I love going to the movies. My brother and I used to go to the theater all the time when I was a kid. We’d sit in the front row and sip soda pop from a stick of licorice. Now I’m all grown up and have a family of my own. Even though the costs of theater admissions and concessions have gone up since then, I don’t let that stop me from taking my entire family to the movies. After all, who else would show my four-year-old how to drink soda through a Red Vine? Luckily, I’ve discovered easy ways to cut costs at both the box office and concession stand.

Be a Social Butterfly

I “like” my local theatre on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. They frequently have contests for movie tickets or post coupons for free or discounted concession items. Cinemark, AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are all popular theater chains that post coupons and deals quite often. Back when “Titanic” was in the theaters I snagged a coupon from the AMC Theatres Facebook page. I got a free soda pop when I purchased both a concession stand item and the movie ticket. And yes, that deal did make my heart go on.

Look for Movie Ticket Deals

To be honest, I never go to the movies with my entire family unless I have purchased my movie tickets on a website like LivingSocial.com, Groupon.com, HalfOffDepot.com or Fandango.com. In fact, I purchased two movie tickets in July from HalfOffDepot.com for just $13. That cut my movie ticket price in half! Talk about a frugal night out. Just make sure that your theatre accepts these types of tickets.

Get Rewarded

Check and see if your theater offers any type of reward program. I use the AMC’s Stubs program. I purchased a card for $12 at the beginning of this year, and the benefits have already paid for the yearly cost. With my membership I get $10 back for every $100 I spend at the theater. Considering that tickets cost more than $10 at my theater, I reached that $100 fast. I also get free size upgrades on popcorn and soda pop, online ticket fees waived, and advanced movie premier offers.

Use a Recycled Gift Card

Websites like Cardpool.com and PlasticJungle.com don’t just sell unwanted department store gift cards–they sell ones for movie theaters as well! I once got one for 15 percent off the face value. You might also consider bidding for a movie theater gift card on an auction site like eBay.com. Although, I’ll admit those sites always frustrate me. I got tired of the funny looks my daughter would give me when I yelled and jabbed the computer screen after getting outbid.

Just Swipe It

Check to see if your credit card offers any movie theater perks. For example, Visa Signature cardholders only have to pay $20 for a $25 Fandango gift certificate at fandango.com/visasignature. Some credit card companies also give you cash back on movie theater purchases. Both Discover and Chase Freedom offered 5 percent cash back on movie theater purchases back in April. I’ve also been able to use my credit card points to buy movie tickets and gift cards. It’s a good way to acquire movie tickets for a date night. At least, that’s what I tell my husband when he sees the credit card bill.

This is a guest post by Rose from Yakima, WA
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4 thoughts on “Affordable Family Fun: Five Ways to Save on the Movies”

  1. Amanda says:

    My work offers good deals on movie tickets. You can save up to 40% on them.

  2. Zienia Cabrera says:

    I also go to free movie screenings in my area.

  3. nikkicats2 says:

    I always watch for promotion deals. I’ve scored free movie tickets for buying cereal which was on a great promotion and then add in coupons and rebates and voila! free cereal and two movie tickets. Also recently there was a promotion at Safeway when you purchased $40 in dairy (something I was purchasing anyway) in a month you got two free tickets, it was promoting the new Ice Age movie but would work on any other movie. Both of these promotions are now over but there is still the snickers bar one going which when you enter codes from marked candy bars you can get movie tickets or discounts on them. I’ve picked up quite a few bars recently for around 24 cents each for my husbands fishing trips and for work with explicit instructions to return the wrappers. So far weve won two movie tickets, one $5 off a movie ticket and numerous $3 off of a movie ticket, it seems to be the most common award. You can still enter and win until the end of September. Dig in your candy bar stashes to see if you have any marked bars and I hope you can score some tickets too!

  4. Kalyn Comings says:

    I love using my AMC card. It’s a lovely surprise to find out you have enough points to get a small popcorn or candy!