Goodbye Netflix, See You in September

A few days ago we suspended our Netflix membership until September, as we always do this time of year. With long hours of daylight and so much to do in this season we watch fewer movies, so now’s the time to temporarily cut back.

Netflix is tailor-made for our lifestyle. While we try to buy (and rent) locally, we have only one video store left in Haines. They rent by the night, which means that we can only rent a movie on a day when we plan to return to town the next day. That rarely happens. Most of our viewing comes from the library’s excellent movie selection. Sadly, we’ve learned that if we want to see a library movie uninterrupted, we need to get it soon after it’s acquired. I suspect that many of our fellow patrons use DVDs as coasters . . . . With Netflix, we never worry about returning movies by a set time, other than to keep active enough to make the monthly cost comparable to local rates.

I chose our Netflix package by taking the cost of a one-night rental locally, and estimating how many movies we could see in a month, based on viewing habits and how frequently we go to town. I then divided the cost of the nearest packages by the cost of a movie rental, looking for the one that matched or beat the per-movie price. For us, three movies checked out at at a time is best; it matches the price, and if we rotate between two movies in the home with one in the mail and one in the home with two in the mail, we get a good per-movie rental rate from the monthly fee. In the winter this can break down at times, because mail delivery’s a little less reliable.

Since watching Netflix movies is our highest priority, followed by library movies, the movies we own get viewed less often. During the suspension we catch up on watching old favorites. And, as now, any time we need to, we can suspend the membership (within limits) and focus our time elsewhere.

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