How to Save Money at the Movies

3 SIMPLE ways to SAVE MONEY at the movies!! Plus, how to get tickets for $1!

There is something about sitting in a movie theater that makes the experience of watching a movie seem far more superior to staying at home. Whether you’re on a date (yes, you should still take those with your spouse every now and then), out with friends (yes, you should still do this too), or taking your kids (yes, despite the constant pee breaks and “is it over yet”- you should probably stick this one out too); there is just something about the movies that makes it fun!

But, then reality sets in- movies are expensive!!

From rising ticket prices, to WAY over priced concession stands- you literally end up paying an arm and a leg!

—-side note, I will never forget when my husband and I were dating. Once, we had just gone out to eat before watching a movie. When we arrived, we were not hungry, but both of us were dying of thirst. So, we went to the concession stand and bought 2 bottled waters: for $9!!!! My poor hubby. I remember my eyes about popping out of my head, but he paid for it without question… Now, if that happened today he would just turn around and tell me to go to the water fountain (;

My point is: it’s ridiculously expensive! So, how can we still have this movie experience without selling our souls to the Cinema Demon?

Here are 3 SIMPLE steps:

  1.  DO NOT BUY FROM THE CONCESSION STAND!!! This is definitely my number one tip! It is just a major rip off. As of now, I have not been into a movie theater that checks your purse (who knows how long before this changes). But until then, stop at your local dollar store, or regular grocery store (I love the Dollar Tree and, coincidentally, there always seems to be one near all our movie theaters down here). Pack your purse with boxes of candy, bagged popcorn, and drinks. I have to take a very large purse, because we love to eat, but it works every time! So instead of spending $50 on our family to get a few drinks, candy, and popcorn at the movies- I can get everything we need for about $10 or less. SCORE!
  2. Sign up for your local movie theater’s rewards program. Our rewards program gives you 100 points for every dollar you spend on tickets or at the concession stand (for those times my number 1 tip just happens to slip your mind). After so many points, you can redeem them for tickets, free concessions, and even apparel and toys (online). Look into your local theater’s rewards program- you might be surprised on what you’ve been missing out on!
  3. Go to the matinee showings. I know many times this is just not an option, but for the times when it is, don’t forget to take advantage of this deal! You can often save A LOT of money by just picking a showing that is a couple hours earlier than you had originally planned. Our local matinee discounts are for any movie that starts before 3 pm. I can handle that to save a couple extra dollars!
  4. (Yes, #4, I know I said 3- but here is one that applies to some but they often forget) Take advantage of special discounts (senior, student, and military discounts)! My mother-in-law was able to take advantage of her first AARP discount the other day at the movie theater (and she handled it like a boss! Me, I would’ve been whispering or wrote the cashier a note to save me the humiliation, but she owned it and was clearly getting her $2 off!). Don’t forget to take advantage of these deals- every $ counts when you are trying to have fun on a frugal budget!

And that’s it (: Those are the 3, I mean, 4 SIMPLE ways you can save at the movie theaters!

Oh, wait- you still want to know how to get tickets for only $1? Surely I wouldn’t forget to add that lovely gem in here!! (; 

There is a catch, however… I know, nothing is ever as good as it sounds, but for you parents out there- this one is a WIN!

Check your local theaters during the summer time. A lot offer a “Summer Movie Express” where they will play slightly older, kid movies for only $1!! They are usually on specific days (Tues. and Wed. down here) and at a certain time (10am). Check your local theater to see if they offer this amazing deal! What better way to get the kids out of the house and add some excitement to their summer AND save you $$??

Here is my local theater’s Summer Movie Express

Summer Movie List


Have you found any special ways to save money at the movies? If so, share it with us! Life is expensive, but it’s also short. Let’s help each other try to make the most out of our time and not kill our bank accounts in trying to do so (;

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