How can consumers save money on entertainment?

These days, many Americans make huge outlays each month when it comes to paying for things to keep them entertained. Whether that involves going to the movies, buying books, or other activities, these things can get expensive in a hurry. However, there are plenty of ways to save on these events as well, for those who know where - and how - to look.

For example, during the hot summer months, many people like to go to the movies, whether it's with friends or family. But depending upon where they live and the number of people going, the cost of doing so can easily exceed $100 between ticket and concession prices, parking, gas, and so on. One thing consumers can do here, though, is start going to movies in the morning or afternoon, when tickets will typically be discounted quite a bit; people who go to a movie before noon often won't pay more than $8 or so for their ticket.

In addition, many movie theater chains - in much the same vein of other national companies - may have rewards programs for regular moviegoers that can be used to get discounts on tickets and concessions alike, at least every once in a while.

What about rentals?
Of course, for people looking for a nice night at home instead of going out, there are many options to keep everyone entertained. There are, of course, the low-cost monthly subscription services like Netflix and Hulu that offer a wealth of films and TV shows to watch for a few hours, but for households that already have cable packages, many free options are likely to be available on demand from those services as well. In this way, there will literally be thousands of hours of entertainment at any person's fingertips, all for low cost, or at least nothing above what they already pay.

However, it might also be wise to utilize library memberships in addition when new entertainment needs arise. These will often have not only movies, but albums, books, and books on tape available for free, and can be a major boon to people who take the very small amount of time and effort to get a library card.

Other entertainment
But for those who don't like sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time, and want to get out into the world, checking online for free events and attractions in their area will likely go a long way toward helping them identify fun things to do by themselves or as a group without spending a dime.

All those efforts, in turn, could potentially save consumers a lot of money over the course of the year. Using that extra cash to pay down debts or build an emergency savings account will likely result in significant financial benefits over the course of a year and beyond, because it could lead not only a more solid financial foundation, but also an improved credit score.

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