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Cheap Alternatives for Expensive Entertainment

Looking for ways to cut back on expenses without sacrificing your quality of life? Read below for tips on how to have both a fun—and frugal—lifestyle. 
 
Big Expense: Eating out
Cheap Solution: The best alternative for this pricey habit varies from person to person. Do you eat out because restaurant food is better than what you’re able to cook at home? If so, try searching online for new recipes that you might like, or sign up for a cooking class to hone your skills. Do you tend to visit restaurants simply because it’s a good excuse to get out of the house? If this is the case, try packing up your own food and heading outside for a picnic. There are many ways to have an enjoyable dining experience without forking over the cash for a restaurant meal.
 
Big Expense: Going to the movies
Cheap Solution: These days, seeing a movie in theaters can make for one expensive outing. Instead, rent movies and watch them at home. Make a big bowl of popcorn, turn off all the lights, shut off your phones and hunker down on the couch for an uninterrupted movie night that will rival the theater experience. And if you still find yourself craving the excitement of seeing a movie in theaters, try seeking out discount theaters that show slightly older films. You may have to wait an extra month or two to see a specific movie, but you could save yourself an impressive amount of money.
 
Big Expense: Visiting the spa
Cheap Solution: If you’re someone who enjoys going to the spa in order to relax and unwind, know that you might not feel so relaxed when you see how expensive a visit to the spa can be. Instead, try giving yourself a spa-like experience at home with a long bubble bath or meditation session. Make it clear to your family members that you’re taking some time for yourself and are not to be disturbed. By setting boundaries and distancing yourself from your family for a few hours, you may even be able to forget that you’re still at home and not away at the spa! 
 
Big Expense: Hosting dinner parties
Cheap Solution: Next time you invite family or friends over for dinner, make it a potluck meal. For the main dish, keep costs down by cooking something cheap—like spaghetti, for instance. Then ask each person you’re inviting to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. Want to save even more money? Ditch the dinner idea, and host an ice cream dessert party instead! You supply the ice cream, and each guest brings a different kind of topping.  
 
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