Frugal Friday- Redbox

frugalfriday I discovered that once you become a mom, it seems you stop going to movies. Maybe once in a blue moon you and the hubby will go on a date, or you and the girlfriends for a girl’s night out, but otherwise no movies. And renting them just seems like a giant pain because I never return them on time and end up paying $30 in late fees for “Weekend at Bernies.” So we pretty much just watch whatever movie they are playing over and over on TBS or occasionally spring for a pay per view new release.

I enjoy movies, but a) I don’t like paying a fortune when there is a good chance I will find the movie lame. Case in point, the last movie I saw in the theater was Happy Go Lucky. I recommended it to my husband because the lead actress had won a Golden Globe and those award shows are never wrong (ahem). It was possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. Ever. Money, down the toilet. b)I often times get motion sick when watching movies on the big screen. I had to leave the last Jason Bourne movie less than 10 minutes in because I was going to be sick. I went and slept in the car.  c) too often I end up paying $5.75 for a big box of Sour Patch Kids only to find there is a bag inside the box that is the size of my pinkie finger nail containing 4.7 actual pieces of candy.

So, I need a cheap way to enjoy a movie, but I am sick of watching the same ones on TV or stuck watching movies that came out in 1987 where the cell phones are the size of a small country. Seriously, nothing dates a movie like technology. Which brings me to my point. I am not sure how, but I just feel like I should get to my point.

Redbox movies are like movies in a vending machine. You order your movie online and pick it up at a Redbox location. The movie costs $1. ONE DOLLAR. And these aren’t the bad circa 1980s movies. These are new releases, Oscar winners, kids movies, Hugh Grant movies as far as the eye can see (I am a sucker for anything with Hugh Grant-except that semi-lame mob one). You can return your movie at any Redbox location. Which means, if you have a portable DVD player or one in your minivan you can get them for travel before you leave and return them when you get there.

Here is what I love:

  • Unlike certain video rental places (you know who you are) when they video is due the next day, it really is the next day. I always find it extremely enjoyable to get a movie at 9 pm at night and have the “next day” be by 11 the following morning. At Redbox, you have until 9 pm the following day. Forget to get it back or get sidetracked by a projectile vomitting toddler? No problem, you will just get charged another dollar. Still a whole lot cheaper than almost any video store.
  • Redbox sends out codes for free rentals. When you sign up you get a free movie code automatically. Then they send out a code by text every Monday. If you don’t text you can usually find the code online. Free movies every week!!
  • New releases come out every Tuesday. And these are often times the same new releases that come to the big name rental places. So you get the option of getting really current movies.

The only downside is that although there are over 12,000 rental locations, there still might not be one near you. For the longest time, the only one near me was at the airport. Once I paid the $30 to park for 10 minutes, that kind of defeated the purpose. But now, they are popping up at Walgreens and Meijer stores all over town. You can search here to see if there is a location near you. A world of cheap movies awaits you.

For more frugal ideas, head over to Life As Mom.


  1. I love Redbox! We have 4 within 2 miles of me! Funny, I posted about Redbox too!

    Saras last blog post..Frugal Family Night

  2. Yeah, I’d heard about these and seen a variation at Fred Meyer, but that’s not a place I go real often. Then a couple weeks ago I discovered there’s one at my Walmart, which happens to be less than a mile from my house! Heck, I could walk to get a movie and get my exercise too! Yay for Redbox (and free codes!)

    Kristas last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Roses

  3. LOVE Redbox! Great post!

    Michelles last blog post..Frugal Friday – Wrap it!

  4. We love Redbox around here too. My kids always love to get the free movie on Monday. I think that my favorite thing about it is that I don’t have to take my kids inside the movie store. I always felt like I needed to cover their eyes because some of the movie jackets are so explict. I only have 2 arms and 3 kids so it never quite worked.

