Saturday, December 28, 2013

Job Fair & Financial Fitness from Margo Davidson

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Stay Warm - Energy Job Fair
Llanerch Hills Chapel
1214 Myrtlewood Avenue
Upper Darby

February 1 thru February 28
Financial Fitness Month - Part 1
Free Tax Preparation Available
Mondays and Saturdays
Call office to confirm time and locations

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Road to Prosperity - Financial Fitness Month
Part 2 - Financial Fitness Expo
11am to 3 pm
Delaware County Community College
Upper Darby Branch - Barclay Square
1570 Garrett Road, Upper Darby

Reminder - Egg Nog Sip

Pennsylvania House Of Representatives
Stay InformedPhotosVisit My WebsiteContact Me

                   Egg nog sip and open house Dec. 30
You're invited to my fourth annual egg nog sip and open house from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30 at my constituent service office, located in the Barclay Square Shopping Center, 1500 Garrett Road.
This year will feature the Affordable Care Act bus, which provides on-site sign-ups and technical assistance at your fingertips.
Please join me and your neighbors to enjoy a glass of egg nog, hot chocolate or apple cider and cookies, and live music from local artists.
I look forward to this annual event where you can share your state-related concerns or questions in an informal, festive atmosphere. All of our office services will be available including notary services, driver and birth certificate applications and much more.
My staff will also be available to help with completing applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, at this event. Help with applying for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate before the Dec. 31 deadline will also be available. Call in advance to ensure that you bring all the required documents with you.
For more information or to RSVP, please call Carolyn Collins at 610-259-7016 or email

9 Ways to Get Exactly What You Want From Customer Service

by Paul Michael on 23 December 2013
I’m a fan of companies that goes the extra mile for their customers. Unfortunately, not all companies offer the greatest customer service. Most of us have had a frustrating customer service experience at some point – but it doesn't have to be that way. If you follow these suggestions, you can get exactly what you want from customer service – and even have fun doing it.

Before You Do Anything Else, Bypass the Automated Phone System

If you’re calling customer service, the biggest problem you’ll face with problem resolution is robots; you can't be friendly to a phone system (well, you can, but it probably won't be all that friendly back). The best way to do this is to tap into the GetHuman database. Look up the company you’re dealing with, and the website will tell you the quickest way to speak to a real person. ContactHelp is also a great option.
Now, here are nine ways to help get what you want every time you talk to a customer service representative (CSR).

1. Treat Your CSR Like a Friend

Look at it this way – these people spend 95% of their time dealing with customers who are upset. So give them a break – be nice. Ask them their name and how they’re doing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the mood lightens when you initiate a friendly conversation. Where are they in the country? What’s the weather like? Did they see that nail biter football game? If it’s the holiday season, are they looking forward to the New Year?
Get a conversation going, and get them smiling and laughing. Make sure you reciprocate, and be genuine. The CSR is now dealing with someone they like, not someone they want to get rid of. And when CSRs deal with people the like, they treat them well.

2. Say “We” as Much as Possible

My dad used to have a saying, and I still use it: “’I want’ never gets.” You want the CSR to think of himself as part of your team. So, don’t say “I,” say “we.”
“Hey John, how are we going to get this resolved today?” brings the CSR on your side. They’re now working with you, rooting for you to succeed. On the other hand, “How am Igoing to get this solved?” is your problem. It’s a tiny change in tone, but it works wonders.

3. Get Them Saying Yes, Yes, Yes

By asking questions that can only be answered “yes,” you get the CSR in a pattern of agreement. “So, this is the deal I have right now? And you say I’ve been with you for six years? And I am considered a loyal customer?” Yes. Yes. Yes. Then you slip in something that you want them to say yes to. “And is there something you can do for me, today, because I’m a valued customer?” That’s a really tough one to say no to.

4. Ask Them for Their Opinion

The CSR knows way more about your options than you do – which means that they might know of a way to help you that you weren't aware of. Explain the situation, and then say “What would you do in my position?” Now they’re thinking about this from your perspective, but with their incredible knowledge of the system. I have used this several times, most recently when I was about to be charged $125 by an airline for an overweight bag. I said “Oh wow, that’s just something I didn’t budget for; what would you do in my position?” After a few seconds, I was charged for two bags instead of one overweight bag, saving me $100.

5. Be 100% Prepared

Information such as when you ordered, when the product arrived, when you made a return, and when you previously spoke to customer service can all be helpful. Make sure you have all this information before contacting customer service. Oh, and you know how they always give you those reference numbers at the end of a call? Actually write them down.
Also, it can help to read up on the company's policies. I know I said in the previous point that the CSR probably knows more than you – but they might not know everything. If you come across any parts of the policy that might be helpful to you, have them handy.

6. Call at the Best Time

Customer service software maker ZenDesk did a study of the best time to call customer service and discovered that people who call between 9 and 11 am generally have their issues dealt with the fastest. It makes sense – when you call in the morning, you're dealing with CSRs who are just starting their day and have a clean slate. And the “call” part is also key – ZenDesk reported that using the phone gets much faster results than email or social media.

