Friday, August 6, 2010

Movies and TV on the Cheap

Some people may preach that watching too much TV is bad for you. Waste of time, damages brain cells, anti-social. I guess it can be if you're watching reality shows on MTV. However, watching TV and movies is one my favorite ways to spend time with the hubby. For the most part we have the same taste in entertainment and are addicted to shows like Grey's Anatomy, Glee, House, The Office, Parks and Rec, Dark Blue - can't wait to see what the new fall season brings that we can get hooked on.

Anyway, if you're on a budget, entertainment is probably one of the easiest ways to be cheap.

  • 1. My #1 trick is to buy tv series on DVD from ebay, amazon or, watch them, and resell them online. This does not work with regular movies - only with TV series on DVD. Pick a show you've never seen, but have heard good things about. Buy season 1, watch it, sell it, buy season 2, watch it, sell get the idea. Example: I bought Boston Legal season 4 on ebay for 19.94 (including shipping), watched it, and sold it for 21.99 (including shipping). Didn't make any money, but covered my eBay and Paypal fees. Not too shabby. (ps - for those of you who think selling on eBay is a pain, for DVD's, books, and CDs, just enter the title or ISBN # and eBay fills in all of the info - including a picture)

  • 2. Two birds, one stone. This tip is somewhat related - and keep in mind it only works with certain people. But, you can buy a dvd series or movie (used) online, watch it, and then give it as a gift. Again, please note, this only works for certain people - close family members and friends that honestly don't care. I wouldn't try it on a boss or in-law or someone you need to impress (i.e., a date). Real life example: I bought a season of 24 for my dad's birthday. We hadn't finished watching it before the big day, so I took out the DVD's we still needed - tacky, yes, but it provided a good laugh, and I knew he wouldn't mind. Just remember to use commen sense when employing this tip.

  • 3. Buy used at yard sales. If you follow this blog at all you will come to learn that I'm BIG on yardsales. You can find just about anything at a yard sale and it's always discounted about 90-98% off retail value. This is especially true of DVD's. Found CSI season 1 for $3, watched it, gave it to my cousin when he was laid up with a broken leg. Bought Gilmore Girls season 1 for $5, watched 5 episodes, couldn't get into it, sold it for $20. Grey's Anatomy was $0.50 at a yard sale, watched it, LOVED IT, sold it for $10. My personal rule of thumb - don't pay more than $5 for a set of DVD's or more than $3 for a movie - unless you're just dying to see it.

  • 4. You can get movies at the library for free. (Yay! Free is good!) Just remember to return it on time - those late fees will get you. Take it from someone who knows.

  • 5. Sometimes, Netflix is worth it. I have a buddy, let's just call her Stephanie, who pays the $14/mo subscription fee to get 2 movies at a time from Netflix. She'll watch about 8-12 movies/month - that's $1.17-$1.75 per movie (I used a calculator). The secret to any subscription (magazine, gym membership, salad bar, etc.) is you've got to "hurt them", as my dad would say. Use it to death!

  • 6. Redbox. I've never used this, but at $1/night, that's not a bad deal - you can find that in the cup holder in the car, right? Just remember to take it back the next day or they'll keep charging you - ouch.

  • 7. Trade with family and friends - my tips keep getting shorter - I have nothing else to say.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. ~Pride and Prejudice

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