Wednesday, August 5, 2009

136/365 Loving a $5 deal

If there's one thing I can't seem to avoid, it's the $5 DVD bin/rack at Walmart and Target.

When I pass that display in the aisle, all my willpower goes right out the window, even when I'm pinching pennies and being very good about not buying things I just want. It's a powerful force.

I hear the voices in my head: "Five dollars! That's barely more than the cost of one rental! And if I buy it, I can watch it over and over and over -- so really, the cost per viewing is incredibly low! I'd be crazy not to look!"

My hand reaches out, and I have to dig. I have to see every single title on the rack or in the bin, even when it means digging shoulder-deep in piles of DVDs.

And I usually don't like the kind of shopping that involves digging.

To do this well, you have to have a measure of patience. Or a love of delayed gratification, take your pick. Sometimes it takes years for a movie to be discounted to $5. It has to go through the $19.99 new release wall, then the $10 bin and the $7 bin before it's considered lowly enough to just push off the shelf.

I've even started measuring my rating of movies by how much I'd pay for them. Some people use stars, I use sale racks:

Love love love the movie? I'll pay full price right when it's released so I can have it immediately and watch it over and over and over. It doesn't happen often.
Love the movie (with just one love)? It's worth $10.
Really like it? I'll take it for $7
Like it enough to pull out on a rainy day? $5 it is.
Don't like it at all? I won't even buy it at a garage sale for $0.25.

Over the last few years, because of this discount-movie obsession, I've built a great library of DVDs. I can look through the selection and name on one hand the number of DVDs I've bought full-price, when they're first released.

The number of movies I've bought for $5? That will take my fingers, toes, elbows...

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 400

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