How to watch of all of your favorite TV shows and movies without spending a ton of money.
As video streaming becomes more popular and new subscription services hit the market, it becomes harder and harder to control your entertainment budget. You subscribe to Netflix to watch Ozark, Hulu for The Handmaid’s Tale and HBO for Game of Thrones. Add in the occasional on-demand movie rental, and before you know it, you’re spending more than $100 month on top of your cable bill. But you don’t have to go bankrupt to watch your favorite shows. These tips and tricks will help keep your family entertained without breaking the bank.
Cycle Out of Your Streaming Memberships
How many times have you surfed through a service and thought, "There’s nothing here I want to watch"? Maybe it’s time to quit. Unlike cable, most streaming services make it easy to stop and start your subscriptions without being penalized. So cancel the ones you don’t watch, and then re-up after new seasons drop.
Image courtesy of Netflix
Monitor Where Your Shows Are Streaming
Most streaming services change the movies and TV shows available on their platforms monthly. Sure, you can read all of the coming and leaving articles, but who has the time? The easy way to keep track is by using sites like JustWatch and Reelgood. These sites allow you to input the name of a movie or TV show and find out which services are currently streaming it. JustWatch can also send you a notification when a show or movie hits your favorite service.
Take Advantage of Free Preview Weekends
If you still have traditional cable, use free preview weekends to watch your favorite premium channel shows. Networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz tend to hold free weekends seasonally or when they are trying to promote a new show. But how do you know when it’s free? A website called freepreview.tv will email you when free weekends come up on your cable or satellite system. Most of the time you can even use on-demand during the preview, giving you enough time to binge a whole season.
Price-Shop the Premium Channels
Not all premium channels are priced the same. For instance, Showtime may cost $14.99 a month through your cable or satellite provider, but only $10.99 a month if you stream it through a service like iTunes or Amazon. It’s not uncommon for cable providers to provide you with a free premium channel or service as part of a long-term contract or as an incentive to renew. Evaluate which ones you watch the most to get the best deal for your household.
What is your favorite tip in the age of streaming services? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!