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© Daniel Constante |
TV & streaming

This simple trick can save you hundreds of dollars a year on streaming

When cord-cutting was all the rage, the driving force was to save money. Why pay hundreds of dollars monthly for cable when you can get great shows and movies through streaming services?

The problem is the savings didn’t last long. Streaming services like DirecTV Stream, Netflix and Hulu always increase prices. Tap or click here for details on some recent price hikes.

But you don’t have to spend tons of money monthly just to watch your favorite shows. There is a super easy trick to the trade that will save you tons of money. Keep reading for a clever trick to save money on streaming costs.

Stream for free — here’s how

Many streaming services offer new patrons a free trial, allowing you to try them for anywhere from a week to a month without paying a monthly fee. The idea is to indulge in this short trial for your chosen platform and cancel the subscription before the monthly bill arrives in your inbox and charges your card.

RELATED: Free TV! Lots of free channels are coming to your Samsung TV

This strategy is fantastic because you can use your free trial to binge an entire series quickly. Seasonal movies are another enticing reason to consider doing this. Catch your favorite Halloween or Christmas movies in one place during a free trial. How cool is that?

Streaming service free trial pro tips:

  • You have multiple email addresses, so use them all for free trials. Sign up to the same streaming service with another email address after your original free trial ends to get another free trial.
  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to cancel before your first billing cycle. If you don’t cancel before the free trial ends, you’ll be charged for the service.
  • Don’t just stick with popular streaming services. Take advantage of free trials for them all. You might fall in love with a service you hadn’t thought about before.

Are some of these practices devious? Of course. But they are not against the rules. This approach to free streaming lets you get the whole experience before committing. Why pay for something you’re not sure you’re going to love?

How to save money on streaming

Scheming in this way isn’t the only option you have to save big on entertainment. Most streaming platforms require no long-term contract, allowing you to come and go as you please.

One of the best money-saving ideas is to wait for your favorite show to drop on a streaming service before subscribing. For example, if your show is released weekly and has 12 episodes a season, you’d need to pay for a three-month subscription to catch an entire season. 

Why not wait for the complete season to be released before subscribing? That way, you can binge-watch the whole season over one weekend and cancel the subscription when you’re finished. You’ll only have to pay for one month instead of three. Nice!

Here are a few more ideas to try, even if you resign yourself to paying for streaming services:

  • Plan ahead – Subscribe to the service that hosts the most significant chunk of your must-watch shows at once and skirt around to the next when you’ve exhausted everything on your list.
  • Stick with basic plans – Choose the lowest-cost tier for whatever you want to watch. Basic Disney+, for example, instead of the bundle that includes ESPN and Hulu if you’re not interested in those.
  • Eliminate what you don’t use – Stop paying for stuff you never watch. If all you tune into is Netflix, try pausing or discontinuing the other streaming services.

We love to binge TV. But we don’t like overpaying for streaming. Use these tips to keep extra money in your pocket while enjoying your favorite shows. Happy streaming!

You may also like: These handy sites can help you find the streaming shows you’re looking for

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