7. If You Need to, Take Things Up a Level

If you aren't getting anywhere, try going further up the chain of command. This could mean asking nicely to speak to a supervisor, or you could use what's often called “Executive Customer Service.” Utilizing this usually takes you to people who have a lot of power within the company you have an issue with. Google it for the company you want to contact, and you should find the name, phone number, and/or email address of someone who might have more power to assist you.

8. Mention You Might Take Your Business Elsewhere

The old saying is true – it is much cheaper for a company to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. If you’ve exhausted all options, consider telling your CSR that you might take your business elsewhere. Your CSR will go into “save sale” mode. You will probably be transferred to a department called retention that has the skills and power to keep you. They will offer you options the regular CSR cannot.

9. Always Reward Good Behavior

If you have a great customer service experience, always take the time to let the company know. Fill out surveys if you receive them, or take the time to write a short email to the company (and make sure to include the call reference number so they know which representative helped you). The more you reward good behavior, the more likely it is that customer service centers will be staffed with helpful people. And who knows – maybe you'll even help the CSR get a raise or bonus. Isn't it nice to help people who help you?

12 Legit Ways to Earn Some Extra Cash From Home

by Bob Lotich on 20 December 2013
Moms who decide to stay at home and raise their children definitely have their fair share of work. If you're a stay-at-home mom, you don't need me to tell you that. But perhaps you're a stay-at-home mom who is looking to earn some cash and doesn't mind working a little extra. (See also: 7 Things to Consider Before You Become a Stay-at-Home Parent)
Here are some truly legit ways for you to make money at home in your spare time.

1. Become a Social Media Consultant

Local and far-flung businesses are looking to hire social media consultants and managers. As a social media manager, you'll help businesses with their Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other social media pages. Read a few good books on social media strategies to get started. (See also: How to Avoid Social Media Slip-Ups at Work)

2. Work as a Virtual Assistant

If you're a pro at organization and productivity, put those skills to good use as a virtual assistant. Increasingly, businesses are hiring virtual assistants to answer phones, schedule appointments, type up documents, organize records, and do some data entry.

3. Become a Professional Blogger

Blogs aren't just for family photos or diary entries; you can actually make some money blogging. Earn some cash through advertising products and services you love. (See also:How Do Bloggers Make Money?)
Think of a skill you have that you can blog about. If you're an expert cook, for example, consider starting a food blog. The Pioneer Woman started out as a mom blogging her recipes and turned it into a full-time job!

4. Tutor and Give Lessons

Whether you're an expert at playing piano or are bilingual and would like to teach others, there's some kind of skill you have that you can teach to kids or adults in your area.
Start a website advertising your tutoring services and give free first lessons to promote your business.

5. Sell on

Open an Etsy store, and you can sell handmade vintage items, jewelry, and more. You can have your own storefront and ship items after receiving orders. Etsy is a growing marketplace and worth checking out. (See also: 5 Ways Etsy Can Help Your Startup)

6. Sell for Multi-Level-Marketing Organizations

Yes, you can find legit multi-level organizations and help pay the bills with the money you earn. But remember, it's important to understand the difference between multi-level marketing programs and pyramid schemes.

7. Sell Your Skills on allows people to sell their skills for $5. It's interesting what some people are selling, like taking a picture holding a sign, recording a custom song, or designing logos for a business. Have fun, be creative, and come up with your own little Fiverr business! (See also: 5 Ways to Make Extra Income Online)
8. Babysit Other Children
You're taking care of your own kids, why not take care of a few more? Let friends and family know that you're available for daycare services. Some parents both work during the day, and since you're a stay-at-home mom, you can fill a need for willing parents.

9. Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are in high demand these days. A good graphic designer can make a living designing for websites and ebooks. Research some of the programs you'll need to do your work, and figure out the best business model for you.

10. Do Bookkeeping for Businesses

One of the last things many business owners want to do is the books. Bookkeeping is quite the burden for those who want to just focus on what they do best, so there is certainly a market for those willing to do some accounting.
It can help to take a few courses in accounting and make sure you're on top of all the activities of your clients. Create a comprehensive solution and businesses everywhere will thank you.

11. Sell Photos Online

Love photography? You can sell your photos online at sites like Shutterstock and Dreamstime. If you're good, you can actually make some decent money selling your photos. Websites are constantly looking for great photography to go along with their articles.

12. Start an Antique Restoration Business

If you collect antiques and restore them, why not turn that into a business? You can advertise your services at local antique shops and might even find some business through them. Make old things look brand new, add some modern flare to an old collectible, or frame works of art for selling. (See also: How to Pick Antiques for Resale)

Final Thoughts

These are just a few ideas for stay-at-home moms; I'm sure with a little brainstorming you can come up with many more. Just because you're not working a traditional job doesn't mean you can't earn some extra cash.

