Frugal Entertainment Rule: You Must Try Redbox

Posted by Kate on April 8, 2009

It seems that everywhere I go these days – the supermarket, the post office, even McDonald’s – there is a redbox vending machine.

Although I already have a subscription to Netflix, every now and then I find myself stuck in limbo, waiting for my next movie to be sent but not wanting to spend $5 (or half my monthly subscription) on a rental for one night until my next movie arrives.

Advertising cheap movie rentals and with locations along my daily route, redbox seemed worth checking into.

Program Features

  • Contract: None. There is no membership required. Instead, each rental is secured by your debit or credit card.
  • Initial Cost: Each DVD costs $1 (plus tax) if you return it by 9pm the following night.
  • Late Fees: Each night that you keep it past the first 9pm deadline is an additional $1 (plus tax).

Redbox Details

Easy Returns. A great feature of the redbox program is that you can return your DVD to any of their 12,000 locations nationwide (usually grocery stores or restaurants) – perfect for long flights or car rides!

Find A Movie. The redbox website makes it very easy to find the movie you want at a nearby location so you’re not just stuck with movies that everyone else has passed over.

Reserve Online. You can reserve online ahead of time so you don’t get to the kiosk only to find that the movie you want is already gone.

Free Rentals. If you’re able to plan ahead a bit and skip typical Friday and Saturday night rentals in favor of a weekday, you can avoid the cost altogether by signing up for free coupon codes via e-mail and SMS alerts. I receive a text message every Monday afternoon!

Redbox Overall

Redbox is a pretty great option for a certain type of movie renter. For some, the cost of subscribing to a monthly rental service is worth it because it helps them keep up with regular new releases and pays for itself over the course of the month.

However, for less frequent movie watchers, redbox could be a great way to plan a cheap movie night every once in a while!

The biggest advantage, both price-wise and for convenience, would probably come when you want to rent a few movies to keep for a night or two. This is hard to do with Blockbuster Total Access or Netflix unless you’re on a fairly expensive plan and going to a video rental store is likely to be considerably more expensive.

Redbox allows you to pick up a couple of DVDs for the weekend or to rent different movies for kids and adults without going overboard on cost. (You can save it for the popcorn!)

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Comments to Frugal Entertainment Rule: You Must Try Redbox

  1. If I am not mistaken, I think Redbox is owned by McDonalds.


  2. The free coupons are great! They just send you a code each monday and wednesday and you can pick any movie you want! The feed will also let you know which new movies are being released to RedBox which is a nice feature. 🙂


  3. Wow, I’ve seen those things around all over the place, but never knew they were so connected. Always thought you had to return the movie to the same machine, and were only limited to what they had. Thanks for explaining about those.
    On a similar note, how long do you think it will be until one of these is parked next to every RedBox:
    Cheap vended pizza with cheap vended movie sounds like a perfect combination 😀


  4. Redbox is a great way to rent movies for free, or for low cost. We almost always find something in the redbox that we want to see. Also, to always know what the codes for free rentals are, you can check out . Never pay for your movie again!

    Bible Money Matters

  5. When stuck in limbo inbetween Netflix movies, one could watch movies from their Watch Instantly feature. With the Roku box, you can connect it right to your TV.


  6. Actually, they’re owned by Coinstar, a public company.

    EVERYONE needs to check RedBox out, especially all the frugalites out there. I’m actually doing a “Free Week” at The Writer’s Coin all this week and today is Free Movies. RedBox is front and center!

    Writer’s Coin

  7. Yeah. Redbox is “da bomb”. You cannot beat $1 DVD rentals.

    I hit the grocery story every night on the way home from work to pick up fresh meats and veggies for dinner. Having my DVD rentals right there is sooooo convenient.

    Great deal for people on a budget… and convenient for all whether they are budgeting or not!

    Budgeting Online

  8. Redbox is great! For a dollar a day you can watch the latest in movie releases. You can’t beat that. Whether its for the kids, a date night, etc. I highly recommend Redbox.


  9. I love love love Redbox.

    We use it at least once a week. Great for last minute too.

    Amber Jones

  10. You can also watch several (a few years old) free movies through ChannelMax: .


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