Cheap Cinema

Thrifty Life

Cheap and Cinema are two words that don’t seem to go together! I can understand why people don’t bother going when it can cost upwards of £25 for tickets, drinks and a bit of popcorn! In some places, twenty five quid would only just cover the cost of the tickets! So how can you still enjoy a trip to the cinema without it costing an arm and a leg? Deals of course! Here are some of my favourites…

Meerkat Movies – Two for one cinema tickets at Vue, Odeon and Cineworld every Tuesday or Wednesday – this is particularly good if your local cinema does £4.99 tickets like mine does. There’s the added bonus of the Meerkat Meals which also gives two for one at a variety of restaurants. You could go for food first followed by the cinema for half of the regular price!

If you don’t have Meerkat Movies & Meals, you can get a year long membership for FREE! All you have to do is search for a one day travel insurance policy through Compare the Market, click through to the companies website then you’ll be able to claim your membership. I just did this to get a year long membership so it definitely works. To get yours make an account on Compare the Market search for a one day trip somewhere in the UK (it shouldn’t matter where). Select the cheapest option, click through to the insurers website as if you’re going to buy the policy. Go back to Compare the Market and click on the Meerkat Movies/Meals section. It should have tracked that you’ve clicked through to the insurer and you don’t actually need to provide a policy number! Just click the insurer and claim… Simples – as they say!

Vodafone VeryMeRewards – I am a Vodafone customer and absolutely love the rewards app they launched last year. One of the deals that is often on there is two Vue cinema tickets for £7. Shane and I used this deal last night to watch 1917 on the Extreme Screen at The Rock, Bury.

The tickets for the Extreme Screen are already a bargain £5.74 each – or £4.99 each in the regular screens. Thanks to the Vodafone offer, we saved £4.48 – perfect for spending on drinks and snacks but I’ll get to that later. I’m sure lot of other mobile networks offer similar rewards, let me know if yours does in the comments.

Bank Account Perks – Lloyds – Shane and I have a joint bank account with Lloyds. We upgraded to the Club Lloyds account last year as we found out that there are some great freebies with the account, you can choose from a years magazine subscription, a Gourmet Society Card and, you’ve guessed it, six cinema tickets.

There are a few requirements with this account, you have to pay in £1500 a month otherwise you’ll have to pay the £3 monthly fee… However, if you pay in £500, move it out then pay it back in, move it out and pay it again, that’ll trigger the £1500 so you’re account will be free. Before anyone thinks this is a bit dodgy, a member of Lloyds staff told us this when we opened our account.

When you sign up or upgrade to the Club Lloyds account, you get a choice of the three perks, if you select the cinema tickets you can choose Vue or Cineworld and you’ll recieve six codes to redeem. You can even use these to on the upgraded VIP seats at no extra cost! Our account renews this month so we will be able to claim six more free tickets.

Groupon – If you’re local cinema is an Odeon and you want to go at the weekend, this Groupon deal might be better suited to you… You can get two tickets for £10 or five for £20! My local Odeon only charges £5.75 a ticket so it wouldn’t be much of a saving, others however charge £12.25 a ticket so this can offer great savings.

If you are going to purchase this deal, make sure you check the terms and conditions as there are a few restrictions and you have to pay a 75p booking fee per ticket that is not included in the Groupon price.

CEA Card – This one isn’t a deal but it is well worth knowing about. I hadn’t heard of it until one of my Instagram followers told me about this earlier today. If you or a relative have a disability, you could be eligible for a CEA Card. The card allows a disabled cinema goer to have a free ticket for the person that they are attending with. There are absolute loads of participating cinema, so if you think you might be eligible this is definitely worth having.

That’s the ticket prices tackled, but what about the snacks? I always take my own food and drinks to the cinema with me because that is actually allowed. There are of course a few general rules though: no hot food, no smelly food and no alcohol. Despite these rules people take some questionable snacks to the cinema, if you listen to the podcast – ‘Shagged Married Annoyed’ – you’ll know about the Chinese takeaway and box of Fab lollies! Inspired by this, I asked my Instagram followers to share the weirdest things they’ve seen people smuggle in to the cinema.

Here are a few of my favourites…

  • Brie – Why??!!
  • A rotisserie chicken – I have so many questions about this one, how do you eat a hot, greasy chicken IN THE DARK? How do you even get that in to the cinema? Was it a regular chicken or extra tasty?
  • Soup – ??????
  • A bucket of KFC – Again, how do you even get this through the door?
  • A whole cheeseboard complete with pickles and all the trimmings – How fancy!
  • Boiled eggs – DISGUSTING!
  • Curry and rice – Delicious, but not what I would consider a cinema snack.

Of course, I wouldn’t suggest taking any of those things. Quite frankly, I’d be outraged if someone sat themselves down next to me and starting chomping on some stinky boiled eggs or slurping on soup. So what is acceptable to take? Quite obviously, the exact same kind of snacks you’d buy in there, things like popcorn, Doritos, or a bag of Peanut M&Ms. Things that usually cost £1 in the supermarket rather than paying £3-£5 for the exact same product in the cinema.

Asda do a great selection of sweets that are £1 for five bags. If you’re taking kids to the cinema, this can be a great way for them to pick their own treats, especially as there are 51 different packs to pick from. In Bury, there is a Wilko just a couple of minutes walk from the cinema… perfect for some bargain pick and mix! It’s even better when they’ve got the half price offer on too!

The same goes for for drinks, plan ahead and nip to the likes of Home Bargains or B&M where you’ll be able to grab a bottle of pop for around 50p to £1. If you’re feeling really Thrifty, fill up a reusable drinks bottle with whatever you have in the cupboard or fridge at home.

I know this all seems so obvious but there are times I’ve heard people say things like “I don’t bother with the cinema, it’s too expensive” and that’s a shame as it can be such a great experience. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a night out with your partner or friends, this could be a great way to have a treat on the cheap. If your kids are board of being stuck inside due to the horrible British weather, a bargain trip to watch a film could be just what you need!

Thrifty Clair x

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