How to Eliminate Holiday Debt

by Miranda Marquit on 20 December 2013
The holidays are a wonderful time, full of friends and family, good food and drink, and generosity. When you're caught up in the holiday spirit, it can sometimes be easy to overspend a little — even if you budgeted for the season.
But if you have a little holiday debt, don't stress — you can eliminate it quickly and painlessly with these steps.

1. Make It a Priority

You don't want your holiday debt hanging around, growing larger throughout the year. Instead, make paying it off a priority. With focused effort, you might be surprised at how quickly you can pay off the debt you incurred over the holidays.
Take a realistic view of your debt and consider your situation. Then, make a specific plan: Figure out how much money you will need each month to pay down your debt, and look for ways to free up that cash.
Give paying down your debt top priority over entertainment expenses and other unnecessary spending. With that solid commitment (and hopefully your family on board with the plan), it will be much easier to accomplish your goal. Remember: The sooner you get your holiday debt paid off, the less it will cost you.

2. Transfer Your Credit Card Balances

Many credit card issuers send out special offers during the first of the year for balance transfer cards. With a 0% balance transfer, you can move your holiday debt off your current high-rate credit card to a card that won’t charge you interest. This can help you more easily pay down your debt.
However, it’s important to note that a balance transfer isn’t a permanent solution. It’s not an excuse to continue spending. Instead, it’s a chance for you to get a handle on the situation and plan a way to efficiently discharge your debt. And make sure that your debt pay down plan includes a way to pay off your 0% APR balance before the introductory period comes to an end — otherwise, the new card might charge you even more interest than your original one.
If you can’t get a 0% APR credit card, consider calling your creditor and asking for a lower interest rate. Good customers can often get a rate reduction just for asking.

3. Go on a Spending Diet, and Put the Savings Toward Your Debt

Just as many of us try to lose weight by changing our eating habits at the beginning of the year, the start of a new year is also a great time to go on a spending diet. This is when you reduce your spending so that you only buy what you truly need.
Figure out how much you can cut from your budget — even if you only go on the spending diet until your holiday debt is paid off — and then apply the savings toward your debt. If you have also done a credit card balance transfer, this tactic can help you aggressively eliminate your post-holiday debt.
Your spending diet can also help you prioritize your expenses and figure out if you might be wasting money on things that aren’t important to you. If you don't miss expenses you eliminated during your spending diet, don't add them back to your budget when your diet is over.

4.Start a Side Gig

Starting a side gig has two benefits — it can help you pay down debt faster, and it might be able to help you earn more money after your debt is paid off as well.
You can do something seasonal, like hauling your neighbors’ Christmas trees away; starting an online business; or writing some freelance articles on the side. If you have a hobby you love, like photography or jewelry making, consider trying to make money off it — who knows, someday, it could even become your full-time gig!

5. Clear the Clutter

Like getting a side job, clearing clutter also has multiple benefits. Not only does selling extra stuff help you earn more money that you can put towards your debt, but it also helps you clear out your house to begin the new year without extra stuff around.
Look to sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon Marketplace to sell items online, or if you live in a warm climate, have a winter yard sale. You can even sell your unwanted gift cards — check out sites like Gift Card Granny.

It's Tax Time - 7 year-end tax tips to keep Uncle Sam out of your wallet

Maryalene LaPonsie

Right after the most wonderful time of the year comes everyone’s least favorite season: tax season.

