Even if your budget is a bit tighter than usual, that doesn’t mean you need to skip out on your favorite forms of entertainment completely. There are plenty of ways to still check out your favorite books, movies, and music without breaking your wallets:
The good old public library is not only alive and well, but it’s doing better business than ever. Most libraries offer a variety of services to their patrons besides just the usual books and periodicals.
They also offer free Internet access and a collection of DVD’s that can be checked out just like the books. Additionally, many hold regular programs on a range of topics that appeal to just about everyone. Unfortunately, library budgets are seeing drastic budget cuts, even as their services are being used as never before. Though this might mean fewer new releases on the shelves, this is one institution not to be overlooked.
If the library’s collections are a bit too sparse for your particular tastes, hop online and look for deals. Websites like SecondSpin.com and TheCDExchange.com specialize in used CD’s and DVD’s, while PaperbackSwap.com is sort of like a virtual book club where members swap titles they’ve already read in exchange for new ones. And Half.com posts a huge collection of CD’s, DVD’s, games, and books in Brand New, Like New, Good, and Fair condition.
Community Theater and Musical Organizations
Plenty of communities boast at least one musical group. Whether it’s a chorus, band, or a smaller ensemble, the amount of talent in your neighborhood may surprise you. Theater is another way to enjoy a night of culture without breaking the bank and cheering on your friends and neighbors at the same time. Check the local paper’s weekend section for a calendar of events, or watch for advertisements for high school theater productions. Most school performances are reasonably priced or offer discounts for students and seniors. Plus it’s a nice way to show support for the kids.
Family Game Night
Game systems are still all the rage, but there’s nothing quite like some good old-fashioned healthy competition with your loved ones right in the comfort of your living room. Classic board games like Monopoly, Operation, Sorry!, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit are more popular than ever, with newer games like Scattergories and Cranium quickly becoming favorites. Choose up sides and may the best man or woman win!