No Theater Near You? How to Create the Perfect Movie Night in the Sticks

I live closer to coyotes, a river, and soybean fields than a coffee shop.  And for the most part, I like it that way.  It's when my kids beg to see a movie -- in a theater -- that I feel a little bit disconnected from most of the world.  One way that I've been able to provide the children with a compromise of sorts is with the $5 movie bin at my local Walmart.  

Since the store is 20 minutes away, it's not so far that we don't visit at least once a week. And because I'm buying groceries there anyway, a stroll past the $5 movie bin is a habit that doesn't impose on my busy schedule.

There is always at least one other person rifling through the titles, which seem to change every time I'm there.  This week, I let my sons pick out the movie theme.  We were able to get, not one, but two movies, dinner, and treats for well under $30!

Here's how we made our movie night successful:

1. Pick movies with a theme.  Several of the $5 titles were collections of family films, westerns, or dramas.  You could also pick two different titles that went together.  In our case, we chose the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie, and the sequel.

2. Grab "theater-style" snacks.  I don't know why Whoppers and Milk Duds just taste better in those cardboard boxes you get at the movies.  Price at $1 each, we could grab more than a couple and mix them in with our popcorn at home!

3. Snag take-out. Then bring it in.  We never get to each Chinese out.  Buying a few packages of the "make it at home" meals in the fridge display at my Walmart made it pretty simple to whip up a fried rice and some Teriyaki Chicken.  They even came in take-out containers!

4. Snuggle.  In the theater, it's rather difficult to nurse a baby, cuddle with the toddler, or accommodate anyone who drifts off to sleep.  We get under lots of blankets and remind ourselves that -- if someone nods off -- we own the movie.  We can always finish it later.

Have you ever purchased a movie find from the $5 bin at Walmart?  What makes a movie night successful at your house?  

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Links to shopping sites may be referral links.