It seems like a few new streaming services pop up every month, and every one of them has at least one show you’d like to watch or song you want to listen to.
Even when it seems like the rate of new streaming services should be slowing, they just keep coming.
With all these services, it can be tough to keep one eye on your budget and another on the TV. That’s why we’ve gathered together a few strategies to maximize your streaming enjoyment while minimizing how much you spend.
1. Share With Your Family
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget about it.
While some streaming services restrict family sharing to those who live in the same house at the same address, not every service is so restrictive. It’s worth taking a look to check if you might be able to split the bill with someone else.
Splitting the bill is especially handy with live TV streaming services and music streaming services. Not only can you save some cash, but your family and even friends will as well.
2. Find Free Alternatives
Free streaming alternatives used to only be an option for music streaming, but that’s not the case anymore.
There are plenty of free streaming services that let you watch live TV, watch TV and movies on demand, and yes, listen to music!
For music, you have Pandora and Spotify’s free tiers. For TV and movies, you have Pluto and Tubi. This is just the start, so be sure to keep an eye out.
3. One Plan at a Time
If you keep track of what you watch on various streaming services, you’ll probably notice there are times when you watch mostly one service while mostly ignoring others.
If this is the case, why not cancel or pause those accounts when you’re not using them? It seems so simple, yet many overlook it.
This tip is mostly for Netflix, Hulu, and other on-demand TV platforms, but it’s not exclusive to them. If you’re listening to most of your music on YouTube, for example, you might as well pause or cancel your Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music plans.
4. Buy Subscription Bundles
Depending on which streaming services you prefer, you may be able to save big by bundling a few of them together.
The best example at the moment is Disney+, where you can bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $13/mo. That’s a huge savings if you’re subscribed independently to either Hulu or ESPN+.
There have been similar bundles between PlayStation Plus and Spotify, as well as Hulu and Spotify in the past. As of this writing, students can bundle Spotify with Hulu and Showtime for $6/mo!
You may have to wait a while for a bundle that appeals to you, but when you find one, they can save you some major cash.
5. Rent or Buy Instead
There isn’t much of a point in paying for multiple movie streaming services if you only watch a movie every month or two.
In this case, you can save major cash by simply renting movies online when you need one to watch. It might feel like less value, but it’s saving you more money in the long run.
Similarly with music, if you mainly listen to a few artists, it may be worth it to just buy the songs or albums you like rather than pay for ongoing access to an entire music streaming service.
Where to Stream Media for Free
If you’re really looking to save some dough, your best bet for live TV is to use an antenna, especially if you live near a major city.
That said, not everyone lives in an area with good reception, even if they do happen to live in or around a city with plenty of broadcasters. Otherwise, your best bet may just be to enjoy free content online.