If one of your goals for 2023 is to save more money, you’re likely looking for ideas to earn more and cut costs in many different areas of your life.
One way people don’t pay enough attention to, but that can significantly impact a year, is reducing the amount spent on family entertainment. Here are some ways to lower your outlays in this area over the coming weeks and months.
Set Up a Media Room and Watch Movies at Home
While going to the cinema is a fun outing that many of us have been enjoying again since the global pandemic interrupted this entertainment, it can get costly. Once you add up the tickets, snacks, and potential parking and travel costs, paying for a family to enjoy a film on the big screen isn’t the cheapest way to be entertained.
Instead, why not save some cash by setting up a fantastic media room in your home and watching films and TV shows on a big screen there? This does require some setup money, but you can likely turn an already-enjoyed living space into a media room by adding thick drapes to block out the sun, upgrading your screen as needed, and adding in an affordable popcorn machine, candy dispenser, and even a mini fridge for on-site snacks and drinks.
Ensure the room is kept temperate with HVAC or a heater and one or more modern ceiling fans with remote, and give the room some ambiance with dimmable lighting for the time you’re watching shows. You could also get double-duty out of this space by enjoying some gaming hours in it when the mood strikes, whether you play video games on the screen or set up some board or card games for the family to enjoy.
Cut costs further by eliminating expensive cable TV subscriptions and turning to streaming services instead. If you don’t already have Netflix, Amazon Prime, or some of the other streaming options, check into pricing, and you’ll see that it’s typically much less than cable TV or the cost of buying new movies on DVD or via digital methods. You can enjoy a wide range of content to suit all tastes and ages, too.
You can also save money on magazines by opting for digital editions of all your family’s favorite publications. Cancel your physical mag subscriptions and enjoy reading downloadable copies for a fraction of the price.
Take Advantage of Free Events and Activities in Your Region
Another excellent money-saving opportunity for family entertainment is to take advantage of the many free events and activities that are likely available in your region every year. Even if you live in a smaller town versus a big city, there are sure to be at least some interesting options, especially around holiday times like Christmas, Easter, the Fourth of July, and New Year’s Eve.
Most locations run no-fee public events such as fireworks displays, musical shows, dancers, comedy acts, magic shows, special guests, animal exhibits, hay rides, mazes, community shows, and more. Plus, some places offer many free activities during school vacation periods, such as art or dance classes, sporting sessions, book readings, etc.
You might also enjoy fun days out with your family visiting farmers’ markets, heading to the beach or getting out into nature for guided hikes, or otherwise whiling away time in a way that’s entertaining yet light on the wallet. Or, sign up for the newsletters or social media sites of museums and galleries in your area to learn about when they have free-admission days, no-cost exhibitions, or other promotions.
Use Any Discount Vouchers You Can Find
An additional way to save money on entertainment this coming year is to use discount vouchers you find for attractions in your town or region. For example, many libraries, supermarkets, and other places print deals on the back of their receipts. Local newspapers and magazines also print vouchers, which you can use to get cut-price offers at participating businesses. You might be able to enjoy low-cost ten-pin bowling, putt-putt golf, amusement park days, or other venues and activities simply by keeping an eye out for offers.
Pack Your Own Food and Drinks for Outings
Also, with food and drink costs being so expensive these days, you can reduce your entertainment budget significantly if you’re organized and prepared and pack your own meals and thirst quenchers for days out. Get backpacks or bags ready with bottled water or juice, snacks, and picnic lunches to keep rumbling tummies happy when you’re not at home.
If you like getting together with other families, it’s also worth inviting people to your home and asking everyone to bring a plate of some type to share, in a pot-luck lunch or dinner event. This way, you can keep in touch with friends and family without outlaying a lot of money on dining out.
As you can see, if you’re proactive and well-organized, you can take multiple steps to cut costs on entertainment throughout the year; money that you’re sure to want to save or spend elsewhere.