One of my favorite childhood memories was going to the movies with my family. We didn’t have much money so it was an occasional treat. Now that I have my own kids, I try to give them the same happy experiences I had with my parents. Take a look at these 7 Ways to Save Money at the Movies. Using Gift Cards, Loyalty Memberships, Bulk Ticket Purchases, and Discount Prepaid Tickets can significantly cut your out of pocket expenses. Because movie tickets are easily $7 – $15 a pop these days, and that’s before you make it to the concession stand. A night out at the movies can be quite costly but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ways to mitigate the expense of taking your family to a showing.
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7 Ways to Save Money at the Movies:
1. Buy Discounted Gift Cards: My first rule is always buy discounted gift cards so you will never pay retail prices. This rule can apply to services and experiences and not just merchandise. Some of my favorite places to shop are CardCash, Raise or eBay for discounted movie theater gift cards.
2. Loyalty Memberships: If there is a theater brand you like whether for ambiance or just proximity, then it’s a good idea to sign up for special offers and rewards. Some you can join for free and accrue points for purchases. Some may have a small fee but gives a better reward program. You just have to choose the one that is a right fit for your spending habits.
3. Bulk Ticket Purchase: These are usually sold to businesses in bulk at a discount. There is no rule against selling to individuals so you are free to take advantage of this option. However, it may not be for those who don’t go to the cinema regularly because you must buy in large quantities. There is usually a minimum that applies. You could always split the cost with family members or friends who are movie-goers. Just be sure to read the restrictions as there is likely to be a few.
4. Warehouse Retailers: Costco and Sam’s club members can always buy prepaid movie tickets from partner vendors. You may choose to buy tickets online or in-store. Skip on shipping cost by opting for e-mail delivery. Some states attach surcharges but that’s probably still better then paying full price at the box office.
5. Advance Movie Screenings: This varies greatly depending on where you live and availability. You have to have the flexibitlity and be able to get to the theater early as these are usually over-booked. A good resource for finding these viewings is Advance Screenings bceause they aggregate all of the movie screenings they find out about and how to get tickets to them on their website. The best part is being able to sign up for notifications when a new screening is announced in your area.
6. Movie Pass Membership: Depending on your location, an individual monthly pass can cost from $30-49 for one movie per day. This option is probably best for those who go frequently. It also usually requires you to check in advance for specific titles and show times. But there are restrictions so be sure to read all their terms and that your favorite movie theater is eligible.
7. Online Discount Retailers: Online sites like Groupon, Amazon Local & Travel Zoo are just a few options when it comes to buying discounted online deals. They offer nice pre-purchase prices, often 40% or more. These are usually art house or smaller independent theaters.
Just implementing one of these options will help cut your cost. Some of these methods will work better then others for you depending on how frequently you go to the movies, the number of people going and the theaters available in your area. So poke around for pricing or special offers and see what you come up with. A small discount is better then none at all and over time those savings do add up. What are your favorite ways to save on movie tickets? Share your experience. Don’t forget to see our master listing on Ways to Save Money!
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