Nearly six months ago, my wife and I decided to get a Netflix subscription. Many of our favorite television weren’t going to have full seasons due to the writer’s strike. Some, like 24, didn’t have seasons at all. We thought that this would be a good time to catch up on the classics that we missed through the years. It’s worked really well in that regard… We switch off picking one movie that we’d like for the other to see and every so often we come across one that we both missed.
I’ve been choosing movies like Fight Club and Momento – ones with a great twist from what you’d expect. I would have had 12 Monkeys at the top of this list if I didn’t already own it already. I’ve also been trying to catch her up on more traditional classics like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. The Indiana Jones movies have been tough to get recently, so I’m going to switch to the Godfather. Some say that I should have started with the Godfather, but I belong to the Peter Griffin school of thought when it comes to the movie.
Energi Gal has been choosing movies that she feels will add a little culture to my life. As usual, she’s been right. We started with Ghandi. In a sad reflection of my public school system, I was not familiar with the tremendous role he played in our world. I’ve always heard of him and I had developed a bit of knowledge, but our text books always seemed to focus on the United States. Even then, they’d go from the past to the present often ending around far before Ford’s assembly line. Ghandi spurred me to read a lot more on Wikipedia.
It hasn’t all been history lessons though. My wife has been big on musicals lately. She transitioned from Ghandi to Evita – keeping with the historical figure theme. I loved it. It was a great story and Madonna was great in it to the point we couldn’t think of anyone else who could have pulled of the role. We also saw Hairspray and Hair (unrelated musicals, if you don’t know them, but both very good). Next up was Chicago. Maybe I didn’t give it full attention as I was writing at the time, but I didn’t agree with the message it was sending (I didn’t think “he had it coming”). Recently she’s got things going in the right direction again with Phantom of the Opera. I loved that as well. Soon she’s going to piece together that my favorite television show is a musical and my myth of not liking musicals will be busted.
So you’ve been following thinking, “What does this have to do with personal finance?” My wife knows that spending $100 a piece on two theater tickets is not something that fits very easily in our budget. When watching the movie, she often laments, “the play is always better.” I try to explain that I’m not spoiled by that experience, so getting the story with million dollar sets and actresses works for me. If you look at it from that perspective, Netflix has saved us hundreds of dollars. However, I try to look at it as the value that I get for a dollar spent at Blockbuster or Redbox. In that comparison, we don’t watch enough movies to get a great value out of Netflix – it feels very fairly priced for what you get.
I love Netflix. It is so convenient. Since I never go out to the movies, I especially love that I can “save” new releases before they come out on DVD so that they will automatically be added to my queue.
I can tell you didn’t learn about Gandhi in school by the way you (mis)spelled his name. :)
I’ve had Netflix for 6 years now, and I think it’s worth every penny. I’ve actually got it on hold currently while I get some projects wrapped up, but I can’t wait to go back to it!
Another way to get more value out of Netflix is using their “view instantly” feature. They have tons of stuff on there, and it is a great way to get caught up on the classics, both in the movie genre and in TV episodes. As long as you have broadband Internet, you can take full advantage of the service.
In my case, I’ve been watching Heroes (since I never had time to watch it when it originally aired) and I’ve saved myself from renting a few comedies at my local Redbox.
What I do now that I have Netflix is browse online for potential Redbox flicks to rent. Next I check and see if my choices are available on Netflix live. I watch those online and any that are not available are usually picked up using free rental codes from insideredbox.com. I figure why waste a free rental code (or $1 plus tax) on a movie I can watch at no additional charge on a service I’m already paying for.
Early Retirement Extreme says
We used to have netflix, but then we converted to the local library. It’s free and it has a queue as well. The selection is not as great though.
I’m a big movie buff (and a frugal person), and for me Netflix is a godsend.
I haven’t been to a Blockbuster in months, and I’m spending a fraction of the $ on DVDs that I used to spend. Not only are DVDs cheaper at Netflix, but I don’t have to spend money on late fees, the gas it takes to drive to the video store, and all of the temptations to buy popcorn, soda and for-sale DVDs that Blockbuster offers.
And just for the record, “he had it coming” wasn’t the message of Chicago. That song is clearly meant to be ironic, showing the absurd way that the “murderesses” rationalized their crimes.
Mrs. Micah says
But the number for He Had it Coming was excellent, wasn’t it? Good choreography.
Just saw “Once More With Feeling,” too. Quality stuff…I was glad that it added depth to the plot as well as being all around fun.
Like you and your Netflix, I’ve taken the chance with my post in the Audio-Visual branch of our library once a week to get to know some classics.
Another good way to enjoy NetFlix is to invest in the company. Not only am I a satisfied customer, I’m a shareholder and my unrealized gains so far more than make up for the monthly fee.
Once HBO ended most of their good shows we canceled it and switched to Netflix. We’ve loved it since.