If you usually try to avoid thinking about taxes until after January 1, you may be missing out on the chance to save a little money. According to some tax experts, now is the time to take last-minute action if you want to reduce your tax bill in April.
7 year-end tax tips
1. Double-check your tax withholdings and payments
“Before year’s end, take a peek at your income,” advises Mary Kay Foss, a Certified Public Accountant with Sweeny Kovar in Danville, Calif. “Check your last pay stub and year-to-date income from brokerage accounts. Estimate December and compare the figures to what was on your last year’s tax return. Also compare your withholding and scheduled estimated tax payments to last year.”
Why do all that? You want to be sure you have sent enough money to the taxman in 2013 and won’t get stuck with a huge bill — or worse, penalties — in April.
If your income has increased significantly but your tax payments have not, it is time to either ask your employer to increase your December withholding or send in extra with your year-end estimated tax payment.
2. Update your contact information
If you have moved in the past year, you don’t want to miss any deductions because of mis-routed mail. Make sure your address and contact information is current with all the organizations that may be sending you tax forms. These include investment firms, mortgage companies, and your previous employer if you have changed jobs since the move.
3. Be extra generous
“Year-end is a good time to go through closets and cupboards and donate unwanted items to charity,” says Foss. “Be sure to get a receipt and you’ll get a tax deduction as well as a warm feeling.”
Foss also says seniors should be aware that their ability to make qualifying charitable distributions from their IRAs is expiring in 2014. According to the California Society of CPAs, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allows those age 70 ½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 tax free from their IRA to a qualified charity.
The provision allowing the distributions expires in 2014, although Foss says Congress could extend it. Still, seniors who want to be sure they can make this generous gift should take action by December 31 to ensure they don’t miss their window of opportunity.
4. Focus on lowering your AGI
If you are going to be buying your own health insurance through a government exchange in 2014, you may want to work on lowering your AGI. ”Affordable Care Act subsidies are based on adjusted gross income starting in 2014, so keeping that low is a priority,” says Foss.
One way to reduce your AGI is by asking your employer to defer any bonus pay until January. For those who are self-employed, you can delay invoicing clients in December and make those payments due next month.
5. Prepay your taxes
Another way to lower your total tax bill is to prepay your 2014 property taxes and state income taxes, if applicable. Both are deductible on your federal income tax form and can help increase your deductions.
6. Unload your losing investments
If you are going to be stuck paying a capital gains tax this year, think about unloading your underperforming investments. You can use your losses to offset your gains — and if your losses exceed gains, you could even write off up to $3,000 from your annual income. Think you lost more than that? No worries, since excess losses carry over year to year.
7. Make your large purchases now
Finally, if you are planning to buy a car, boat or other major purchase, you might want to squeeze that in before the end of the year.
“The sales tax deduction goes away in 2014,” explains Foss. “If you deduct sales tax rather than income tax, don’t plan on it for 2014.”
While Congress could reinstate the deduction, Foss says it is better to assume it will be gone rather than to assume it will be back.
The taxman cometh, but you can still take some last-minute action to keep your money in your pocket and out of Uncle Sam’s hands. If you need help, Foss advises individuals to read the instructions on their tax forms, head to for resources, or get a referral to a trusted CPA from family and friends.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Job Posting - Employer Liaison

District 1199c currently has an open position for an Employer Liaison. Interested candidates must follow the directions on the posting attached.

Position Overview

Provides job development as well as maintenance of relationships with employer partners who hire on the job training (OJT) nursing and health information participants.  Coordinates OJT assignments as well as works with employers to assess job openings for participants in the program to train participants to be Nurses or Health Information professionals as part of the Healthcare Mobility Project (HCaMP).  The position began April 2, 2012 and continues through March 31,2016 as per the HCaMP grant.

Responsibilities - The Employer Liaison has these responsibilities:


1. Works with employers to develop OJT sites for 6 month RN OJT assignments as well as 3 month practical nursing and health information OJT programs and full time placements for all training participants:

·         With IP Director and employers, develops OJT plan.

·         Manages logistics of assignments, e.g. time length, hours, location.

·         Works with IP Director on memorandum of understanding for assignments as needed.

·         Regularly meets with current and prospective employers on site to continually develop and monitor opportunities for OJT, clinical and full time job placements.

2. Works with IP Director to develop and maintain employer relationships.  May attend IP meetings.  Visits employer locations to continually have a good sense of the work environment for the OJT assignments.  Continuously looks for new assignments and new types of healthcare employers, i.e.: physician practices, outpatient centers and community health centers.

3. Monitors participant progress on assignments:

·         Communicates with participants regularly while they are on OJT assignment.  

·         Works with Lead Coach to coach and counsel participants.

4. Teaches job readiness skills course as needed.

5. Keeps abreast of Nursing and Health Information Technology developments in the workplace, and with IP Director informs program of such developments.

6. Maintains accurate and timely program data records.  Prepares required reports.

7. Suggests and designs communications for the program, as requested.

8. Works on other T&U programs and projects as needed.

This position is a full time, grant-funded position with access to full benefits.



  • BA/BS Degree (or equivalent), preferably in related field such as education, social work, healthcare or HR field.
  • 3 years experience including employer relationships, job development and program management. Health industry a strong plus. MUST have familiarity with employer environment; actual experience in an employer environment is a plus.
  • Interviewing, assessment and coaching skills.
  • Good organizational and communication skills a must, as well as proven ability to cultivate relationships with employer partners.
  • Computer knowledge including Internet, Word, EXCEL, PPT; Publisher a plus)
  • Must be able to travel locally up to 50% of the time and must have access to transportation.

Contact Susan B Thomas @ 215-568-2220 x5102 or

Attention all TARGET Shoppers - Credit Card Scam

If you have shopped in any Target store between November 27, 2013 through December 15, 2013 and used your credit or debit card, your card information may be one the 40 million credit cards that were compromised.

Please click on the link below (or copy and paste to your browser) to view a CNN report on what you should do if you have been affected by this.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Job Postings - Job Gateway

New jobs from Job Gateway

Service Project Manager Eastern Region
Assistant Director of Welcome House
Embedded Software Engineer
Associate I Pantry Cafe Nova 9 months part time
Cashier The Exchange 9 months part time
Analyst Client Services Remote Position
Associate I Utility Law School 9 months full time
Senior Administrative Assistant
Landscaper Groundskeepers
Chef Manager Donahue Hall
Cook Line
Case Manager RN or SW PRN
Admissions Director
Registered Nurse 7am 3pm Weekend Program
Relationship Banker
Payroll Representative
Zone Business Manager MR
Key Account Executive
Clinical Applications Specialist

Affordable Care Act


Two Questions About the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The first is about the “ripple effects” of diverting money from consumer spending to health insurance. The second is about the affordability of health insurance under the new law.

