How to Spend Less on Entertainment

Entertainment is one area where you can save quite a bit of money by making a few minor changes. Thanks to the Internet, local community centers, and a robust marketplace catering to frugal shoppers, it is possible today to have a great time for little or no money.

Here are some terrific ways to entertain yourself without breaking the bank:

1. Visit Second-Run Cinemas

A second-run cinema is an older movie theater that plays films that came out several months ago. A movie ticket at a second-run theater typically costs around $2 or $3, much less than price you would pay at a multiplex to see a new release. Although second-run theaters tend to be a bit run-down, once the lights dim and the movie starts, you shouldn’t notice much of a difference. Going to second-run theaters is a great way to enjoy a movie and get the “theater experience” while paying less than the cost of a typical DVD rental.

2. Rent from Membership Sites Instead of Purchasing

For DVDs and video games, you can save a lot of money by renting instead of buying. By joining sites like Gamefly or Netflix, you will be able to rent an unlimited number of titles for a small monthly fee. One benefit of renting is that you will be able to enjoy a far greater number of DVDs or games than you would otherwise.

3. Take Part in Community Programs

Most community programs or classes are very inexpensive, and it’s easy to find programs for just about anything you might be interested in, whether it’s art classes, tennis lessons, or sports leagues. Request catalogs from both your local community center and any nearby community colleges to get an idea of all the programs available in your area.

4. Buy Used Items

By going to sites like Ebay, Glyde, or Amazon, you should be able to find tons of used books, CDs, and DVDs selling for a fraction of what they would cost brand new. Many sites that sell used goods will also give you an idea of the exact condition the used item is in by using descriptions such as “Like New,” “Very Good,” and “Acceptable.”

5. Take Advantage of DVD Kiosks

Redbox DVD kiosks are ubiquitous these days, and there is no reason not to take advantage of them. By using DVD kiosks, you will only pay around $1 for a DVD rental. If you need to find a kiosk in your area, just visit

6. Reconsider Cable

Giving up cable doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have to forgo watching your favorite programs. Many shows can now be viewed on the Internet through sites like Hulu or Netflix. If you have a compatible device or the appropriate cables, you will be able to view the programs on your TV set as well. Hooking up a computer or laptop to a TV screen is surprisingly easy, and to find the right cable, we recommend reading this article by Best Buy.

7. Use Coupons when Eating Out

Before going to a restaurant, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes on sites like Valpak and to see if there are any coupons you can use., for example, allows you to get $25 gift certificates for $10 or less, instantly saving you over 50% on your restaurant bill.

Coupon Value: A rating based on the average savings you can get using a given vendor's coupons or free trials.

Coupon Availability: A rating based on the quantity and frequency of coupons available from a vendor.

Product Quality:'s rating of the vendor's product or service.