With quick services such as Netflix, Hulu, and other websites catered to watching movies online, it’s hard to imagine leaving the house to check out what’s in theaters. Some people go to the movies for the sheer experience of it, popcorn, big seats, long rows, huge screens.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. I’d rather sit at home and watch an entire TV series in a day on Netflix. But, when you have nieces, a nephew, and friends constantly asking you out to see new movies, you give in a little. Going to the movies can be expensive, here are my tips on, “How to Save Money at The Movies.”
1. Eat before you go.
Seriously, eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner before you go to the movies. Eating before you go will help deter you away from the concession stands. Although it’s tempting to grab a bag of popcorn, or nachos, or a box of candy, concessions are not worth the price. They cost anywhere between $4.00-$9.00, add that to the price of your ticket and you’ve easily spent $15-$20 per person.
2. Bring your own candy
Speaking of food, bring your own candy. Now I know you aren’t supposed to bring any outside food into the theater, but you can buy the same box of candy you’ll spend $5 bucks on at the movies for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. Plus, I’ve never seen anyone checking for items. I usually bring a box of candy in my purse to enjoy while watching a movie, especially if I have my nieces and nephew (I let each of them bring their own box). For some reason kids always want something to snack on. Now, I’m not saying bring a whole steak dinner (which I actually witnessed someone eating the last time I went to the movies), but a box of candy won’t hurt. If you are against bringing your own candy try this next tip.
3. Sign up for discounts and coupons at your theaters.
Many theaters offer free concessions coupons, ticket deals, discount days, loyalty rewards, and more when you sign up for their emails and newsletters.
- Get freebies and deals for signing up with Regal Theaters, and signing up with AMC Theaters.
- The theater that has the best coupon deals on concessions (to me) is Cinemark. Each week Cinemark sends out concession coupons by email, you can also put your phone in Cinemode during a movie to score more coupons.
4. Go to the Early show
You can save a lot of money by going to matinee shows. At Cinemark it’s $4.25 a ticket, the regular show at Cinemark is $6.25. But, did you know you can save even more money at other theaters such as AMC or Regal Theaters by attending pre-matinee shows? Yep, go to the movies before noon and save lots of money. Also, remember going to the movies on a weekday is always cheaper (check prices on holidays that fall during the week, I believe they are full priced.)
5. Go to the Drive-In
I haven’t gone to the Drive-In in years; the last time I went was on a vacation in Dallas, TX . That trip was extremely fun, and I have no idea how we ended up at the Drive-In. But, to get back to the subject. The Drive-In is usually cheaper than a traditional movie ticket and you’re able to watch two new releases, plus bring your own snacks. The theater close to me costs $10 for adults, but children 11 and under are FREE *some Drive-In’s are seasonal so be sure to check before you go*.
6. Buy Tickets in Bulk
If you frequent the movies on a regular basis, you should think about purchasing your tickets in bulk. Most bulk movie ticket packages are sold at a discount. The upfront charge is steep, but if you calculate how much money you’ll save over time, it’s worth it. Plus, these tickets don’t expire so you can stretch them as long as you’d like *check with theater*. You do have to show up early to the movies to make sure tickets to the show aren’t sold out. Make sure you always check the terms and conditions for the bulk tickets you purchase, sometimes they have specific days or times attached.
7. Look for FREE Screenings and Movie Tickets
Sign up for GOFOBO to get tickets to free movie screenings. You sign up and get rsvp codes from your local news stations, radio stations, and various social media outlets. Sometimes they simply email you a code for free tickets. I’ve been able to see numerous films for free, before they are released to the general public, using gofobo.
Another way to get free movie tickets is to search Fandango for free movie ticket promotions. Most of the time they require you to sign up for a free trial of a service (just remember to cancel the service asap).
8. Sign up for Ibotta
If you are big on seeing new release movies sign up for Ibotta. Ibotta is an app that offers instant cash back rebates on multiple products at a variety of stores. Ibotta also has rebate deals for restaurants, home improvement stores, and movie theaters. Participating theaters include AMC, Regal, United Artist Theaters, and Edwards Theaters.
Check Ibotta to see if they have rebates available for the movie you’re planning on seeing. After your movie is over scan your ticket stub, and instantly get a few bucks back. *make sure to check the details on each offer*
9. Follow Movie Theaters on Social Media
Following movie theaters on social media is also a way to save money at the movies. Sometimes the theaters will tweet, or post Facebook statuses for free concessions, coupons on concessions, free tickets, discount tickets, and sweepstakes. Here are a few I follow:
- Regal Cinemas Facebook (weekly concession coupons)
- Regal Cinemas Twitter
- AMC Facebook (offers and deals)
- AMC Twitter (lots of sweepstakes)
- Cinemark Facebook (weekly concession coupons)
- Cinemark Twitter
10. Buy Tickets from Member Services
Are you a member of Costco, Sam’s Club, or AAA? All of these companies offer discount movie tickets, along with a host of other unions and trade organizations.
You can also check your credit card to see if it offers discount tickets, a lot of credit cards do. You’ll be surprised at all of the deals banks offer that you’ve been missing out on.
Well, I hope this list is enough to show you how to save money at the movies. Do you know of any other ways to save money at the movies? Drop a comment in the box and let me know.