Budget Living

The Perfect Movie Night At Home On A Budget

There’s nothing quite like a family night out at the movies, enjoying one of the latest blockbusters. But, with adult tickets averaging at £10-15 each and children’s tickets not much cheaper, it’s an expensive trip out. Throw snacks in on top, and you could be spending well over £50 on two hours of entertainment! For many, it’s hard to justify.

Instead of heading out to the movies, why not get friends and family together for an at-home movie night? We don’t mean tuning into whatever film is showing on TV – you must make it special, and even better than the cinema itself. Here are our favourite money saving tips for a blockbusting movie night at home.

Choose a Trusted Streaming Service

Movie streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, have hundreds of movies suitable for all age types, catering to different movie genres, perfect for all the family. Before committing to your chosen service, we recommend reviewing all your options, to make sure it fits within your monthly budget.


Netflix is a monthly subscription-based movie streaming service with multiple plans offering different benefits. From TV shows to documentaries, there are heaps of movies available for all the family. With prices starting from £4.99, you can watch your favourite movies over and over again!

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video, which is connected to Amazon, is a movie streaming service where you can watch your favourite horrors, comedies and rom-coms in all one place. Available to download on IOS and Android, enjoy a movie night in whatever room in the house.

Disney Plus

Where dreams come true! Disney Plus is a magical streaming service which provides users with binge-worthy originals and blockbuster movies with prices starting from £4.99 a month. Get access to new releases on your mobile phone, game console and smart TV’s.

Watch your favourite movies as many times as you like and get value for money by signing up for a streaming service. After a while your cost per view will be next to nothing. Not only are you getting access to the movies you want to watch, but you also get access to their ever-growing selection as part of your subscription – perfect for future movie nights. With the most expensive subscriptions costing around £10 per month, and many offering free trials, this could be a more cost-effective option than buying.

Movie Rentals

If you’re an occasional film-watcher, investing in a hard copy or subscribing to a streaming service might not suit your habits. Movie rental shops on the high street may be no more, but the likes of iTunes, Amazon and Sky have thankfully stepped up to fill the gap. Renting a movie from them usually costs about half the price of buying it, and gives you access to the movie for 48 hours after you first hit play. If you’re not likely to watch a film again, this is perfect for you, and you have 30 days to start watching. Plenty of time in case you change your plans!

Another rental option that is very low cost is borrowing movies from a friend or family member. You could set up a trading system where you can each raid each other’s collections; just remember to return what you’ve borrowed or you’ll owe them a new one!

Set Up a Projector

Whether you plan on snuggling up to watch a rom-com movie or immersing yourself in a horror film, set up a projector and stream your movie in your bedroom, living space or even your back garden. For those warm summer nights, create a dim, cosy atmosphere in your garden whilst watching your chosen movie on the big screen.

Pick a Movie Night Theme

Get creative and choose a theme for your movie night at home. Whether it’s a night filled with horror, jump scares and screams or slowly creeping up to the festive Christmas period, make your space spooky, sparkly or Disney-themed for the children, making their movie night a magical experience. From wearing Christmas tree pyjamas to popping on some Minnie Mouse ears, become the characters in your films and even make a competition for the best dressed. This is a fun way to make your movie night extra special.

DIY Movies Tickets

Bring the movies to you by creating your own set of movie tickets. The more detail, the better! Create a memorable experience for all the family. Get the children involved by creating their own DIY cinema tickets full of glitter, colour and drawings.

Ditch the takeaways


A big part of any night in is ordering in from one of your favourite places to eat. We get it; who wants to cook on a treat night, right? It’s reported that the average takeaway in the UK costs £7.93, a 50p jump from 2021’s average of £7.43. Swapping this for a few frozen pizzas or even a supermarket version of your takeaway of choice will drastically bring this cost down.

Alternatively, if you feel like braving the kitchen, then why not try and cook some of your favourite guilty pleasures yourself? One of the more recent money saving tips that’s taken people by storm is making your own ‘fakeaway’. More and more people are swapping their delivered goods for a healthier, more affordable home-cooked version.

Read More: 5 Meals You Can Make For The Same Price As A Big Mac Meal 

If you’re not too full after your fakeaway, movie night wouldn’t be complete without some of your favourite sweet treats. A medium bag of popcorn and a drink cost close to £8 per head at the cinema. This could mean your film-side refreshments cost the same price as your tickets! Popping down to your local shop, you can pick up a box of microwave popcorn and a big bottle of your favourite drink for less than £5. Treat yourself to some pick ‘n’ mix as wel! That’s the same tasty snacks – and that trademark cinema popcorn – for a fraction of the price!

Movie Night Home Comforts

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

We’re all for wandering into your local cinema wrapped in bedding, but this might attract a few unwanted stares. Substituting that for a movie night at home lets you immerse yourself in the duvet free of judgement! Getting wrapped in a blanket alongside your nearest and dearest will always beat wrestling with a fold-down chair.

Taking the kids out does get them doing something different, but there are cheaper ways to get them engaged. Fetch a few sheets, dust off the fairy lights and get your kids building a den to watch your movie in! Letting them rule the roost allows them to express their creativity and challenge themselves. Better yet, they get to watch the film surrounded by an environment they’ve dreamed up.

For extra fun, why not follow your movie with a board game? You may groan at old favourites like Charades or Pictionary to begin with, but once you’re up and laughing you’ll forget you ever had other plans.

The Perfect Movie Night At Home

From creating your own DIY cinema tickets to making some home comfort food, get your family and friends together and host the ultimate home movie night. There are multiple ways in which you can create memorable moments on a friendly budget.

Read More: Budget Living