When installing Ubuntu am I gonna put it on a CD or DVD-R? I know the site said CD but I was told to buy DVD-R to back up windows so I was kinda hoping I can use a DVD-R to install Ubuntu.
You can download the Ubuntu .iso file and burn it in a CD or DVD. Normally we burn the version "CD" .iso in a real CD but you can burn it in a DVD or using unetbootin and an USB (>=1GB) to make a bootable Usb. It's okay. But if you download a DVD images of Ubuntu, then you must burn it in a DVD (or use an USB > 4G).
I vote for a bootable USB. You can try it. Read more: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
You can use a dvd-r; there are downloadable DVD images available at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/alternative-download - it's what I use to save time.