TV Shows and Movies Online

Renting and buying TV shows and movies on Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, and other online services can get incredibly expensive if you have a voracious taste for entertainment. Add in a tight family budget and it's incredibly important to make the right decision for your usage.

First step is to analyze your usage, then check what services out there match your needs.

In my case, being an Amazon Prime member has several benefits, like free two day shipping. For another you get free access to a lot of instant video TV shows and movies. The only problem is that most of the "good stuff" you have to rent or buy access to.

I've gone on YouTube and rented movies like Pacific Rim ($3.99), Senna ($1.99--which is $3.99 on Amazon), and Larry Crowne ($3.99). Comparing the pricing for these one-offs has led me to rethink how I rent entertainment online.

I went on my Amazon Prime account last week and bought the first season of The Walking Dead non-HD (which is cheaper) on Amazon Instant Video for $10.49--that's six episodes. I wanted to see the next season, but felt Amazon was pricy, so I decided to sign up for Netflix. A friend had been watching The Walking Dead on there, and I thought it would be cheaper. It was! I paid $7.99 on November 11 and have now watched 21 episodes.

This type of pricing disparity is what makes me continuously re-evaluate my options and costs. There's no need to go along just because someone has a great marketing message but doesn't deliver on the promises. Or getting infatuated with one service provider even though others can be great resources for one-offs!