Photo by justonlysteve
Now that we’re living on a cash only budget for all of our discretionary expenses, one of the areas we’re really cutting down is entertainment. We still want a little fun money, but we’re limiting our entertainment expenses to about $10 per week.
I’ve been brainstorming some things we can do for about $10 a week instead of going out to eat. It’s funny, but these are already some of our favorite date ideas. By cutting out the restaurant meal beforehand, we’re saving $25-$40 a night.
See a matinee.
I realize that in some places, you can’t even get two tickets to a matinee for $10 anymore. Some theaters offer special discounts on movies that have been out for a while or certain showtimes, though. Our theater offers a discount on the last matinee of the day, which brings the matinee price down from $7 to $5.50 per person, so we always go to that show. Find out if your theater offers any discounts, and plan your trips to the movies around their specials.
Pizza and a movie.
If you can’t go to the movies for $5 per person, then just stay in. Order pizza and pick up a movie at Redbox for a dollar. If you use a promo code, the movie is free. Pizza restaurants like Domino’s and Little Caesars are offering large pizzas for $5, making this a $5 date night instead of $10. If you’re like us and you prefer your homemade pizza to fast food, this date costs even less.
Take a drive.
We love to walk our dog around the neighborhood or our city’s downtown on nice nights. But if you’re tired of the same sights, consider taking a drive to a nearby city in the evening. Try to look at the things you may have seen a hundred times through new eyes, or just enjoy a good conversation. Some of our best ideas have come from long car rides.
Add a bottle of wine to a weekend meal.
Wine is one of our favorite ways to dress us a normal meal and make it feel special. There are a ton of good wines available at most grocery stores for under $10 a bottle. Adding it to your regular meal can make it feel like you’re on a date in a fancy restaurant instead of eating at home. Turn off the TV, set the table, and talk to each other like you would at a restaurant.
Coffee and dessert.
If you really want a treat or something to do after dinner, head out for a cup of decaf and some dessert. Sharing the dessert will cut costs and calories, but you’ll still get something sweet. I’ve always thought restaurants were fun, and this is a great way to dine out without spending a lot of money. Sometimes instead of going to a restaurant, we head to Barnes and Noble for a frou-frou Starbucks coffee drink and some book browsing.
What do you do for fun when money’s tight?