You’ve GOT to be Kidding Me?!? (or How to Save Money at the Movie Theatre)

| May 26, 2007 | 4 Comments

Cost of 2 movie tickets for Friday night: $22
Cost of 2 sodas, one popcorn and one nachos at the movies: $21
Total cost of my husband and my first night out alone in nearly a year: $43

Seriously. I mean seriously. WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH TO GO TO THE MOVIES?!?

I thought the ticket prices were awful when I bought them online (truth be told, I could have saved $2 by buying them at the theatre, but since it was the opening night I wanted to be sure we got them for the time we wanted).

But the food. Oh, the food. Once upon a time, movie theatre food cost a fraction of the price and was made on the premises. You would get hot nacho cheese, just popped popcorn, etc, etc. These days, everything comes out of bags and plastic containers. In fact, they don’t even put the butter on the popcorn for you anymore. Geesh. We are paying for less quality, less work by the workers and convenience. It’s a scam.

How to save money at the movies:

1) Bring your own food. Nachos and cheese? No problem. Ortega sells these handy little tubs of nacho cheese in four packs (check the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store) for about $3. Take one, and a baggy of tortilla chips and hide in your large purse. For drinks, bring your favorites – water, flavored waters, even sodas – in your purse. But wait till the lights dim to whip them out. Even popcorn can be popped at home and brought with you.

2) Go to the matinee. Yea, it’s fun to see movies at night. But it’s more fun to not spend an arm and a leg doing it so save a few dollars and go in the afternoon on a rainy day. Your wallet will thank you.

3) Only see what you can’t wait for. Don’t go to the movies just to go to the movies. Go when it’s a movie you are dying to see that you cannot wait for. Otherwise, save the money and wait for it to come out on video – you can either spend about $5 and rent it or spend $15 and own it. Both cases are less than the cost of two movie tickets.

Category: Budget Eating

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (4)

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  1. akaijen says:

    Yeah I’m with you. I’m famous for smuggling food in to movie theaters, not only b/c of the price but I also really hate waiting in those lines!

    When we pop our pop corn, we do it the old fashioned way in a pot on the stove. It’s so easy, I wonder why few people do it anymore. You can also season it with your own spices. My fav is garam masala. Yum. Just wait to put it in a baggy after it cools. I’ve melted holes in more than a few.

  2. Patti says:

    We haven’t been to the movies in ages. I would like to see “Blades of Glory.” I don’t even know if it’s still playing.
    So what did you see?

  3. Kalyn says:

    Now that I am “officially old” I usually go to a matinee, and I’ve been know to sneak in food too, although I’m a bit of a sucker for that movie theater popcorn.

  4. Chris says:

    I hate the cost of movies. Then, the sound is always so loud, I get a headache (wow – I actually said that….ah!). So, I am a big renter of movies. Can’t even recall the last movie I saw in the theater.

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