Hiking, biking, swimming, and grilling…all wonderful ways to enjoy your summer. But sometimes, the only way to beat the heat is to head into the AC and binge great TV until you pass out. With so many streaming options, are you using your services efficiently? Are you being double-billed for bundled services? Could you save money by making some adjustments? Many services that used to stand alone (ESPN, Disney, and HULU, for example) are now bundled into a single service. So, if you’re still paying for them individually, don’t! Here’s how to make the most of your streaming—and watch some killer shows for less:
- Start cutting. Either cancel services or put them on hold (most allow a three-month hold) and add service back in one at a time. If you find you’re not missing anything, cancel the held services.
- Order, binge, cancel. How many times have you ordered a service for one show, watched it all in a weekend, and forgot to cancel? Because most services allow you to cancel any time, when a show comes up you’re interested in, clear your schedule and make use of the 7 day free trials to binge and then cancel.
- Enjoy the snack breaks. Many services offer a basic subscription that includes commercials. While one of the joys of streaming is no ads, if you’re looking to save a few bucks, choose a non-premium service and use those bearable breaks to make a snack (or do some jumping jacks!).
- Browse free services. There are dozens of free TV and movie streaming services that have a surprising supply of not only older movies but some current hits. Good advice is to start a Watch List or Favorites when you have time to browse, so you aren’t sifting through 100s of titles every time you sit down to watch.
- Get a library card. Hoopla is a great app that pairs with your local library card to provide not only streaming but download options so you can watch even without WiFi (family roadtrip, here we come).
- Turn on the tunes instead. If you’re TVed out or just love music, you’re in luck. Streaming music is cheap (usually around $10/month) and selections are almost endless. According to CNET.com, cost and connectivity are providers’ main differentiators, but some boutique services are also competing with ultra-high quality Dolby Atmos audio and features like karaoke and audio book libraries. For head-to-head comparisons and additional information, check out: Best Music Streaming Services
As a near sweep of this year’s Emmy nominations indicates, there is terrific television offered through streaming services today. With a little research—and some monitoring of your bank balances—you can enjoy a summer’s worth of exceptional entertainment without emptying your wallet.