Smart Buying

Entertainment -- For Less

You can have fun without feeling guilty if you follow these money-saving tips.

The March issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance features loads of ways to trim expenses on food, medicine, utilities, travel, investing, transportation and more. The article, Save $50 a Day, also offers ways to cut entertainment costs, so you can have a little fun without feeling guilty.

According to the article, one way to guarantee that you're getting the lowest price on event tickets is to shop multiple sites (RazorGator.com, StubHub.com and TicketsNow.com) because price differences can be dramatic. Here are three examples (prices are for two tickets):

Event: Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Atlanta Hawks, in Atlanta. Best Price: StubHub, $115. Comparable Seats: Ticketmaster, $214.SAVINGS: $99Event:Orchestra seats at Broadway musical West Side Story. Best Price: Ticket­master, $258. Comparable Seats: RazorGator, $605.SAVINGS: $347Event: Taylor Swift concert at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. Best Price: StubHub, $350. Comparable Seats: TicketsNow, $550.SAVINGS: $200

Here are some other tips for saving money on entertainment:

Time your visit right. Many theaters, museums, galleries, zoos and parks offer special discounts on certain days of the week, such as pay-what-you-can nights. Some even offer free admission on certain days of the month. You may be able to get discounted theater tickets by waiting until a couple of hours before the performance to buy them. Some theaters sell "rush" tickets at a fraction of the price because they would rather sell the seats at a bargain than let them go empty.

Take advantage of campus offerings. If you live near a university, take advantage of student theater productions, art show, film festivals, sporting events and more for free or at rock-bottom prices.

Use member discounts. You could score discount tickets to amusement parks, sports arenas and other events through clubs and associations you belong to, such as AAA, AARP, a credit union, an alumni or professional association, or even your job.

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