- Personal Finance
Saving Money On Your Kids Entertainment With Disney Movies At Thrift Stores
Ok so I'm not specifically saying that everyone should go dump their DVD and BluRay players,but if you're a new parent VHS might actually be for you!
What's next, going back to 8 track tapes too? Not quite. My wife and I don't have cable, and we were discussing how will we actually be handling the entire TV situation when our kid gets old enough to understand what the television actually is. We actually dumped our cable service about a year or so because we didn't really see the value. We were paying over $100 a month, and we rarely watched live TV, so we came up with some other options. OK back on target here.... So why would I recommend going back to VHS tapes?
I was actually dropping off a load of items at my local thrift shop and decided to go in and take a look around. Low and behold I found an entire wall of VHS tapes! This outdated media format has left hundreds if not thousands of selections available at my local thrift shop. So the video quality isn't all that great, but they were actually on sale 2 for a $1.00. There were classic Disney movies such as the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and tons of others I have yet to see on DVD format at my local Wal-Mart. I still actually have a VCR collecting dust in the closet, but they also have VCRs for sale for only $5! Sure the prices may vary from location to location, but I thought this might be a good deal for children's programming. Although we have a few disney movies and Pixar hits we have grown to love over the years on DVD, we realized we don't have many kid friendly movies. Somehow I don't think that Scarface and The Mummy are really kid friendly choices, so I'll probably pickup a few old school movies.
From a financial standpoint, you might be able to pickup a few kiddie movies in the Wal-Mart value bin for $5 or so on DVD, but the selection is usually very limited. Even new DVD kid's movies are usually over $10 or so, so if you spring for 4 movies, that could be well over $40. If you actually took a quick trip to your local Goodwill thrift store, you could possibly buy not only 4 movies in VHS format, but a TV and VCR for that price! Many people are switching over to new flat screen TVs leaving their old tube style sets at the curbside with nothing wrong with them. Do you really think Junior is going to care if his boob tube is old school or a flat panel? Probably not! A few words of advice though, if you go the thrift ship route: Test, Test, and retest! Most thrift shops don't allow for returns, so be sure to test everything out BEFORE you buy them. Most won't mind if you hookup that old VCR to one of their display TVs, some might even already be connected! Don't feel strange about popping in a tape to make sure it works either. One last thing, many thrift shops sell copies of movies, so if someone made their own recording and labeled it "Power Rangers", be sure that A, it's really the Power Rangers, and B, that Power Rangers isn't also the name of an off titled adult film.. Just saying, you will want to check the actual content of the VHS tape before you let your kid watch it.. Even if it's a commercial release, all you needed to do was put a piece of tape over that little square on the back of the tape to record over Bambi.
While looking at the price tag, I'm quickly becoming a big fan of VHS, don't expect to see your new favorites released in this format. The last new releases to hit video cassette format were back in 2006. I was also amazed that you can still purchase blank VHS tapes at many locations still on the cheap. This can come in useful if you don't have a Tivo or a DVR and want to make a few of your own recordings of Dora the Explorer for your little one. You might be pulling your hair out when you rewind Barney for the 18th time (kudos to anyone who got the Mr. Mom song reference), but lets face it, if you have cable, just how many times will you be able to stand reruns of Spongebob Square Pants of Hannah Montanah anyway?