How to Save Money » Frugal Living

How to go to the movies for next to nothing

Careful spenders usually watch movies at home. After all, one trip to the theatres could blow the whole entertainment budget. But with a little creativity, it is possible to go to the movies for next to nothing.

movies next to nothing

How to go to the movies for next to nothing

I recently took my boys to our local Cineplex theatre. I tried not to gasp when the man in front of me paid over $80 for ADMISSION for his family of five. He didn’t even cry when he handed over a crisp $100 bill. And that was before snacks.

I passed my vouchers to the attendant, and my whole family got to go to the movies for free.

How can we all go to the movies for next to nothing?

General mills cineplex coupons

Probably my favorite coupon ever. General Mills has a regular movie promotion twice a year. On the back of select products, it offers different deals.

movies for free

Simply follow 3 steps to redeem them:
• Get the PIN code from inside the box
• Follow the online instructions to enter it.
• Choose your movie time and print the ticket or opt to pick it up from the theatre

I used 3 x Honey Nut Cheerios
FREE child admission (August) or BOGO child admission (September/October)

I used 2 x Multi-Grain Cheerios
FREE adult admission (August) or BOGO adult admission (September/October)

And, of course, price matching the cereal in the first place means getting the best deal possible on the products (and the movie!).

Local library

Check your local library to see what movies they offer for free. These are often Saturday afternoons or during holidays.

Drive-in theatres

Nothing says summertime like going to a drive-in theatre. Sitting under the stars with a light breeze. Our nearby drive-in offers promotions such as:

Bring a Carload Thursdays for $17
If 6 people pile in for $17, that is less than $3 per person. Or it could be less than $1.50 per movie on double feature night – now that is going to the movies for practically free!

Air miles cash balance rewards

An easy way to see a movie for free is to redeem air miles. Redeem 95 miles for a $10 off voucher, which means you see a movie for next to nothing!


Check your local theatre to see a movie for next to nothing, with promotions like:
• Half-price Tuesdays
• Toonie Saturdays
• Movies for Mommies (lower audio, strollers welcome, cheaper tickets)


When my children go to the theatre with friends’ families, I send money for the movie and snack but it breaks my budget-friendly heart to pay full price.

I now keep one pass on hand from Costco ($10.49) that includes Child Admission and a Child’s snack combo. This also limits the quantity of snacks they consume. Not exactly free, but much better than the alternative.

I hope the gentleman with the $100 bill has stumbled upon this website and might be inspired to try one of these ideas. If not, at least we are all reminded that we can treat ourselves to the movies without blowing the budget.

What ideas do you have for going to the movies for next to nothing?


  1. TallNFunny

    Join the Scene program to earn points towards free movies and discounts on movies and snacks –

  2. Karen Gauvreau

    Thanks TallNFunny 🙂
    I’ve heard that the Scene points can add up quite quickly.

  3. Lori

    Scene points are definitely the best way to go to the movies for free. Banking at Scotiabank, you can get a scene debit card and a scene visa. Earn 1 point for every $5 spent on debit and 1 point for every $1 spent on visa. 1000 points for admission and 1000 points for a popcorn and pop combo. We only go a couple times a year, but we always have more than enough points for the 3 of us to get in and get a snack. Plus if my son goes with a friend, I just give him the black scene card and presto.. free outing.

  4. Christina

    Our family just went for free too! We get free admission passes through the M&M MIR and the Speedstick one.

  5. caroline

    Love the M &Ms promotion. Picked up chocolate, on sale of course, which the kids love and two free admissions. And they’ve made it easier now. The pin is inside the bag and you just go online and print at home. Much easier than mailing off and having to wait like in previous years

  6. Nicole

    taking my boys to the movies for free tomorrow too, using a Coke reward (now over) for myself & free gc I earned from a survey for my boys & snacks. I also enter local contests to win passes to the movies for a night out on the town, a great date idea for me & hubby for free.

  7. Karen Gauvreau

    Don’t you find the movie is always better when it is free?
    Enjoy your show and thanks for the hints.

  8. Tania

    I also never pay full price to go to the movies. I always exchange my Airmiles for tickets and snacks and my credit card also gives me points that I exchange for movie tickets. If ever I run out of these free tickets and really want to go, I go on Tuesdays, when it’s half price.

  9. Kris

    My husband takes himself to the movies for free on a regular basis thanks to his Scene card. When we go as a family (not very often with 4 kids!) we save money by getting 2 bigger combos to share rather than a kids’ combo X4. Mom and Dad hold a popcorn and drink each and sit with a kid on each side and share.

  10. Jan

    If you have a CAA membership you can buy discounted Cineplex movie passes at the CAA stores. I always buy these and give them to my kids when they go to the movies. You can buy individual ticket passes or movie night out passes where you get two tickets, one large popcorn and two large drinks. Sometimes my kids will give a individual ticket to a friend, in a card, for their birthday. Look on the CAA website to see how much the passes are now, as I forget how much I paid.

  11. Karen Gauvreau

    Love the CAA hint – I’m sure a lot of people can benefit from that tip.
    Thanks Jan.

  12. Lisa

    I love all these ideas. I use the scene it card often for our freebie and love the Costco one for my daughter. But i don’t buy general mills products because they are full of sugar and we don’t eat them, so i can never take advantage of that great offer. 🙁

  13. Jan

    Forgot to mention that you should show your Scene card when using your discounted CAA Cineplex passes. You get Scene points for using the CAA passes too!

  14. Djurdjica

    I do surveys and get free movie pass for every 1000 points

  15. dana

    Don’t forget to use your scene card at the concession stands – you get 10 percent off – better than nothing!

  16. Krista

    Scene points are awesome! Did you know that you can use 1000 points for ANY free ticket… including 3D, and the super-expensive VIP experience?

  17. Elizabeth

    We use airmiles and swagbucks to get e-gift cards. Then go to Tuesday cheaper night shows. I also get scene points for free movies.
    We also eat before the movies to avoid high priced snacks.

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