Bringing Entertainment Closer to Home

by Guest

popcorn and movie

This is a guest post by Sarah Harris from Massage Therapy.  Find massage therapy salary information on her site.

When did going to the movies get so expensive?  Between buying tickets for your family, paying for parking, and purchasing popcorn, candy, and drinks, you feel like you just put a down payment on a house.  You swear you saw a sign informing you that next time, you’ll be required to sign over your first-born male child in exchange for entrance to the theater.  And it’s not just films.  It seems like all of your favorite forms of entertainment have gotten more pricey.

From zoos to museums to amusement parks, you practically have to cash in the kids’ college funds just to have a fun day out.  And that family trip to Hawaii went out the window right along with your cost of living increase. So what can you do for fun when your pocketbook is practically empty?

For starters, stay home. What I mean by this is that there are all kinds of fun activities you can do that don’t require you to leave the house.  Spending too much on movies?  Try Netflix. 

For less than $20 per month (what you might spend on two tickets to the theater) you can enjoy three DVDs of your choice at a time.  That means one for the kids, one for the adults, and one for the whole family.  So pop up some Orville Redenbacher and catch your favorite flicks in the comfort of your own home (plus, PJs in public tend to send the message that you’ve given up…at home, perfectly acceptable.

Or here’s a wild idea: try playing a board game.  Many families have forgotten how much fun it can be to bust out a round of Monopoly or Life.  And with newer games like Cranium, there’s something for everyone (trivia, charades, etc.). Don’t underestimate how much fun you can have by pulling out a board game and really connecting with your family.

If you’re starting to get cabin fever and you’ve got your heart set on going out, try taking advantage of discounts.  Many museums and theme parks offer family discount days throughout the year, so keep your eye out for these special dates.  And if you feel like you just need to get away from it all, forget about flying to a major city to go on a shopping spree for the weekend.  Instead, keep it close to home with a camping trip.  You may spend some money initially to outfit your family with tents and sleeping bags, but a weekend in the wilderness will be well worth the investment. 

Time spent reading, fishing, or even playing Frisbee will leave you more relaxed than a harrowing trip through airline terminals and taxi stands anyway.  And camping equipment can be used over and over again.

So instead of spending a bunch of money you don’t have, consider sticking closer to home for your entertainment.  You’ll get more time to connect with your kids without worrying about the credit card bill to come.

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Jesse May 26, 2010 at 11:08 am

This is always on my mind. My wife and I haven’t been out to the movies in almost five years. It’s just not worth our time or money. We do however have a good library of movies at home and watch them when we can, which as busy as life keeps getting is very seldom.

We do play board games, have pickniks and take walks together. We enjoy just spending time together, and it has become more of a time thing than worrying about spending money on something fun.

If netflixs is too much or too inconvenient, many libraries now offer a wider selection of movies you can borrow. They don’t have the latest releases but hey, it’s a free movie.

.-= Jesse´s last blog ..Guest Post: Don’t Devalue Yourself =-.

Bucksome May 27, 2010 at 5:57 am

Jesse, I can’t imagine not going to the theatre for so long. My husband and I go about 4-6 times a year when there’s a movie that we think will be better experienced on the big screen.

We watch movies on Showtime or rent them at Redbox. I need to check out the library, it’s about the same distance as the Redbox machine.

P.S. I’m going to email you a guest post. Hope it works for your site.

Jesse May 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

Just like anything else, the longer you don’t have it, the less you miss it 🙂 we just can’t justify parting with that much cash for a two hour movie we could get for a dollar a couple months later.

PS Thanks!!! I really appreciate overall workload is getting unbearable 🙂
.-= Jesse´s last blog ..Guest Post: Don’t Devalue Yourself =-.

Personal finance May 27, 2010 at 12:25 am

Even for our family going for a movie means spending a weeks expense in a day. Its not that we have totally avoided it. We do go for movies one’s every six months now, the frequency is much lesser compared to last 10 years or so. But with DVD’s available at cheap rates, almost every weekend we watch a movie, have fun without spending much.
Even indoor games like cards, carom etc are entertaining and keeps the whole family interested.

Bucksome May 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

Indoor games are a great idea. I remember my parents getting together with friends to play cards while us kids watched TV (or fell asleep). People got out of that mode it seems. Nice to see this inexpensive outing making a comeback.

Lamb May 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Thanks for the handy links. There is another plus to finding coupons online – if your boss isn’t exactly internet-savvy, finding coupons for their purchases scores you a lot of points! 🙂

Donna Freedman June 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

I get free tickets to the AMC theater chain from My Coke Rewards. I don’t drink a lot of Coke products, but I watch for discarded caps wherever I go. A teriyaki place I sometimes go to lets me take the 25-point codes off the bottoms of cases of sodas. I find a lot on the university campus. A friend saves them for me. Occasionally I’ll pull a discarded 12- or 24-pack out of the recycle bin.
For 485 points you can get a movie ticket and a free fountain drink. For 900 points you can get two tickets and one fountain drink. It takes a while to save that many, but it’s fun to get free tickets in the mail.

Bucksome June 3, 2010 at 4:14 am

We drink lots of diet coke but I haven’t been good about using the My Coke Rewards. I’ll look into that as we do have that chan of theatres here.

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