10 Great Ideas for Frugal Family Fun


Find Entertainment On-screen

Between 2000 and 2010, the cost of a movie ticket rose from an average of $5.39 to $7.89; with the advent of 3-D films and luxury theaters, as of 2011 a single movie ticket might have cost up to $19.50 [source: National Association of Theatre Owners, NBC LA]. If you're trying to save some cash, it's easy to assume that the cinema is out of the question. However, frugal families have plenty of options -- if they know where to look.

By choosing a matinee instead of an evening showing, you'll save around $5 per ticket [source: Regal Entertainment Group, Mann Theatres]. If you're willing to wait to see new films, some movie theaters also show older releases for a sharply reduced price -- around $3 to $4 cheaper than matinee tickets.

Prefer to be a cinema connoisseur from the comfort of your own couch? Streaming and DVD-by-mail services offer relatively cheap, subscription-based access to movies and television shows. These subscriptions allow you to choose the level of access -- and therefore the price -- that you prefer. Or, if you're willing to sit through a few commercials, sites like Hulu.com allow free access to a catalog of television shows and movies.

But what if you get bitten by the "Bend It Like Beckham" soccer bug or "Friday Night Lights" football fever? Read on to find out how you and your family can storm the field on the cheap.