Last updated on January 29th, 2020 at 11:50 am
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Popcorn enjoyed for free last time we watched a movie on the Big Screen for less
The least expensive way to enjoy a movie is of course to watch it at home using either a free redbox code or by borrowing a DVD from your local library.
However there is just something about watching a movie on a screen so large it could not possibly fit in your living room.
For times like that here are a few tips I have learned to watch movies on the big screen for less.
1. Purchase discounted gift cards for your local movie theater
Companies such as Plastic Jungle and Cardpool often offer gift cards to national movie chains for discounts of 10% or more.
2. Attend matinees
In our town you save $2.25 per ticket when you go to a movie before 6pm. For our family of five that saves us $11.25.
3. Find a last run movie theater near you
If you live in a larger center your town may have a last run movie theater with low admission prices. These movies are not new releases, in fact sometimes they might be so old that the DVD is coming out in just a few weeks, however there is just something about the big screen that makes for a fun family outing and these last run theaters can help you bring that experience for less.
4. Look for Special Days
The last run theater is just $2 on Tuesdays in our area. Our local theater gives out free popcorn all day on Tuesday which is a big hit with our kids because normal we make them go without (see more on this in point 9).
5. Follow daily deal sites
Daily deal sites like Groupon often offer movie packages. Read the fine print before you buy to make sure you know of any restrictions that may apply.
6. Watch out for free summer movie programs
Theaters often offer a free movie once a week during summer break. These tend to be movies that are already out on DVD but again it is nice to enjoy the big screen theater now and again, and if it is super hot outside the break can be refreshing.
7. Cash in your Swagbucks or Recycle Bank Points for movie gift cards and coupons
For 1000 Swagbucks you can purchase a $10 Fandango card that you can use towards your online purchase of movie theater tickets for your local theater. Recycle bank offers a $2 off any adult movie ticket at Regal Entertainment Group Theaters for 150 points or a free ticket for 2500 points.
8. Cash in you mycokerewards points for free movie gift certificates
For 940 mycokereward points you can purchase two tickets to AMC theatres.
9. Stay away from the snack counter
All your savings for the above 8 points could be blown in a feast of over priced pop and high calorie laden popcorn. Our family avoids it by going right after meal time and promising the children a snack off the dollar menu at their favorite fast food joint on the way home.
10. Double dip the savings
You can save by using any of these tips alone but you can save even more by combining tips.
Here is an example a no discount night out for our family
Regular Movie Tickets For Our Family Of 5: $6.75 x 5= $33.75
Snacks at the theater: $5×5=$25 (I am estimating, I have not bought snacks at a theater in yrs)
Total cost of a night out no discounts for our family of 5 = $58.75
Here is an example of a double dipping (actually triple dipping) discounting night out for our family
Matinee movie tickets bought with a 10% off discount gift card: $20.25
Cost of snacks when we go on free popcorn day: $0
Total cost of a double dipping discounting afternoon: $20.25
We saved $38.50 which is enough to go to another movie and still have significant change left over.
So now that you know how to save money at the big screen, I would love to know which types of movies do you love the most?
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.