My family enjoys going to the movies and we always look forward to certain new releases (Superhero movies are a staple in my house!). With six children, though, going to the movies is an expensive venture, and we can only make that venture every so often. When we do, we have to save every penny we can so we use a few simple tricks to help us save money when we go to the movies.
Skip Opening Weekend
It’s exciting to see a new release on opening day (or at least opening weekend), but we have learned that to save money and hassle, it’s best to skip opening weekend. For new releases, we wait to see them at least after the opening weekend when we can get a discount on tickets. At our local theater, movie showtimes during the week are at a discounted price — even the newest releases.
Some movie theaters will have discount days on specific nights during the week and you can get free popcorn. Check with your local theater to see what’s available. For our family, we save a decent chunk of change on tickets by waiting until the middle of the week.
Go Early in the Day
Some theaters offer matinee discount prices on tickets for movies before 6 p.m. Our local theater charges $4.50 for all tickets before 6 p.m. which is a $2.25 discount on adult tickets. When you have a large family, every little bit adds up.
Invest in a Rewards Program
Our local theater is owned by AMC and there is a rewards program available. For a small fee ($12 per year), we get a rewards card that accumulates points. For every $100 spent using the rewards card, we get a $10 reward that can be used for tickets or concessions. For a family our size, it doesn’t take long for us to rack up $100 and receive the reward. I give the extra rewards cards to my teenagers so they can add points every time they go to the movies with their friends.
With the rewards program, we also receive discounts on concessions. We can buy a medium drink for the price of a small, for example. It is a small investment, but each year, we make our money back and then some.
When our whole crew goes to a movie, I don’t buy a separate popcorn for each person. I buy one large, refillable popcorn for everyone to share. I take brown, paper lunch sacks with me and fill them up so each person can have a bag for themselves. We keep refilling at the concession stand and everyone is happy.