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How to save money at the cinema

how to save money at the cinema

The cinema is a great place to have fun and catch the latest blockbuster – but nowadays it’s getting more and more expensive. Once you’ve bought popcorn, pick and mix and a drink and you’ve already spent £10 and that’s not even taking into account the cost of your tickets. So what’s the best ways to save money at the cinema?

See the film first

By signing up to preview screenings you’ll be able to watch the film before everyone let – and for free! There are a few fabulous s websites that alert you to the latest previews, these include:

Make sure you click on the email as soon as you get it as the tickets won’t last!

2 for the price of one

Everything sounds better when you’re getting something for free doesn’t it! Most of us have to buy insurance for something whether it’s home, car or pet insurance and nowadays you can get a added bonus with Compare The Market. Once you’ve bought your insurance you’ll get access to their free app which gives you a code to get 2-for-1 cinema tickets for a year. You can only use them on Tuesday or Wednesday however so they’re great for a weekday treat.

Check discount sites like Groupon

Groupon often have fabulous discounts in place to get heavily discounted cinema tickets. At the moment they have a deal on to buy two cinema tickets for £10.00 or five cinema tickets for £20.00. They’re valid every day apart from Bargain Monday’s. The deal ends soon but they’re always creating new ones so watch out!

Don’t upgrade

Cinemas like Odeon often offer upgrades where you can sit in ‘comfier’ seats for a huge hike in price. If it’s a popular film simply book early to get a decent view. Often these special seats are not much better than standard seating.

how to save money at the cinema bring your own snacks

Bring your own snacks

To avoid spending half your weekly wage on snacks, why not bring your own. Poundland is great for grabbing snack packs of treats like Maltesers, Twix and Mars which would cost you £3.00 saving around £6.00 based on what’d you pay at the cinema.

Go off peak

If you can it’s best to go to the cinema in off peak times. Bigger cinemas like Odeon and Cineworld offer discounts of 15-20% for mid week screenings before 5pm Monday to Thursday. Obviously that’s not always possible but if you’ve got a day off why not treat yourself!

Show your loyalty

Regular cinema goer? Don’t pay the steep fees – invest in one of the annual membership cards. They may seem expensive but if you think about the cost of a cinema ticket for one visit they’re actually fantastic value. Cineworld Unlimited costs £17.90 a month and Odeon Limitless is £17.99 a month (£19.99 in London). You may also want to consider Picturehouse Membership which cost £39.00 for 3 free tickets a year and £2.00 discounts off additional tickets. As a member you won’t pay booking fees and if you pay by direct debit you’ll get a additional 3 months membership for free. Finally you’ll also get 10% discounts off food.

Win a membership

As a avid competition fan I’m always entering competitions and sometimes find cinema competitions to win tickets or yearly memberships. To get the heads up try The Prize Finder or sign up to the big chains on Facebook and Twitter to get your entries in first.

Look out for mobile network deals

Whilst Orange Wednesday is no more that doesn’t stop other phone networks offering amazing cinema freebies. Both 02 and the Wuntu app (3 network) offer 50% off tickets or even free tickets. You can’t get better value then that.

Get free cash back

Sites like TopCashback are great for earning money on something you’d buy anyway. So if you go ahead and invest in a cinema loyalty card you can get up to £9 cash back for buying it online. You’ll get effectively free cinema and money back in your pocket. Win win!

how to save money at the cinema go large

If you’re going to buy food go large

This probably works better if there’s several of you going and you’re happy to share. The cost of large popcorn and drinks is actually considerably cheaper than the smaller versions. Put your money together, go large and benefit from the discounts.

Go independent

You’ll be shocked at how much money you’ll save by going to a small independent cinema. One small cinema I went to in Great Yarmouth charged a measly £5 per ticket for a 6pm screening. I was amazed! A lot do still show the latest films as well, although they may be a bit behind the larger chains.

Loyalty cards are great

I love discounts and have so many loyalty cards my purse is bursting. Cinemas like Odeon offer the loyalty card Oden Premier Club which awards you with points simply for buying cinema tickets or food and drink. You’ll get 10 points for every £1 and can save them up to buy various things such as tickets or food. To get the card you buy a package which comes in classic, deluxe and ultimate and costs from £1.99 to £10.00. Be warned though these points expire if they’re not used!

Tesco Club Card points can be used to buy Cineworld tickets and are worth more then the points value. For example £4.50 of clubcard points will get you one adult cinema ticket.

Nectar cards can get you up to £2.50 discounts off Vue cinema tickets for every 500 points.

If you’re a Tastecard owner you can benefit from more then just 50% off at restaurant chains. You can get up to 40% at Vue, Cineworld, Picturehouse and Showcase. What a great investment.

Create your own cinema going experience

Whilst nothing beats the cinema experience you’ve got to admit a home cinema night is extremely comfortable and homely. Buy the largest popcorns, nachos and dips and pop Netflix on to watch all the films you’ve never seen before (and wouldn’t necessarily pay to watch at the cinema!)

Don’t fall for the 3D hype

Many films nowadays are released in 3D, especially if they’re blockbusters, but can cost up to £2.00 more than a normal ticket. 3D technology nowadays is still not great and in my opinion isn’t that different to the 2D version. Ask yourself is the 3D version giving you anything more then the traditional version would? You’ll also have to factor in the cost of the 3D glasses, unless you bring your own.

how to save money at the cinema