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19 ways to have fun for less


Frequent the library instead of the bookstores. Your tax dollars fund the library; take advantage of it.

2. Form book clubs with friends, co-workers and relatives to recycle your books.
3. Read not, waste not. Don't renew subscriptions to magazines or newspapers you're not reading.
4. If the subscription cost to your favorite magazine goes up, don't chalk it up to "inflation." Ask for a better price.
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5. If you are a student or a teacher, say it loudly and proudly. Some periodicals and magazines have special rates for academia.
6. Check your favorite magazines' Web sites for online offers that may be lower than others you've received.
7. Pick up a video at the library rather than renting one. Or, see if your library has free movie nights.
8. Go to the matinees of first-run movies. Movies with the best prices usually start between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. So see a show first and then go eat.
9. Many communities have bargain theaters that show movies after they've finished their first runs. Patience pays off.

Skip the munchies. The concession stand is no bargain even at bargain theaters. If you can't imagine a movie without popcorn or Junior Mints, get the smallest size and share.

11. Get rid of that ''1,000 mega-channel lineup,'' and switch to basic cable. You can save as much as $20 a month.
12. Delete television from your life altogether. It cuts the "I wants" drastically.
13. Try out a dollar theater, a local film festival or even a drive-in. To really save, volunteer at a local fair or festival -- you'll get in free.
14. If you live in a college town, there's probably a campus movie theater that shows low-cost art or foreign films.
15. If you don't mind standing during a show, volunteer to usher. Just don a pair of black pants and a white shirt.
16. Volunteer at fairs, festivals and sporting events. You'll get free admission, food and camping, have minimal duties and often get to hobnob with the artists.
17. Review concerts and plays for a local newspaper. You have to be well-informed about the subject to write a credible review, but you'll typically get two free seats in the best section of the house.
18. Win concert tickets on the radio by putting station call-in numbers on your speed dial. A college radio station tends to have the fewest listeners and usually lots of tickets to give away.
19. Check the newspaper for performances by local artists. They're usually low cost or free and often held in coffeehouses, bookstores or libraries.
-- Posted: Aug. 20, 2004


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