    Candaces last blog post..Child of the 80’s

  5. There is also one called DVD express that is getting just as big as red box. Sometimes locations will have one or the other. Plus I read on the website that McDonalds is going to start having them! My husband and I have been using both of these machines for a while now. The only downside is they dont’ have the variety that some videostores have, but to be honest at the $1 price tag it’s certainly worth it! I love being able to go online and reserve it too!


    Jens last blog post..Porn…The downfall of marriage??

  6. I LOVE Redbox! It’s the only way we rent movies anymore, and thankfully, there seems to be one on every corner. Or at least at every McDonald’s and grocery store.

    I didn’t know about the free code, though – thanks for the tip!

  7. Stephanie says:

    We love Redbox too. We never go to the video store anymore either. We also used it to rent movies while on vacation at the beach. You could also do it to rent movies while driving on a trip if you knew there would be a redbox at your destination. Haven’t tried that one yet, but I bet we will =)

  8. I loved redbox before, but now I LOVE it because my 8 year old is big enough to be dropped off at the door of the store and go right inside to return the dvd. He’s almost ready to rent them by himself. Woohoo!

    Las last blog post..Rainy Day Dinner

  9. All ov-ah redbox, but hoping they add some classics in there at some point.

    Laura Lous last blog post..Doing His Thang

  10. I love redbox! We rented the inspirational “Faith Like Potatoes” from redbox this week and it was great!!

    (And by inspirational, I don’t mean of the Hallmark channel variety. I mean of the God is good variety.)

    Brookes last blog post..The Dave Ramsey Kool-Aid is Particularly Tasty

  11. You can also check out Movie Cube. Same concept, same price. However, you might have one of them near you if you don’t have a Rebox nearby. I’m fortunate enough to have both!!

  12. We love Redbox!! And we don’t have cable so it comes in handy! Also, we use our library a lot. They are excellent at purchasing new releases for us to use for free.

    Jessicas last blog post..Grown-up Peas and Carrots

  13. We usually have a family movie night once a week & use the free monday rental…I love it! We have Redbox at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart here, so I can go about 5 minutes either direction from my house & grab a movie.

    Jesss last blog post..Funny Story Friday

  14. We’ve never done the redbox thing – only because we have a netflix subscription. No late fees on that one at all, but it’s just over $18 a month to have 3 at a time. I guess we pay for the convenience… Oh, and one of our AMC Theaters has $5 movies all the time. Weekends and everything. Of course, you have to get a babysitter if you want to actually GO OUT.

    Amy Wardens last blog post..Two Soaps and a Lip Butter Giveaway

  15. There is not one close enough to me to make it worthwhile but I love it too. Also, there is a thread on Slickdeals.net that has codes for free rentals each week.

    LaVonnes last blog post..Things I Love Thursday: Great Books and Cheap Elmo

  16. Sherry says:

    We love Redbox!! :D They definitely are popping up a LOT more, too.

    Sherrys last blog post..Tweet, tweet!

  17. Per your suggestion- I tried this last night. Wow! I’m still shocked it’s only a dollar. Great selection, super easy! Thanks for the tip!

    Jens last blog post..A Dream Come True…

  18. code REDBOX will give you a free rental for first time users–you can get 1 free rental with that code for each credit card you have. Good to use up on weekends when there aren’t as many free codes available. The box only “knows” you by your card # (and possibly email address–skip entering that).

    Single Income Dual Kidss last blog post..Saving Money with Coupons: Tips On Buying Coupons At ebay.com

  19. Don’t forget that you can get tons of free movies from the library — for free!

    FishMamas last blog post..He Holds It All in His Hands

  20. I had never heard of this – thanks!! D and I are tired of watching movies on TBS cause they take like 4 hours to watch with all the commercials. :) I’ll definitely be checking out Redbox!

    Heather Hs last blog post..A Free Day

  21. I’m not sure that we have one of these near me but we use Netflix and they have instant movies online also so we can always grab something from there :) When dating we went to the movies all the time.. but like you said hardly ever anymore and it is like $8+ for one now!

    Candices last blog post..Life as I know it

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