At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
One of the ways my husband and I have saved a lot of money over the years is by having at-home movie nights instead of going to see a movie at the theater. On the rare occasions when we do go see a movie, I always choke at the prices they charge.
$8+ per ticket? That adds up quickly!
We love a good movie as much as the next person, though, so we’ve found creative ways to enjoy the occasional movie on the cheap. Here are some of those ideas:
When Jesse was in law school, we lived in Topeka, KS, home to one of the best libraries in the U.S. (yes, I’m a little biased and oh how I miss that library!). Not only did we check out dozens of books each month, we also frequented the DVD section for our at-home movie dates. You can’t beat FREE DVD rentals!
Not all libraries offer free DVD rentals, but if your library does, take advantage of it! Our kids especially love checking out old TV series to watch during movie time each day.
Sometime near the end of law school, Redbox came to town and we switched to getting most of our movies from the Redbox kiosks. Back then, they gave away free movie codes like they were going out of style so whenever we wanted to get a free movie, we’d just check Inside Redbox for a valid code.
Now, the codes are a little less frequent, but they still release them on occasion. Coupon Dad keeps a running list of free Redbox rental codes and I also post any that I find as they are valid. (There’s a free Redbox code available through May 8, 2013).
You can use one free code per card, so if you have multiple cards, you can use the free codes more than once. If you have a texting plan, you can text SIGNUP to 727272 and you’ll get a free rental code the first Monday of every month, plus Redbox coupons and occasional free rental codes throughout the month.
Amazon Instant Video Rental
Thanks to Swagbucks, Amazon is becoming more and more our go-to place for renting movies. The Amazon Instant Video library contains thousands upon thousands of movies, TV shows, and more.
They occasionally release free Instant Streaming credits that we use to download movies and they also often have $0.99 rental specials. The thing I love best about the $0.99 rental offers is that you have 30 days to start viewing them. So I can purchase one and save it for a movie night later in the month. Once you start viewing the video, though, it’s only available in your account for 48 hours.
I use a few of the Amazon gift cards I earn through Swagbucks each month to pay for some Instant Video library purchases from Amazon. We’ve been very happy with Amazon video rentals and we love that we don’t have to mess with going out and getting a video or the possibility that they might be all rented. In addition, if we’ve had any connectivity issues with a movie playing, Amazon has always refunded our money all on their own — even when the connectivity issues weren’t anything major.
There are also other options like NetFlix, Hulu, and watching shows online, but the library, Redbox, and Amazon Instant Video are our top three favorites.
How Much Can You Save?
If you go to a theater once a month and spend and average of $20 (two movie tickets + popcorn), you’ll save around $240 per year by having at-home movie nights. That’s fairly significant!
Plus, you don’t have to mess with finding a sitter and you can make your own snacks — which are much better than most of those icky movie theater options (can you tell I’m not a soda pop and candy bar girl?!).
Do you like at-home movie dates? What are your favorite alternatives to paying for movie tickets?
photo from Big Stock