My Story: Cheap Dates

contributed by Pamela

Get on a lot of mailing lists from local organizations, etc. Art galleries often have openings with wine and sometimes more. Get on their mailing lists. Community groups, choirs, symphonies have free or discount events. Get on their mail or email lists. I just received an offer for two-for-one symphony concert tickets.

Read the small print in entertainment ads. The Mark Taper and Ahmanson in Los Angeles sometimes have "pay what you can" performances. I saw Christopher Plummer in Barrymore for less than a movie. While visiting NYC, go the TKTS booth in Duffy Square for discount theatre tickets.

Churches often have concerts, and it is not always sacred music. They often only ask for a free will offering. Look at the religious page in the newspaper.

Go sightseeing in your hometown. There is always something that tourists visit that you haven't gotten around to yet. In Los Angeles, there are the Watts Towers, for example.

Baseball games are inexpensive nights out.

Look for classes that offer free introductory classes and take a free yoga or dance class.

Go to bars that have music. You don't have to drink. A soda will do. We spent New Year's Eve dancing to our favorite rock band and there was no cover charge. Or find a bar that has karaoke.

Go "antiquing" in thrift shops that are off the beaten path or visit a swap meet to which you have never been.

Get on Borders and Barnes and Noble mailing lists for their free events. Maybe your local independent bookstore has events and talks, too.

Try to get on lists for screenings, etc. Here in Hollywood, there are a lot of these.

Be a member of a game show or sitcom audience. Sometimes they even pay you. We saw Cedric the Entertainer live and it was fun. Be inventive!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it to

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