Is Netflix a Good Deal?

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Is Netflix a Good Deal?

Connie from Baden, Pennsylvania asks:

“What do you think about “Netflix”?

Hi Connie,

It seems like if you watch a lot of movies, Netflix can be a very good thing. We haven’t tried it, but Tawra’s brother David uses it. He says that their plan (the three at a time plan) costs just under $20 per month.

I asked him some information about their experience with Netflix. They have used 194 movies in 9 months, which works out to about 21 movies per month. In that 9 month period, he estimates that they have only received 5 bad discs (not viewable for whatever reason). In our experience with renting or borrowing DVDs, 5 bad discs out of 194 is very good. He said that they also like it because there are no late fees (but if you are returning movies late you are not getting the best possible deal since you can only have a certain number out at a time).

I checked the Netflix web site ( and they have less expensive plans that allow fewer out at a time and they have a more expensive plan that allows 4 movies at a time. It is also noteworthy that the shipping is included in the price.

We have considered trying it, but we are very intermittent with our movie watching. We may watch several in a week and then none for several weeks. We also like to watch older films more than a lot of the newer ones. We tend to get movies from the local library unless we want to watch a specific new release. (If you haven’t thought of that, it’s also a great way to save on movies.)

If you’re like us and don’t watch a lot of movies regularly, it may still be a good deal. Like I said, they have less expensive plans, so you can tailor it to your viewing habits. Consider that if you normally pay $5.00 per rental at a video store and you regularly rent at least 4 movies per month, you already pay at least as much as using David’s Netflix account. For David, who watches a lot of movies, 21 movies per month works out to under $1.00 per movie. If you like watching current movies and are in the habit of renting them frequently, Netflix can save you a lot of money.


photo by: scypaxpictures


  1. Nancy says

    Netflix can be a great moneysaver actually. Also consider that there are many tv shows, movies, even exercise DVDs than can be watched instantly from the computer or thru some game systems at no extra charge. We do the minimum play and watch many this way in addition to the the DVD we have out at a time. I have an iPad and can watch on it from anywhere. I have entertained fussy little ones in the church nursery with veggie tales instantly! Do compare the plans and make sure you will use it, but for us it is great.

  2. Maryann says

    My cable bill was costing $70 per month, so I canceled it, and signed up for Netflix at $10 per month. I kept my high-speed internet service from my cable provider. Then thru our Xbox 360 system, via a wireless router, we access movies & tv shows from Netflix and watch them on our big screen tv. You can also watch them on your computer as the previous poster, Nancy, suggested.

    Now you do have to have an Xbox Gold subscription which runs $50 per year. So instead of spending $70 per month on cable we watch our tv for about $14 per month. That saves us $56 per month, for a yearly total of $672. We don’t even miss regular tv. Our Netflix subscription also allows us to receive one movie out at a time, so if we can’t get something we want to watch thru their Instant Queue, they will mail us one movie at a time.

    One other tip if you already have high-speed internet access on your computer, you can buy what’s called MagicJack for $40 (avail at WalMart) and have telephone service thru your computer for $20 a year! That saved us another $40 per month, for a yearly savings of $480. We have cell phones but wanted a house phone for the kids – much cheaper than cell phones for them, plus they can send texts with MagicJack.

  3. Crystal Hartmann says

    Netflix is AWESOME! We live out in the country and would have to drive about an hour to even rent a movie. And Tawra, I’m not sure if you are allowed to browse the selection since you do not have an account but, they have TONS of old movies. The added advantage for us as we want to be able to screen better what the kids see. Some commericals out there……….well, anyway, we have no tv service of any kind, but, we can watch watever tv series we are interested in either by DVD or through our Wii or computer. And it goes with us anywhere there is a computer! We have the $14 plan, but are thinking of going back to the $8 because mostly we use the online ability. It’s really great after a long day to be able to climb in bed with the hubby and say hey, you wanna watch a movie? and it be right there at our fingertips!

  4. Jacquie Bauman says

    Netflix is a great deal. We also do not choose to have broadcast TV of any sort. We don’t need it, because we have intenet service! Netflix Watch Instantly, which comes with every subscription, has many options for viewing spontaneously. It can be viewed on the computer or PC-ready flat-screen TV via computer, Wii, X-Box and several other options outlined on the Netflix website. Not all disc selections are available on Watch Instantly, so when you want a particular program or movie and are willing to wait, the disc comes in the mail in 1-2 days depending on your USPS service. is another GREAT option for movie and TV program viewing on your computer. It has some different selections than Netflix Watch Instantly, like current TV programming. Between the two of them we have no need to have TV service and the $$$ it costs. Many classic and old TV programs are available. As with any other media, be careful of content – it’s not all family-friendly!

