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5 Cheap Entertainment Ideas

The following is a post from staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.

Everybody loves to have a good time. The problem is that some entertainment can be very expensive, so you may not have the budget for it just yet. Fortunately, there are still some entertainment options that are affordable for everyone. Here are 5 cheap entertainment ideas for anybody.

Rent a Movie

Going to the movie theater can be pretty expensive. My husband and I live in a pretty affordable area, and we can still easily spend $20 on two tickets all by themselves! This is why RedBox is such a friend for the budget conscious consumer. We can rent a flick for just $1 plus tax for each night.

If you want a larger variety and watch movies regularly, Netflix is also a cheap entertainment idea since it offers a huge selection of DVDs and streaming movies all starting at around $8-$10 a month!

Play a Board Game

When was the last time that you and your family broke out an old fashioned board game? How about a new age jewel? A good board game can be an exciting activity for the whole family. If you break open that package of Monopoly or Ticket to Ride (one of my Euro-Game favorites), you can have hours of fun repeatedly for a one-time $10-$40 expense depending on the game.

My husband and I have been board gaming with friends at least once a month for the last 4 years and have never gotten tired of it. That is saying a lot for someone with my attention span.

Go to the Park

Visiting the local park can be a fun outing for the entire family. Many parks offer swimming, fishing, feeding the ducks, or nice walking paths.  Even a cheap picnic is great for a good time! The kids can participate in sports or play on the playground while adults can simply enjoy a nice conversation or even a Frisbee tournament. The best part is that many parks are totally free and you can determine your own budget.

Attend a Minor League Sporting Event

Professional sporting events can cost a fortune. A professional football, basketball, or baseball game can easily set a family of four back a couple of hundred bucks. On the other hand, a minor league event is usually a lot more affordable. My husband and I really enjoyed the minor league baseball game we went to years ago (the Zephyrs). I liked the fact that even the concession stand was cheaper!

Go to the Zoo

I love the zoo. I have seen the coolest animals and have hung out with some great people at more than 10 zoos in my life. My favorite visit ever is when my friend gave us a private tour of the zoo she worked at! Most zoo admittances cost less than a movie theater ticket and you can stay for the entire day! Zoos often have free admission days for the entire family when they are promoting a free exhibit or inexpensive memberships for people who plan to visit frequently.

There are probably a billion other cheap entertainment ideas out there. What comes to mind for you?



  1. I went to the zoo with my 2 year old cousin this past weekend and didn’t realize how much fun it was and how affordable it was too! Definitely adding it on the list of things to do when me and the mister are bored at home.

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