Today I'm posting about how to save money on entertainment. Entertainment to me is something that is not "needed", but a desire to have fun. Several people get confused on the budget and put way too much money in this category. If you are in debt, honestly you should not have this category in your budget probably. We have not always had an "entertainment budget". We have a very small amount in it now. We try to make the money stretch by doing the following:
*This is said to be the #1 budget buster! Either don't eat out at all or plan before you go. Have a budget in mind and work within it. Don't be afraid to split a meal. The portions are so large there is usually plenty to share. We often split fajitas and order extra tortillas. We always leave full and save the cost of an extra meal (usually $10-$14).
*Use Restaurant.com gift certificates! We use one of these per month. It is so nice to be able to get such a nice discount! Be sure to read the fine print before you go so that you know the amounts that you need to purchase. We only buy certificates to the places with $35 minimum.
*Call ahead and find out who is offering FREE kids meals. If you have multiple children, that can save BIG!
*Clip the coupons in your "junk mail". We saved almost $7 at Taco Bueno the other day just by taking the coupon with us from the junk mail.
*Ask for gift cards to your favorite restaurants for your birthday or Christmas. We started doing this and the person buying the gift card loves that they know exactly what you want and everyone is happy. We just enjoyed The Cheesecake Factory last weekend and used a gift card we got for Christmas. (Thanks Cory!)
*We rarely go to the movies, but we love to watch movies. So, we rent from Redbox. Usually we have a FREE movie code!
*Swap childcare with a friend and you have zero out-of-pocket expense for babysitting!
*Again, get creative! We have a weekly date night after our daughter goes to bed. It is our time to reconnect and have fun. Going on a date doesn't have to mean spending lots of money or even leaving the house...Quality time and full attention make the best dates!
*Have a themed date at home each week. Your spouse will love that you took time to plan something just for the 2 of you. This doesn't have to cost anything (bubble bath date, spa themed date, etc).
*Ask for childcare as a gift! If you have a birthday coming up and a friend asks what you want, tell them a date with your honey (alone).
Hope this blesses someone today or inspires someone to try something new in order to save money and still be entertained!