Save your precious movie pennies with Elaine Lavery’s handy DIY guide

You’ve pulled the curtains, dimmed the lights and are ready for action, but you’re missing one essential component. Yes, the movie experience is never quite the same at home without the mindless consumption of empty calories. With the prices they charge at your average cinema, it makes far more sense to go the DIY route? You can pull out all the stops without unnecessarily wasting your money.

There are a few points to consider. You might think twice about punching a stranger in the cinema for chomping and crumpling plastic in your ear, but anger management isn’t so easy when it comes to your nearest and dearest. As well as not being too loud, the food of choice must not be too messy or awkward; we’re talking hand-to-mouth coordination here.

So what is allowed? For those of you who’ve never entered a kitchen and never intend to, I will say this once, and once only. Go to Lidl, get one of those bumper trolleys and fill it with as much cheap crap as you can handle. You may be as happy as a pig in shit for a while, but it won’t be long till you feel like one too.

For anyone with a more open mind, the options are endless, whether working from scratch or cheating and cutting a few corners.  Some ideas include homemade pizza, baked potatoes and nachos.  Not exactly original you may say, but you can be as creative as you like with toppings, fillings and dips.

Don’t be afraid of the homemade pizza. All that takes getting used to is handling the dough.  Any recipe is at your fingertips with your old friend Google.  The more you do from scratch, the cheaper, tastier and more satisfying the result.

Finally, we can’t talk home cinema without mentioning popcorn and other microwavable stuff; it’s time to get out the kernels. Kernels are not only miles cheaper, but you can also add your own flavours.

Toffee popcorn is deceptively easy to make with a bit of butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Or for an unusual alternative, why not try adding some ground spices like cumin, cardamom and chilli powder? A giant bowl of your choice accompanied by a couple of plates of chewy homemade cookies (chocolate chip or peanut butter are especially fitting) and you’re sorted. Just make sure the movie of choice isn’t Hunger.