The weekend gives you time to have fun with your friends and family. Unfortunately, a lot of those fun activities cost quite a bit of money. If you’re trying to keep your weekend costs down, you’ll want to find alternatives to these three activities.
1. Going to the Movies
Ticket prices vary depending on where you live. In a large city like New York, you could pay $17 per ticket. Movie tickets in smaller cities usually cost about $9. Two people going to the cinema, therefore, can expect to pay anywhere from $18 to $34. It will cost even more if you take the kids with you or buy drinks and popcorn.
No matter where you live, it’s cheaper to watch a movie at home, even if you rent a new release. Amazon Prime offers a whole slew of great movies to choose from. (Thrifty tip: Most public libraries have popular DVDs you can borrow for free.) Watching a movie at home also means you get to avoid high-priced concessions.
If you’re trying to do something more creative with your family, use your smartphone to make your own movie. It won’t cost you anything.
2. Eating at a Restaurant
A lot of people enjoy going to restaurants during the weekend. The average meal at a restaurant costs $12.75, so two adults and two kids can expect to spend $51 on one meal. Of course, that assumes you don’t visit a nicer restaurant that charges higher prices. Depending on where you go, the meal could cost significantly more money. If you are looking to go out on a budget, you check out sites like Groupon for deals on local restaurants.
Instead of eating out, have dinner at home. You can explore new recipes and get the kids involved in the process. You probably have more free time during the weekend, so it makes sense to cook at home instead of paying a restaurant’s high prices.
3. Going out for Drinks
Few weekend activities cost more money than drinking at a bar. A beer can cost anywhere from $3 to $10. Most mixed drinks cost between $5 and $10. Drinking the cheap stuff will help you save money, but it’s still expensive. If you and a friend have three drinks apiece, you’ll spend between $18 and $60. Plus, you might have to pay for a cab ride home.
If you feel like having a few drinks during the weekend, have them at home. Alcohol from a grocery or liquor store usually costs about a quarter of what you’ll pay at a bar.
Saving money during the weekend doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You just have to enjoy more activities at home instead of going out. Staying in isn’t a bad thing. In many cases, it’s more comfortable, and you don’t have to tolerate noisy crowds.