Here’s the first one:

Could you comment on the effect of Obamacare on the economy? For example, if I have to buy health insurance (or be fined) I neither need or want, I expect that I will not be able to buy some of the things I do need – food, gas, school clothes and supplies, etc., etc. My insurance money will NOT be put into the economy but given to the insurance company. Companies that rely on my spending (and millions like me) will either close or lay off people (a huge loss of jobs?). There may be many other factors to consider as well. The ripple effect will be — what?

To answer Larry’s question, here’s a simple example of the way the health care system worked prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Larry doesn’t buy health insurance, because he neither needs nor wants it and he’d rather help the economy by spending his money on other things.
One day, Larry wakes up unable to properly breathe. He goes to the emergency room, where he soon discovers he needs triple bypass surgery.
Larry is admitted to the hospital and the $200,000 surgery is performed.
Larry can’t begin to afford this bill, so he declares bankruptcy. The hospital loses $200,000.
To recoup the loss the hospital suffers because of Larry and others like him, it raises all its rates.
Since the hospital is now charging more, the price of insurance goes up.
Because Larry didn’t pay his hospital bill, his fellow citizens indirectly pay it for him.

This is the simple logic behind the Affordable Care Act. The reason this law exists is to make sure as many people as possible have health insurance. Other than letting those without resources die, it’s the only way to prevent your fellow citizens from paying for your health care.

Nobody likes paying big bucks for insurance, Larry, and every premium we pay diverts money from other parts of our economy. Whether it’s car, home or health insurance, we can all think of things we’d rather spend money on. Until, that is, we wreck our car, our house burns down, or we need a triple bypass.

The difference is, your wrecked car and burned house don’t cost me anything. Your triple bypass does. So unless you’re OK with either 1) dying if you can’t afford to get sick or 2) forcing the rest of us to spend our hard-earned money to pay for your health care, get some insurance.

Now, here’s our second question, also relating to the Affordable Care Act:

I do not understand the affordable part of Obamacare. I am sure you have had other people complaining about this problem. I am currently only making just under $10,000 per year, I am a Florida resident so I do not qualify for Medicaid (single male). When I completed my application on, it says I will pay between $500 and $600 a month for insurance. I do not see anywhere that shows any type of reduction. Someone told me you receive the reduction as a tax credit. Duh, at my income I pay little tax. Where do they expect me to get the money in the beginning if this is so? I guess I will take the penalty.

When I first read Robert’s question, I assumed he was mistaken. After all, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, those who can’t afford health insurance will either qualify for Medicaid or get a subsidy to help pay for insurance on the exchange.

But it was me who was mistaken.

Robert and I both live in Florida, one of 23 states that have refused to expand Medicaid to cover people like him.

Florida’s Republican-led House of Representatives has thus far blocked efforts by both the governor and the state Senate to accept billions in federal funding to expand Medicaid. Had they agreed to accept this free money, people like Robert — single and living below the poverty level (annual income of $11,490) — would be eligible for Medicaid. But since Florida chose to refuse this funding, they’re not eligible.

As for the subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act, Robert also is not eligible. That’s because subsidies are available only for those earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Those earning less are supposed to qualify for Medicaid. Because Robert earns less than 100 percent of the poverty level, he’s not eligible for subsidies. And because the Florida House would rather stand on principle than accept free federal money to insure its poor citizens, he’s not eligible for Medicaid.

According to this article in the Orlando Sentinel, that makes Robert one of 998,000 Floridians in this position.

This problem arose not because of the Affordable Care Act, but because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of it. The Supreme Court upheld the “mandatory coverage” part of the bill, but not the part requiring states to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion. That left states opposed to the law with the ability to attempt to derail it by refusing to participate.

So now Robert and millions like him are required to buy health insurance, but conservative state legislatures like Florida’s are refusing to accept federal funding that would provide it free. In short, it’s more important for them to oppose Obamacare on principle than insure their poorest citizens.


The state of Florida is in talks with the Obama administration about other sources of federal funding to insure its poorest citizens, but for now, that’s the way it is.

If Robert did qualify for subsidies, the tax credit he’d qualify for would go directly to the insurance company he selected, thus reducing his out-of-pocket insurance cost. So it wouldn’t matter that he’s in a low tax bracket.

