How to Save Money on Movie Snacks

Three Parts:Planning AheadKnowing What You Can AffordEvaluating Your Experience

Snacking at the movies goes hand in hand, but movie snacks are expensive and a simple drink and popcorn can amount to nearly the same as what you might pay for a meal at a restaurant. Instead of shelling over more dough for snacks, try a few strategies that may help you enjoy the film just as much, but without having to overpay.

Part 1
Planning Ahead

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    Eat before you go to the theater. Avoid rushing to the movie theater on an empty stomach. Not only will you be more inclined to head to the snack bar, being hungry may interfere with your overall enjoyment of the film.
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    Bring gum or mints to the movie. Dieters have reported that chewing gum can help curb cravings. Instead of munching on popcorn, try a stick of gum with long lasting flavor (avoid the kind that loses its flavor right away, prompting you to keep adding a fresh piece).
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    Go to the movies at an off time. Avoid movie times that occur at lunch or dinnertime. Also, if the movie is playing when you typically have a craving, meet that craving before you go (such as a need for caffeine or sugar).
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    At the store, the day before you plan on going to see a movie, buy candy that you like. Bring the candy into the theatre in your purse, or if you're a guy, your coat/jacket. You can save a boat load of money this way, and you can also buy the candy you like without paying 3 times as much for it at the movies.

Part 2
Knowing What You Can Afford

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    Bring a certain amount of cash for snacks. Only allow yourself to spend a certain amount of money on snacks--if you only have $5 then you know you may have to reconsider sizes and amounts.
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    Be realistic about the expense. If you can purchase a package of licorice at the grocery store for three times less than what the movie is selling it, refrain for making the purchase. Overpriced items will eat away at your budget and put you in a position to pay far more than you should.
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    Call the theater ahead of time and ask for a copy of the menu. Make sure you request that the menu includes prices, that way you can survey what is offered and what you can expect in terms of money.

Part 3
Evaluating Your Experience

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    Reflect on what you’ve purchased in the past that was particularly delicious or cost effective. Sometimes the best way to determine the best route is trial and error.
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    Consider if you could save money by purchasing a ticket for a cheaper priced performance and then offset the cost of the higher priced ticket with snacks.
    • Ask about discount days or specials (such as $1 popcorn, etc.).
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    Calculate which food size is the best value. Theater personnel are trained to up-sell the larger size, however decide if it’s truly worth the money and/or if consuming more of the product is in your best interest.


  • Never sneak glass bottles and/or alcoholic beverages into the movie theater. Not only could you be ejected, you could be reported to the authorities for this violation (especially if you are underage).
  • Although you may be motivated to bring snacks from home, take into consideration the theater and whether bringing snacks is highly frowned upon (many theaters will not allow them).

Article Info

Categories: Cinemas