CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Summertime is almost upon us, which means concerts, new movie releases, and ball games.

So how do we make going to these events affordable? We've been doing some digging to find you ways to beat the heat of an expensive summer.

Just like you, we want the best possible deal, and that means doing some legwork to find it. Want that cheaper concert ticket or movie pass? Then sit up and pay attention, 'cause the show is about to begin.

First, here's a way to see new summer releases cheaper -- and maybe before everyone else.

Sign up for a free advanced screening in your area. They don’t require anything but showing up right on time. It’s usually not a freebie, but hey, you’re in! 

If you miss the pre-screen, look for discount codes. Fandango is a great place to start. For example, in April, they had $5 off tickets. For a family of four, that’s $20.

Country groups like Florida Georgia Line will be here this summer. Larger venues and even stadiums have a box office where you can buy directly, but some have added service charges, even if you go in person.

For this concert in July, the cheap lawn seats are $74.25 plus $6.50 service fee, that’s $80.75 cents if bought in person. Can we do better online?

We tried online city tickets for the same concert, same seats, and the cheap seats on the lawn. The advertised price looks cheaper, just $64, but once we entered our information, the price jumped. 

There was a $20.96 cent service charge, and then there was an e-mobile delivery charge of $6.95. E-mobile delivery is an email; it costs $7 to send tickets by email.

So is going in person worth it? The cost was $80 but buying online was $91. A family of four would save $40 going directly to box office.

The same holds true for most ballparks; it's almost always cheaper to buy in person.

Be careful about buying on sites like craigslist or from the guy on the corner five blocks from the concert of game. You might find a great deal, then again, you might pay for bogus tickets. 

Don’t. Get. Scammed.

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