Sunday, March 26, 2006

Cents sense

I like a good deal and I like to save money where I can when it doesn't mean compromising on lifestyle. My latest way of saving money is using the library as my personal video store. I usually check out books or buy them at Half-Price Books if at all, but DVDs, I was kind of at the mercy of Blockbuster or another such place. And I don't watch enough movies during a month to go the Netflix route.

I'd always used the library to check out classic movies, but then I discovered our library here stocks the latest releases as well; if it's at Blockbuster, it's probably at our library. This weekend I watched "Bewitched" (cute, funny, and family-friendly) and "The Upside of Anger" (skip it) -- both from the library. I've got about half a dozen DVDs on request at the library currently, including "Crash", "Must Love Dogs", and "Under the Tuscan Sun."

The only drawback to this system is I never know which movie I'll get and how long I have to wait to get it. I've been waiting for "Crash" for a couple of months now, and it took a few weeks to get both "Bewitched" and "The Upside of Anger". But the plus side includes being able to search online from the comfort of my own PC for the new arrivals, having them delivered (when available) to the branch most convenient to me, and then having 10 days to pick up them up once they arrive and I can keep them for two whole weeks. The latter is the best part of the deal for me because I'm notoriously slow for watching anything and there have been times when I've checked out DVDs ("Ms. Congeniality 2", "Master and Commander", and "21 Grams") and returned them, unwatched.

Of course, this probably isn't a good system for people who watch a couple of movies every weekend, but if you're looking for a way to save a few bucks and get away from the agony of Blockbuster, this might be one solution for you. It also helps, btw, to have multiple items on reserve, that way you can increase the odds of having a DVD available for the weekend (and of course, also with the assumption that most city libraries are as up-to-date as Sweat Sock City's library system).

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