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6 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment Costs

Have fun on the cheap by using your library or getting creative with gifts for family, friends

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1. Minor league

Check out minor league games or college games for lower-cost sports entertainment. The concessions are cheaper, as well as your tickets.

2. Use your hobbies

Make your own holiday or birthday gifts by making use of talents like painting, building, crafting, sewing and card-making.

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3. Take a seat

Volunteer to usher at local theaters. You'll get the satisfaction of helping out while also getting to see performances — such as concerts, stage shows, lectures — for free. What's more, think of the bragging rights that come from supporting your local arts.

4. Family gifts

Instead of gifts for each member of a family, purchase a gift card the whole family can use for things like movies, bowling or a ball game.

5. Gift of time

Give gift coupons for household chores like babysitting, housework, pet-sitting or yard work rather than spending the money on a present.

6. Check it out

Instead of buying your next book, borrow it from your local library. It's free, and you get to support a great community service.

Contributors to 99 Great Ways to Save 2013: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Tara Finnegan Coates, Joan Rattner Heilman, Stacy Julien, Megan Lawson, Marlece Lusk, Bob Lyford, Anne Masters, Jeff Yeager and AARP members like you.