How to save money at the movies

The summer movie season is underway - and if you're a movie buff, you know that going to the movies to watch those blockbusters can cost you when you factor in all that popcorn, candy, and drinks.

Here are some tips to stretch your movie-going dollar. 

A lot of big theater chains offer discount days for admission. For example, Cinemark offers an early bird price on Mondays before 1 p.m. on all movies, except IMAX and 3D. Check your favorite theater to see when they're offering special discounts.

Another way is to sign up for your movie theater's rewards program. You are credited every time you spend, and most programs are completely free. Some offer rewards just by signing up. 

Don't forget matinée showings are also cheaper, and the theater will be less busy. 

Also, be selective of upgrading costs when it comes to watching movies in 3D or IMAX. Do you really need to see it in that upgraded setting? If it's the new Avatar movie, the answer is likely yes. Others? Maybe not so much. 

Sometimes, buying tickets the at the theater may be cheaper. Some apps charge you for buying tickets on the app. 

If you have a membership to places like Costco, Sam's Club, AAA - check them for movie discounts too!