A summer of not being able to frequent the usual evening spots can bring on boredom and longing to be back out doing the things we love. However, frequently going out can also be a big money-spender. Even though one evening’s ticket might only amount to $25, going out four times puts you out $100! When small things start to add up, how do you still have fun and enjoy your favorite things without breaking the bank? 

Plan an extravagant evening at home. 

When you dine out or go out for entertainment, you’re usually paying double to quadruple what you would pay to do it all at home. Essentially, you could have dinner, drinks, dessert, AND watch a movie at home for about the same price of just going out to dinner! So let’s layout how you can plan an extravagant evening at home with all of your favorite things–

1. Dinner

Have a favorite meal from a nearby restaurant? Lookup a similar recipe and try to recreate your favorite dish at home! Who knows, you might even surprise yourself with your culinary skills and like what you make more than what the restaurant makes. And by making the dish at home, odds are you bought ingredients in bulk which gives you the opportunity for larger portions and leftovers to last you the week. 

2. Drinks

Craft beer and cocktails can range from $5-$15 at an average restaurant or bar. If you’re wanting to try more than one, the tab can run up quickly! Instead, grab a 6-pack of your favorite beer from a local brewery or purchase the items for your favorite cocktail so you can make them at home. It might cost more to purchase the liquor, syrup, garnishes, and other items all at once, but you can save tons in the long run by having all the items in your house to make your favorite drink. 

3. Dessert

$12 for a pizookie? No thank you! Grab a tub of store-brand vanilla bean ice cream and a quick-mix bag of cookie dough for just under $5!

4. Movie

Whew, movie theaters have gotten expensive! Between the popcorn, soda, candy, and the ticket itself, you could be out $30 per person! Instead, rent a newer movie from a Redbox or binge-watch your favorite tv show on a streaming service while enjoying some popcorn made at home or even that leftover pizookie from earlier. 

Things might look a little different right now, but it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite things! Find creative ways to recreate the things you love and enjoy a typical “night out” experience from the comfort of your own home.