Monday, February 2, 2009

Saving Money For Movie Fans

I love to watch movies but not at theaters. I do make exceptions though - some movies have such attractive storylines, cast or special effects that I just can't wait to catch it on the big screen.

However, most movies don't get me excited enough to make a trip to the theaters. It is wasteful as you don't just pay for the movie tickets, usually there are other expenses like meals, drinks, popcorns, gas, shopping, etc which can add up to a pretty expensive trip.

Saving Money For Movie Fans
A little patience (3-4 months but could be shorter these days) can save a lot of money over the long run. Here are a few tips to save more money for movie fans:

1. Re-Watch DVDs In Your Collection

My family budget allows me to buy 1-2 pieces of DVD per month and they are usually movies which are very entertaining or meaningful and I will never tire of watching the re-runs.

In this recession, I try my utmost to avoid rentals. Instead, I will just pull out those faithful favorites in my collection. Not only do I save a rental, but I spend quality time with my wife, thoroughly enjoy myself and rediscover my love for that movie.

I am flabbergasted that some of my friends buy DVDs regularly but they hardly watch any of them or let them collect dust after one viewing. It’s so wasteful, but I am not complaining since I borrow DVDs from them occasionally and they are kind enough to pass on some old movies to me when they clean up their house.

2. Buy Previously Viewed DVDs

There is nothing wrong with buying second hand DVDs. The movie quality will not suffer just because it has been viewed umpteen times. When I want to buy a movie, I usually head to Blockbuster's Previously Viewed section.

On average I spend about $8 per movie. Now, just compare that to a new DVD which can cost about $25-$30. The saving is immense when you do it every month. As for the picture or sound quality, I can assure you that the "Previously Viewed" movies are as good as the $25 shrink wrap copies.

3. Hold Off On HD

I am never one to rush into new technology. I guess I was one of the latest adopters of music CDs as I gave up on cassettes until the stores stopped stocking them.

To be sure, new technology is always far more expensive now compared to next year (or even next quarter). HD players and systems have already come down a lot in price, but in another year they’ll be exponentially cheaper.

I am fine with DVDs. I mean the difference between a good quality DVD and HD isn’t anywhere near the difference of the old VHS to DVD comparisons. If you really have money to spend, by all means, go ahead and get HD right away.

4) Join Netflix or Zip

I don't have a penchant for movie rentals but there are times when I feel generous and just want to watch a movie to kill time. I recommend a service like Netflix or Zip.Ca (for those in Canada).

You can get a simple cheap plan (like $9/month) that gives you 1 disk at a time. You can easily go through 4 or more movies a month and you never have late fees.


Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas said...

I only own one DVD - it was a gift. My husband does own quite a few, though, maybe around 20 - I still haven't gotten through all of them.

Our favourite way to watch new films (at least new to us) is via Redbox (especially when they had the free code) and the library -- you definitely need to check it out. Lots of new movies mixed with older ones. And often a great selection of international titles.

The Personal Finance Playbook said...

I hardly ever go to the movies either. It's hard to justify that expense. When we do go, we go to a matinee at a theater close by that has $4 tix, and we don't buy anything to eat or drink. We did break down and see Benjamin Button (and it was terrific). Movies go to dvd so quickly now that it doesn't really make sense to go see them on the big screen.

Barry Ritz said...

@ Jules -

Since your husband has around 20 DVDs, you should really find time over the weekend and go through those DVDs which you have not watched before buying.

Thanks for mentioning the library. It is also one of my favorite haunts for DVDs.

Barry Ritz said...

@ Personal Finance Playbook -

You are right that the movie expenses are not justified. I do give in to special moments like our wedding anniversary, birthdays, etc.

Otherwise, it is no-go for us. Renting or buying DVDs make more sense.