Just because you are being responsible by looking to save a little extra money does not mean you have to get rid of what makes you happy. We work hard all week so that we can play hard on the weekends, and that can add up to huge entertainment costs, not to mention restaurant and bar tabs over the course of a weekend. By cutting a few corners you can still keep a smile on your face and be out on the town.
Buy Tickets Direct from the Box Office
Concerts happen to be one of my favorite things to do for fun, as listening to music is pretty much an obsession of mine, but there is one thing that bothers me the most when buying concert tickets; service charges. Buying off of Ticketmaster can add a third of the concert ticket price to the overall cost, making it ridiculous when you add up the amount of shows I go to a year. The best way I’ve found to save is buy direct from the box office in person. Especially if going with a large group. Just the other day I bought six tickets at the box office that saved $12 a ticket in service charges, for a total savings of $72!
Buy Low on StubHub
While buying direct from the box office will save on service charges, sometimes depending on the demand and quantity of tickets available on the secondary market, it can be beneficial using StubHub for ticket purchases for concerts, sporting, and theater events. The trick is knowing when to buy low. Sometimes you can find the best deals the day of the event, or even a few days prior, once a bulk of the lowest price tickets are bought up and prices rise. It can be tricky, but the best advice I can give is to watch every day. Keep in mind StubHub has its own fees, so factor that into the ticket price as well if comparing to the box office prices.
Restaurant bills seem to only be going up these days as the food trends continue with fresh, creative ingredients, and consumers are willing to pay, with the number of new restaurants and long waits in my local downtown and Metro Detroit area. You can still check out the hottest new restaurant without paying for many courses and a hundred dollars: eat at home first. Tide yourself over with a meal at home and split a few appetizers when you get to the restaurant. You will save on the high entrée prices, while still being able to try signature dishes and cocktails.
Have a Few Cocktails at Home First
If you are looking to hit the bar for the night, have a few friends over and “Pre-drink” at home first. You will be able to enjoy company and cocktails at a fraction of the prices, while still being able to get out of the house. With the availability and low cost of Uber taxi service, there is no reason to risk driving these days, so enjoy yourself and save on those bar tabs, spending a couple hours at the bar instead of a whole night.
Use Streaming Services or at Least Matinee Prices
I am not a big movie guy nowadays, so to me I do not want to spend $11 each to see a mediocre movie, so if I do go to the movies I at least make sure I take advantage of matinee prices on the weekend, or week night discounted prices so you can at least still see first-run movies for $5. Concession prices are still where they get you, so much like avoiding going grocery shopping on an empty stomach, so is seeing a movie. On the other hand, as good as our big screen TV and home theatre systems are these days and how cheap streaming services and rentals are, it is almost better just to watch at home anyways.
Utilize Groupon and Other Online Coupons
I check the Groupon app on my phone almost daily to see what new deals are in the “Things to Do” and “Restaurant” categories. You will find event tickets at discounted prices without service fees, so sometimes that will be something that catches my eye. Restaurants offer deals such as spend $25 and you will get $40 to use, so that is great to take advantage of if you are looking to try a new restaurant, or just to get more for less.