How to Spend Less on Entertainment

In this guide, we tell you how to spend less on the things that you enjoy doing most, as a hobby, on your own, or with friends.

Cut the cost of the Cinema

Get a cinema membership

There are two main cinema chains that grant cinema memberships, Cineworld and ODEON.

You pay for each membership via a monthly direct debit, typically for a 12-month term, and you have the opportunity to watch as many films as you can every month.

If you just go to the cinema once or twice a month at most, then this method may end up costing you more than paying every time you go.

Choose the right day

Many cinemas give discounted screenings at specific times of the week – whether this is an evening of the week or weekday mornings when they are usually quiet such as described on the Vue website and the Empire website.

Save on tickets for live events

Look for cheap tickets

Do not just buy your ticket at face value; there are a lot of sites that will offer the same ticket at a portion of the price.

Once you decide on what or who you want to see, visit the following sites:

  • See Tickets
  • Lastminute.com
  • Theatre Monkey
  • Ticketmaster
  • Seat Choice
  • Ticketline
  • Comparetheatretickets.com

While you are visiting these sites, it may also be a great idea to sign up for their newsletters so that you can be informed of new tickets and deals as soon as they are available.

Remember to consider booking fees and the like when you analyse prices so that you can make sure that you are getting the best deal possible.

Check at the box office

Avoid handling or booking charges by personally going to the box office to check prices.

If you can,  try to book directly as you will usually be charged more in fees when you book using a third party.

Second-hand tickets

Various sites now give you the chance to purchase your ticket as-new, second hand over the internet.

Visit the following sites if you are trying to book sold out tickets:

  • Seat Wave
  • Get Me In
  • Gigantic
  • Viagogo
  • eBay
  • Gumtree

Remember to make sure that you are buying from a legitimate seller.

Save on nights out

Cheap drinks

Make sure that you plan your evening to include clubs and pubs with special offers, like 2-4-1 cocktails and happy hour.

Book in advance

Many clubs will give you a discount if you book with them in advance. You can either visit them directly or call them on the phone to negotiate for a lesser price.

Discount restaurant meals

There are various restaurants that will give 2-4-1 dinner deals or 2-3 course meal for a lower price.

You can visit websites such as Tablepouncer.com, that allows you to reserve last minute tables in selected locations across the United Kingdom for a discounted price.

Bring your own bottle

Some restaurants allow you to bring your own bottle, which can be much cheaper than buying wine there, so verify if this is allowed before you go.

To look for a restaurant that allows you to bring your own, visit the Wine-pages website.

Save on days out

Free days out

You are spoilt for options when it comes down to heritage and culture across the United Kingdom, and the best part about the options is that they are normally free!

You can look and plan a variety of free activities using the following websites:

  • VisitWales.com
  • VisitEngland.com
  • VisitScotland.com

Festivals

Going to festivals can end up being an expensive affair. However, there are ways for you to decrease the cost, from start to finish, in every possible way.

Cheap spa days

There are competing deals that are often available for spa days and weekends. Visit websites such as Wahanda to see if you could save money while pampering yourself.

Cheap and fun nights in

Free TV & films online

You can just sit back and enjoy a broad range of television programs and films from the comfort of your sofa with services administered by services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which require a monthly subscription fee.

Read: Where to Watch Free TV and Films Online

Cheap gaming

If you are one of those that enjoy gaming, then there are various ways to get yourself a console and games without spending too much. Opt for bundle deals, or look to buy pre-owned, to get the most for your money.

Save by eating in

Visit websites like Hungry House or Just Eat for deals at your local takeaway and sign up for their newsletter so that you can find out about special deals and promotions.

Where to Watch Free TV and Films Online

Watching TV shows and films online can be convenient and cheap; however, when it comes to copyright infringement, you could also be walking a legal tightrope. Here is a guide on where you can watch TV and movies online without falling foul of the law.

There are many sites that allow you to stream or download your favourite programmes for a minimal or no charge, so if you want to watch movies and TV online, you have plenty of options.

However, most of these sites could be infringing intellectual property laws that protect the media industry from people that are distributing their work without permission.

Stream a film from a source that is illegal, and you could get a warning letter from your service provider and even experience your internet speed being clipped or blocked altogether if you are considered to be a frequent offender.

However, there are several sites that do offer TV shows and movies for free without breaking the law. Found below are some of the places where you can legally watch TV shows and films online.

Is watching free TV or movies online legal?

Films are only protected by copyright for a definite period, depending on where and when it was formerly published and the country in which you reside.

  • Under UK copyright law, a film is protected for 70 years from the death of the last to survive out of the screenwriter, the original musical composer, and the director.
  • Once this period expires, the film is then considered as being in the ‘public domain’, and it can be freely distributed.
  • As a result, many of the films that can be streamed legally online for free tend to be ‘classic movies’ that are not any more protected by copyright laws.

If a TV show or film is still protected by copyright, then the website must seek permission to distribute it.

Read: Gov.uk’s guide to the UK copyright law

Where can I stream video online?

There are a lot of websites that offer TV shows and movies, but you cannot always ensure that what you are watching is legal.

The Industry Trust is an industry body created to protect the media industry from copyright infringement.

If you are having a hard time in looking for the TV programme or movie that you wish to watch online, then you can directly search for it with the use of a content search engine just like FindAnyFilm.com, which enumerated the cheapest places to watch TV shows and films legally online.

This implies that you can quickly discover if there is a free stream that is available or if you will have to pay in order to watch your film online.

Other sites to try

  • The British Film Institute suggests contemporary and classic global cinema and documentaries, including free films.
  • Jaman offers a mixture of pay-for and free movies to download or stream, including a broad choice of  Bollywood movies and independent film.
  • Viewster offers an extensive range of free films and series from around the world.

TV on demand

One of the easiest and best means to watch films and TV online for free is to make use of the on-demand services run by the major UK TV channels.

Each permits you to stream copyright-protected content for free without breaking any laws.

However, the main catch with the TV on demand services is that shows and movies are only available for a limited time following their original broadcast.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer, the most well-known catch-up TV service, was introduced in December 2007 and allows users to catch up on various films and TV shows that previously broadcast on any of the Freeview BBC channels.

It also has a series catch-up feature which indicates that you can watch all the earlier episodes of various TV shows online for free. BBC iPlayer is financed through the TV licence. However, you do not have to hold a licence to use it.

ITV Player, 4OD & Demand Five

Other terrestrial channels like Channel 4, Channel 5, and ITV, all operate catch-up TV services which can be viewed online for free.

The major difference between the BBC iPlayer and the other TV on demand services is that they are partly funded by advertisements which are embedded in the programs just like the TV channels themselves.

Pay for sites

If you cannot look for the TV show or film that you wish to watch or would like to choose from a broader list, then you may need to pay to watch it online.

Most pay to view sites also offer welcome credits or free trials, so you may be able to make use of the free subscription and then cancel before being required to pay a subscription fee.

The Content Map includes various links to many of the most popular legitimate pay to view sites online.

Amazon Instant Video

The Instant Video service of Amazon allows you to pay to buy or rent more than 50,000 films and TV shows online.

Alternatively, a membership in Amazon Prime includes more than 15,000 movies and TV episodes as part of the annual subscription.

Netflix

Netflix also offers a broad range of television programmes and films that are available to stream if you pay a monthly subscription.

NOW TV

NOW TV offers thousands of TV shows and movies that you can stream on your TV, laptop, phone, console, or tablet. You can pay for a monthly subscription fee to watch movies, entertainment, or sports.