Going to the movies is a fun way to spend a rainy Saturday, but it can turn into an expensive outing if you’re not careful.
Here are some simple ways to enjoy a trip to the movie theater without having a huge impact on your wallet.
Matinees and other theater discounts. Most theaters offer cheaper prices in the afternoon when fewer people are going to the movies, so if you’re planning on heading to the theater, try to choose a time that will allow you to avoid the crowds. There are also discounts for children, seniors and theater club members that you should become familiar with if you’re looking to save some money the next time you head to the movie theater.
Avoid advance ticket fees. Buying tickets ahead of time through ticketing services adds a per-ticket fee that can add up quickly, especially if you’re planning a trip with multiple people. Paying this convenience fee for a blockbuster and getting a reserved seat can be worthwhile, but if you want to save a few bucks, go to the theater box office and buy tickets in advance in-person. This will eliminate the per-ticket fee that ticketing services charge.
Use wholesale clubs. Many wholesale clubs offer members movie tickets at a reduced price, so be sure to ask if your specific club does before paying full price. While you can typically purchase a few tickets at a time to get a discount, there’s nothing stopping you from buying tickets for your extended family at a discount. Also, be sure to check your local grocery store, as they may sell discounted movie tickets, as well.
Set a snack budget and eat early. Like shopping at a grocery store on an empty stomach is a bad idea, avoid going to the movie theater when you’re hungry. Fill up on something healthy before leaving the house so that you’re not tempted to purchase an unhealthy and expensive snack. If you’d like to enjoy something while watching the movie, create a snack budget and stick to it. Tell your family that you’re only going to buy one tub of popcorn for everyone to share, or one candy bar and large soda. Whatever your budget is, stick to it.
Become loyal. Some theaters offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points when purchasing tickets that can be used on discount tickets and other things. It can also be worthwhile to sign up for updates directly from the theater website, and to follow it on social media. While some theaters let you book tickets through their website without paying fees, newsletters and social media are often used to announce special discounts, offer coupons for snacks and alert you to cheap movie nights.