What does matter, however, is for Robert to remember when election time rolls around who put their personal political agenda ahead of his need for free healt


ultimate guide to saving money at the movies
It’s cold out around most of the country so that means it’s time to hunker down, get cozy and watch some movies! If you’re headed to the theater this season be sure to take along some of these tips by my husband, Aaron. -Anna I’m a huge movie buff. For me, movies are definitely on my Needs list, but that doesn’t mean I don’t look for ways to save money when I go.
The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money at the Movies – 45 Tips…
1. Matinee
The most obvious way to save money is by hitting the theater at off times. Matinee showings are usually discounted by a few bucks. Not only are matinees a good way to save money, but also it’s one of the best times to go see a movie. The theaters are quieter, you have your choice of seats and it’s a great way to beat the crowds.
2. Second-Run Theaters
If you aren’t in a rush to see the movie on Opening Night, consider waiting a few weeks until the flick starts making the rounds at second-run theaters, which are way cheaper for both admission and snacks.
3. Drive-In’s
There aren’t a lot of drive-ins left but they still exist and if you are lucky enough to have one close by, these are the way to go. Drive-in’s usually charge by the car-load rather than by the person and they don’t care if you bring food in. Oftentimes they’ll also show a double feature which is great, and at the very least, the nostalgia is worth it.
4. Avoid 3-D
Here’s a biggie. If the movie doesn’t warrant a 3D showing, avoid the extra cost. A lot of movies get pointlessly made into 3D and it adds nothing to the movie but a higher price tag. Ask yourself if it’s worth the up charge before paying additional fees. Do some research. If a movie is receiving high praise for visual effects, don’t be afraid to pay the extra cost because it could enhance your experience, and really be worth the extra cost.
5. Avoid IMAX
Again, don’t pay extra money just to sit in an IMAX theater for a movie that doesn’t deserve such an experience. Yes, IMAX theaters are cool, but really, how large does the screen need to be? Don’t get duped either… most theaters that advertise “IMAX” screens actually have screens that are way smaller than true IMAX theaters so be sure you know what you are paying for.
6. Take Advantage of Discounts Available to You
If you are a student, in the military or a senior citizen, whip out that ID card and start asking for discounts. If you are none of those, but still feel you deserve a discount, it never hurts to ask.
7. Watch at Home
This one is a bummer but really, the best way to save money at the theater is by not going to the theater at all. Nowadays, a lot of movies are available at home the same day the they hit the theaters with your cable On Demand feature. It’s a lot cheaper to do that and eat snacks at home instead of going to the theater. Plus, you can invite as many people over as you like. For the Extreme Cheapskates, (you might offend some people) you could even consider charging a cover.
8. Be Patient
Again, the best way to save money by going to the movies is not going. Before you head out the cineplex, ask yourself “Is this movie really worth the cost of admission?”. If it’s not, just wait ’til it comes on DVD or hits Netflix. It’s not like the olden days where it takes a year for a movie to hit DVD (or VHS back then). Movies hit the rental market immediately (see above tip) or come out only a few months later. If you chose to wait to see a movie, you won’t have to wait long anymore.
9. Go Solo
Leave the significant other at home and go enjoy a movie by yourself. It will be half the cost, plus you won’t have to share your popcorn and sodie pop.

