As you know, we have six kids. We cannot afford to hire a babysitter whenever we have the desire to watch a movie together. It would be far cheaper to buy the actual movie than to hire a sitter.
And having six kids eight and under, not even the oldest is old enough to be left home alone; so we don't have a built-in sitter yet either.
Enter the Kiddie Hobgoblin Theater.
At least bi-monthly (ahem, weekly nowadays), Danny will rent a children's movie from the Shoppette or the Red Box thing, or borrow from the library.
We usually bribe the children earlier in the day to nap with promises of the Kiddie Hobgoblin Theater. We figure, if they're going to be staying up late, a nap wouldn't hurt.
The Kiddie Hobgoblin Theater is just a fun way for them to get extra excited about watching a kid movie knowing that we aren't watching it with them. It's just for kiddie hobgoblins like themselves. And of course it's a completely safe, parent-approved movie that is 99% of the time rated G.
We line the four oldest kids up on the couch each with their favorite blanket, a cereal bowl full of popcorn and occasionally a handful of animal crackers or a couple candies that they purchased at the Kiddie Hobgoblin Theater (the dining table) with hugs as currency.
We toss a couple babies in the playpen with a handful of soft toys.
Then Danny and I plug our headphones into the laptop and sit on the other couch and watch something free like the latest episode of Lost, or a new release we've been waiting for from the Shoppette or Red Box thing.
Kid movie: $.99
non-kid movie: $.99 or free
bag of microwave popcorn: $.50 (unless we're out and then we use the air popper which is MUCH cheaper)
bag of animal crackers or candy $1.50
Total with the Kiddie Hobgoblin Theater: $3.98
Going rate for babysitting on the central west coast: $2.50 a kid per hour
$2.50 a kid per hour x a half dozen hobgoblins x treats for the sitter x movie in a theater x gas money =
Total to go out on a date:
This post is linked to Frugal Fridays and Thrifty Thursdays, and Thrifty Thursdays in Bloggeritaville.