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5 Sites that Make Entertainment More Affordable

5 Sites that Make Entertainment More Affordable

In recent years, the cost of entertainment has gotten a little ridiculous across the spectrum‒there’s more to do to entertain yourself, but finding the money to do so isn’t guaranteed. The thing is, humans need entertainment and, recognizing that, a number of sites aim to give experiences and inventory at prices nearly anyone can afford.

The next time you decide to skip the new computer or TV, miss your favorite artist in concert, or ditch all your cable channels, think about making the switch to these companies.

Best Buy for Electronics

Best Buy has certainly emerged as a go-to spot for electronics, although it’s been in competition with another big name in entertainment, Amazon. Owing to a successful run before that, however, and a fast-improving business model, the techie haven is back in the running. Focusing on the convenience of Internet sales, several policies keep online business booming.

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Not long ago, common practice saw consumers looking for the best computers, TVs, cell phones, and other gadgets at Best Buy, then going elsewhere to buy them for less money. A price matching policy now handles that nicely. Combined with the Geek Squad, which has earned an excellent reputation for troubleshooting and service, Best Buy is now the place where people look for their laptops, tablets, and MP3 players.

Amazon for Everything

Amazon makes entertainment more affordable in a number of ways. Some financial experts insist that Amazon’s business model is a failure, or at least unsustainable, but if customer satisfaction serves as proof, that’s not true. The company re-invests much of the money it makes, always looking for ways to make its services faster, cheaper, and even more convenient. Recent talk of drones both emphasizes and proves that point.

Besides, the fact remains that Amazon has affordable items. It’s the place to comparison shop, as Best Buy can likely attest. Widespread categories make it possible to find nearly anything, from flat screen TVs to books and designer clothing. Prices are often cut, deals abound, and of course, Amazon offers the option to buy new or used items from third-party sellers. Independent sellers are also welcome at Amazon, which creates even more versatility in the stock.

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Amazon also claimed a corner of the entertainment market with Prime, a paid-for membership service. Among other things, it offers free shipping and access to the retailer’s version of streaming media.

ScoreBig for Tickets

Tickets to concerts, plays, movies, and sporting events are expensive, and they’re getting more expensive every year.  Good seats to a great show can run you more than the cost of a flat screen TV and a few months of cable. And then there are the fees, which make tickets even more expensive.  But ScoreBig.com has created a way to make great seats to great events more affordable for everyone.

Most live events have lots of unsold tickets because of their high prices and extra fees. Even events that most people think are sold out (playoff games, popular concerts) secretly have hundreds or thousands of unsold seats.  ScoreBig gets them from ticket suppliers months in advance and lets fans make an offer on the tickets for less than box office price.  When the offer is right, ScoreBig gets the tickets to its customers instantly.  Ticket suppliers are happy because they get to sell tickets that wouldn’t have otherwise sold, (a half a loaf is better than nothing, after all) without having to advertise that their tickets are for sale at a discount. ScoreBig makes money by charging the suppliers rather than its own customers, so there are never any extra fees for the consumer.  It’s a cool way to get to the game or show without paying through the nose, and know that you’ve got the “inside deal” on a great way to save.

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Netflix for Movies and TV

Netflix has pleased customers since its start, although it’s gone through ups and downs since then. Thanks to its robust instant streaming service, however, it’s been back on the rise. Giving birth to a trend of binge-watching streamed TV shows, Netflix is actually replacing cable and premium TV options for a lot of people. Rather than paying huge amounts for monthly services, people are more than happy to pay less than $8 monthly to see their favorite shows and movies instantly.

Netflix pays for content licenses, partnering with certain production companies, channels, and distributors. For instance, subscribers can now find Disney movies and certain premium cable series. It also produces its own shows now and pleased people around the world by bringing back Arrested Development. The result is that viewers can watch entire seasons of their favorite shows all at once, view new series, and see new and classic movies—and they can do it without spending too much money each month.

Groupon for Daily Deals

Groupon launched Daily Deal madness when it premiered. Its business model takes heat from some financial gurus, but it’s a basic idea that works for many consumers. Retailers, businesses, and companies simply approach Groupon with a specific number of offers, discounted from their usual prices. People get vouchers for all sorts of deals and events that they couldn’t otherwise afford or justify. While Groupon gets its cut, the savings go to the consumer. The company started out rather small, but as more companies turned to Groupon, the potential deals became more versatile.

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Another aspect subscribers love is the ability to tailor their Groupon experience. When they sign up, they can choose deals based on their location, their hobbies, and their interests. On any given day, they’re emailed deals for restaurants, plays, salons, retailers, and vacations. There’s something for any type of budget, so subscribers get to do things they wouldn’t normally.

One reason for its popularity is its wide range of deals. It seems to fulfill every niche in addition to meeting almost every price point. In the areas where it’s offered, Groupon is also beneficial to the local economy. While big name brands offer deals through the site daily, local businesses can also pair with the site for fair rates, which can help them gain a new foothold in their communities.

In the current economic climate, it pays to offer consumers a chance to entertain themselves without breaking their budgets or making them feel guilty for the expense. When the prices are within reach, repeat business is practically a guarantee.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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