10. Bring Your Own Food and Drinks
Smuggling food into theaters is usually against the rules, so do this one at your own discretion. Buy candy in bulk at the grocery store and make you popcorn ahead of time and divvy it up in plastic baggies. Bring along a water bottle and fill it up at the water fountain instead of buying water. I say whatever you can fit into your pockets or purse is fair game to be smuggled. Just wait until the lights go down to bust out your grub and don’t overdo it by bringing in your leftover chinese food.
11. Share
For some people, like me, getting a popcorn and drink is all part of the experience. If I’m not destroying a bag of popcorn during the coming attractions, it’s not a movie. I’m not opposed to sharing though. Rather than buying individual snacks for the entire family, get the jumbo size and split it among everybody. If you go with a friend, do the same, but split the cost.
12. Go Big
To really save money, it’s best to avoid the concession stand altogether, but if you find yourself just dying for a popcorn and if you get asked if you want to make it a medium or large for .50 cents more, take advantage. You are already paying a crazy price anyway, whats 50 more cents for the next size up? And if you are with someone, be a hero and get large and share. Sometimes when you buy the largest size, the bucket becomes bottomless, so refill often and if you don’t finish your snack, don’t be afraid to take it home with you. I love munching on leftover corn on my drive home.
13. Eat Before You Hit the Theater
Another way to avoid the tantalizing smells of the concession stand and a big hit to your wallet is to make sure your stomach is full before you even get to the theater. You’ll be less likely to get hit with a snack attack if your belly is topped off.
14. Sign Up for Reward Programs
Most theater chains offer some sort of reward/loyalty program that give members the chance to earn free or discounted movies and concessions like popcorn, drinks and candy. It’s often free to sign up. It might take a while to reap the rewards, but it’s worth getting and carrying the card.
15. Get a Movie App
After signing up for my Regal Crown Club card, I immediately got the Iphone app. Once a month they send me digital coupons for candy, soda, and popcorn. Plus, if I forgot my card, they can scan my phone. The app also lets me track my bonus points, which is important because it lets me know when I should’t be taking Anna on a Date Night because I’m due for a free popcorn and I want it all for myself…;)
16. Sign Up for the Theater Newsletters
Along with signing up for a theaters loyalty program, sign up for newsletters, emails and promos with your local theaters. Also follow them on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. You’ll probably have to wade through a lot of junk email, but you might be rewarded with coupons, give aways, special discounts or freebies.
17. Independent Theaters
Independent theaters aren’t always cheaper, but sometimes they have deals (and better concessions!) that mainstream theaters don’t, plus it’s always good to support your local economy. An independent theater I go to charges a little more for admission but along with that price comes all you can eat and drink popcorn and soda.
18. Do Your Research
Before even heading to the theater, do some research on the movie you want to see. Read some reviews, check out what the critics are saying or talk to friends that have seen the movie. If the movie is getting across the board stinky reviews, consider waiting for it to hit the rental market. If the reviews are so-so, perhaps wait until it releases in 2nd run theaters. Ask yourself some simple questions: “Does the movie have awesome special effects and warrant a 3D up charge?”, “Is the movie worth the risk of having a crowded, loud theater on Opening Night?”, “Does the director have a good track record?”, “Do I like the actors?”. A properly researched movie is key when it comes to saving money at the theaters.
19. If Warranted, Complain
I don’t advocate needlessly complaining but if your movie going experience was ruined by a pack of rowdy teenagers, bad audio, or whatever, speak up and tell the management and hopefully things will get rectified with a free pass. Anna and I got booted out of a movie once because of a fire alarm. We spoke up and not only got a voucher to get back into the same movie at a later date, we also got two more free passes. (Note: Always keep your movie stub as proof incase situations like this do come up.)
20. Hold It
In all honesty, movies are a bit of an inconvenience. You lose the ability to control your surroundings (which is a perk too, I suppose), you can’t pause the movie or rewind it if you need to take a bathroom break or get a refill on snacks. After paying such a ridiculous amount to see the movie, why would you want to spend all your time in the bathroom? The best thing to do is to hold all movements until you are about to explode, but then again, after chugging 44 ounces of soda a pee break might be impossible to avoid, so the next best thing is to go at the most optimal time. Apps such as “RunPee” tells you the most convenient time to take a bathroom break during a particular movie, so you don’t miss any of the action.
21. Ask for Movie Theater Gift Cards
The one thing I always ask for when my birthday or Christmas rolls around are movie gift certificates. Let someone else treat you to a movie.
22. Groupons
Sign up for sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon. Sometimes they offer pretty smoking deals on ticket prices.
23. Pay with Plastic
If you are financially able to handle a credit card, get one that earns you points towards free movie tickets.
23. Find Alternative Places to Buy Your Tickets
A great way to save some cash on admission tickets is buy your tickets someplace other than the theaters. Member groups such as AAA offer discounted tickets, as do some grocery stores. You may also be surprised at the little perks your company offers. Revisit your benefits package because the company I work for offers discounted movie tickets. The perk is buried deep within the benefit package, but do some digging and you might be surprised. Buying tickets from second (or third) parties can be annoying and possibly time-consuming but it might be worth it to save some money.
24. Avoid Reservation Sites
If if can be helped, avoid buying your tickets online in advance (this is different from buying your tickets from a third-party – see above). A lot of these sites add “convenience fees” on top of the admission price, and you’ll end up paying more. Combat the need for this by simply getting to the theater early and being first in line.
25. Be On the Look-Out for Free Screenings
Look for opportunities for free screenings. Most often you’ll have to wait in line and won’t have much of a say on the movie you are going to watch, but the opportunities do exist so stay alert and keep your eyes peeled for offers. Here in Denver, there are always free screenings offered in the Westword Newspaper.
26. Marathons
Many theaters periodically host marathons of related movies (think Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars or Oscar nominated films). While admission is more expensive than an individual ticket, it is often less than what you’d pay to see each movie separately.
