PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A night out at the movies is financially out of the question for many families trying to stick to a budget these days.
Many people are now keeping “family night” alive by renting DVDs. But which rental service gives you the most bang for your buck?
“We as a family can only agree on doing one activity together and that is watching movies,” said mom Carol Levey.
The Levey family says renting a DVD from the Redbox kiosk while grocery shopping works best for them. However, with so many options now from Redbox to Netflix to Blockbuster Online to On Demand, what’s the best option?
“A subscription type service is not right for our family because we wouldn’t want a set number of movies that we would have to rent a month,” Levey said.
Levey says she’s cut costs by avoiding overlapping subscriptions.
When they can watch a movie On Demand, which is already included in their cable package, they don’t rent.
When deciding on a DVD rental plan, ask yourself these questions: Do you rent video games? Do you prefer streaming movies online? Do you like receiving DVDs by mail? And how many movies do you rent a month?
“If you’re the very, very occasional user and you just pick up a DVD once every few months, then by all means just keep doing what you’re doing,” said Michelle Ashamalla, a shopping expert.
Experts say subscriptions with Blockbuster and Netflix pay off if your household watches lots of movies and are often more reasonable than premium cable subscriptions.
Netflix cheapest plan is $4.99. You can rent two DVDs a month, one at a time and two hours of online streaming is included.
“They have a fantastic new plan that is $7.99 a month and it’s unlimited online viewing,” said Ashamalla.
But that plan doesn’t include DVDs by mail.
Every Netflix plan above $9.99 includes unlimited online streaming and a variety of “DVD by Mail” options.
Blockbuster’s cheapest subscription starts at $11.99.
With this plan, you get unlimited movie, television and video game rentals, but only one rental at a time.
Blockbuster offers online streaming as well. It’s called “Blockbuster On Demand,” but it’s not included in any of its subscription packages.
If getting the most current releases is important to you, Blockbuster says they get them 28 days before Netflix and Redbox.