Tips from Nina Terrero, correspondent with Entertainment Weekly:
1. Catch a pre-Broadway show. Check industry sites like broadway.com and broadwayworld.com to know when a Broadway show may be headed your way for a tour or out-of-town tryout. And when in New York, check broadwayforbrokepeople.com, a guide to getting great tickets for less than the usual Ticketmaster prices.
2. Buy movie tickets in multiples. It is a great way to save if you live in a city known for inflated ticket prices. Look for them at wholesale retailers like Costco or buy straight from the movie theater's corporate website. Some corporations even offer discounted bulk ticket sales to their employees, so check your benefits package.
3. Check on campus for concerts. If you live near a college town, you can catch big-name acts cheap. Artists and performers often include campus theaters as part of their concert tours, and tickets may go for less than they would in a stadium or in a theater in a major city.
4. Watch new films at home. Now that studios have begun offering same-day theater and video-on-demand releases, you can catch the latest flicks for $7.99.
5. Check in with your local parks and recreation department, which even in economic downturns will often receive funding for activities and programs for residents of all ages.
Tips from Pepper Schwartz, AARP sex and relationship expert:
6. Attend open rehearsals for the ballet, opera, plays or the symphony. Depending on the venue, rehearsals may be free or at substantially reduced ticket prices.
7. Dine with the next Emeril. Cooking schools run restaurants where students get hands-on training and the public gets to eat without paying top-chef prices.
8. Skip the cover charge. Big-city dwellers can often find live music at restaurants in nearby small towns without paying at the door. For the price of dinner, you get an evening of music.
9. Who needs professional athletes? Attend the big football championship or other sporting event at the local high school and cheer for the home team. Go Bobcats!
10. Attend free lectures at junior colleges or universities, choosing subjects that are new to you and your date. That's good for relationships and good for our brains, too.
11. Go camping — with style. Bring some gourmet food and crusty bread, have a wine clerk supply a good bottle for $12, and enjoy dinner on a checkered tablecloth under the stars. A warning for those who can't put up a tent or always land in poison ivy: Don't attempt this if you haven't been camping before.
12. Outings don't have to be at night. During the day, take advantage of free or low-cost public zoos or museums, where meals also tend to cost less than at restaurants.
13. Take a drive. And you don't have to go far if you want to save on gas. Check out area flea markets, garage sales or festivals.
Also of Interest
- Consumer spending mistakes and regrets
- 12 actors chasing their musical dreams
- Find great volunteer opportunities in your community
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