Thriftilicious Thursday—Cheap Entertainment

Even though you may be pinching pennies and trying to dig your way out of debt, like us, you’ve still got to find ways to work entertainment into the budget. I mean, we’ve still gotta have some fun! Fortunately, it’s easier than ever now to watch movies and TV shows for little money—or even better, for free!

1. redbox
I know I’ve talked about redbox a lot lately (especially when I was dealing with a certain issue with a certain terminal), but it really is revolutionizing the way we rent and watch movies. I mean, you can check online to see what movies are available at different locations near you, and you can return them at any redbox location. This makes it a great way to entertain kids on long road trips. Just map out the redbox locations on your route ahead of time. If only they’d had this on our 26-hour drive to Arizona with three boys two years ago… And at a buck apiece, it doesn’t get much cheaper. Unless, of course, you can rent for FREE, which you usually can every Monday. Check Deal Seeking Mom for the latest coupon code.

2. Netflix
We used to belong to Netflix but cancelled our membership after I realized that we’d had the same movies for about three months, and could’ve purchased them all three times over for what we’d spent on rental fees. But now I’ve found a way to make it worth our while and fit our busy life. Since we have an XBOX 360, we can join the cheapest membership to Netflix ($8.95/month for 1 movie delivered at a time), but with that we can also get UNLIMITED movies and TV shows to watch instantly through our XBOX. Granted, we don’t have the same selection as with the “delivered” movies, but there are some new releases, as well as some classics in all genres. And they’ve got a great selection of TV shows by season. I just started watching Heroes with Boy #1. Hello?! Now I realize what I’ve been missing!

3. hulu
This is a site that’s nearly too good to be true. FREE episodes of many, many TV shows, including those on HBO, which we’ve never subscribed to. Miss The Office, 30 Rock, or Lost? Check hulu. They’ve probably got it. They also have tons of clips and excerpts, as well as some movies. But don’t get too excited about the movies because they’re hardly recent blockbuster hits. But if you can’t wait to see Grease 2 or Robocop again, you’re in for a treat.

4. joost
Another FREE site is joost. I admit I haven’t had a lot of time to browse around their site, but I did see that they have a “Peanuts” channel complete with my favorite Peanuts specials. And that’s all I need to know. (I have a thing for Charlie Brown.) More TV shows, movies, and music videos. All free for the viewing.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that with all of these choices, you should be able to find something free, or at least cheap, to keep you entertained while you get out of debt or save for an emergency fund. See—it’s not so bad to be thriftilicious, is it?

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