I’m a big fan of movie nights at home, but with the impending NetFlix rate hike, here are some fun alternatives.
DVD Exchange With Friends
I recently gave away my full collection of The Sopranos to a dear friend who had seen a handful of episodes, but didn’t really get the whole Sopranos experience. Since I was downsizing, I figured I’d share the wealth. If she had anything I’d have wanted to watch, I’m certain we’d have traded, but she didn’t so we didn’t. That’s a little wrinkle in this strategy, but overall, sharing is a smart way to go.
Rent From the Library
Yes, the library. Do you remember those big buildings in just about every neighborhood/city? The quiet place, with all those book?. Well, they have DVDs! Yes. And you can check them out, just like you used to get books. (You do remember books, don’t you?)
Discount Gift Cards
Going to see a movie in the theater isn’t exactly a steal, but there are some ways around high prices. Popular cinemas like AMC and Regal both have more than 100 discounted gift cards available at GiftCardGranny.com.
At the actual movie theater. I’ve done this on occasion and it’s a real treat! Unfortunately, if you work a 9-5 job, matinee movies may be out of your reach, but they make for another way to beat high prices. Tickets cost much less and you don’t have to deal with the massive crowds you find in the evening.
Neighborhood Movie Night
Consider going in with a group of neighbors and investing in a backyard movie set-up. Hopefully, someone already has a projector they’re willing to share. All you need then is a screen. Inflatable, outdoor projection screens can easily be found online for less than $200. And, a word to the wise on this, a sheet doesn’t really work because, try as you might, you won’t get the draping/wrinkles out. Best to find a white wall if you don’t want to spring for a screen.
Plenty of filmmakers just want their movie to get seen. College campuses are great resources for finding free screenings. Many towns also offer free showings of classic films at parks throughout the summer. A local paper is a good way to find out if there are any offerings in your area.
Outside. Yes! Outside. The natural world was here before streaming Netflix and it will certainly be here long after. Take the money you’d spend on movies and invest it in a national parks pass. The cost is only $80 for one year and it gets you and anyone in the car with you into more than 2,000 sites across the country.
Dial Into Daily Movie Deals
Deal of the day sites like Groupon and LivingSocial occasionally offer discounted movie theater tickets for as little as $2 per person. That’s a pretty cheap movie night outing and well worth the price. Just make sure to skip the popcorn and candy – your wallet and waist will thank you.
Did I forget anything?
photo credit: ariel design