Going to see the latest film at the cinema on the cheap


Natalie Bond

Entertainment such as going to the cinema is a significant part of many of our lives. It serves several purposes including relieving stress, keeping our spirits high and serving as a medium to bond with friends and family. However, if caution isn't taken, spending too much on entertainment can lead to needing bad credit loans to cover other expenses. How then, do you do fun things such as go to the cinema without spending a significant amount of funds on tickets and munchies?

We've got some good news for you which is that there are several ways you can achieve this without leaving a hole in your wallet after each trip. The secret is in saving money by finding deals, discounts and learning about other ways to save. In this guide, we're going to unveil some key tips you can implement which will help you save on your next trip to the cinema.

Compare prices

Before going to watch a movie, try checking how much tickets are going for at different cinemas. By comparing prices, you may find that some places are cheaper than others. While comparing prices, it is likely that you may also find community and independent cinemas to have cheaper rates than the bigger ones. Although the screens may not be as big and they may not have as many films, you will most likely end up saving far more than if you go to the multiplexes.

Popcorn in a carton

Top cinema treats

  • Popcorn
  • Crisps
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit
  • Sweets
  • Yogurt
  • Ice-cream

Take advantage of family deals

If you have no problem with going to watch a movie earlier than usual, a family screening often comes with a discount. You'll especially get discounts on the children's tickets on weekends and school holidays. If you have a mix of kids and adults tagging along, you should get a cheaper deal. As well as family screenings, some cinemas also offer family food packages which may work out far cheaper than buying individual items or meals if there are quite a number of you. This means that if you're lucky, you'll save on both the tickets and the food as well as have some family fun. The cinema could serve as great bonding time and may also work out cheaper than you going on your own or leaving the kids at home.

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Share snack deals

If bringing your own snacks isn't permitted, why not try sharing snack deals if you've come with one or more people? Sharing a huge tub of popcorn, a pack of sweets and a mega drink between two or three people depending on your appetites could go a long way. Sometimes add-ons for food and drinks are offered when you buy film tickets so enquire if they have any before buying your ticket.

Bring your own snacks

Carrying on from our last suggestion, it is no secret that food tends to account for a large chunk of your cinema bill. Seeing as it can be pretty pricey, why not bring your own food? Different cinemas have their individual policies on bringing food so be sure to verify if you're allowed first. It will save you a great deal of cash and you can enjoy your film knowing that you've saved big.

Cinema ticket

Watch movies at home

Why not create a cinema experience in the comfort of your own home? Although you may not be able to see films as soon as they come out, you will save tons of money especially if you don't have much to spend. There are several ways to create a cinema experience at home such as creating a cozy area in front of the TV and filling it with snacks. You can get more snacks for your money by getting them at a pound shop and you could even cook a meal instead if you fancy.

Try cash-back sites

If you happen to get a membership card for your cinema of choice, you might be able to save when using cash-back sites to pay for your monthly membership. For those unfamiliar with what cash-back is and how it works, it's essentially being rewarded with a certain amount of cash when you shop or use services through their platform. It's a pretty straight-forward deal and one that can save you money on your next cinema trip.

Keep your 3D glasses

3D films can be exciting and something different if you're on a hunt for a new experience. It may seem like the cost of the glasses are insignificant but imagine buying a new pair every time you watch a 3D film? Consider stashing your glasses away in a safe place so that you can reuse them to save a couple of pounds in the long-run.

Loyalty cards

There is a reward out there for those who are notorious film watchers and it's called a loyalty card. As with most loyalty cards, cinema-related ones will give you points every time you go to watch a movie and buy tickets or food. Once you acquire a certain number of points, you should get some sort of a reward whether it be subsequent tickets or food. Some cinemas have subscription-like services where you pay a monthly fee. The good thing about this is that you can see as many films as you like. This works well if you visit the cinema often as you essentially get more for less.

It is also worth checking if your supermarket loyalty cards or any others will allow you to exchange points for cinema tickets. You can sometimes even exchange your points at a higher value than the points are actually worth. Although the cards come at a cost, spending cash to get a loyalty card could be a good way to save a decent amount at the cinema.

