As many of you know, I used to be pretty active with coupon shopping (you can find all of my couponing posts HERE).  Now that there is an Aldi near my home (less than five minutes away), my need for coupons has greatly decreased.  I let my two newspaper subscriptions run out and then cancelled them. I thought that would be the end of my couponing.  Apparently this is not the case.

While I am definitely not couponing as much, I find it interesting that once I stopped my subscriptions, I continued to get coupons.  Every week, there is a free newspaper distributed to my neighborhood (by the regular newspaper delivery guy) and in that free paper are the same coupons that were in the Sunday paper!  All this time I had been paying for two subscriptions when I could have been getting the coupons for free!  Jeesh!  Oh, and since my single, male neighbor doesn’t use his paper I get that one too! So, same amount of coupons FREE!

So, if you have a newspaper subscription just for the sake of getting coupons, start watching the driveways in your area.  If you see that they are getting a free weekly paper, maybe you can cancel your subscription and save a few dollars.

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Used to be that I did not have anything automatically deducted from my bank account.  Over the last year or so, that seems to have changed drastically!  Now, I fear that I am suffering from “subscription guilt”.

Every month when I look over my budget, I see those automatic deductions.  There is one for our dental plan (a necessary item).  There are others for Netflix, Blockbuster In Store, etc.  Although these services do not cost a lot ($8 for the Netflix and $15 for Blockbuster), I tend to feel guilty if for some reason I don’t use them very much for a few days.  I almost feel like I MUST get the most value for my money.  Like I have to exchange my Blockbuster rental every single day in order to make it worth the $15 I pay monthly.

The rational part of my brain says “that’s ridiculous”.  The other side says “you’re wasting money”.  Even when I work out the math, I know that as long as I exchange my movies at least every other day, I am only spending $1 per rental, which is now cheaper than Redbox since their recent notice of a price increase (their prices have risen to $1.20 per dvd rental).

I know that I get immense value from these automatic subscriptions.  We watch the Netflix streaming every single day (no cable in two bedrooms so we stream Netflix instead).  I exchange my Blockbuster dvd’s more than every other day.  Still the guilt lingers on…………

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Warning….. this may be a long post and possibly boring to anyone who is not interested in the items mentioned in the title of this post!  LOL!

When I moved in with Dane, he had a satellite provider on one tv in the living room.  Thats it.  Nothing else anywhere in the house.  So, he called them and asked about hooking up the bedrooms.  It would cost an extra $200 for installation ?!?!?!?!?!?! and also be about $50 extra per month ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! and that does not include internet because they don’t provide that ?!?!?!?!?!?!  So, I had to come up with an alternate solution.

The kiddos have a Wii in their room so they get the Netflix streaming thru that, because I subscribe to Netflix.  That provides viewing options for them.  That left only our bedroom to find something for.  Enter the Roku.

I had wanted a Roku for a long time and now was the time to purchase one.  I bought the mid-grade one for $80.  It was easy to set up and now we get Netflix streaming along with a few other “channels” in our bedroom. All we had to do was purchase the box.  No monthly fee from them (but I still pay for Netflix, which I was paying for anyhow).  By the way I LOVE the Roku!

Now that Netflix has announced their price increases, I am rethinking my strategy.  We currently have the “2 out at a time plus unlimited streaming” plan which runs about $16 per month.  Soon it will be about $20 per month.  Which isn’t bad but I felt the need to examine my options.

This is how I figured it out:  Netflix at $16 per month was $8 for streaming and $8 for 2 movies out at a time (which for us was 2 per week = 8 movies a month).  That makes the movies about $1 each.  That’s okay.  The same price as Redbox rentals.  But NOW it will be $20 per month, $8 for streaming and $12 is for the 8 movies I get in the mail each month which makes them $1.50 each.  Not okay.  Not the same price as Redbox.  Enter Blockbuster Online………

For $10 a month, I can have one movie dvd out at a time, mailed to me, BUT I can take that movie to the Blockbuster store and turn it in for another movie while I wait for my next movie to be mailed to me.  This means that I will probably be able to get 4 movies a week (2 by mail and 2 in the store) which equals about 16 movies a month for $10!  That sure beats the 8 movies for $12 that Netflix would get me!  Plus no long queue waits for new release movies at Netflix!  I can just pick them up when I trade in my Blockbuster dvd at the store!

So, I think what I will be doing is keeping Netflix streaming for $8 a month and going with Blockbuster Online for dvds.  Total $18 a month.  I save a couple of bucks and I get more movies to watch.

This summer we finally tried Gamefly as a rental service for games for the Wii.  The premise is great!  The problem we had was that just about every game had a wait time.  There were very few “available now” games and that was just frustrating for the kiddos.  When we went to cancel our account, we were offered a “free month” so I accepted that and we will have to see how that goes.  I will say here that we have rented Wii games from Redbox at $2 a night and that worked really well for us!  It is a great way to see if you like a game before actually buying it.  A lot cheaper too!

I think that sums it all up.  Oh, and I went with the local cable provider for internet service because I have to have internet service for ANY of this to work!  LOL!

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