Why I Always Smuggle Snacks Into The Movies

I smuggle snacks into the movies. There. I said it. I practice a form of “cinematic subterfuge” often, and with conviction.

Being the “Frugalista” that I am, I cannot fathom the ridiculous amounts that are charged for chocolate bars, liquorice and popcorn. What is already overpriced and unhealthy outside the movie theatre takes on a whole other dimension – and cost – once one is within the confines of the cinema. Remember when movies were a cheap form of entertainment? Those days are long gone.

Accordingly, I will continue to suffer “sticker shock” when I hand over my hard-earned cash to the theatre of choice and see that I have just paid a minimum of $25 just to walk into the movies with my daughter. We haven’t even gotten to the treats and goodies yet, and I have broken out into a cold sweat.

Call me cheap. I am, and I’m proud of it.

Not only do I refuse to pay three-times the price for a chocolate bar than I would outside the theatre, but I absolutely refuse to pay $3 or more for a “Super” sized cup of pop. Stop the insanity!

Two buckets of popcorn
On a more serious note, one has to wonder how this shift towards more expensive forms of entertainment became the norm, particularly when it comes to our kids. Is it the fact that the movie marketers have realized that we are a “captive audience” – literally and figuratively – and therefore go for the jugular when it comes to pricing? We all take our kids to the movies, partially for an escape, but more often than not, as a way to spend time together as well as occupy the restless bunch. Whether it’s a time-waster on a rainy afternoon, a group activity as part of a children’s birthday party or a special time with our child that’s carved out of a weekend afternoon, we’re there – with bells on. And that’s where they’ve got us.

Despite the availability of extensive entertainment options these days, there’s nothing like popcorn and a dark movie theatre to get our kids (and sometimes our own) excitement levels up. Maybe it’s the Dolby sound or the huge screen; who knows. It works, nonetheless. We may love to watch the latest videos on YouTube or even our large flat-screen TV in our home, but nothing holds a candle to seeing a first-run film in a darkened movie theatre. Some may disagree but it’s highly unlikely that this popular pursuit will go the way of the Dodo. The love of film is in our blood.

It is for this reason that we go back with our children, time and time again, paying the big bucks to watch the latest and not-so-greatest Hollywood blockbuster with our little ones. Disney, Pixar and the like have figured out that we’ll keep coming back for more, and as a result, feed us what we want. And so we return with our kids in tow, wallet in hand.

Expensive? Yes. Insanely expensive? Not if you bring your own snacks. You can’t blame a mom for trying, can you?
Do you go to the movies with your children often? Why or why not? Do you think movie prices are too high? Do you smuggle snacks into the movies?
Image courtesy of www.theguardian.com


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  1. Zombiemommy says

    I acutally don't take my kids to the movies, but I generally don't bring in outside food, unless is was something I had a hankering for and they didnt' sell there.

    Great question!

  2. Samantha says

    Once you experience the "sticker shock" of paying three times the price for unhealthy treats, it makes it easier to sneak them in. You're fortunate that you don't have to experience this by staying away from the movies. If you do start going, you might want to consider bringing your own contraband! 😉 Thanks for commenting!

  3. Anonymous says

    As the distributors collect a larger percentage of the box office, the theater owners raises their prices on what they REALLY make their money on — the concessions. I paid nearly $4 the other day for a small — and I do mean SMALL popcorn. Add a Coke and the combo was nearly $7. Luckily the move was a "bargain matinee" at $8 and something that is rare these days. Yeah, seeing a movie today can be a $25 per person investment and gamble as most films don't deliver these days.

  4. Samantha says

    So true – I can't bear to pay upwards of $10 for a chocolate bar, popcorn and what basically amounts to sugar water. For this reason, I'll keep smuggling snacks!

  5. Allison says

    I admit to paying the price for the popcorn, but only because secretly I pay the high priced movie ticket, just to get to that delicious, large bag of popcorn that I request be layered with xtra butter…and NO I won’t share, if you come to the movies with me….GET YOUR OWN POPCORN!!! 🙂

    1. Samantha says

      I don’t blame you 😉 Who wants to share, really???