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Making family movie night fun not only saves you money compared to heading out to the movie theater, but it lets you make the experience your own. With the average home television set well over 32″ and many home theater systems now in the affordable category, it’s easier than ever to get the gang together for a movie and snacks. Plus you control the room temperature, who sits next to you, and you can pause the movie when you need a refreshment break! Plus, you can laugh, cry, or scream to your heart’s content and no one can shush you or tell you to turn off your cellphone.
But to lure your spouse and kids away from the bright lights of the expensive multiplex, you’re going to have to get creative. Make movie night at home as special as the expensive alternative by having great snacks and little extras that make it more like a party. It doesn’t have to be expensive, decorations can be homemade and snacks created with a themed twist. For instance, the film I chose for our movie night is “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It’s a chance to use bright colors like orange, lime green, and teal, all colors that are found throughout the film (Google your film’s name plus “movie stills” if you need inspiration).
I could have made an Indian-inspired snack, but I know my family and watching a movie means there must be popcorn! So I chose Gold Emblem Abound Heavenly Light Popcorn, Bacon Ranch Popcorn, Kettle Corn, and Spicy Sriracha.
Perfect Popcorn Mix-ins
Perfect Popcorn Mix-ins
But plain popcorn won’t do! We need some sweet for the salty and salty for the sweet!
Gold Emblem Classic Blend Trail Mix – Almonds, cashews, peanuts, raisins, and M&M’S Milk Chocolate Candies.
CVS Gold Emblem Sweet & Salty Trail Mix – a colorful blend of mini pretzel twists, mini chocolate chip cookies, peanuts, and M&M’S® Chocolate Candy.
Gold Emblem Fruit & Nut Trail Mix – sweet raisins, dried fruits, and crunchy nuts.
CVS Gold Emblem Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels – Crunchy, salty, and sweet all in one bite.
Gold Emblem Cashew Caramel Crunch – Sweet and salty popcorn bites with cashew pieces. Delicious on its own, but great mixed with regular popcorn, too.
There was also supposed to be a bag of CVS Gold Emblem Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. But they are truly decadent and so good that they didn’t make it to movie night! I made the mistake of taste testing them….several nights in a row …until they were gone. They will definitely be invited to our next movie night.
Easy Movie Night Decor
I looked around the house and pulled things that had a little Indian flair or that was in the color scheme of teal, turquoise, and lime. I found a round mirrored tile I placed under a simple galvanized lantern I use for lots of parties. I served the popcorn and mix-ins in colorful metal plant pots I picked up at my local grocery store’s floral section for $2-$5. Not only were they the perfect colors, but they had embossed patterns that were the inspiration for my treat bag DIY craft project (see below). I also did a quick DIY canvas using masking tape, three colors of paint, and my electronic cutter to create the lettering. I also picked up the striped table runner, lime napkins, and the bird chalkboard makers (my most expensive item at $12).
I pulled spools of ribbon out of my scrap-booking stash and found several lime green with white polka dots and checks and I tied them around my glass milk bottles – I love these bottles and use them all the time. I also found some corker ribbon I purchase for a project but never competed. It worked great for adding color to the pitcher.
The plastic and metal scoops for the popcorn and mix-ins were an online purchase. They’re very inexpensive and can be used around the house in so many ways after movie night, and I used a Weck canning jar to show off the green and blue polka dot paper straws.
The large metal serving tray is another favorite serving item you’ve probably seen me use many times. It’s so versatile. This time, I cut the table runner to fit the tray to give it color and to protect it from any cranberry juice spills.
Using what you have around the house can save you so much money! I spent less than $50 on snacks, drinks, and decor for six people. That is much less than the cost of movie tickets and popcorn at the theater for sure! Plus, who doesn’t love snuggling up on the couch and watching together!
Easy Sparkling Cranberry Lemonade
To sip while we watch the movie, I’ve made a simple but delicious Sparkling Cranberry Lemonade with no-cook homemade lemon syrup, CVS Gold Emblem Abound Organic Cranberry Juice, and lemon-lime soda.
- 3 lemons, divided
- 4 Tbls granulated sugar
- 1 33.8oz Gold Emblem Abound Organic Cranberry Juice
- 16 oz seltzer water or lemon lime soda
- frozen whole cranberries
- Lemon syrup:: At least 3 hours before serving (or up to a week ahead and keep refrigerated), wash the lemons thoroughly. Set one aside for garnish.
- Cut two lemons into small chunks, about ¼" square. Place in a small bowl or cup* and add the sugar. Stir to incorporate. (*always use non-reactive tools when working with citrus - stainless steel, ceramic, or glass is best).
- Cover and allow the sugar and lemon mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir it every 30 minutes or so making sure the sugar coating the sides gets mixed in.
- When the sugar is completely dissolved, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer. Squeeze the chunks of lemon to get as much liquid as possible. The yield should be about 8 tablespoons Discard the solids or use them as garnish. I used a few in the ice chamber of my pitcher with frozen cranberries. If you don't have an ice chamber, add the cranberries to the pitcher with the sliced lemons.
- Just before serving: In a large pitcher, pour the CVS Abound Organic Cranberry Juice and 4
tblslemon syrup. Taste and add more lemon (I use 6 Tbls). Add 16 oz seltzer water or lemon lime soda (I use diet lemon lime). Taste again and serve ice cold. Garnish with sliced lemons.
- Store any leftover lemon syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use it in your iced tea or add water or sparkling soda for delicious lemonade.
DIY Crafts: Make Your Own Popcorn or Party Bags
I decorated my own popcorn bags with the same colors and a geometric stencil that evokes a feel of India. My cost or this project was ZERO – I had everything on hand, and you probably have too! If you don’t have paint, you may have yarn or ribbon that you can use instead.
You’ll need inexpensive brown lunch bags (though white lunch bags would work as well), a foam roller or brush, acrylic paint to match any other decorations you have, tape, and a stencil.
A foam roller will make quick work of the stenciling. Clean it between colors and squeeze it until dry with a paper towel before moving to the next color. Skip the tray on this one, it’s bumpy, and you’re going to be dry brushing and want even coverage.
Use a flat surface (like the lid of the foam roller tray) or a piece of parchment or wax paper to roll the paint. Squeeze a very thin line of paint the entire width of the surface, and then roll in both directions until the roller is covered completely and nearly dry. It’s very important to use as little paint as possible.
Place the stencil where you want it on the bag. If you’re doing a lot of bags or appreciate a more precise stencil, use tape to secure the stencil to the table and then slip the bags in. It works like a jig to make sure they’re all the same. I use the “wing it” method, so mine are messy, off-center, and truly not perfect, just like me.
Roll the sponge brush lightly over the stencil. Be careful to hold it in place if you haven’t take the time to tape it. If it does shit, stop painting and use the painted area to line up the stencil again. Check for coverage by holding the stencil in place with one hand and lifting the stencil with the other. Roll over any areas that need it or go with an uneven, worn look.
The amount of pressure you use while you’re rolling and the dryness of the paint determines how dark your print is.
A foam brush works well for stencils that have small details like the points on this pattern. Or if you want to go back over areas that are too light – just line up the stencil and pounce more paint onto the bag with the sponge brush.
Layer stencils, colors, and more to make unique bags. Hide flaws by adding another stencil on top, or just let your mistakes be your homemade badge of honor – that’s what I do!
Save on CVS Gold Emblem Products
You’ll find Gold Emblem abound Snack, Grocery, and Beverage Coupons on the CVS Pharmacy Free Printable Coupon Page. Clip and print the coupons along with others that can save you hundreds of dollars on products at CVS.