Avoid those upgrades

Getting a seat upgrade may seem like a great idea initially, but it might not be worth the extra cash. The truth of the matter is that you're very likely to get a decent and comfy seat anywhere you want if you come early enough. As long as you have a good view and snacks, the chair you're seated in can't be that much of a big deal. If your primary objective is to cut costs where possible, then a seat upgrade is probably an expense you can afford to live without.

Look for discounts

There are several ways that you can get the full cinema experience for far less than the average cost. Discounts, for one, are a great way to start. Some of these methods are common, whereas, some aren't so obvious. Find some ideas for paying less when you go to the cinema by taking advantage of discounts below.

Most cinemas have a particular day in which they give discounts and they're usually themed days. It is very likely that these discounts will be offered on an off-peak day when the cinema is less busy. It would be a great idea to do a little research and find out which cinemas in your local area are offering discounts and when. These discounts usually consist of a certain percentage off of your cinema ticket. Also remember that the same cinema may have varying discounts depending on the branch, so bear that in mind as well.

Managing money as a student may be tough and you might often find yourself short. On that note, it's important you save as much money as possible and cinemas are a great place to start. If you're a student who enjoys watching movies, you've got a great advantage. Many cinemas offer a student discount, so you can save a reasonable amount on your tickets. The percentage you'll get off depends on the cinema, but ensure you carry your ID along. There are also student packs available which offer 2 for 1 tickets when you subscribe. Although the subscription isn't free, you're essentially gaining a free ticket every time you visit the cinema all year long. In some cases, you may still be able to get an additional discount using your student ID as well.

Sometimes, shopping centres which happen to have cinemas inside give away priority deals. As well as getting discounts on meals and freebies, it's likely that you'll get an enticing discount on your movie tickets too. Do an internet search or pop into a shopping centre with a cinema to see if they have any deals on offer.

If you have kids or are planning to take kids to the cinema, check if they're doing screening for kids' films. They usually take place in the morning on weekends and on a daily basis during half term. You'll only have to pay a few pounds for the tickets which should result in you saving a decent amount.

Other great tips

Here are some other great tips, tricks and hacks, helping you save at the pictures.

Off-peak periods

Going to the cinema during off-peak periods will save you a great deal. For obvious reasons, the cinema tends to be far less busy during the week and during the earlier hours of the day. Try popping in right after work or on a day off. For most cinemas, before 5pm is considered off-peak and you may find cheaper tickets. Not only will you save on ticket prices, but you're also more likely to be able to choose the perfect seat as well.


Cinema memberships are a great way to get unlimited discounts when you go to visit the cinema. If you're a movie lover and find yourself going often, then getting a membership might work in your favour. Most memberships come at a fee, however, luckily some are free. You may be able to get discounts on food and drinks additionally. Memberships usually start anywhere from £17 monthly which isn't so bad considering the amount that you'll save on discounted or free tickets. This is of course only ideal if you visit the cinema frequently, however.

Social media giveaways

Many of your favourite cinemas are likely to have a social media accounts seeing as that's the new wave. If they do happen to have one, you could save on a future cinema trip as a result. Brands often run social media campaigns and these could consist of giving away free tickets to the cinema or for screenings. They may also run competitions where you could win discounts or other cinema-related perks. It's worth following them and keeping a look out so that you can save as much as possible.

Look for free preview screenings

Preview screenings for films are usually something that you have to be specially invited to or pay to attend. Lucky for you, however, there are ways around this which could get you free tickets to preview upcoming films. There are several websites that share codes for free screening tickets, so you'll need to do some research to find them. You'll most likely have to sign up to the forum on the site and look out for when codes are posted. It's usually first come first serve, so try and sign up for email alerts so that you get there first. There are also some cinemas that offer previews at a rate cheaper than normal tickets so try and check that out too.


Going to the cinema can be a fun form of entertainment. It is also something everyone can partake in as there's usually a film for everyone. Although online loans are needed for several reasons, going to the cinema shouldn't be one of them. Taking a little extra time out to hunt for discounts will go a long way in helping you save. Knowing cheaper ways to get tickets and food will also give you value for your money. We hope this guide comes in handy the next time you want to go and see the latest film at your local cinema. We also hope that with these tips you end up spending far less than you anticipated.

We want to hear about your own hacks, tips and tricks for saving at the cinema, let us know on our social media pages.