Does your TV take pride of place in your home? Are you always hooked on the latest series? Your entertainment could be costing you a fortune: according to recent figures, we spend around $640 on subscriptions every year.
Think of what $640 could buy you. Subscriptions aren’t a mandatory part of modern living, whatever any salesperson tries to tell you.
If you want to cut the cost of your entertainment without actually, you know, not being entertained, what are your options? What can you do to stay entertained while also not being out of pocket every month?
Let’s take a closer look at some fantastic alternatives to streaming services that can save you serious cash. Ready to learn more? Then read on!
1. Watch Network TV
If you want to cut Netflix, Hulu, and other services out of your life, you could always go back to network TV. Whether you opt to watch terrestrial TV via a TV antenna or to cut your subscriptions down to basic cable, you’ll still find a whole host of shows that will interest you.
Many local stations show reruns of old shows or are affiliate stations of more major networks, which means you can catch great stuff the old-fashioned way. It may not be as varied as Netflix or Hulu, but it is a heck of a lot cheaper.
2. Watch DVDs or Blu-Rays Instead
If you want to watch movies or a TV series, you can always go back to physical media. DVDs and Blu-rays may not be as popular as they once were, but they’re a better alternative to streaming service you os for those who are on a budget.
One amazing thing about DVDs and Blu-rays is that they’re very easy to come by cheaply. You can rent them from many local libraries across the country, and if you’re having trouble finding the one you want to see, you can go to a thrift store and start looking through their shelves.
If you can’t find it there, then why not check eBay? You’re unlikely to pay more than $10 for a DVD, and usually not more than $5. What’s more, you can borrow them from your friends, which is free (unless you have stingy friends)!
The best part is, once you’ve seen the movie, it’s yours to keep.
3. Buy Movies and TV Shows Online
If you’re the type of person to bingewatch a TV show over a month or so, then is it worth the cost of a subscription? What if you could buy it cheaper?
Many services like Amazon and iTunes let you buy movies and TV shows that you can then keep and watch as many times as you want. If you only watch your streaming services occasionally, buying them is a much better option, as you can watch your favorite TV shows without ever having to worry about subscription costs again.
If you’re lucky, you can even get these movies and TV shows cheaper, as both of the aforementioned services sometimes run sales. They’re by no means the only places where you can buy movies and TV shows either!
4. Set Up a Plex Server
If you’re the technical sort, why not set up your own, unique version of Netflix? Plex lets you stream your TV shows, movies, and music anywhere else on Earth, as long as both your server and the other device are connected to the internet.
This means that a single Plex server can replace Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and HBO Go, so long as you have the shows on hand.
The technical part comes with setting up a Plex server, but it’s not too hard. As long as you have a computer (which can even be a Raspberry Pi), then you can download the software and set it up.
The server will need to be on at all times (or at least, all the times you want to access your shows), which will add to your power bill, but if you choose energy-efficient components, the impact will be barely noticeable.
5. Watch Videos On YouTube
YouTube has come a long way since its early days and you can now find top-quality content about almost anything on this site. The best part is, it’s all free (minus a few select channels that charge subscriptions), so you can bingewatch without spending a single cent.
You will have to put up with ads, unless you use an adblock on your PC, but this is a small price to pay for, well, free content.
6. Prioritize One Streaming Service
If you really can’t be without your Netflix subscription, then don’t be without it! We’re not going to tell you to don hair shirts and never pay for any media again. If you want to catch the latest Netflix-exclusive show, then go for it.
However, is it worth being subscribed to multiple streaming services at once? In many cases, the answer is no. Think about the streaming services that you use most and then pause your subscriptions to the others.
If you want to start subscribing to Hulu again, then pause your Netflix subscription, and only sub to Hulu. Keep rotating services and you’ll get to enjoy everything streaming services have to offer at a fraction of the cost!
Cut the Cost and Enjoy Great Entertainment
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our guide and are ready to cut the cost of your subscriptions without giving up great-quality entertainment. We may think that we can’t live without our subscriptions but try it: it’ll be easier than you think.
For more great content like this, check out the rest of our site!