Twelfth Day of Flat Broke Christmas: Night on the town!

25 Nov

The night lights are beckoning. Give the gift of allowing someone to afford going out.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Flat Broke Blog gave to me: A night on the town!

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town. I’m counting on you, Lord. Please don’t let me down. Prove that you love me, and buy the next round. Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town.”

— Janis Joplin, “Mercedes Benz”

You may not have enough money to buy someone a three-wheeled Chevette and a View Master, much less a Mercedes Benz and a color TV. But you can make at least one of Janis Joplin’s wishes come true.

I know I’ve stressed things like at-home cooking, “night-in” entertainment options and the like here. But let’s face it, sometimes, you need a break from it all. Think about it. You’re already stressed about your financial situation AND you have to cook? And after that, you can’t watch the totally awesome new movie coming out? It’s terrible!

But you can throw a bone to your fellow stressed-out Flat Brokers and give them the night on the town they so deserve.


You may be the point where you are literally cutting back on your eating to save money. I know I am. But eventually, you have to give in and have something to eat. If not, you’ll die. That would be terrible, wouldn’t it?

Almost any restaurant — fast-food and all the way to the top — offer some type of gift certificates or gift cards. With these, you can provide as much or as little as you would like. Just like cash gifts, you at least provide a discount for someone even if what you give doesn’t cover everything. Make sure your gift certificate/card is for a restaurant your recipient actually likes. Also make note of the expiration date.

Keep in mind that someone who is as broke as you are may not have the fanciest wardrobe in the world. If that’s the case, don’t get anything from a restaurant where this person will feel like dirt or not even be allowed inside!

Here’s another food option for which I must give credit to my dear friend Jacque, the totally awesome Girl of Words. is an excellent bang for the buck. Basically, you can buy a $25 gift certificate that can be redeemed at numerous restaurants — for $10! You basically get a gift that’s worth more than double what you’ve paid for it! There are other options such as $50 for $20, etc.

Here’s what you must watch about this Web site: Make sure there is a decent selection of restaurants within reach. Larger cities may have this, but a smaller rural area may not. For example, West Virginia only has four participating restaurants and in one city. That’s pretty sad when you consider Alaska has seven for its entire state. I digress.

But if you can find a good selection that isn’t an insane distance away, this is one serious deal.

A night at the movies

I rarely watch movies in a theater nowadays. Yes, I’ve been to see two movies in the past few weeks, but these were both movies I had been dying to see. I believe the last time I went before that was around Halloween — in 2008!

Sometimes, though, there are movies people want to see right now, but they’re forced to wait until it arrives at the local video store. It’s always sad because you hear your friends talking about how good the movie was, how you should see it, etc. You basically sit there feeling like a bum because you can’t afford to have fun.

Enter movie gift cards. You can pay for someone to see a movie for one night. For one night, this person can actually have fun away from home! They can see the newest, hottest movies out there and without the wait!

If you have a Marquee Cinemas nearby, here is the Web site from which you can order $10 movie gift cards online.

Make sure they’re not going alone

You don’t have to buy both dinner and a movie. I’m sure your recipient will totally understand and be totally happy with one or the other. Nonetheless, your friend or relative will be miserable if she/he has to go alone! Make sure you have an extra card/certificate/ticket for at least one more person, like a spouse or significant other, to come along. If they have no one else with whom they can go, come along and keep your recipient company!

You may also want to offer to babysit children while your recipient has a wonderful night out, too. The stressed-out parents will worship you for that!

Final roll call!

One name draw and price limit

Two wads of cash

Three people asking me what I’d like

Four gas cards

Five personal assistants

Six warm, cozy things

Seven cheap, fun board games

Eight tools

Nine bags of diapers

Ten anti-skanky products

Eleven homemade crafts

Twelve nights on the town!

And a fabulous Flat Broke Christmas for me!


2 Responses to “Twelfth Day of Flat Broke Christmas: Night on the town!”

  1. Amanda November 25, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Great idea. Nothing makes me happier than a gift card to a restaurant. Gives my hubby and I an opportunity to go out to eat without worrying how much it’s going to cost us. A word on – sometimes the certificates have stipulations, for instance, you have to spend $35 to use the $25 card. Not a big deal, but the giver should make sure that’s clear! Still a great deal. We have a bunch of them we’ve bought for places all over Florida and use them when we travel. I’ve enjoyed this series!

    • flatbrokegirl November 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks for the note on the thing! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this series. The real challenge is keeping this puppy rolling as soon as I get back from visiting my family. But I have a few ideas in mind, so I believe I can pull it off. I hope!

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