9 Tips to Save Money at the Movies

Cut Your Spending In Half!

Humble Timothy and I love going to our local Humbleville Cinema for a movie every now and again.  It’s nice to just get away from my Mayoral duties and get lost in a good movie!

The only problem with our love of going to the movies is the price.  I’m not going to tell you to skip the movies all together.  How is that helpful?  I do, however; have a handful of tips that will help you save money at the movies!

Skip the Concession Stand

Yes, that’s right!  Did you know that movie theaters make 85% of their profit from selling food, snacks and soda?  Next time you go to the movies, skip the soda, the popcorn, the nachos, and the pizza!

Implementing one of the following techniques is easy!  It just takes a little planning and the will power to walk past the popcorn!

1.  Eat before.  Now I need to put up a disclaimer:  This is only cheaper if you eat at home or eat out cheaply, such as fast food.  Now that that’s out of the way, eating before you get to the movies is a great way to avoid stopping by the concession stand.  If you’re not hungry, you won’t be tempted by the alluring aroma of buttered popcorn and cheese sauce.

2.  Bring your own snacks.  Movie theaters typically frown at people bringing their own food, mainly because it means they’re losing money from you not buying concessions, so you don’t want to just walk in with arms full of food.  Rather, hide your goodies in a large purse or tote bag and casually get them out once you are seated.

3.  Buy large and split.  If you absolutely can’t imagine a movie without popcorn, then your best option is to buy large and split it with whomever you’re with.  Humbly Timothy and I will do this on occasion with soda when my purse is too small to carry our own drinks or if we decided to go to the movies spur of the moment.

Discounts and Coupons

Did you know that most movie theaters are always offering you ways to save money.  Obviously they do this to get you in the door and buy snacks at the concessions, but since we’ve already handled that aspect, we can take full advantage of these money saving programs!

4.  Use student discounts.  All you need is a student I.D. and you’ll be eligible for a student discount!  Now not all movie theaters offer this discount, and the ones that do, may not offer it everyday, but it’s worth the mention.  If you can save money by just showing the cashier a student I.D. card, why wouldn’t you?

5.  Find coupons.  Many people are surprised to hear that there is such thing as a movie theater coupon.  Maybe they never think to look, I’m not sure, but the reality is that many movie theaters do in fact offer coupons, sometimes offering a discount on movie tickets, a free small popcorn, or  sometimes even a free movie ticket!

6.  Sign up for rewards programs.  Rewards programs are a great way to save money at the movies and most movie theaters have one.  Signing up is usually free, and you’ll receive discounts when you spend money at the theater.  So if you’re already going to the movies often, you might as well get some discounts at the same time!

Make Compromises at the Movies

Again, I’m not going to tell you to stay home and watch something on Netflix, although that would save you a lot of money.  Rather I’m only going to suggest that you make a few compromises when choosing where and what movie you’re going to.  Learning to compromise isn’t that hard to do once you get in the habit of it.

7.  Go to an afternoon movie.  Also known as a Matinee, an afternoon movie is generally offered to movie-goers at a discounted rate.  Honestly, I love a good matinee because I can leave the theater and still feel like I have some of the day left.  An added bonus is that there are usually fewer people in the theater during an afternoon movie.

8.  Skip 3D movies.  3D films are growing in popularity, but also in price.  The average cost of going to a movie shown in 3D over a typical movie is $5.00!  Now when you consider that cost for each individual, it adds up quickly.

9.  Go to a dollar theater.  The only real compromise you have to make when going to a dollar theater or late release theater is just that, you have to wait a little longer for new movies.  I’m okay with waiting an extra two weeks for the new Pirates of the Caribbean if it saves me more than half of what I would’ve spent at a regular theater!

So those are the ways we try to save money when we go to the movies.  Have you ever used one of these methods?  What other ways do you save money at the movies?  Let us know!

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