Recessionista Chronicles: Movies for Cheap


I like movies, and I like saving money. Right now besides a few of the titles that got tons of Oscar buzz, there's nothing I feel I must see in the movie theater right now.  

I guess I could go see Batman: The Dark Knight at the IMAX (Stock Quote: IMAX) theater, but, frankly, I’m too chicken to relive those fight scenes on a screen that measures 52 feet by 72 feet.  Seriously, I’m a huge baby. (Though, should I change my mind, I’m bringing along this coupon for some FREE popcorn!)

Luckily there are ways to watch feature-length movies for, at most, a few bucks. Here's how:

Barter for DVDs
At SwapTree, exchange your unwanted DVDs (as well as books, music and video games) with others looking to barter a deal.  The site’s CEO says there are more than 1.5 million listings, with more users hopping on each day due to the low-cost nature of the site. Your only financial obligation is to mail the item, which can be as low as a couple of bucks.

“A lot of SwapTree users converted from Netflix,” says Greg Boesel, the site’s co-founder and CEO.  “As soon as you list an item, we instantly show you all the things you can receive for it.”  It is true: The site shows that I have more than 12,000 potential swaps for my “like new” DVD of Edward Scissorhands. 

Watch Online
Sites like Hulu, and Fancast have a selection of free movies. A heads up: You won't likely be able to see a recent picture. At Hulu my initial options are Liar, Liar, starring Jim Carey, and Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston, both from 1997. Ooh! But I can watch Eddie Murphy’s Raw comedy special from 1987 at Fancast for free. One moment: I am currently tuned into Murphy’s incredibly funny ice cream skit. 

Free Feature Movies on Your Existing Cable Plan
If you subscribe to Time Warner (Stock Quote: TWX) or Comcast (Stock Quote: CMCSA), chances are you have access to a channel called Free Movies on Demand, or a variation thereof. Again, don’t expect recent films, but if you are planning a movie night definitely check out this channel before renting or buying a DVD.




—Catch more of Farnoosh’s advice on Real Simple. Real Life. on TLC, Friday nights at 7.

Show Comments

Back to Top