How to Save on Entertainment
A year ago, Mavis Fowler-Williams, 47, was laid off from her job, forcing her to cut back on her family’s extracurricular spending. Costly lessons for her children have been replaced with free lessons offered by New York City's parks department. Instead of renewing annual memberships, Mavis takes advantage of free or discounted admission days. Family movie night (Mavis’s husband, Windell Williams, 48, is a filmmaker) now usually means a DVD borrowed from the library. Mavis is also on various local e-mail lists, including riversideparkfund.org, so she can be notified about free cultural events. “Our number one priority,” says Mavis, “is to make sure we can continue to enjoy life and all the opportunities the city has to offer while not spending a lot of money.”
Families spend $2,835 on recreation each year. Two thumbs-up for these savings tips that won’t cut into the fun:
- Save up to 20%. Buy refurbished Apple iPods and computers from apple.com. Click on “Store” to find pre-owned gadgets that have the same warranty coverage as new ones.
- Surf for cheap tickets. Looking for affordable seats to a concert, a sporting event, or a Broadway show? Zebratickets.com aggregates prices from major ticket retailers so you can find the best deal. Also, you can have the site alert you if, say, seats to an Alicia Keys concert dip below $50.
- Save on the slopes. Ski buffs will love liftopia.com, a site that offers an average of 33 percent off lift tickets at more than 120 ski resorts, including Killington and Whistler.
- Swap movies and more. Sites like titletrader.com and swaptree.com make it easy to exchange DVDs, CDs, and books for others. Or sign up with goodreads.com. You’ll receive reading updates from friends, so you’ll know when to ask to borrow the page-turners they just finished.