You had a great day, but with recent inflation and rising gas prices, the total ($79.40) could be more money than you can afford right now. To start saving, consider replacing paid entertainment with free options.
If you’re paying for multiple video streaming accounts, try rotating active subscriptions so you only pay for one at a time. April could be all about Star Trek binge on Paramount Plus, and May about catching up K-dramas on Netflix.
Or you can stop them all and try these free options.
If you have a TV and no cable, get an HDTV antenna and you can watch PBS, the major networks, and some local channels. NBC’s streaming service Peacock has a free version that requires watching some commercials, but in exchange you can watch b-list TV shows and movies, or re-immerse yourself in old sitcoms or dramas you’ve never seen before. haven’t thought of in years.
You can get a lot through your local library with apps like Kanopiwhich contains high quality movies you may have missed, and Houpla, which has more obscure titles. All you need is your library card and possibly a PIN. Other free options include a mix of live and streaming options often with ads, such as Pluto TVIMDBtv, Fox’s Tubi-TV, Rokuhis own channel, Crackle and Vudu which is best known for its paid rentals but also has free content. And, of course, there are always years of YouTube videos to go through, including free movies.
There are also several ways to get the big subscriptions through free offers, at least for a while. For example, when you buy a new Apple device, it comes with three months of Apple TV Plus. Verizon offers free access to Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus to new customers on its most expensive 5G plan, and limited trials of some on its cheaper plans. Check with your cellular provider for any offers and look for trials when buying new hardware. Check out other subscriptions you might have, such as target circlewhich offers free Apple services including Arcade, Fitness Plus and iCloud for four months and more.
It’s a golden age for e-books and audiobooks, thanks to a number of apps you can access with your library card (feel a theme?). The best-known tool is an app called Libby, which libraries use for e-book purchases. It’s filled with textbooks, audiobooks, and even full-color graphic novels that look great on a tablet. The app also works with e-readers such as the Kindle. Hoopla is another app with library e-books. If you are strictly mainstream, Marvel Deals a selection of free comics to download on its site.
If you have the Apple Books app, Kindle app, or Barnes and Noble’s Nook app, you should have easy access to a number of free titles from all of these. If comics are more your speed, check out Graphite Comics, Tapas for community-submitted comics, or return to Hoopla again. If you like naughty fanfiction, try Wattpad.
Free music is something we all still know how to access, thanks to the radio. There are tons of dynamic and interesting radio stations out there, and not just the ones you can get on your car dial. There are free apps to listen to radio stations from around the world or online-only streams. Discover iHeartRadio, AccuRadio and Radio Garden livewhich allows you to choose anywhere in the world and listen to local radio.
Remember pandora? The streaming music site is still there and you can listen to channels for free, with some added ads. youtube music has a free version with ads that helps determine what you like. Deezer is another simple streaming option with a free tier.
For free audiobooks, head straight to Libby or Hoopla and check out what’s available (there’s usually a wait for popular new releases). LibriVox offers audiobooks that are in the public domain, read by volunteers.
You don’t need Amazon Prime or Walmart Plus to get free shipping. The secret on most apps â including Amazon, Walmart, and Target â is to hit the $35 minimum to qualify for free shipping. This may mean waiting until you have enough in your cart instead of triggering every impulse purchase. Grocery delivery is a little harder to get without a big fee, but some apps, including Instacart, offer free first delivery.
There’s been a boom in workout subscriptions during the pandemic, helping people stay in shape while gyms are closed. Although pricey apps like Peloton and Apple Fitness+ offer a steady supply of fresh, big-name workout videos, there are plenty of free strength, HITT, yoga and other workouts out there.
The Nike Training Club app has experienced trainers and lots of tips. Cycling and running fans can download the Strava or AllTrails apps to get outside. YouTube is full of creators and fitness channels, including Yoga with Adriane. If you pay for a video streaming service like Netflix or Prime Video, you can find well-produced workout videos to watch without signing up for anything new.