Spending Less on Entertainment

October 11, 2011

Parents and Child Playing a Video GameSpending less on entertainment had become a way of life. Being a single mom, working with "hungry" football players, homeschooling; and all of that before the economy went crazy. Now I find it's so much fun to see how much money I can save. It's better or as good as if I spent so much more on anything. I have many ways I did this.


So let's start with a night in with pizza. I made my own pizza before there was whole wheat pizza dough already made for you. Now at our local Fresh and Easy, everything you need is right there. It's wholesome, brown flour and so easy (you can get pizza dough in white reg. dough if you prefer). With the dough, I use corn, black beans, peppers (red, yellow and green), organic sauce and my favorite cheese topping. Have pepperoni, sausage or whatever toppings you prefer.

It is so much fun to make it yourself and save the money. When I had a house full of boys, it was so much fun doing an assembly line, or making your own personal pizza by dividing it into smaller ones. We played games or had challenges while making the pizza; all with not one child complaining "I'm hungry" or "when is the pizza ready". When it's done, there is an accomplishment with everyone involved. I do this now and freeze it for a fast, organic meal.


You can rent movies for a fraction of the cost of going to one. I do know that the latest and best movie is always coming out. If you choose to do that you have saved quite a bit by making your own pizza instead of buying dinner first. This should be a couple times a year choice. You can get free movies at the library. Entertainment is having fun; not spending tons of money. I have seen great movies at garage sales for $1.00. Even if you spend $5.00 on a new release one, you still save.

Try the library or swapping movies with another family. Look they have local clubs doing just that (with books also). Better yet invite them over and make a night of it, splitting the cost, of course. Afterwards you can play games on what was your favorite part of the movie, or a game of Pictionary about their favorite scene while others guess what it is. Everyone is laughing, having fun not feeling "guilty" on how much money you spent.


There is Banana Split night. The cost of ice cream toppings that you know what they contain and make them yourself. This is another way to have fun spend time together, and save money.

When you do Movie Night at home, don't forget you make the popcorn. The beverages can be juice or soda. If you do allow candy, the 4 for $1.00 at the 99 cent store beats the cost of a theater.

So if you do go to the theater, make sure the rules are clear before buying snacks. This is where they make their money. If the couple times a year you do go, plan in advance and do a matinee they have specials times where it may be a quarter/half of the other showings.

We have made entertainment not game night, or pizza night but a regular event instead of a special one. Everyone has a park near by. Why not go there after church let the kids play, and have a cook out, enjoy the day?


Being an adult, my priorities have changed. Money is tight so I enjoy everyday. If you make it a special event, the family will love it because you said it's special, or you are celebrating something outside the house.

During football, we "swapped" lunch bags with the others so it was a surprise to what each boy was getting (I had a list to pick from). It was the excitement that's brought the entertainment not the money.

Today as living alone waiting to start the next step, I feel the exact same way. I'll take the excitement every time. Life is a blessing. We can make entertainment out of anything. Using coupons and looking for buy one entree getting next one 1/2 price or free is great fun in today's economy and is appreciated by many.

I don't believe there is a reason to waste money to have fun, or ever pay full price for anything. Now that's entertainment being inventive, planning and looking forward to something out of the ordinary. Have a budget, that way it is even more exciting looking forward to the planned entertainment.


By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 12

6 More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

July 8, 2011

I like to note all the restaurants in my area that have "Kids Eat Free" nights and capitalize on those. I also arrange play dates around the summertime "Free Summertime Movies" at our local theatres.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

Fisher Swanson
April 7, 2004

Here are some frugal entertainment tips for the whole family.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

October 12, 2011

Only take a certain amount of money with you. When it's gone, it's gone. Park your car and walk a distance to get where you're going. Leave extra money or credit cards locked in the trunk.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

February 21, 2000

For cheap entertainment for the family try looking for activities at your local high school or community college. Schools put on quality plays and music performances at very reasonable prices.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
July 25, 2007

We are lucky to live very near to a lovely urban park. My husband is a golfer, and we can get out and use the putting green at the municipal golf course gratis.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 19, 2006

We just moved an hour away from any town in the hot central California weather without a house. We are basically living outside sleeping in a trailer and screen house. When we are there we have been very bored because everything we have has been packed up. Is there any simple Ideas for recreation or fun that we can do when were not working on building a living space?

Thank you,
Gloria from Nowhere Land


By shellee (Guest Post)
August 20, 20060 found this helpful

Cutthroat poker with nails/rocks/leftover wood bits as "money"?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)
August 21, 20060 found this helpful

you don't say what the local is like so i can only go by what i'd do here in the ozarks so........find a swimming hole....explore the local woods and look for old orchards or nut trees you can gather from in season. look for dead wood for fires. collect pretty rocks for flowr beds or patios. see how many wild foods you can collect for one meal. go fishing. go hunting. read books. explore the local roads and see where they go.


try new recipes. sewing, knitting crochet. paint. if you don't have the money for "real paint" make colors from mud or leaves or berries. make mud sculptures. (my daughter won a contest at the fair by making a bird in a nest out of mud from a neighbors tractor tire) build a b-b-q or a mud oven for baking. oh so many things.....when you use your looking at clouds and seeing dragons!!! good luck

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Firefly1985 (Guest Post)
August 21, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Gloria, I too live in central California and we moved onto our property 11 months ago. We too slept in a trailer while getting our current home up to living standards. In the evenings we were so tired to actually get bored. Though our children were bored often. You don't mention if you have children but younger children did some exploring and that kept them busy. Our teenagers read books, listened to music or did drawings. I'm guessing you have computer access since this is an online newsletter. There are so many sites online to get ideas for fun activities and you can even print coloring pages. You can also play games online as well. It does get better and hopefully you will have your home built before the weather changes. Good luck and hang in there.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (Guest Post)
November 24, 20080 found this helpful

Play sport like basketball or by just having a picnic out wit some friends.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By sarah (Guest Post)
February 16, 20090 found this helpful

You have such good ideas! Keep it up!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
Entertainment Frugal FunNovember 10, 2011
New Years Ideas!
Christmas Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-12-13 06:13:22 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.