Tim has been desperate to get out of the house. I, fighting the blahs and with my general fatigue, would be perfectly content staying home and reading; but marriage, compromise, basic human interaction yada yada yada.
Thanks to a savvy suggestion by Tim, I went looking for comedy acts.
Happily, I found out a comedian we like, Jen Kirkman, was coming to town. At $15-20 a ticket, the price wasn’t too bad. But as I was debating the merits of Thursday ($15) or Friday/Saturday ($20), I noticed a note on the page:
“Friday & Saturday 7:30 shows have no further comped, discounted or daily deal ticket availability.”
It sent my frugal senses tingling.
So I scooted on over to Groupon and, sho ’nuff, there were tickets for the same show for $5.75. Plus cash back through Mr. Rebates, of course. Meaning we paid $10.67 for both tickets.
Not quite that cheap
Unfortunately, the club has a two-item food/drink minimum — though I suppose you have to when you’re basically giving away tickets.
I told Tim to just go ahead and order himself some alcoholic beverages. Sort of an apology for us not having had a date in… Well, quite some time. Plus it’s not like we could split some food. I’m on the FinCon diet and he can’t eat anything.
Even with alcohol totaling $15, we still got out of there for $27 after tip. So the total date night was about $38.
Sure, that’s not the cheapest, but it’s not bad for a night out. And it’s pretty durn good to go see a relatively well-known comic. (She’s been on Chelsea Lately, has her own Netflix special and is something of a regular on the hilarious @midnight.*) Especially when you consider that seeing comedians in concert (that is, in a theater) is generally $25-50 a ticket.
We already bought Groupons for another comedian’s October show. (Annie Lederman, also an @midnight guest. Same great price, and this time we can do the bill a bit cheaper: We can split $4.50 chips and salsa and have soda/bottled water for the rest. That’ll be about $20 after tax and tip.
Find your own cheap laughs
So how can you get similar results? Well, obviously the first step is to check Groupon for standup in your area.
If there’s nothing there you like, check out Goldstar ($2 cash back through Mr. Rebates). That’s the service Groupon uses for the discounted tickets. That means Goldstar’s prices are a bit higher, but still cheaper than buying direct.
Side note: Goldstar also has discounted entrance tickets to concerts, sports and even some local attractions. So it’s probably just a good place to check when you want to buy a ticket to anything.
Failing that, just start Googling local comedy clubs in your area. Your best bet is to take a gamble on local talent. Most of these people have been vetted by the club owners, so it’s not like you’re going to a dreaded open mic night.
We really enjoyed one of the opening acts, and he apparently performs every second Tuesday at a $4 local talent night. It’s even a club with no drink minimum.
As mentioned a couple of times, most clubs do have a drink/menu minimum. You need to plan for that.
First, check out the website to find out what, if any, minimum exists. Hopefully, the menu will also be online, which will help you plan ahead. Remember, comedy clubs want you to buy food and/or drinks. Their menus are going to highlight the pricier stuff. The ones on the table at our club didn’t even mention bottled water. Just alcoholic drinks and snacks. If I hadn’t done some research ahead of time, we’d have spent a lot more.
It will also let you gauge how much you should eat ahead of time. You might stuff yourself to avoid buying food there. But if you can’t stomach the idea of chips and salsa ($4.50), that $8 specialty drink might catch your eye.
In short, do your homework. As with all things related to saving money, planning is key.
Do you guys ever go to comedy clubs? How do you keep it affordable?
*If you’re not watching this, you’re missing out. Also, it’s apparently a good way to learn what comedians to keep an eye out for.