Frugal Living: How to Save on Entertainment

Even families on a tight budget can enjoy some nights on the town with a little planning.

Take Advantage of Free Activities
There are many resources for free entertainment when you know what to look for.

  • Especially during the summer months, many towns have festivals, movies in the park, library programs and more.  Head over HERE to see my list of free or cheap summer fun.
  • Snag a free Redbox rental every now and then and pair it with a bowl of popcorn.  Head over HERE to read my post 7 Ways to Get Free Redbox Rentals.  Signing up for text alerts should yield you one free movie per month, plus the occasional discount coupon.
  • Get a free trial of Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or Netflix and take advantage of the free movie extravaganza!

Look for Ways to Get Discounts
Here are a few of my favorite discount programs for restaurants, movies and local attractions:

  • The Entertainment Book is filled with $30,000+ in coupons for free or cheap activities in your area.  The regular price is $35 with free shipping, but there is almost always a discount available.  Head over HERE and insert your zip code to see the coupons in your area, then pick one up and prepare for a years worth of fun on-the-cheap.
  • Groupon is my go-to site for local discounts.  I have gotten zoo memberships, restaurant vouchers and more.  Last year my favorite deal was The Book of Free (not currently available) priced at $24 and filled with local restaurant coupons for free entrees, appetizers and desserts.  We used the heck out of that thing and gave away the coupons we couldn’t use.  The point is to keep your eyes peeled or sign up for email alerts for your local area Groupons.  It will pay off in a big way.
  • Sign up for email alerts from your favorite restaurants, movie theatres and local attractions.  You will be alerted to special savings and get truckloads of coupons.  And don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook where more than a few coupons will be posted!
  • Take advantage of Kids Eat Free nights.  Ask your favorite restaurants, or browse their websites, then strategically plan your evenings out around these special days and times.
  • Some survey sites will pay you in restaurant gift cards.  I can’t tell you how great it feels to walk into Olive Garden with five kids and not owe a dime at the end. My faves are Daily Survey Panel, MyPoints, and Valued Opinions.
  • Discounted restaurant gift cards are always available from Plastic Jungle, usually at a rate of 9-10% off.  I have purchased from them many times in the past and have always been happy.

More From the Frugal Living Series:

How about you? How do you save on entertainment?