Making the Big Popcorn Purchase

Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote about a major life dilemma I was facing. In fact, the issue was bothering me so much that I had to ask for help. I did this by writing out all my thoughts and publishing it as a blog post so the entire world could counsel me on a tough decision. In the end, I opted not to make the investment.

In January of 2014, I wrestled around with whether I should buy a $20 tub of popcorn from my local movie theater. Living in Montana at the time, there was a Carmike Cinemas that I would frequent often. The chain offered a tub of popcorn that came with an initial price of $19.75. After the purchase was made, you could bring the tub back throughout the entire year for $3.75 refills.

I LOVE movie theater popcorn....not so much the microwave version though (photo from original popcorn blog post in 2014).

I LOVE movie theater popcorn….not so much the microwave version though (photo from original popcorn blog post in 2014).

After much deliberation and internal struggle, I decided against buying the tub. Although several factors made up my decision, the price was ultimately the one that carried the most weight and discouraged me from making the purchase.

Now fast forward to 2017 and wouldn’t you know it?! I found myself once again perplexed by another movie theater popcorn conundrum. This past Friday, Sidney and I went to our favorite theater in Myrtle Beach for “Patriots Day.” This particular theater is part of the Cinemark chain. I stepped in line to purchase our popcorn and right in front of me was another tempting deal.

For $14 I could purchase a tub of popcorn AND a giant soda, a price that these days usually passes for normal (if not a little cheaper than usual). But there was something that made the offer much, much better. Both were refillable throughout 2017! Like with Carmike, the price per refill was $3.75 on subsequent trips to the theater.

Spoiler alert...I ended up buying the soda cup and the popcorn tub. This is what they look like.

Spoiler alert…I ended up buying the soda cup and the popcorn tub. This is what they look like.

Okay, there was just one thing holding me back. At first glance, the tub of popcorn looked a little small. In fact, it really isn’t even a tub, it is a bucket. However, I reasoned that perhaps a little bit of portion control might be a good thing. Besides, the soda cup was huge, a screaming deal for only $3.75 (after the initial purchase) when your typical soft drink at the theater runs $6-$8.

I knew paying the $14 was the right thing to do. There was just one more obstacle. I had to ask the wife.

“You go ahead honey, it’s your gift card!” Sidney enthusiastically said.

It is true. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law gave me a $25 gift card to Cinemark. I earmarked the gift card specifically for concessions because I also received a couple Fandango gift cards that will cover strictly movie tickets. There was no holding me back, I made the transaction!

This leads me back to my comment about the size of the popcorn bucket. “Patriots Day” is over two hours. By the time the movie ended, we still had a little bit of popcorn remaining. The amount of corn you get in the bucket is more than enough for two people.

The Cinemark refillable popcorn/soda deal is a complete steal. While it probably won’t work for a family, it is perfect for a couple or for the movie watching fanatic who prefers going to movies alone. So far in 2017, this has been our best purchase thus far. Don’t Blink.

2 thoughts on “Making the Big Popcorn Purchase

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