Swaddling the entire family up against a still-chilly March night and heading out to the actual cinema can seem a daunting proposition in these financially trying times. But with a little advance planning, your box office receipts can be whittled significantly. Employing these quick tricks will have you caching a hard-earned employments dollar here and there, which will eventually add up to real savings. Here’s seven surprising little ideas for spending less at the movies.

1. Let the little ones pick just one between them. It’s easy to want to indulge when faced with the bright lights of the candy counter and little eyes bugged out like saucers from excitement, but cutting back to just one shared item can save several dollars–and impart a valuable lesson about sharing.

2. Don’t spend a dollar to save a dime. In other words, skip the budget tubs of popcorn. These humongous portions lure you in with their flashy pitch of mucho savings, but little mouths will get tired of munching long before the bulk of the pennies will have been pinched.

3. Clip coupons. Besides weekly mailers, movie coupons can come in surprising places. Safeway, for example, has been known to offer two free movie tickets when you purchase ten items of a certain category in one trip down the aisles.

4. Just say no to Fandango. It’s okay to wait in line already, and patience has always been a virtue. Plus, it’s totally not worth the extra $1.50 per seat just to avoid a few minutes worth of adolescent eye-rolling at having to queue.