27. Buy in Bulk/Value Packs
Consider buying your movie tickets in bulk at stores like Costco or those gift certificate kiosks at your grocery store. Buying in bulk often saves you a few bucks per ticket.
28. Film Festivals
Seek out local film festivals. Similar to buying tickets in bulk, most film fests offer package deals. These deals are more expensive up front but if you plan on seeing more than one movie they will save you money in the long run. Oftentimes, tickets to see films shown at film fests aren’t as expensive either and it’s a great way to see non-mainstream movies you might never have heard of.
29. Become a Patron of a Film Society
Becoming a member of local film societies is a great way to save money at local and independent theaters. Members are often entitled to discounted tickets plus a whole lot of other perks such as free concessions, advance booking opportunities, and first shot at advanced screenings.
30. Theater Perks
Take advantage of any freebies theaters offer. If you live in a major city and frequent theaters in a downtown area, see if they will validate for parking. My local Regal cinema pays for up to 4 hours of parking in an adjacent parking garage which is a huge money saver for a downtown movie theater.
31. Combine Dinner and a Movie
If you are heading out on a Date Night, consider killing two birds with one stone. A growing trend among theaters is serving food and having waiters serve you through out the movie. I know it sounds like a bad idea buying food at the theaters but the theaters I’ve been to that do this actually have moderately priced food. Rather than going out for a meal and then buying popcorn and drinks at the theater, forgo the restaurant and opt for a burger and fries and not a popcorn and soda. The savings won’t be extreme, but the experience can be a nice treat.
32. Hit Up a Midnight Showing
I’m not talking about seeing a midnight showing of a mainstream movie before Opening Day, I’m talking about going to a local independent theater and catching a second run of an old classic. Prices are usually cheaper and midnight movies are often coupled with a party or cool theme. A local theater in my neighborhood shows the Big Lebowski a few times a year. If you dress up as your favorite character you have a chance to win prizes and free movies. Plus they offer White Russian drinks at half price (this theater has a bar).
33. Enhance Your Experience
Assuming you spent the money to see a movie, you want it to be the best experience you can have, correct? Seat selection is key here. Obviously, the best seat in the house is where you are most comfortable, and I’m an aisle guy about half way up the theater. I like to be able to slip out quickly for a bathroom break or to rebutter my popcorn. However, the seats intended to be the best are those that are dead center, about 2/3′s the way up the auditorium. Most calibrations for the theater are made from this perspective. These seats are in high demand though, so get to the theater early.
34. Get the Most Amount of Movie for Your Money
You paid to get in, so maximize your experience. I like to get to the theater early, take a pre-movie bathroom break, get my popcorn, get the most primo seats and watch the coming attractions. Strolling in after the lights go down not only is a disruption to other people, but you are missing part of what you paid for. After the credits roll, don’t immediately rush out like everyone else. Some movies have bonus scenes during or right after the credits.
35. Corporate Meetings
Encourage your company to move that next big corporate event or meeting to the big screen. Theaters provide free concessions and usually a private screening of a new release to corporations that rent out their theaters for business meetings. Unfortunately, if you talk your company into doing this you won’t be able to play hooky from the meeting because chances are they will probably show the movie after all the boring stuff.
36. The Double Feature
I can’t advocate doing this because it’s wrong and you can get yourself into a lot of trouble, but some people, after exiting their movie auditorium accidentally walk into another auditorium and stay for the duration of that movie before finding their way out again.
37. Don’t Go VIP
Some new trendy theaters are starting to offer a class system. For an up-charge you can sit in the “VIP” section. Other than some plush seating and a few more inches of leg and arm room, the VIP section isn’t worth the price. Theaters that offer VIP sections are typically really nice anyway and the difference between the two sections is minimal. If you are trying to impress a new suitor, than perhaps splurge for the VIP. Other than that, skip this option.
38. Summer Programs
If you have kids, check to see if your local theater has summer programs that show children’s and family friendly movies during the day for discounted prices. I remember going to see Charlotte’s Web with my niece a few years ago for like, 2 bucks.
39. Arcade
Many theaters have little fun centers that are extremely enticing to kids. If you aren’t careful you could be dropping a ton of extra coinage into arcade games, photo booths, skill cranes and cotton candy machines. Avoid these areas if at all possible.
40. Use Those Entertainment Coupon Books if You’ve Got ‘Em
An entertainment book is essentially a big book of coupons with a lot of “Buy One, Get One Free” offers and other discounts on items from local business. The downside to these books is that they usually aren’t free, but if you find yourself in possession of one, of know someone who has one, take advantage. Most times movie theaters drop coupons into these books.
41. Summer-Time Screenings
Check around your town for free movie screenings in local parks during the summer. Nothing beats grabbing a blanket and laying out under the stars and watching a free movie on a warm summer night.
42. Befriend the Movie Theater Staff
Start up friendships with your local theater’s personnal. Maybe one day you’ll get waived through the line with a wink and a smile or score a free popcorn.
43. Get a Theater Job
If you have the time to spare, get a part-time job at a theater and start getting in for free. Better yet, if you have kids that looking for their first job, steer them in the direction of a movie theater and take advantage of their benefits.
44. Become a Movie Critic
It’s a long shoot (and also my dream job) but see if you can start writing movie reviews for newspapers, local publications or online sites and start getting paid to go to the movies or at least free admission.
45. Avoid the Gimmicks
Theaters are always looking for new gimmicks to attract customers and the newest wave in the movie going experience is the 4D movie which combines 3D viewing with physical effects (chair shaking, puffs of air, sprays of water, etc.) synchronized with the action in the film. Semi-contained to only IMAX and theme parks, the 4D experience hasn’t hit the mainstream yet (with the exception of a handful of theaters) but it’s coming. I’ve yet to see a 4D movie, so I can’t knock it, but rumor has it that it will cost an additional $8-$10 more per movie for the 4D experience. Even for a diehard like myself, that’s pushing the limits of what I’ll pay. Besides, getting hit unknowingly in the face with water doesn’t sound that fun.