  5. Shanta says

    Our family have been proud netflix users for 8+ years. Cable is rediculously priced…so what we do is we have just enough cable to get internet. we pay less then 60 per month…and then we have netflix. when they first started it was movies only and through the mail only and it was usually a 4 day turn around to get the next movie…now it’s 2 days…i mail it one day, they receive it the next morning (i know because i get the e-mail saying “we received xyz movie) and that same day the next movie goes out and i get it the next day. they have also upgraded to bluray movies (extra $1-2/per month) and they have their “instant” movies….so you can watch from a computer, a wii or an x-box 360. they have so much on instant, so much movies and tv. I always get a little upset when i get a movie on dvd/bluray watch it and return it and then it shows up on instant.

    i truly think netflix is worth every penny. the money saved on gas alone pays for the rentals. and rentals got almost as high as $5 per movie (that’s INSANE). So when i can i rave about netflix…never had an issue. infact more good things about netflix, when we did have a disk that wasn’t viewable, we immediately got on the computer and let the company know. then that same day or the next day they would send a new disk out to us. and one time we had trouble viewing an instant on the computer and they gave us a credit towards our account. it was only a dollar and change but still they seem to do what it takes to keep us happy.

    • Judy says

      I’ve been checking. Their crafting shows are limited and not avaiable to stream. You can get a lot of videos and full episodes though, if you go to the websites for your favorite shows. Don’t forget to check sites like too.

  6. says

    We’ve been doing netflix for 2 months (first month was free) now and have enjoyed it. the only down side to it that we see is your new releases are available about 1 month after they are out in the video stores.

    Here is what I found with searching “crafts”
    craft in america series
    crazy crafts videos
    Activity TV: Family Crafts and Gifts

    They have knitting and crochet videos available as well, some on quilting….

    Might be worth the 30 day FREE trial to check it out anyway. You can cancel at any time before the 30 days is up and won’t be charged anything. Do need a credit card though to subscribe and to get signed up for the free trial.

  7. Marta says

    I have budget cable included in my rent, so last summer I dropped the additional channels and invested in a ROKU box ( The box cost approx $70 and with my home network I can stream netflix, amazon on demand and dozens of other channels. For a small sub price I can also stream for even more viewing. I now have more tv than what I could hope to watch and for a fraction of what it cost for cable. The only down side is that there is no live sports available.

  8. Michele says

    I have heard that Netflix now has viewing online (with a paid account) and also carries TV series… true? I’m not sure – have not checked it out… in Canada, they have advertised on TV accounts as low as $8 a month! Hmmm, maybe I SHOULD check it out!

  9. Tricia says

    In our area, they have a Redbox at nearly every McDonald’s, Kroger, and CVS. You can rent newly released movies for $1/night. It’s nice if you live near the Redbox locations, but often my husband and I find ourselves paying $2 for a 2 night rental. Still pretty affordable!

  10. Jamie Christian says

    We LOVE netflix! They DO have TV shows, only WITHOUT the commercials! We have watched all of the MONK series, beginning on discs and now we are onto Instant Queue, and we get to choose what shows our kids can watch. If we get the first disc and find anything about it that does not align with our beliefs and morals, we don’t have to watch it again. We just send it back.

    Also, many older movies that we haven’t seen in many years are available on the instant queue. I highly recommend at least giving the 30 day trial a shot – and I don’t even work for them! Hee, hee.

  11. says

    I too love Netfiix. I’ve had a sub for about 3 years now. I replaced my cable with it. $9 for Netflix, $56 for cable w/o the premium channels. Nice thing about Netflix is that if you need to so do, you can put it on “vacation” for however long you need to. And you can just keep pushing back the restart date.

    3 months ago, I got laid off. Since I’m single, I now have no income. Netflix went on vacation. Nice thing is, they warned me before I put it on vacation that day, that I would lose 10 days service that I had paid for. So I knew to move the vacation date up 10 days.

    I’ve had great success with the on-line viewing.

    I’ve only had one bad disk. They immediately sent out a replacement for it – before the bad one had been returned. If I post the return on Thur-Sun, I have a 4 day turn-around. Otherwise, it’s a 2 day turn-around. I’m an hour and 15-30 mins from Atlanta. If I was closer, I would have less turn-around time. It only takes until the morning after I’ve posted the returned disk for it to reach ATL, but on the weekend – when the USPS doesn’t post mail, it takes until Mon-Tue to get the next disk.

