Cool Ideas

Cut Back on Spending—But Not on Fun!

When expenses start to pile up and it’s time to cut back on spending, entertainment might be the first thing to go. It all adds up. With transportation costs, paying the babysitter and dining out—plus tickets to movies, concerts, and shows—a night out or weekend away gets pricey fast. But don’t miss out on all the fun! With these money-saving tips you can find plenty of things to do without breaking the bank.

  • Browse the internet to find promotions in your area – there are always deals and free admission events going on that you might not have heard about. Museums, zoos and shows offer free or discounted admission on certain days of the week or times of the year. This is a good option if you’re planning an upcoming trip or you’re looking for some entertainment while you’re visiting a new city.
  • Sign up for free e-newsletters or text notifications about promotions and coupons to your favorite restaurants or places to go.
  • Use social networks to keep an eye out for attractions and discounted events. Look for a Twitter account to follow or Facebook page to like that will keep you in the know about promotions for fun things to do.
  • Pay attention when you’re out – take note of the daily specials and deals advertised at your favorite local places.
  • Share a babysitter with your friends or neighbors. You will save money on the babysitter, and if you go out with a larger group you can often find group discounts.
  • Head outdoors. When the weather permits, go for a bike ride, head to the public beach, or take a picnic to the park.
  • If you’re planning a weekend getaway, look for a fun new place that’s nearby. Driving instead of flying is usually a money saver! If you have to fly, book your flight, hotel, and car as a package. Sometimes the hotel will throw in a free night, free upgrade, or tickets to a local show if you book through websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc.
  • Check out the local deals on sites like CoolSavings. If you plan ahead and check them out often, you’re bound to find great deals all the time.
  • Get deals on the go with your smart phone. There are tons of applications you can use on the fly to find entertainment that won’t cost you much. Here are just a few: Groupon Now!, Scoutmob, LivingSocial, inoDeals, kgbDeals, Shooger, CheapDeals101, Deals&Steals, and Deals by Citysearch.

Hopefully these tips will help you as you try to stick to your budget and have fun, too! If you have more ideas of your own to add, be sure to join the CoolSavings Community so you can get tips from other savvy savers like yourself.