Keeping yourself entertained is probably costing you more than it should. In previous posts, we've looked at how you can pay too much for electronics and bills, so now we're hitting the fun stuff. Here's how to trim your monthly entertainment budget without dying of boredom.
If you pay for a full-price ticket to Hollywood's latest blockbuster, you're paying too much. There are plenty of ways to save on the cinema--and I'm not just talking about going to a matinee.
For starters, be on the lookout for movie voucher deals and discounts from your favorite theaters. Right now, AMC is offering up to 12 percent off AMC gift cards, so you can spend $44 on $50 worth of movies, popcorn and candy. You can also sign up for their loyalty program for $12/year, and you'll get free upgrades on popcorn and soda and a $10 reward every time you spend $100 at an AMC theater. If you're a frequent moviegoer, especially if you have a family, this is well worth the $12 annual cost. I'm a member of my local theater's loyalty program, and if I present my loyalty card at any showing (even Friday nights), everyone in my party gets their ticket for just $6!
Another way to save on movie tickets is available to Visa Signature Cardholders. You can order buy 1 get 1 free movie tickets from Fandango every Friday of the week. If you don't have a Visa Signature Card, we'd recommend applying for this one.
Also: most movie theaters offer both senior and student discounts every night of the week. Just ask.
Concerts and Sporting Events
Ready to rock out at a concert or support your favorite team, but wincing at the prices? It is possible to save on your tickets. ScoreBig allows you to buy tickets at up to 60 percent off the regular price with no extra fees. Plus, BradsDeals almost always has an extra percent-off coupon to apply to your order. Check out our latest offers here.
eReader prices keep dropping, but buying eBook after eBook can really do a number on your wallet. Luckily, there are lots of ways to get cheap and free eBooks delivered straight to your eReader! How, you ask?
You can get a library card, and rent as many eBooks and digital magazines as you want--for free! The only downside to this is that libraries often pay for just a single digital copy, which can only be checked out by one person at a time. So (like with physical copies of popular books) there may be a waiting list for a book you want. For more information on all the perks of library membership,check out our recent article on the subject!
There are also several websites out there, like Project Gutenberg, PublicBookshelf, Planet eBook, and even Amazon, which feature free eBook downloads. Fair warning: there are some less-than-amazing books on these sites, so if you need help sifting through the static to find some good ones, head over to our list of 16 classic books you can find for free online (spoiler alert: we've got audio books on there too!).
If you're less into the classics and want to read books from some lesser-known modern authors, check out our list of websites for free books that are actually worth your time.
Feeding your gaming addiction can be an expensive job. Trim costs by subscribing to Gamefly. The first month is currently free, after which the membership runs $15.95/month if you want to take one game out at a time or $22.95 if you want to rent two at a time. The benefit here is you can try out a game to see if you like it, or play games that have a limited number of hours of game play without spending $50 on each.
Also, you don't have to pay full price for your Xbox Live membership! We've seen a 12 month membership, normally $59.99, for as low as $34. Unfortunately that deal isn't available right now, but check this link for other offers that may become available.