For me, it started with a movie kiosk at Kroger. New release movies for $1 a night? That was too cheap to pass up. And convenient — all I had to do was pick my movie, swipe my credit card, and bring it back the next day (or whatever day I wanted, as long as I was OK with being charged $1 plus tax per night).

Then a new one, DVD Play, showed up at Tom Thumb, and since Tom Thumb is closer to me than Kroger, I started renting there. But as everyone caught on to the cheap movie rental phenomenon, I found myself returning almost nightly, hoping that the movie I was looking for hadn’t sold out already.

That became annoying pretty quickly.

Luckily, a friend clued me in to another movie kiosk, Redbox, that allows you to rent movies online and go pick them up at the store — that way you can guarantee the movie you want is there before making the trip (albeit, usually three minutes). Thanks to the kiosk at a nearby Albertson’s (you can find them at Wal-Mart grocery stores, too), I finally was able to rent Dan in Real Life for $1 last night.

Let me assure you that not all movie kiosks are created equal — not only is Redbox more convenient, it also has a better selection than the others, from my experience, and if you browse the website at all, you’ll discover that its marketing techniques are quite amusing. Plus, if you rent a movie here and want to take it on a road trip or a flight, you can turn it in to a Redbox kiosk in another city — brilliant!