One of the biggest things that we have had to cut out of our budget was going to the movies. We used to go to the regular theaters all the time, even with the kids. The last time we went to the movies we were so shocked at how much we had spent that we made a decision to try to cut out that expense or at least, enjoy it somehow for less.
I believe the last time we were there was about a year ago, I don't remember what we went to go see, but, I do remember that it was a movie that we saw with the kids. Going to the movies is such a wonderful experience, especially when you go with your kids, because they get so excited, they get popcorn and candy, you really do have a great time together. The only flaw with this is that everything is so expensive these days that the experience leaves your wallet drained. That last time we went, it was about $25.00 just for the tickets, another $30.00 for all the popcorn and soda, then sometimes, you are still hungry when you leave that you go out to eat, another $30.00 (depending on the size of your family). When we got home, we went over everything that we had bought and realized that we had spent about $60.00, give or take. After that, we decided to cut out this expense and look for other ways to enjoy the movies. We decided on going to the $1.00 theater from now on.
Katarina is our oldest daughter and her birthday is in February, she turned 9!. She had decided for her birthday this year that she wanted to go to the movies to see Wreck-It Ralph and then go bowling afterwards. Usually, we let her have her say in her birthday because we get our income check around that time and we usually splurge on her. But, this year, she decided she wanted to be frugal (really! she's learning). So, we ended doing just that. It was the best birthday yet! Before we went, we had made her a big breakfast, then we went to the first showing, which was at 11:30 a.m. We went on a saturday and the tickets were $1.50 per person, so we paid a total of $6.00, then we hit the concession stand, we ended up getting the $17.00 combo, which consists of two large drinks and one large tub of popcorn which the first refill is free! Me and my husband shared one drink and the girls shared the other, then we asked for some cups, we filled the cups with popcorn for the girls so they could have their own. After all that, the total for this was about $23.00! That is way less then the last time we went to the movies. We had a great time, we were able to go see a great movie and enjoy the food for less. Next, we hit the bowling alley. We went ahead and paid for two games of bowling, so we spent maybe about $40.00 there including the shoe rentals. As far as going out to eat, we ended up going home and making her a special dinner (her request)!
We ended up having such a great time! When everything was said and done, instead of spending $60.00 at one place, we had spent the same amount for two seperate activities. It was definetly one of the best birthdays so far. Now, we only go to the $1.00 theaters. Whenever the kid movies hit the $1.00 theater we are there. We are even trying to go on Wednesdays, because it's only a $1.00 instead of $1.50, so there's another way to save there. Kat told us she wanted to do this for her birthday instead of having a birthday party. This really shocked us. When we asked her why, she said because it was something that she really wanted to do and didn't want us to spend money on renting a place and buying food. She wanted something intimate with us only. That made us so proud of her, although we would have happily thrown her a party, the fact that she decided on her own what to do and how to do it was a proud moment.