Some of the most anticipated movies of the year are being released soon! This means some of us will want to go spend some time in the theaters. Unfortunately, the movies can be expensive, between tickets and food. So, the question is: how do you stick with your budget and save at the movies?
Here are some tips that I have found helpful for cutting costs:
1. Student ID
Always bring your student ID. Most theaters offer student discounts. I often save up to $4 with my ID. So if you attend a local school, be sure to bring your school ID along with you.
Look for theaters near you with lower ticket prices. Sometimes, the closest theater isn’t the cheapest. Be sure to look up ticket prices for movie theaters a little farther away. If the cost is low enough it might outweigh the distance. I know it normally does for me. You can also check concession prices. Some theaters have special popcorn buckets you can purchase once and then get refilled for $2 for the rest of the year. Deals like that can help you save at the movies even if the theater isn’t quite as close!
3. Skip the concession stand
Eat before you go or bring a snack in your bag. The most expensive part of going to the movies can be the concessions. To cut costs I often go right after I eat lunch or dinner. This way, I‘m not as tempted to get a huge tub of popcorn. Another way to save money is to bring a snack in your purse. I stop at the dollar tree and get their boxed candy for a fifth of the theater’s price. Some theaters don’t mind anymore if you bring in outside food, especially if you arrive a hour early to get in line for a new release!
Catch a daytime showing. Showings around noon are typically cheaper than nighttime showings. So, as tempting as it is to see a movie opening night, it pays to wait until noon the next day. And as a bonus you can ask people who already went if it’s even worth your money. In many theaters the tickets are only $5 if you go before or around noon.
Wait for the movie to be released on RedBox or in a dollar theater. If you aren’t in a rush to see a particular film, wait. RedBox and dollar movies price at around two dollars (maybe a little extra if you want Blu-ray). This can save you around ten dollars per person. Just remember to return the movie to Redbox in a timely manner to avoid getting charged for another day. You can also see new movies on Amazon for $5 or $6 or free on other streaming services and popping your own popcorn at home will save a ton as well.
And if you do splurge on the complete movie experience? Just remember to budget for it. We all have to treat ourselves every once in awhile. And sometimes it’s just worth the cost to go on opening night with all of your friends. But for those movies that can wait and with these tips, you can enjoy some of the year’s hottest movies without breaking the bank.