    When I get another job, I’ll be back with Netflix.

    I’ve also used Hulu and enjoy that site as well. It used to be all free, but I think there’s parts of it now that you have to pay to use. You can Google “watch free tv” and more sites will come up.

  12. rose says

    i have been looking at this opportunity for a while .. my son has an xbox 360 and i have a computer (he has one but it isnt working at the moment) .. my ??? is can netflix be played on 2 units at the same time? .. (like hte xbox and my computer at the same time and watching different movies/shows at the same time?) .. just curious ..
    that would be awesome if we could .. and for $10/month! .. we have a redbox too but sometimes i keep the movies an extra nite bc i dont want to drive to the box to return it or even pick one up ..

    • Angelica says

      Yes you can do all of that on as many devices at once or at different times in different places. You just need internet. Hope I helped!

  13. rose says

    we are going to call them and see if we can use 2 things at the same time to see different shows/movies ..
    we are hoping bc well it would be nice to have access to this .. and the price is just right .. 😀 …
    will keep u posted on this .. 😀

  14. jinna says

    I just signed up today….I’ve always been curious about it but what really got me to try is if you do swagbucks .com you can earn 600 points to try out the free 1 month trial. That 600 is credited to your swagbucks acct instantly and by now everyone I’m sure knows 450 sb equal $5.00 amazon money. So like I said I signed up and the kids have already tried it out on the computer….I need to take the time and figure out how to set it up with the wii…..good luck all!

  15. rose says

    one of the ladies on my facebook said she uses 2 different things to see things on netflix .. but i am will be calling just to make sure ..
    i need to do those swagbucks .. i heard they are awesome but not sure how to figure that out .. 😀

    • says

      Basically swagbucks is just a search engine like Google but you earn points for searching and then can cash them in for gift cards. They also have other specials for trying things like Netflix.

  16. Dana says

    OK,I’m a newbie but wanted to share: During the 30 day trial you can only view on one unit at a time (but on different units just not at same time)…however,I decided to sign up to receive 2 dvd’s out at a time because I was told by Netflix that that is the ONLY way you can view on 2 separate units at same time. If you want to watch on 3 units (at the same time,mind you) then you will need to sign up for 3 dvd’s at a time. You can register up to 4 units to use at different times on the 1 dvd out at a time. My daughter watches on her laptop at the same time I watch on mine in another room. When we could only do one at a time,I would let my son watch at work and then in the evemy daughter got to watch Monk and at night DH and I watched a movie! Clear as mud?

  17. rose says

    jill .. who was ur fav assistant for monk? .. we preferred natalie .. sharona was ok but we thought monk and natalie had better chemistry ..

  18. Kate says

    I have Netflix….have had it for years! But due to financial issues am down to the $8/mo and we watch on two different systems at the same time Movies, tv shows….and more and more being added. Can watch on a computer, xbox, playstation, wii, iPad, iPod, and lots of cell phone!! LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Good luck!

  19. moldwarrior says

    The only problem where I live with dropping cable and subscribing to Netflix is internet then goes up to $90 per month, because of not being in a bundle with phone and/or phone/cable,for the fastest speed, which we need to have for employment. Does anyone have a suggestion of how we can get the fastest DSL at the lowest cost?

  20. Mary says

    I doubt we are saving money with Netflix since we don’t watch many movies. We have the lowest plan..$5.40 mo…and we only get two movie a month. Since we watch a lot of older movies and all of them are at least a little old by the time they are on Netflix, I suspect we could get at least some movies cheaper elsewhere, but we like the convenience, the reviews and being able to take all the time we want selecting what movies we want. We’ve been members for years…have had the more costly plans in the past but these days two a month is plenty for us. And now and then I view one I then I’ll like but dh wouldn’t on my computer. Can’t imagine renting movies any other way now.

  21. Ronda says

    DirecTV got too expensive. We are trying to cut back on expenses. We subscribed to Netflix for $10.00 month and can check out 1 movie at a time, which is plenty for us. We saved $65.00 by getting rid of Direct, but did have to increase our speed for our Internet service which was an additional $10 per month so the instant viewing runs smoothly. Before we did this we were on a budget DSL and it was too slow which caused a lot of freezing up while it buffered. We are about $45.00 ahead by just going with Netflix. Also, my husband is a big movie buff, so now with access to thousands of movies, we are downsizing our DVD movie collection, which frees up shelf storage.

