With the cost of just about everything going up each day, how can you and your family save money on summer entertainment while still having fun?
I joined CTV Ottawa morning live to discuss recently. You can watch the video here.
Read further to learn how to save on concerts, movies and general activities. It takes a little creativity and flexibility, but it's worth the planning to still provide your family with a memorable summer.
Saving on concerts
- Opt for a Seat in the Back
Sure, part of the experience is seeing your favorite artists, but the main attraction is the music. You can save tons of money by choosing a seat in the nosebleed section. You’ll still get to enjoy the atmosphere; plus, big venues typically have screens that showcase the artists on stage, so you really won’t be missing anything at all.
- Browse Resale Brokers
Buying from a resale broker certainly has its benefits. Make sure you’re browsing verified secondary resellers that have good reputations because you could find yourself out a bunch of money if you go with a bunk broker or a random person scalping tickets outside of the venue.
There are lots of reputable online resellers that ensure the tickets they sell are genuine. Go this route, so you’re not stuck out in the cold when your favorite artist hits the stage.
- Wait as Long as You Can Stand It
Concert ticket prices are unpredictable. This means you could end up shelling out a lot of cash if you don’t find the sweet spot in the market. With that said, many concert ticket prices start to drop as performance time approaches allowing you to snag a ticket at a fraction of the standard price, but you have to be careful as smaller venues will typically sell-out.
- Plan a Road Trip
If the venue that’s closest to you is outrageously unaffordable, check out prices in other cities. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to take a road trip, make some memories, and see your favorite people. Your trip doesn’t have to be elaborate but could be a good opportunity to explore an area you don’t frequent. You can save by staying with people you know in another town or find a venue that’s close enough to drive to the show and back in a single day.
- Sit Solo
Weird seating arrangements are inevitable in music venues. If you’re traveling alone, you’re likely to get a better deal because rogue single-seat sales are hard for venues to get rid of, but they almost always happen. You can usually negotiate a bargain deal if you’re sitting solo and if the venue is mostly seating, snagging a last-minute ticket between two groups of people can save you as much as 50%.
If you follow the artist on Twitter or Facebook, you can often find people trying to get rid of extra tickets for a fraction of the ticket price, so make sure you scan threads leading up to the concert if you’re still looking to get a seat!
- Find Creative Ways to See Live Shows
Festivals often showcase plenty of local live talent. If you’re on a budget, look for ways to embrace the music scene on a local level. You can often find bands that perform locally in the genre of music you prefer. Attending a festival can often lead to you being able to see several of your favorite bands in one day, saving you potentially hundreds of dollars if you had paid to see each separately. You may discover some bands you absolutely must have in your life!
- Look for Rewards
Some cash-back sites like Ebates and BeFrugal offer cash-back rewards when you purchase through their sites. This is a great way to gain money back on shows you’d see anyway.
You don’t have to lose the things you love just because you’re on a budget; you have to look at the world a little differently. Seeing concerts is doable if you negotiate creative ways of approaching your ticket purchase. Before you go spending more money than you should evaluate exciting ways you can connect with the music you love. Venues often offer discounted ticket rates that you can find through places like StubHub where you may find a deal with as much as 25% off simply by using a promo code when purchasing online.
You can see your favorite bands at a fraction of the cost by keeping your eyes open, paying attention to the timeframes of when the tickets go on sale, and the size of the venue. By knowing the places where you can find deals and strategies to save money, we’re confident that with these tips and a little elbow grease you can find the sweet spot where you can see some great live music without breaking the bank.
- Craigslist – be afraid, very afraid
Those $20 tickets for a $100 concert aren’t the deal of the century—they’re fakes. It’s hard to tell the fake from the legit on Craigslist but whatever you do, don’t purchase electronic tickets. Anybody can resell fake tickets if they’re not in physical form. The old adage you’ve heard so many times is true—if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Saving on movies & TV
According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entertainment costs make up about 4% of our spending.
- Cut the Cable
One of the easiest ways to save on entertainment is to drop your cable service. I know, we all love watching our favorite shows after a hard day at work, but the cost of cable is sky high.
According to statistics, the cost of cable is $99 a month on average.
This means that over the course of 12 months, you spend $1,118 dollars on TV!
Now, cutting out the cable bill doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your favorite shows.
There are so many cheaper cable TV alternatives out there:
Don’t want to give up live TV?
- Can’t cut the cord? Do this…
If you really, really don’t want to get rid of your cable, then contact your service provider and ask for a cheaper rate.
Thanks to platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, cable companies are now struggling to keep customers.
So, if you phone them and say you’re thinking about ending your subscription and switching to another provider, but you’d keep your cable if you were offered a better rate, then they might offer you a cheaper price.
- Go to movies during the day
- Have a movie night at home (or under the stars outside)
Saving on entertaining
- Sign up to newsletter lists for your fav restaurants. Lots will advertise specials
- Drink up at happy hours
- Eat out for lunch or brunch instead of dinner
- Volunteer – concerts, festivals and more. Enjoy for free
- Don’t forget the library
- Home Depot’s offer free DIY classes for kids and adults
- Look for Free Events in your Area
- Local colleges and universities.
- Parks and recreation offices.
- Local libraries.
- Community boards/websites.
- Community calendars.
- Tourism agencies in your area.
- Local newspaper.
- Local magazines.
- Coffee shops in your area.
- Take advantage of free days: museums, zoos and more
- Host a game night
- Have a date night/picknick
- Host a wine tasting and have your friends bring the food