $100 for a concert ticket, don’t worry – there are still tons of great .  Here are some suggestions:

5 Ways to Save on Entertainment

Movie Night

Going to the theater is the most expensive way to see a movie, so you are probably better off renting. But, if it is the new Harry Potter movie and you just can’t live another day without seeing it, there are a few ways you can save at the theater.

  • Look for coupons for discounted movie theater tickets.
  • Go to a matinee showing. Matinees usually play up until 6:00 pm and cost a few dollars less.
  • Avoid buying drinks and snacks! Last night I ended up spending $4.75 on a small soda and $7.50 on a medium popcorn at the theater. That’s a grand total of $12.25 on top of the $11.50 I spent for the ticket. If you’re really craving movie theater popcorn, look for promotions at your local theater. For example, my local movie theater offers a free small popcorn when you sign up for their e-mail list on-line.
  • Check out the drive-in instead of the theater. Drive-ins are more affordable and you can bring your own food.


For a more cost effective movie night, get your friends and family together and rent a couple movies. A great way to see movies nowadays is through express rental machines such as Redbox and Blockbuster Express. You can rent DVDs for just $1 a night and you can even get free rentals by entering promo codes at the checkout. A great way to get promo codes is by signing up for the company’s e-mail list. You might also want to check out Netflix, where you can currently get a one month free trial.

Organize a Game Night

Invite your friends and family over for game night. There are great games for pretty much everyone – Catchphrase for talkative groups, Scattergories for the wordy ones, Pictionary for the artists, puzzles for quieter crowds. Card games such as poker might entertain an older crowd, while there are also board games (such as Monopoly) for all ages. Look for bargains on board games at thrift stores and garage sales. A small initial investment on several games can provide hours of entertainment.

Another fun idea is to organize a scavenger hunt. Give everyone a list of items to search for around town, then head out with cameras to document your finds!

Bowling & Mini Golf

Not only is bowling fun, but it is cheap too! Bowling alley prices vary depending on where you go, but on average you can play a couple games and rent shoes for around $10 a person.

Another budget wise form of entertainment is mini golf. Look for coupons for your local mini golf course.


Instead of shelling out a lot of money for pricey concert tickets, look for outdoor concerts in your area. Many cities offer free concerts in the parks during the warmer summer months. You might also find some great free concerts and up and coming musicians at your local fair. A couple years ago I was able to see Lady Antebellum for free at my local fair!

Explore the Great Outdoors

The great outdoors offers a plethora of fun activities, most of them completely free. You might consider hiking, heading to the beach or lake, planning a picnic in the park, having a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, or going camping. The opportunities here are limitless!

How do you save on entertainment while sticking to your budget? Share with us in the comments below!


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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.