  22. Kristie says

    Would be better if they had newer movies on instant play to TV, but I love Netflix to watch movies and old TV comedies.

  23. rose says

    we have decided to get netflix in the fall for the winter season . i miss some of the old shows and well .. for just the basic service and small fee .. its much cheaper than cable (i called again and asked to see if they had a special deal going on .. they said no specials right now) .. so .. sometime in sept .. my son and i will be checking out the netflix .. hubby said at this time he isnt interested but maybe at a later date ..

  24. Terri S says

    We gave up our outrageously expensive cable a few months ago. We did up our internet speed though because we figured we’d be using that more often to stream shows through the computer. After canceling the cable and upping the internet we are still saving about $30/month. Not a huge savings, but it will add up over time. We have not missed the cable one bit. We have used the library for some movies lately, but that’s free and gets us out of the house for a bit, too!

    About 2 years ago we switched to Ooma ( phone service. Our previous phone service was approximately $40/month, now with Ooma our phone service is $3.xx. So we are saving about $36/month with the phone. FYI, the hardware for the Ooma service was about $200 upfront, but we recouped that amount in just a few months. I’d highly recommend Ooma if you are looking for an alternative to your current home phone service. The service has been great!

  25. Mary says

    I live in Canada, so it may be different, but i pay only 7.99 $/month for Netflix and i can watch it on my tv, on my computer or on any other device that has internet (Nintendo DS, Ipad…).
    There is a lot of movies, tv shows, documentaries and reality tv shows to choose from.
    I don’t have to wait to receive any dvd in the mail, as some of you guys comment (maybe it’s a US thing).
    At this price, it’s cheaper than any other alternative and i don’t have to go out to rent a movie or worry about sending it back late.
    I would say Netflix all the way if you can get rid of cable :)

  26. Aeraen says

    Unfortunately, since Netflix divided the streaming from their DVD delivery last summer, we essentially pay twice what we paid before. Still, even at $16 a month, the cost is far less than cable or going to a first run movie. There is little we watch on network television, and we can get just about any cable show and movie we want, as long as we are willing to wait awhile. Even with the one-at-a-time plan, we are still able to watch Netflix streaming on up to 3 devices simultaneously. For a family of four, we consider it a real money-saver.

  27. Mary says

    Youtube has lots of documentaries and both old and more recent movies available at no charge. ‘Farmegeddon’ a documentary on the unbelieveable food wars going on within our food system is one I’d highly recommend, for instance. Some movies and documentaries are chopped up into segments but many are whole or offered in larger segments.

    Once we’re out of debt I’d love to try Netflix, too…

  28. rose says

    we finally have netflix .. and i love it! .. its only $8 a month .. we dont do the dvd part of the deal, which i think is extra but thats ok .. bc i have enuff dvd’s around the house to see ..
    i would suggest getting the netflix ..

  29. Laurie says

    Roku is a small box that connects your tv to the internet directly. There are many many “channels” on the internet now. (This is where tv is headed) A Roku is about $60 and less if you buy it used on ebay. I recently found a channel on the internet called “nowheretv” that has CBS’s Sunday Morning on it. There is a channel for TED talks, the Hubble Telescope, \ news shows, multiple exercise videos, Kahn academy, etc. Most with no additional cost. If you don’t have an xbox or you like things CHEAP and EASY, get a Roku. And of course, you can get Netflix, and Hulu all for a small monthly fee each.

  30. Cathy says

    We use Amazon Prime. Aside from the primary benefit of free 2-day shipping, you get a pretty big library of movies and TV shows to stream. Our son is in college and my husband is getting his teaching credential, so we get the student version for $40/year. I think it’s $80/year for a non-student membership. We got it for the free 2-day shipping: nearly everything Amazon sells directly or fulfills counts. This is a big help with textbooks, and anything else we order. But it’s great to be able to watch movies and TV shows at will, too.

  31. Liz says

    We love Netflix and Hulu. In our plan we pay 7.99 for each, each month, but we don’t have a cable bill. We were given a router and have free wireless internet, so we get it through that and use it via our Wii game (which we already have). We get many t.v. shows including some cable shows, as well as hundreds of movies. The best part: we don’t have to return anything! It’s all via the wireless service. $16 of the best dollars spent in our family. Since my husband and I work opposite shifts, we can watch our shows together anytime we are both off, and not when they are on t.v. at the “regular” times.

  32. John Cummings says

    There is this website that basically coordinates group discounts on subscriptions so you can get netflix for like $4.50 a month and HBO for like $6 a month. That is the best way to save money on tv shows. It is called check it out if you want to save money

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