Here’s a different/thoughtful take on how Netflix can be a cheaper source of entertainment for your family written by a fellow frugal dad trying to condense his family’s budget:
If you’re like me, downtime can look 3 ways: with the kids, with the wife or by myself. I appreciate them all equally, too. There’s been a bit of a buzz surrounding Netflix’s recent price change and I’m maybe going out on a limb here to say it’s a pretty good deal if you’re willing to stick with the stream only option, considering all the complaining about the prices. Here’s why this is a good and frugal choice:
For nearly double the price, you can have the availability of DVDs, but you should ask yourself, “Do I/we need this?” The beautiful thing about Netflix is that they always try hard to bring old and new content to their streaming section, making it good for all of the above downtimes.
Chances are, too, you may have a video game console of some type: Wii, Xbox or PS3. All of these allow you to stream Netflix to your TV (Xbox is the only console that makes you pay for their online services, Xbox Live). Added to that, perhaps, even the best of all, is you can add the free Netflix App to your Android or iPhones (or iTouch). If you have a laptop or computer, multiple items can be streamed at a time, another bonus for times when no choice can be made on what to watch and the quietness is sometimes welcoming.
Good so far? I think so.
This service pays for itself quickly each month. It’s often difficult to justify a trip to the movies more than once every 3 months with the entire family, with the average price of a movie outing at nearly $50 for a family of 4 just to get seats. And that’s not even the IMAX option, mind you. Or 3D, for that matter.
If you’re still uncertain, there’s a great website, streamingsoon.com, that updates all the new (and best!) streaming movies. This is good for making it easy to update your queue with research that’s already been done for you.
Netflix is making a case for itself by way of offering a lot newer movies and cartoons and some classics you can share with your kids. Sure, they’ll roll their eyes at Duck Tails and Tom & Jerry, but for $8/month it’s surely worth the risk (with the possibility of the reward that they’ll like it).
Last thing to point out is that while Netflix discounts/specials are seldom, there is always a chance to get free months here and there when you have other families and friends sign up for a free trial using you as a reference, so your $96/year could look more like $72/year. Not a bad deal, I’d say.