Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cheap or Free Entertainment Options

Yes, once again we took advantage of a freebie this weekend, free tickets to see Gene Simmons talk with the crowd. Part fan meet and greet, part corporate rock and roll success talk, I am certain I would have not paid the $79.50 plus service fee ticket price but as it was free was an entertaining evening out. I also was able to bring my camera - perhaps there is a fun future career possibility here - Paparazzi? Not enough celebrity sightings in my neck of the woods I am afraid to say.

After benefiting from a lot of free events this summer, I have been thinking of how after we quit our jobs we are going to entertain ourselves on the cheap, or even better for free.

Entertainment is normally one of the first costs slashed on a tight budget. Some options:

1. Volunteer for an event. Most volunteers get at minimum free admission to the event, sometimes meals and drinks are included as well

2. Review the local newspaper events section for free items such as fireworks, free festivals, art walks. If you don't take the paper the same information is available online for free at their website.

3. Intead of going out for a meal, go for a coffee, cocktail or dessert as all these options are much cheaper than a full meal. In addition to collecting coupons for groceries I collect them for restaurants as many offer two for one deals or free apetizer or beverage with meal purchase. If you are addicted to fast food many chains offer email signup for discounts and coupons.

4. Exchange dvds with friends. Throw in some microwavepopcorn and you have a movie night. Better yet, invite them over and have a theme night - chick flicks, Al Pacino flicks, sport themed movies.

5. If you have a way to resell items ie. garage sale or flea market buy books and dvds, read or watch and resell for at least what you purchased them for. This makes your entertainment fee zero.

6. Library option. Many libraries now offer a wide dvd selection as well as books. I prefer to read multiple books at the same time and pass them on to family so I tend to purchase mine used but if I couldn't afford to do that I would buy a library card - $15 in my town for the whole year. Make sure to avoid late fees by extending your time online before the deadline.

7. If you are reading this blog you have access to the internet. Even if you don't have cable the internet is a huge resource for free tv. If you live in the USA Hulu is a great option. In Canada we are blocked from seeing Hulu but I have successfully watched many episodes of my favorite shows by going directly to my local tv stations website - click on available video and usually they post a few older episodes you can watch.

Here are some Canadian site links:


HGTV Canada



Family Channel Canada

History TV Canada





8. Free Radio online

Live 365
The basic listening service is free, you can pay for better quality and access

9. Newspaper websites. One of my favorite activities is finding out what is happening in other parts of the world. For instance, did you know most of a newspapers content is provided free online? Subscribers must sometimes pay for certain articles or access but you can still access a ton of information just by browsing their site. Some fun ones:
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Vancouver Sun
The Toronto Star

When travelling to a new city I always read their online newspapers for the weeks coming up to the trip. You learn a lot about local entertainment, restaurants and information that will allow you to have a much better holiday.

10. Discovering new blogs from other parts of the world. I follow at least five blogs from

Feel free to post your free entertainment ideas.

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