5 Ways to Save on Entertainment!!

by Alecia on January 6, 2010

I thought it would be fun to post a few of my favorite ways to save money. As I made my list, though, I realized it was HUGE. So, I’ve decided to break them down into categories. I’ll be posting these “Ways to Save” over the next few days, so keep an eye out, and feel free to comment with your own favorite ways to save in each category!!


5 Ways to Save on Entertainment:

1) Host a Dinner Club – we did this in college with a few other married couples and it has turned out to be the foundation for some of my favorite memories and deepest friendships. Get together with a few friends & take turns hosting a dinner party – we used to do it monthly, and rotate houses. The host couple (or family) prepares dinner, while everyone else gets to just show up and relax. This is a great way to save money by dining in instead of going out, and you get some quality time with friends. So much more fun than any “dinner & a movie” could be!

2) Use Coupons – Coupons are not just for groceries! When you must get out, plan your event around the coupons you have available. For example, if we want to go out to dinner, we consult our coupon folder first & decide where to eat based on the coupons we have available. Do you have coupons to a local zoo, attraction, museum, or other event? Consider the overall cost, and pick a day or evening out based on your best value!

3) Eat a Fancy Meal IN - instead of heading out to a restaurant for a date out, consider making an extra special meal in, instead. I cannot tell you how much money we’ve saved over the years by using this method. Prior to having kids, this was our favorite “date night” event, and we spent many Valentine’s Days celebrating this way. We would head to the grocery store (coupons in hand) and pick out something extra special to make (like expensive steaks, crab legs, etc), and go home to make it together. The groceries for the evening were always cheaper than a meal at a restaurant, the food was so much better, the time spent together was more intimate, and we usually had leftovers (so our dollar was stretched a bit further).

4) Swap with Friends - trade babysitting nights, movies, games, etc. Why spend money renting a movie when you can just swap with friends? I recommend doing it on a monthly basis, that way you always have new movies, new games, and a set night out with a free babysitter lined up. Some friends of ours swap babysitting nights every-other-week, that way one couple goes out on a Friday night while the other couple watches their kids, then two weeks later, they swap. This way, each couple gets one night out each month and one night as a “play date” for the kids per month.

5) Get Creative - remember what it was like to be a kid again and BE CREATIVE!! Dates with your spouse don’t have to be expensive. You can pitch a tent or build a fort (literally) in the living room after the kids go to bed (or include them in on it and have a family sleep over). Spend the night watching old movies (borrowed, of course), reading aloud from a favorite book, or playing your favorite game (we love the 20-minute Hasbro games). Don’t want to spend the evening in the house? Head to the mall with a $5 spending limit and surprise each other with what gifts you can buy! Pack a picnic and head the park, or spend a few hours browsing at the library. Search local events and see what you can come up with for FREE – some museums offer free admission on certain days/hours, many communities offer free movies in the park during the summer months, even your credit/debit card can gain you free access to places!! As we said, be creative!

Hope you all find these tips inspiring. They are just a few ways that we’ve actually ENJOYED saving money, and spending time together, over the years. Feel free to share some of your own ideas or experiences.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Coupon Teacher January 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I love a fancy meal in…I haven't done that one for a while!

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5 Ways to Save on Entertainment!!

by Alecia on January 6, 2010

I thought it would be fun to post a few of my favorite ways to save money. As I made my list, though, I realized it was HUGE. So, I’ve decided to break them down into categories. I’ll be posting these “Ways to Save” over the next few days, so keep an eye out, and feel free to comment with your own favorite ways to save in each category!!


5 Ways to Save on Entertainment:

1) Host a Dinner Club – we did this in college with a few other married couples and it has turned out to be the foundation for some of my favorite memories and deepest friendships. Get together with a few friends & take turns hosting a dinner party – we used to do it monthly, and rotate houses. The host couple (or family) prepares dinner, while everyone else gets to just show up and relax. This is a great way to save money by dining in instead of going out, and you get some quality time with friends. So much more fun than any “dinner & a movie” could be!

2) Use Coupons – Coupons are not just for groceries! When you must get out, plan your event around the coupons you have available. For example, if we want to go out to dinner, we consult our coupon folder first & decide where to eat based on the coupons we have available. Do you have coupons to a local zoo, attraction, museum, or other event? Consider the overall cost, and pick a day or evening out based on your best value!

3) Eat a Fancy Meal IN - instead of heading out to a restaurant for a date out, consider making an extra special meal in, instead. I cannot tell you how much money we’ve saved over the years by using this method. Prior to having kids, this was our favorite “date night” event, and we spent many Valentine’s Days celebrating this way. We would head to the grocery store (coupons in hand) and pick out something extra special to make (like expensive steaks, crab legs, etc), and go home to make it together. The groceries for the evening were always cheaper than a meal at a restaurant, the food was so much better, the time spent together was more intimate, and we usually had leftovers (so our dollar was stretched a bit further).

4) Swap with Friends - trade babysitting nights, movies, games, etc. Why spend money renting a movie when you can just swap with friends? I recommend doing it on a monthly basis, that way you always have new movies, new games, and a set night out with a free babysitter lined up. Some friends of ours swap babysitting nights every-other-week, that way one couple goes out on a Friday night while the other couple watches their kids, then two weeks later, they swap. This way, each couple gets one night out each month and one night as a “play date” for the kids per month.

5) Get Creative - remember what it was like to be a kid again and BE CREATIVE!! Dates with your spouse don’t have to be expensive. You can pitch a tent or build a fort (literally) in the living room after the kids go to bed (or include them in on it and have a family sleep over). Spend the night watching old movies (borrowed, of course), reading aloud from a favorite book, or playing your favorite game (we love the 20-minute Hasbro games). Don’t want to spend the evening in the house? Head to the mall with a $5 spending limit and surprise each other with what gifts you can buy! Pack a picnic and head the park, or spend a few hours browsing at the library. Search local events and see what you can come up with for FREE – some museums offer free admission on certain days/hours, many communities offer free movies in the park during the summer months, even your credit/debit card can gain you free access to places!! As we said, be creative!

Hope you all find these tips inspiring. They are just a few ways that we’ve actually ENJOYED saving money, and spending time together, over the years. Feel free to share some of your own ideas or experiences.
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