Jan 18, 2010

Do You NEED Netflix? (Janssen)

Several years ago, when Bart and I both had fairly good salaries, we had no student loans, and we lived in Texas, where the cost of living is practically zero, we had a Netflix subscription. Eventually we gave it up, for reasons I can't quite remember.

A year or so later, when we were in the throes of school, Bart suggested we resubscribe. I balked. We discussed it at length, and I finally convinced him we didn't need it.

Here's why I think you might not need Netflix as much as you think you do:

1) Redbox. There are so many Redbox codes online (I like this site), you probably never need to pay to rent a new release movie again. Blockbuster Express is also a good option with free codes. You get the movie the day you want to watch it, watch it, and return it. Done. Free (as long as you return it the next day). 

2) The library (I'm a librarian. You must have known this was coming). Your tax dollars are already funding the library, so you might as well take advantage of it. Many libraries have tons of TV series, classic movies, new releases, and PBS/BBC documentaries and dramas. We have watched six seasons of 24, House M.D., a lot of Alias, and Gilmore Girls (maybe the whole series twice) (Bart would want me to note that I am the one who has watched this, not him), not to mention dozens and dozens of other films.

3) The problem with Netflix is that it just keeps coming. If the movie sits around for a week or two until you have a moment to watch it, you've paid a high premium for that specific movie. Sometimes there are weeks where you have lots of time; other weeks, you might not have any time at all for movies for long stretches. Netflix doesn't know, and frankly, they don't care, because your credit card just keeps getting billed, whether you watch the movie or not.

If you feel Netflix is an absolute necessity in your life, it's a great thing to request as a gift from your in-laws, an aunt or uncle, or some one else who wants an easy gift idea. My parents receive it each year from my dad's staff. They know he'll love it, it's easy, and everyone wins.

14 comments:

Miriam said...

Oh man, I love netflix, but your points are valid. I'll have to think on this one. I have been thinking, maybe I don't NEED 3 at a time:/

Olivia said...

I agree with your points too. But once you have 3 kids the drop off of a red box movie is a bit more difficult. Along with a memory that is constantly interrupted with a million other things to do. That is why Netflix is so attractive to us. No need to worry. I love this new blog idea. You guys were always so Frugal. Thanks for sharing.

Carole said...

OLIVIA?? How did you find us?? I hear you're the mother of 3 -- two of which are twin boys. That's got to be pretty busy, but fun, fun, fun!

Carole

Jenny said...

BIG redbox fan.

Heather said...

I am a major library movie renter. I don't even have to return it the next day. But, I don't see things very soon after they come out. I'll have to check out your free codes

Karina said...

I'm a Redbox fan, but I'm an even bigger Netflix fan...if you use it right. Netflix's variety for quality hard-to-find movies is unmatched. We are so picky about movie choices and you can't compare Netflix to Redbox. They're apples and oranges.

Melanie said...

Janssen you always find the greatest deals!

Lisa C said...

We get netflix from in-laws for Christmas, but I have one counterpoint. Netflix can save you money if it takes the place of a cable bill. We have a Roku from Netflix which allows us to watch all the Instant movies on our TV for no extra service fee. We rarely watch regular TV anymore (not that we have ever had cable). It's great. I agree overall though that you should closely assess how much you use Netflix. It can be suspended during the Summer months when you're not using it as much, etc.

Lady Susan said...

I used to rent movies from the library ALL the time. And then I moved to our current location. I am sorry to speak ill of any library system but.......Ours stinks like dirty gym socks.

Therefore, we have a netflix account. I agree with all of your points though. Perhaps when we change location I will re-evaluate.

tootie said...

We don't do netflix either, but I'm a big fan of redbox and the library.

And I had no idea about the coupon codes for redbox - thank you for posting the site!

Becca said...

Mmmm... I think you've convinced me. Seriously.

Rachel said...

Janssen, I adore you for writing this. We got netflix soon after we got married and enjoyed it, but we've been using it less and less. I never stopped to think, "do we really need this?" until you posted this and now we're canceling it. Totally excited about that extra $10 a month!

Melanie said...

This is my FIRST time to ever respond to anything on a blog! So, here goes... (By the way, I love this topic for a blog!) Netflix is our entire entertainment monthly bill. We do not have even the basic cable bill. We do the one movie at a time and spend $9.73 a month but we don't even care about it because we prefer to use the Instant Streaming. I love it because I can show practically anything to my 2 year old over and over again and I never had to buy the DVD or borrow it and return it on anyone's schedule. It works great for date nights and no-sleep-late-nights as well. As sad as it is to say, our account shows that we watched as a family 38 movies in Dec and 26 so far in Jan. To us, that's a great deal in terms of price...even though we sound like COMPLETE coach potatoes!!

Jeanelle said...

I can read/comment even though I'm not yet a wife right??? ;) Because I feel safe confessing my imperfections to my blog buddy Janssen, I am going to admit something horrible to all of you. Today I returned a netflix movie that I have had in my possession since July of last year. I KNOW! Take a moment to absorb that...

I'm seriously rethinking my membership (even before reading this today - I emptied my queue just last night.) I love that you can watch movies on your computer and I love their selection (Redbox is only good for the brand new stuff.) So we'll see what I do...I'm guessing I'll quit by the end of the month.