Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Being Cultured on a Budget


Folks always ask how I see so many plays and movies as often as I do. That’s a pretty fair question, since the prevailing wisdom is that these things are uber-expensive and take up a lot of time. Well, here’s how I manage to swing it:


I have no children, just a cat. Therefore, it’s just me and Mr. Random, and often Mr. Random has to go to class on Saturdays. Since I hate staying around the house, it is a perfect time to see movies and go to museums.

Culture is cheaper than you think. When I go to the movies it is usually at 10:30-11 in the morning. Tickets are at matinee prices and the theaters are somewhat empty, so you aren’t smooshed next to random people. Then you also get the movie out of the way and can go on to other adventures for the rest of the day.


Theater tickets can be pricy, but if you go on off days (like Tuesdays and Wednesdays) or during preview weeks, the tickets are much cheaper than on Friday or Saturday night. Also, most small theater companies are have pretty cheap tickets as a rule, since they just want to get people to come and see their productions. The most expensive theaters I’ve been to are the Kennedy Center and the Shakespeare Theater Company here in DC, but we don’t go to those very often and only for really big plays. There is also an outlet here that sells half-price tickets for some shows, and that can be a god-send. Besides, we only usually hit one or two plays a month, which seems like a lot when you don’t go to many plays normally, but when you see the whole universe of plays available out there it is only a drop in the bucket. I wish I could go see more! And that doesn’t even count all of the music I wish I could go see . . .

It’s a priority for me. I LOVE being out and seeing things. This Shakespeare project that J and I are doing has opened up a whole world to me that I hadn’t experienced before. I’m starting to be able to evaluate productions and acting. I think I can knowledgeably discuss plays now. The English major in me is just thrilled to be in semi-literary settings on a regular basis. I guess this may make me a snob, but it is FUN to me . . .

I bring my lunch to work at lot and cook more food at home. Doing that has really cut down on that sort of spending for me, which means more money can go towards entertainment. I don’t watch a lot of TV, I don’t travel anywhere, so this is how I find my joy.

Hope this answers any questions and concerns. Besides, what other exciting things would I have to write about otherwise? Even *I* get tired of me whining about work too . . .

5 comments:

citizen of the world said...

If I was one of the people you meant, I wasn't challenging you on how you take in so many cultural events, just commenting that I was impressed that you did. I think it's very cool.

mommanator said...

diddo for me. thanks for how you do it though. I am quite impressed with your cultural activities- must be a priority

Random Kath said...

Hi, guys:

No, I didn't mean you guys, but some people I know in "meat space" said something that made me very defensive, so it was on my brain. It's been a very trying week . . .

Which makes it even better that I have another play to look forward to next week. Yay!

Virginia Gal said...

oh plus lots of stuff in DC is free, courtesy of the Smithsonian!

Merci said...

Packing lunch and taking coffee to work in a travel mug saves me bundles. I do enjoy pizza night once a week, but pizza is still pretty cheap! We have an occasional lunch out on the weekend, but we mostly save dinners out for special occasions or outings with friends.

I think tonight is pizza night ;)