13 Strategies for Saving Money on Streaming

In today’s digital age, streaming services have become a cornerstone of entertainment for millions. However, managing your streaming budget can become a challenge with the ever-increasing number of platforms and rising subscription costs.

We explored subscription management techniques, discounted plans, shared subscriptions, and alternative options to generate cost-cutting ideas. So, let’s examine the methods of saving money on streaming services.

Do Strategic Subscription Management

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This method can help you save money when you want to watch a specific show or series. You can binge-watch the content within a month and cancel your subscription before it renews.

Also, consider rotating subscriptions instead of subscribing to multiple services at once. Choose one service each month, catch up on your desired content, and then cancel before moving on to another. This allows you to access a wider variety of content while minimizing overall costs.

Avoid Live TV

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Live TV costs in the US are outrageous. YouTube TV costs $73/ month, while Hulu Plus Live TV starts from $76.99 per month. Even the most basic subscriptions, like Sling, start at $40 a month.

Consider how much live TV you watch if you want to save on streaming. If you are a sports lover, you can always watch NFL games on Paramount Plus or Prime Video which cost way cheaper. For news, there are plenty of free options like Pluto, ABC News Live, and CBSN stream.

If you still can’t give up on live TV, go for the cheapest option, like Philo, which offers over 60 channels for only $25 per month. You can also consider using the antenna to pull down local TV stations. They won’t let you record without additional hardware, but they are quite affordable (starting at $20).

Explore Discounted Plans

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Many streaming services offer ad-supported plans at a significantly lower cost than their ad-free counterparts. While you will encounter commercial breaks, this can be a significant cost-saving measure if you are comfortable with occasional advertisements.

Streaming services often offer bundled packages too that combine access to multiple platforms at a discounted rate. Famous examples include the Disney Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+) or the YouTube Premium and Music Premium bundle. Evaluate your viewing habits and choose a bundle that aligns with your interests.

Use Promotional Offers & Free Trials

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Streaming services frequently offer promotional discounts or deals through partnerships with other companies. Investigate potential discounts through your mobile carrier, internet service provider, or even credit card rewards programs. Besides, many streaming services offer free trial periods. Take advantage of these trials to explore the platform and its content before committing to a paid subscription.

Use Shared Subscriptions

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Certain streaming services offer family-sharing plans that allow multiple users to share a single subscription. If you have family members or friends interested in the same service, consider splitting the cost by sharing a family plan. You can also opt for splitting subscriptions. If you and a friend have different streaming preferences, you can explore splitting the cost of individual subscriptions. This allows you to access a wider range of content while contributing financially.

Consider Mobile-Only Plans

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Some streaming services offer mobile-only plans at a discounted rate compared to their standard subscriptions. These plans typically restrict access to mobile devices and tablets, but for individuals who primarily watch on their phones, this can be a significant cost-saving option.

Leverage Cashback Rewards

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Many credit card companies offer cashback rewards programs that can be used to offset streaming service subscriptions. Additionally, consider purchasing discounted gift cards for streaming platforms through retailers or online marketplaces. This can provide savings compared to the standard monthly subscription price.

Capitalize on Student and Senior Discounts

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Many streaming services offer discounted subscriptions for students and seniors. These discounts can be substantial, sometimes reaching 50% off the regular price. To qualify, you typically need to verify your academic institution or relevant senior citizen program.  Popular examples of student discounts include Spotify, Apple Music, Hulu, and YouTube Premium. Platforms that give senior discounts include HBO Max and AARP.

Look For Loyalty Programs

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Several streaming services and internet service providers (ISPs) offer loyalty programs or rewards systems that can be leveraged to save on subscription fees. Check if your preferred streaming platforms have loyalty programs.

Some offer tiered rewards based on subscription duration or viewing activity. Same goes for ISP reward programs. Accumulate points or rewards within the program, which can be redeemed for discounts, free months, or exclusive content.

Free Library Streaming

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Public libraries often provide access to free streaming services through partnerships with platforms like Kanopy, Hoopla, and OverDrive. These services offer a vast library of movies, documentaries, and television shows, often with a focus on educational and independent content. For this you have to download relevant apps and log in using your library card credentials. After that, you can enjoy a wide range of free streaming content without any additional costs.

Use Price Comparison Websites

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Several websites and tools aggregate streaming service deals and compare prices. Websites like JustWatch or Reelgood track streaming availability and pricing across various services, allowing you to find the most cost-effective option for a specific movie or show. Some ISPs also offer comparison tools within their online portals, showcasing available streaming services and their bundled deals with internet plans. So, check them out to find the best value deal.

Avail Annual Subscription

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Another way to save money on streaming services is by opting for annual subscriptions instead of monthly ones. According to CNBC, consumers spend 133% more monthly on subscriptions than they realize. Many streaming platforms offer discounted rates for annual subscriptions, allowing you to pay upfront for the entire year. Additionally, annual subscriptions may come with perks such as exclusive content or ad-free streaming. While the initial cost may seem higher, the long-term savings can be substantial, especially if you plan to use the service regularly throughout the year.

Download Content for Offline Viewing

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Some streaming services allow you to download content for offline viewing. This can be beneficial in multiple ways. Downloading your favorite shows and movies online ensures that you can avoid data usage charges when you are traveling. Plus, by downloading, you can still enjoy the content if you are in an area with poor connectivity. Also, if you like rewatching a particular series or movie, downloading it offline lets you watch it even if you no longer have a subscription to the streaming service.

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