Renting movies

Jun 23, 2009

I love to watch movies. I prefer, of course, to go to the theater but, with three kids and a ton of responsibilities, that is rarely an option. Not to mention, movies are expensive these days! So, more times than not, Rob and I rent a movie if we want to see one. We used to always rent from Blockbuster or Hollywood video, but honestly, I think that they have gotten to be very expensive, too! That’s why, if we’re going to rent, I generally use the Red Box.

I would find it hard to believe that anyone who is reading this does not know what the Red Box is, but I imagine that is the case for some, so I’ll explain. Red Box is a large, red kiosk that is located in over 15,000 locations nationwide. The closest ones to me are in our McDonalds, our grocery store and outside our Walgreens. Renting a DVD costs $1 a day and they have all the new releases. All you need to do is slide your credit card, find the movie you want on their computer screen and use the touch screen to select it. The movie is automatically dispensed from the machine. When you return it, you just slide it back into the box, bar code side up and it registers that you have returned it.

The best part about Red Box is that you can go online and “search” for the movie you want to rent. It will tell you which Red Box near you has it and you can reserve it. Then, all you do is go (with your credit card - they don't take cash) to get it and it’s guaranteed to be there.

If you’re like me, when you have time to rent a movie, you watch it the night you rent it, so there’s generally no need to keep it more than a day. Thus, the $1 plus tax price is extremely reasonable. Many of the video stores cost over $4 for a movie. That adds up over time, especially if you’re renting a few movie for your kids to watch on a rainy day (No that we have many of those in Austin).

One of our other grocery stores has a similar machine called DVDPlay. They also charge $1 a day and if you sign up on their email mailing list, they often send you coupons for less or rent one get one free things. In addition, for every 10 rentals, you get one FREE!

Another place I like to get movies (especially for the kid) is the public library. They usually have some pretty good choices and not necessarily always new releases. Thus, my kids get to watch some “oldie-but-goodie” movies, such as Pollyanna and Pete’s Dragon. The problem with the library, though, is that the DVDs are often scratched and that is frustrating for anyone, but especially a 2 year old! Still, the price is right at FREE and so, when we go, we check out 5 DVDs at a a time (their limit) and I pray that at least 2 or 3 aren’t scratched. Plus, the library lets you have the DVDS (in Austin) for at least a week – so that’s a better option for us when we're taking a car trip.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a movie with your family – even at home! If you’ve never checked out Red Box (or similar options in your town) I would highly recommend that on your next movie night, you do just that!

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