download (22)How to Save Money on Entertainment

Six Types of Entertainment That Won’t Break the Bank


How can you save money on your favorite forms of entertainment? No one wants to feel like they’re missing out on life. Here are several ways to cut costs while still maintaining some space in your budget for having fun.

If You Enjoy: Movies
Instead of going to a movie theater at night, go for a daytime matinee. Eat a heavy lunch at home before you head to the movie theater so you won’t be tempted to splurge on popcorn or soda.

For ultimate money-saving, stream movies over the Internet to watch at home, or use a DVD rental service like Netflix or Redbox.

If You Enjoy: Restaurants
Instead of dining at a full-price restaurant, hunt for a discount through a social coupon service like Groupon, Scoutmob, LivingSocial or SaveMore. Check your mailbox for restaurant-coupon flyers.

Of course, these coupon services limit your restaurant choices. How can you save if you want to dine at a specific place?

Going for Happy Hour is one option. Many restaurants offer great deals on specific menu items at off-peak times of the day. Call the restaurant you want to go to, and ask if they have either a Happy Hour or a Monday night or Tuesday night special.

Another option is to go out for “inner” – that’s dinner without the “d” (without drinks and dessert. If the drinks and dessert are the part you love the most, then JUST order drinks and dessert and skip the dinner itself.

If You Enjoy: Shopping
For many people, shopping is a form of entertainment. The problem is that this can become a pricey habit.

If you love shopping for the sake of shopping – for its entertainment value – why not go without your wallet? Window-shop, admire handbags and shoes, gaze at jewelry, exclaim over this season’s new line of clothing.

I love home remodeling, and I often walk through stores admiring the display of cabinets, countertops and flooring. For obvious reasons, though, I can’t buy new kitchen cabinets every other week! Just walking through the displays gives me the satisfaction of shopping, without needing to swipe my credit card.

Just be careful – too much window-shopping might make you desire objects that are outside your budget. Window-shopping is a great alternative to spending money, but for maximum benefit, you might want to replace “shopping” with a different activity for your Saturday entertainment.

If You Enjoy: Concerts
There’s no need to pay top dollar to hear a popular band perform. There are plenty of up-and-coming musical talents who play free or low-priced concerts in order to gain exposure.

Check coffee shops, street festivals, city parks, bars, nightclubs and jazz clubs to see if they have live performers coming in.

If you live near a major city, see if they offer a discount tickets for the symphony. You also may be able to score cheap deals by getting tickets to watch the rehearsals rather than the actual evening performance.

If You Enjoy: Live Comedy Shows
Two words: amateur night. This is the night that unknown talent goes to the microphone to try to get noticed by the talent scouts who blend into the audience. Tickets to amateur nights are often free or cheap, though the comedy venue might require you to purchase a minimum amount of food or drink.

If You Enjoy: Watching Sports
Many sports venues offer low-cost seats in the uppermost balconies — I’ve been able to go to baseball games for as little as $5. If you’re not trying to find tickets to a sold-out game, you may also be able to score cheap last-minute deals for the surplus seats.