Skip to Content
© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com
Kim's column

Best way to spend $20, $30, or $50 per month for streaming shows, sports and movies

What’s the most expensive video streaming service? College. You might think otherwise looking at your credit card statements. Streaming entertainment services are experiencing unprecedented profits as the pandemic continues to force us to sit at home on the couch.

You don’t have to pay for something interesting to help pass the time. You can watch movies for free. Here’s a list of 10 services and sites that offer good, quality movies for free. 

Don’t forget; you also get terrific programs as part of your Amazon Prime membership. Its original shows are high-quality and the library is impressive. Take a look and I’m sure you’ll find something great to watch.

Consider adding an indoor or outdoor antenna. From sports to local news to prime-time shows, it’s all free in HD with an antenna. Tap or click here for what to look for in an antenna and my picks that work.

It’s easy to sign up for a myriad of streaming services. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than you do for cable. Here are some ways to keep your streaming budget in check.

A $20 monthly budget

The days of Netflix versus Hulu are over. There is a seemingly endless stream of competitors ranging from cable-TV platforms like Peacock to specialty networks like HBO Max. 

CBS All Access, owned by Viacom, includes content from Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount and more. It throws in sports as well — including NFL games on CBS’s schedule through 2022 that are broadcast in your area, plus the upcoming Super Bowl. It also offers NCAA basketball and PGA golf tournaments.

To keep to the $20 monthly budget, choose the ad-supported version of CBS All Access for $6 per month. You’ll get ads right before your content, but this gives you more money for other platforms.

Next up is Peacock Premium that includes over 20,000 shows and movies from NBC Universal. You can also watch currently-airing shows a day after they broadcast so that you won’t miss the prime-time lineup.

Peacock’s ad-supported version is $5 a month. This includes next-day access to NBC’s current lineup, along with content from Bravo, Syfy, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Studios.

Finally, let’s wrap up our streaming package with the tremendously popular Disney+. This streaming network includes almost all of Disney’s decades-spanning catalog and several hit shows from Fox like “The Simpsons.”

Of course, you get access to the entire Marvel Studios catalog and the Star Wars saga — as well as fan-favorite series “The Mandalorian.” To bring Baby Yoda and friends into your living room, Disney+ costs $7 monthly. 

Let’s tally it up:

  • CBS All Access: $6
  • Peacock Premium: $5
  • Disney+: $7

    Monthly total: $18

Like what you’re reading? Get my breaking tech news, security alerts and tips delivered to your inbox. Sign up here.

A $30 monthly budget

With this monthly budget, the trick here is bundling. In our plan above, we only subscribed to the basic $7 Disney+ service. The next Disney tier up includes Hulu and ESPN+.

For $6 more per month, you get content from ABC, AMC, Bravo, CBS, E, Fox, Fox Sports, FX, NBC, NFL Network, Oxygen, PBS, Syfy and USA Network. Your subscription also includes baseball, college football, soccer, hockey and UFC fights.

Plus, you get access to Hulu’s original programming like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Little Fires Everywhere” without a separate subscription. With the premium package, the Disney+ membership is $13 per month.

To round things out, add Apple TV+ for $6. Apple’s streaming platform is filled with exclusive shows you can’t find anywhere else like “See” and “The Morning Show.”

Alternatively, you can opt for the ad-free versions of CBS All Access or Peacock. Both of these plans run for $10 per month, leaving you with $10 leftover. To stay under $30, you can only choose one.

  • CBS All Access: $6 
  • Peacock Premium: $5 
  • Disney + with Hulu and ESPN+ : $13
  • Apple TV+: $6

    Monthly total: $30

or

  • CBS All Access ad-free: $10
  • Peacock Premium: $5
  • Disney + with Hulu and ESPN: $13

    Monthly total: $28

or

  • CBS All Access: $6
  • Peacock Premium ad-free: $10 
  • Disney + with Hulu and ESPN+: $13

    Monthly total: $29

A $50 monthly budget

If you can make it work, $50 a month gives you much more flexibility. You’ll have room for platforms like Netflix or HBO Max.

Netflix runs $9 monthly for a basic subscription, and includes thousands of hours of hit films and exclusive streaming content like “The Umbrella Academy.” HBO Max, on the other hand, costs $15 per month, and includes all currently-airing HBO content, HBO hits like “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones” and the Warner Brothers catalog.

You also have the option to go totally ad-free with your CBS All Access and Peacock subscriptions.

  • CBS All Access ad-free: $10
  • Peacock Premium ad-free $10
  • Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+: $13
  • Netflix basic: $9

    Monthly total: $42

or

  • CBS All Access ad-free: $10 
  • Peacock Premium ad-free: $10 
  • Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+: $13
  • HBO Max: $15 per month

    Monthly total: $48

or

  • CBS All Access ad-free: $10
  • Peacock Premium ad-free $10
  • Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+: $13
  • Netflix basic: $9 
  • Apple TV+: $6

    Monthly total: $48

or

  • CBS All Access ad-free: $10
  • Peacock Premium ad-free $10
  • Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+: $13
  • Netflix Premium: $16

    Monthly total: $49

With so many different services available, it’s easy to get confused when deciding which one is best for you and your family. Fortunately, you can usually get a 30-day free trial. Tap or click here for 15 streaming services you can try for free.

Need expert tech help you can trust? Post your tech questions and get concrete answers from me and other tech pros for free for 30 days. Sign up at GetKim.com, no promo code required. 

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Komando.com App background

Check out the free Komando.com App!

Get the latest tech updates and breaking news on the go, straight to your phone, with the Komando.com App, available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Download Now