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Ways to save money on entertainment
Old 11-13-2014, 10:53 AM   #1
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Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Ways to save money on entertainment

The "entertainment budget" thread had a few good posts on ways people save on entertainment that normally would be paid for. I've never heard of many of them. I thought it might be nice to have those options in one place for all of us to easily see and benefit from.

My entertainment is pretty simple:
  • Library for movies and ebooks
  • Free books from Amazon Kindle library - I've found several very good books from new authors for free
  • Redbox for the occassional movie that I want to see "now" rather than waiting for it at the library
  • for discounted gift cards
  • Groupon for local events

"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~
Hebrews 12:11

ER'd in June 2015 at age 52. Initial WR 3%. 50/40/10 (Equity/Bond/Short Term) AA.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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- for a broad array of half price, or sometimes even free, Entertainment options (We 'don't leave home without it' as they say)
- for 'better' restaurant deals, hotels, and travel packages
- for free online classes
- Duolinga for free online language instruction

And a big +1 for library e-books. Oh what a wonderful invention - just a few minutes browsing on the computer, and presto, a wonderful, free book appears on your e-reader.

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Old 11-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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Our local movie theater sells books of 10 tickets good anytime for $49, and Tuesday nights are only $4 (as are matinees).

We also go to lot of local Division III men's college hockey games ($9/game each) which is cheap entertainment.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Old 11-13-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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Seasonally there are a lot of free concerts in our area. Some are local bands - but at a park we can walk to and bring a picnic dinner... others involve borrowing a friends inflatable raft - and parking in the water next to the outdoor stage at Humphreys. (Lots of big name Jazz acts in the summer.) Check out local colleges and your parks department for info on this stuff.

When the kids were younger we had memberships to the zoo.

If you live in southern CA you can get a VERY inexpensive annual pass for Disneyland. But you have to show proof of residency. It limits when you can use it to non-holidays, non-Saturdays... but it's less crowded on Sunday so that worked for us. We do this every 4-5 years - and make 6-7 trips that year (bringing our own food - so the cost is very cheap.)

Museums often have a free day periodically. Here in San Diego the big museums in Balboa Park rotate each week which museum is free on Tuesdays.

Movies - NEVER go outside matinee time. And if it's not a movie that *must* be seen on the big screen... wait till you can stream it from Amazon Prime for free, or rent it from Redbox for a few bucks. I cannot fathom paying full freight for a movie at the theater.... It would cause me distress and I wouldn't be able to enjoy the movie.

Eating out - Lunch is much cheaper than dinner... so splurge on lunch and cook dinner at home.

Travel - renting vacation rentals (apartments with kitchens) gives you more space and a kitchen - usually for MUCH less per day than a hotel. Sure, you have to make your own bed... but I can deal with that. If you're staying 3 nights or longer in one spot - this is a no-brainer money saver.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Entertainment books - 2 for 1 for 1 dining out coupons, plus store and attraction coupons. I buy the first one at Costco and a few more during the year from the entertainment site when they go on sale. We also like to go out for lunch specials with a 2 for 1 coupon. It doesn't cost much more than eating at home.
NARM - free museum admission
ROAM - free museum admission
AHA - free garden / arboretum / conservatory admission
ASTC - free or half price science museum and planetarium admission.
Movies - Costco discount tickets or the early bird matinee.
Always free or low cost - beaches, parks, tide pools, bike trails, festivals, gold panning, public archery range, picnics, cook outs, meetup groups, social / hobby clubs, cheap hobbies - yoga, reading, cooking, urban homesteading, garage sailing.
Libraries - free attraction passes, Overdrive, Freegal, Hoopla, Zinio,, Treehouse, used book sales and book lending.
Groupon 50% off + occasional sales another 20% off + using Discover shopping 5% + Discover cash back for 1%.
Goldstar tickets
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:27 PM   #6
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All of those above, plus we are surprised at how many entertaining events are free or nearly free in our university city. Often the Youth Symphony Orchestra and the college orchestra is free or very low cost. There are many festivals during the year that are free, unless you buy something. There is a farmer's/arts and crafts market every other Saturday during the warm months and it's free unless you buy something, but very entertaining either way. There are free events for people with dogs, even a splashfest in the public pool so you can bring your dog to swim with you. The cost for that is minimal. There is the First Friday art trail, and our musuems are mostly free. You just have to pay attention and be willing to check new things out.

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