It's summertime, which means bonus free time, if you're lucky. Going to the movies is a classic way to stay out of the sun while still having fun – the only issue is that outlandish price tag! I had quit going to the movies a few years back, because the cost of admission was higher than I was comfortable with. However, after learning different ways to obtain cheap movie tickets, and figuring out how to keep my costs low, I'm back to seeing flicks on the big screen. It's still a treat when I get to go, but it's not nearly as painful to my wallet. Keep reading for 12 ways to go to the movies for less.
1. Download apps for deals
There are plenty of apps out there that can save you money and help you find cheap movie tickets. Try Atom Tickets, Dealflicks, or Fandango. These apps are free, and many can also help you skip the line at the box office.
2. Check Groupon
There are plenty of deals to be had at Groupon, movies included. You might even be able to nab a dinner-and-a-movie combo at a steal. Date night alert!
3. Sign up for a subscription service
If you're a movie buff, you should consider signing up for a subscription service like MoviePass. It's like Netflix, but for the theater. You pay a flat rate each month, and watch movies as you like.
4. Get on a rewards program
Lots of larger movie theaters (i.e. Regal, AMC, etc.) offer a rewards program – the next time you're at the desk, ask to sign up so you can start receiving coupons and deals.
5. See a matinee
The early bird gets the worm – or in this case, cheaper tickets! Film showings are always less expensive in the daylight – plus, there won't be as large of a crowd as there would be in the evening. And afterwards, you can go out for an early dinner.
6. Go on the right day
If you're trying to think of ways to keep the kids entertained all summer long, plan your movie excursions for during the week, not on the weekend. Prices will be much cheaper, especially if you can go earlier in the day.
7. Use your AAA discount
If you have AAA, you probably know about their discounts on rental cars and hotels; but did you know that AAA may be able to get you cheap movie tickets? Check your local AAA Club's website for all the deals.
8. Buy cheap movie tickets through your warehouse club
9. Eat before you go
Even if you take advantage of a movie ticket deal or coupon, you can quickly blow all your money at the concession stand. Eat a light meal or snack before you go, and you won't be tempted by the popcorn and frozen Icees.
10. Sneak in your own snacks
Buying treats at the theater is not cheap, even if you just want a light snack or a bottle of water. Bringing your own food to the theater is certainly not illegal, and the rule may actually be a myth, depending on who you ask. Just don't be brazen, and bring in your snacks quietly. If you do sneak some treats in your purse, remember to be respectful of your fellow theater-goers and the theater staff. Don't bring in hot foods, alcohol, or anything containing peanuts (in case someone in your row has an allergy).
11. Watch an old or independent movie
Blockbuster films are a thrill, but watching anything on the big screen is a fun way to spend the day. Check smaller, local theaters in your area that show primarily old or indie films. They're much more likely to provide cheap movie tickets at a fraction of the cost of a full-price film. Plus you get to revisit old favorites, or see a movie that few will be talking about yet!
12. Go to an outdoor viewing
If you're lucky, your local Parks and Recreation department has organized viewing of classic films at your local parks. They're usually free, and as long as you bring bug spray, they're a lot of fun!
Hopefully these tips for getting cheap movie tickets and keeping costs low will help you and your family out this summer. Just don't forget to turn off your cellphone!