Many people think subscribing to streaming services will help them save on cable packages, but month after month it might occur to you that you’re spending just as much as before. As time goes on, digital streaming services continue to grow exponentially and have begun to even produce exclusive series, and we’re finding ourselves spending more and more on streaming. Depending on how many shows you’re invested in, all the streaming subscriptions you have might be adding up to more than cable would ever cost you.
How to cut down on streaming costs? Is it even possible at this point?
Luckily, you’re not alone in facing streaming cost woes, which means plenty of people out there have started learning how to work the system. We’ve put together the best ways to save on streaming services especially for you, and you can browse coupons on Piggy to get instant savings on nearly any other service you subscribe to, too.
5 Ways to Save on Streaming Services
1. Search For Discounts And Deals on Streaming Services
One of the best ways to save on streaming costs is to simply hunt down the best discounts on streaming services. While many services don’t offer traditional discounts (like 50% off, buy one get one, etc.), many services have tiered pricing, which means you can get deals on streaming services just by signing up for the cheaper plan.
Also, some streaming services offer other money-saving perks, such as getting your first month free or getting a free month for every friend you refer to the service. Further, you can sometimes snag discounts on streaming services by applying cashback perks on your credit card to gift cards for your favorite service!
Check out these streaming services deals:
- Amazon Prime Video. Prime Video will cost you $8.99 a month, which isn’t too shabby by most streaming services’ current price ranges. However, if you bump up your subscription to $12.99 a month (or $119 per year), you’ll also gain access to free two-day shipping on thousands of products through Amazon Prime—which can save you both time and money.
- Hulu. With Hulu’s basic plan, you can get access to both next-day streaming on current seasons of popular shows as well as exclusive Hulu content for $5.99 per month. However, Hulu often runs bundle promotions, meaning when you subscribe to Hulu, you’ll also get subscriptions to other services. This year, you can bundle Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ for just $12.99 a month.
- Shudder. Haven’t heard of Shudder? If you scare easily, keep moving. However, if you’re a scary movie buff, Shudder offers one of the best deals on streaming services for you. For just $6 per month, you’ll get access to more than 500 horror movies. If you’re not convinced, take advantage of their 30-day free trial prior to committing.
- Sundance Now. Similarly to Shudder, Sundance Now has extended their free trial period to 30 days, in light of COVID. If, after 30 days, you’re not done perusing their library of films and documentaries, subscriptions are $60 per year (but monthly plans are available as well).
- Starz. In lieu of a free trial, users can currently get their first three months of Starz for $5. If you’re already interested in the Starz content library, and also want a service that allows you to download content to watch offline, this is one of the best streaming services deals available.
- NFL Game Pass. NFL Game Pass is offering another one of the best discounts on streaming services that we’ve seen. Through July 31, 2021, you can get a full year Pro subscription for just $9.99 (which is usually $199!). They’re also offering a Free plan through July 31, 2021, which includes everything the Pro plan has, except the Live Draft—and that’s already happened this year anyway.
2. Take Advantage of Free Trials
Free trials for streaming subscriptions aren’t just a way to capture your email address and credit card details; they can honestly help you decide if the service is worth spending money on. But they’re also great for never spending any money at all.
Although most free trials only last for a week, if you have more than one email address, it’s easy to take advantage of free trials across multiple platforms more than once. Whether you want to game the system or not, a free trial is a great way to save on streaming services.
Check out these free trials for streaming services in 2021:
- Amazon Prime Video. Get a 30-day free trial, and then paya $8.99/month (or free with Prime membership for $12.99/month or $119/year).
- AT&T TV. Sign up for a 14-day free trial, and then pay $69.99/month (however, this is only applicable after fully signing up, since it’s more of a “money back guarantee” period).
- Hulu. Start with a 30-day free trial, and then pay from $5.99-$11.99/month.
- Shudder. Get their 7-day free trial, then pay $5.99/month or $56.99/year after that.
- Sundance Now. Grab their 7-day free trial, and then pay between $4.99-$6.99/month.
- Philo. Sign up for a 7-day free trial, and pay $20/month when it ends.
- NFL Game Pass. Take advantage of their 7-day free trial, then pay just $9.99/year (remember this offer is valid through July 31, 2021 only!).
- Paramount+. Get a 7-day free trial, and when it ends pay $5.99-$9.99/month or $59.99-$99.99/year.
3. Explore Free Streaming Options
It’s rare to find free online streaming services in 2021. But, believe it or not, they do exist. If you want to get streaming subscriptions for free, be prepared to sacrifice on content selection though, or be willing to watch ads.
Here are the best free online streaming services:
- Vudu. Vudu offers a range of television and movies that you can watch for free with ads. Their library isn’t extensive, but it does routinely have new titles.
- Plex. Plex offers live TV viewing for free after you create an account. Tune in to content from Reuters, Stories by AMC, IGN, and more.
- Roku. If you’re willing to pay for a Roku stick, The Roku Channel will be included for free! They offer a revolving selection of old and new movies as well as television.
- Sling TV. Although their free content is most likely temporary, Sling TV is currently offering tons of free content in light of the pandemic. Be sure to take advantage of their free library before it’s gone! Typically, Sling TV costs $35/month.
4. Split Streaming Costs With Other People
Don’t forget that if you’re part of a large household or have roommates that it’s totally fair to split streaming costs. Splitting monthly streaming bills half way, three ways, or even more can save you a ton of money! Of course, if you’re the primary billing account holder, it’ll be up to you to make sure everyone is paying their fair share (send those Venmo requests a week early!). But it also means that you can change the account password without notice, to encourage others to hold up their end of the bargain. You don’t even have to live in the same household to try out this way to save on streaming services.
5. Pay As You Go
A top-tier hack to save on streaming services is to cancel your accounts when you’re not using them. There’s no reason to pay for a full year of streaming up front if you know there’s only a few shows you want to watch. Instead, sign up for monthly plans, and cancel your account once you’re caught up on what you’ve been wanting to watch. Paying for four solo months of Netflix vs paying for a full year can make a huge difference.
Of course, this will only work if you’re okay with not having constant access to stream content. For example, if you know you want to watch something new every weekend or catch new movies as soon as they are released on streaming services, then you’ll be better off with one of the other saving tips above.
This Year, You Can Save On Streaming Services!
Take back your wallet from all those big streaming services! By taking advantage of free trials, discounts, and even free streaming services, you can save a decent amount of money on streaming month to month. So, now you need to decide what you’ll do with all that extra cash.