Recession Mama: I grew up on movies. Hot summer nights, my parents would take me and my sister to the movies to enjoy the air conditioning not available elsewhere (like our house). Now we are fully climate-controlled, but I still need a regular movie fix.
In Southern California, however, movies can top $12 in a theater. I think that is insane, so I am never without a stash of movie passes. I buy movie passes for around $6. Not only can I use them myself, I can tuck a couple in an envelope for a teacher or babysitter and come the holidays, I give them out like candy. One year, I taped some to our trash cans for the city collectors! I buy my movie passes on eBay, in bulk on the theater websites, or through local organizations like trade and credit unions or university ticket offices.
The USC ticket office is right across from the Natural History Museum. Whenever I'm there with the kids, I just make a stop and pick up what I need. I have no affiliation with the school and they don't require one. The Entertainment Book is also a good resource -- they have coupons and you can order passes for many theaters on their website if you have a book. Most passes don't have an expiration date and even if they do, sometimes there is no expiration allowed in your state (check your state's laws). Sometimes the passes can't be used in the first two weeks of a movie's run, but often you can pay a buck or so extra to upgrade and see the movie on opening night if you want.
I'd better stock up ... summer's coming ...
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!