8 Free or Cheap Alternatives to Redbox

How To Get More Bang for Your Movie-Watching Buck

It’s movie night.  You drive to the nearest Redbox.  The movie you want isn’t at that kiosk.  Nothing stands out to you.  So you rent a couple movies, watch one of them, and forget to return them for a couple days.  You’re out +$5.00.  Ever done that?  I have.

So you’re left with two options:  Either you plan ahead and use the Redbox app to place DVDs on hold for pickup or you try some movie-viewing alternatives.

My hubby and I are pretty hardcore movie buffs. We are “movie theater-aholics” in remission after deciding to get out of debt by cutting back our expenses four years ago. Now we’ve managed to develop just enough patience to watch most new releases at home versus at the movie theater.*

*The exceptions to this rule are select films from Marvel, DC, Star Wars, or Star TrekI mean, there are just certain movies that are made to be watched, heard, and felt in a theater. Can’t beat that.

Once we figured out how to cut back on all the movie theater visits (hint: kids entered the picture), we entered the vast world of movie rentals. I’m all for Redbox and Family Video and that store formerly known as Blockbuster, may it rest in peace, because you can rent a suitcase full of movies for the price you’d spend on the medium popcorn & drink combo at the theater.

Still, our dollars trickled away faster than we liked using those rental stores. This led me on a search for cheaper alternatives.

I found eight.

Allow me to share them with you.


8 Movie Viewing Alternatives to Redbox:


1. Your Local Library – FREE: We could stop here, actually. The library has SO many movies at its disposal. You check them out for free and get them for longer. BluRay? Also free. It’s a tremendous resource. Use it!

2. Corporate Lending libraries – FREE:  This one is less common, but was something we discovered during out quest.  Sometimes organizations have a lending library of movies and games for its employees or members. My husband’s company does this. Perhaps yours doesn’t. If you ever happen to run a company someday, then do this for your employees. It’s an awesome money saver.

3. SwapaDVD.com  wpid-img_20150520_103916232_hdr.jpg

Trade your old DVDs with others for a small trading fee. We just did this recently. Our DVD tower was overflowing. Half the movies we hardly ever watch. If that’s you, then here’s how to use SwapaDVD.com:

  • Create your account on SwapaDVD.com
  • Post each DVD you want to swap by entering the UPC label.
  • Once a trader “requests” your DVD, print off the mailing label, wrap and ship as “media mail”.
  • You will receive 1 credit when they receive their DVD (sometimes more if there are multiple DVDs involved).
  • Search for a DVD you want and request it.  Pay the $0.49 trade fee and receive a new movie for your collection.


4. Subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime:  Most of us get the idea with this one.  Greater selection for a flat monthly fee.  I only recommend paying for one of these services, if you can.  Their selections sometimes overlap.

5. Crackle.com – FREE:  If you’re willing to watch a few commercials during your movie, then check out the free selections at Crackle.  (Click here for 10 more sites like Crackle)

6. Thrift Stores & Garage Sales:  Did you know they sell used DVDs at Goodwill and the Salvation Army? I bought a copy of one of my favorite movies, The Village by M. Night Shyamalan, for $1.00. Garage sales are becoming more and more prevalent on social media. You never know when you’ll find something you really like.  And if you get sick of it, then trade it on SwapaDVD.com!

7. Public Movie Events – FREE:  I love this one.  Sometimes organizations like libraries, churches, youth centers or theaters will have a viewing of a particular movie for free.  Where I live, there is an outdoor theater that has “Free Movie Wednesdays” every summer.  Are there any in your area? Search around and find out.

8. Redbox rental codes – FREE:  If you still want to try your luck at Redbox, get rental codes. See?  I don’t hate Redbox. 🙂

Your Turn:

Which of these eight methods are you going to try next? Share in the comments below!

Photo Source: Canva


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