Saving on Entertainment – How to Stretch Your Budget

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Everyone is on a budget these days, and it can be hard to find a balance between enjoying life and staying on track financially. There are ways to do it, though!  Let’s explore a few of our best tips on finding ways to have fun without breaking the bank.

  • Groupon Deals

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    • Great for dates or family outings.  You can find everything from bowling to complete vacations.  Wait for a promo code to get even more savings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • LivingSocial

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    • Another deal site that has great 50% off deals or better on things to do around town. They also offer coupons if you want to wait and stack the savings.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Group Pricing

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    • You can get group rates almost anywhere, and they provide a great way to save on more expensive outings.  Call ahead and find out how many make a group and then round up some friends/family.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Subscribe! Subscribe! Subscribe!

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    • Set up an alternate email address and then subscribe to all your favorite place’s email feeds.  Many places offer their best discounts to their customers.  Email feeds let you know their regular specials (ie $1 bowling nights) and insider deals.

 

 

 

  • Seat Filler Sites

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    • Organizations like Fill-a-Seat or On the List offer yearly memberships for around $50.  Their sole purpose is to fill seats for events so you get “free” tickets year-round to comedy clubs, ballets, sporting events, and more.  You pay only the fee for the annual pass.  Tickets are first-come, first-served and you have to abide by a few membership rules like making sure to show up if you claim the tickets.

 

 

 

 

  • Entertainment Book

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    • Watch for sales on Entertainment books on Coupon Divas then snag one or two.  These books are chocked full of deals on restaurants, services, and entertainment.  Definitely worth the buy!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Restaurant.com

    • We post awesome deals for Restaurant.com.  Buy a $25 gift card for $5 or less during lots of their promos.  Spend that $25 at tons of local restaurants.  You may even get to find a new favorite place!

 

  • Get an annual membership.

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    • Often, the cost of tickets to the local zoo or museum plus parking and other attractions end up costing more than buying the yearly pass, especially since the annual membership usually gives you perks like free or discounted parking, discounts on souvenirs and food, and special members only events or hours.  Most places have reciprocal memberships too, so you can enjoy other nearby venues free of charge!

 

 

 

  • Gift Cards

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    • Buy gift cards at a discount from other people via Raise.com.  At the time of this post, they have AMC gift cards at a 25% discount, Dave & Buster’s gift cards at 22% off, and lots more.  Combine the gift card with specials or other coupons and you’re doubling the savings!
    • Buy gift cards at the grocery store.  Most grocery stores have fuel incentives that will get you up to $1 off a gallon of gas and they do bonus points on the gift cards.  Make sure to look at the ads around any gifting holiday – ie Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc – and you might find special buys on gift cards.  My local store does lots of promos where you buy $50 and get a $10 grocery catalina.  I once bought $200 in Ticketmaster gift cards for an upcoming event and got back $40 for groceries.   Just like stated above, you can use the gift card like cash so combine it with specials and coupons to get the most bang for your buck.

 

  • Think outside of the box!

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    • Skip the typical dinner and a movie for something outside the norm.
      • Check your town’s Facebook or web page for fun outings like movies in the park, free concerts, or other events.
      • Farmer’s markets often have live entertainment and great food, along with free samples.
      • Take a nature hike, or maybe even try geocaching.
      • Host a potluck game night!  You get the benefit of not having to cook an entire meal as well as not having the kitchen clean-up, plus you get hours of fun.
      • Do a movie marathon!  Get out the popcorn at home and watch your favorite series together.
      • Find out when your local museum has a free night and go!
      • Karaoke!
      • Cook together.
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