Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If It's Free, It's For Me

Lee and I went to a free orchestral concert last night, and it had me thinking about the ways we try to save money in entertainment.  Everyone wants to have fun, but it’s sometimes tricky to do it cheaply. 

One way is to do what we did last night and find free local events.  These can be plays, concerts, whatever.  If you’re in the Fayetteville area, they’re having two more free concerts at the Walton Arts Center this week.  The Italian Soundscapes concert with the same orchestra is on Saturday at 8pm and on Sunday at 5pm finalists of a piano solo competition will play with the orchestra.

We don’t pay for cable so we’ve made some adjustments there.  We do have the internet so we can work from home (which I’ve had to do more often than I’d like) so we watch most of the shows online for free.  We also have Netflix which is a good way to watch entire seasons at a time.  You can get just watch instantly option without DVDs for pretty cheap. You can also use your Wii or Xbox 360 or many other devices to watch them directly on your tv.

Netflix is also obviously very good for watching cheap movies.  We try not to go to the theater too much so we rent the movies.  We also use Redbox, but usually only when we get the rental for free (although $1 isn’t much).  How do you get free Redbox?  Well you can get one free movie a month by signing up for the Redbox Text Club.  On the first Monday of each month they’ll text you a code good for a free rental.  Bad news, it’s only for that day.  Sometimes they’ll text you free rental codes just because.  You should also be a fan of Redbox on facebook because they’ll have codes there every now and then.  Also, everyday from now until May 25, text DEALS to 727272 to get a code for anywhere between $0.10 and $1.50 off a rental for that day.  Plus, occasionally Groupon will have a deal to pay for one rental and get 2 free.

As for books, the obvious answer is to check them out from the library (whether the public library or maybe your church library).  I usually do this more over the summer when I have more time.  Another option is there are a number of free e-books available if you’re not opposed to them.  I follow Family Fiction on twitter and get their weekly newsletter as well (the newsletter is also good for entering giveaways like the one where I received a copy of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader DVD which I’m currently watching).  All their books show up on Amazon, but they’re usually free for the Nook as well.  And if you don’t have an e-reader, you can always download an app for your computer.  You can also just look around Amazon for many different kinds of free books.  Another great option is sharing with friends.  Feel free to come over and look at what all I have sometime.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for free or cheap entertainment and I’m always open to more suggestions.  Game nights are always good or just hanging out with friends is a good option.  What do you do to have fun and save money?

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