Overspending on streaming services? Reduce streaming costs while watching what you want.
Isn’t cutting the cable a great way to save money? Not with Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Paramount Plus, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, YouTube TV, and other popular streaming services available. You may soon find yourself paying as much as, if not more, than you did for cable alone.
There are, fortunately, ways to save money on streaming that don’t necessitate much in the way of sacrifice. Still want to catch up on all of your HBO Max favourite shows and movies? It’s entirely possible. Can’t imagine life without live television? We’ve got your back. Continue reading for some helpful hints on how to cut down your streaming budget.
1. Share subscriptions with loved ones
Streaming services have different password-sharing policies, which can be vague and difficult to enforce. Suppose you pay $9.99 for HBO Max subscription, which allows three user profiles and streaming on up to 3 devices at a time.
Does it matter if all those users live in the same house? No, absolutely not. Then we can split the bill between three users. What if you could save money like that? Yes, but be aware of the risks of sharing streaming service passwords.
2. Use free trials
You may be able to watch a series or two without having to pay for any of the major streaming services, except for Netflix, which doesn’t offer any free trials but you can get free trials If you don’t put a cancellation reminder in your calendar, you’ll be billed after your free trial has expired.
3. Determine which services to cancel
Simple money-saving advice: Drop a streaming service. Find the one you use the least and let it go. A year of Apple TV Plus subscription is pointless if you’ve already seen all of its original content. It’s only $5 a month, but it’s a start. Remember you can always resubscribe to new seasons of shows like Ted Lasso.
4. Plan your binges
The great thing about Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and similar services is that you can cancel and re-subscribe whenever you want. You can take a break between seasons and save money. (That’s why I don’t recommend yearly subscriptions, even if they’re cheaper. You’ll save more if you subscribe “on demand,” for a month or two.)
Plan a rotation schedule to save big. Opt for one service, catch up on all your favorite shows there, then cancel and switch to another. Like Netflix in July, Hulu in August, and Disney Plus in September.
5. Skip live TV
YouTube TV is outrageously priced at $65. Hulu + Live TV: $70 Even a “budget” service like Sling costs at least $35. If you’re paying for a live TV streaming service, it’s time to reconsider.
Take a look at your viewing habits. There are not many sports on TV right now, so a free service can fill in the gaps. Pluto, ABC News Live, and CBSN all offer free live news streaming. Consider Philo, which offers over 60 channels for a more manageable $25 monthly.
Finally, consider using an antenna to pick up local TV stations. You can’t record without special hardware, but the airwaves are free. Find the best indoor TV antennas for 2022 (from $10!).
6. Go for basic, non-premium plans
Nobody likes commercials, but if it means saving money, why not? Paramount Plus, for example, is $10 per month for ad-free viewing, but only $5 for commercial-free viewing. Choosing Hulu’s ad-supported tier saves you $6 monthly. Use the commercial time to eat, go to the bathroom, or fold laundry.
With that in mind, consider whether you really need Netflix Premium, which is the only way to get 4K streaming on that service. (It now supports four streams instead of two.) And here’s a secret: 4K is completely useless if you watch mostly on your phone or tablet. Plus, even on a big TV, HD streaming looks great.
7. Seek out freebies
Do you know the one? Brad Bird’s delightful first animated film is now available for free on Tubi. Ex Machina, the sci-fi thriller? Kanopy is ad-free. The cult comedy Schitt’s Creek? Watch it all on IMDb TV.
There are plenty of free streaming services, many of which have decent TV and movies. Yes, most of them have commercials (Hoopla and Kanopy are exceptions), but they’re free. Get your free live streaming news fix here.
Here are my picks for the best free movie and TV streaming services. Check out ReelGood’s list of free movies and TV shows.
8. Get a cord-cutter credit card
Many credit cards offer cashback on purchases, but only a few offer streaming-specific rewards. For example, the American Express Blue Cash card offers 6% cashback on Netflix, Disney Plus, and Prime Video. You’d save nearly $37 a year if you pay $40 monthly for various services. That won’t cover the $95 annual fee, but the card’s other cash-back perks might.
Some Chase cards also offer rewards on select streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Sling, and FuboTV. Find out if your current card has any streaming benefits. If not, consider switching to one that does.
9. Leave your money at home
Maybe a free Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon subscription? So do various phone carriers. If you have T-Magenta Mobile’s Plus plan, you get a free Netflix Standard subscription (good for two screens). Unlimited Elite from AT&T includes HBO Max, while Metro by T-Unlimited Mobile’s Plan includes Amazon Prime ($9 at Amazon). Any Verizon Unlimited plan includes Disney Plus.
Sprint’s Unlimited Plus plan includes high-fidelity music streaming from Hulu and Tidal. With streaming services increasing their prices, it pays to use all of these money-saving tips.