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TV & streaming

Why it’s time to rethink cutting the cord (and 3 smart ways to save)

There are countless streaming solutions that can make movie night a breeze. If you’re a little late to the party, take the plunge and cut the cord once and for all. Tap or click here for our guide to quitting cable for good.

Of course, everything comes with caveats — even freeing yourself from the mess of cables around your TV. Ever heard of the phrase, “Too much of a good thing”? Well, some folks are spending more money on streaming than they ever did with cable.

You want to make sure you’re not destroying the whole purpose of going wireless in the first place. That’s why we put together three essential tips to keep in mind when you’re streaming. Follow these steps to make sure you’re saving money while you’re watching top-tier content!

1. Cancel every service you’re not using

When you’re first streaming, it’s tempting to want to snap up every service. You’re like a kid in a candy store, running around and sticking your hands in everything, from the jellybean dispenser to the gumball display. Soon, you’ve subscribed to five different streaming platforms.

It’s understandable: Every service has its own shows with five-star ratings from the critics. HBO Max has a darling in “Game of Thrones,” Apple TV+ lassoes in rave reviews with “Ted Lasso,” and Hulu boasts the beloved “Handmaid’s Tale.”

As a streamer, you’re overwhelmed with wonderful content. Who doesn’t want a piece of the content pie?

But when you’re sampling so many different services, you’ll get full quickly — and soon, there’s no room in your metaphorical stomach for all the shows you wanted to watch when you started. A few months down the line, you may be dropping $15 a month on Netflix, even though you never use it.

So be honest and ask yourself, “Do I really need this many streaming services?” Take a good hard look at your costs and see which platform you use the least. Trim the fat and you’ll save yourself a ton of cash in the long run.

Plus, you can always subscribe to a service and binge the shows you want to watch right away. Then cancel that service for a few months until it has more content to offer that you haven’t seen.

MONEY-SAVING TIP: The right way of cutting the cord to save money on TV costs

2. Hunt for bundles and freebies

Don’t get complacent. Root around the underbrush of the internet for great deals and you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

For example, if you sign up for Disney+ now, you can spend either $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year. But Disney also offers a bundle deal, which provides Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ for just $13.99 a month.

Let’s look at the numbers so you can see how much money you’re saving when you bundle:

  • If you were to just get Hulu by itself, you’d pay $5.99 for the service with ads.
  • Buy Disney+ by itself and you pay $7.99 a month.
  • Now add the monthly ESPN+ cost of $5.99.
  • Bottom line: If you bought each of these services separately, you’d pay $19.97 per month.

When you buy the bundle of three services for $13.99 a month, you’re keeping a lot more green in your pocket. Now you’re getting access to countless sports games as well as beloved shows like “The Mandalorian” — all for around $6 off every month.

HERE’S A HELPFUL GUIDE: The best streaming bundles for every budget under $100

If you’re having trouble finding a bundle you like on the internet, call up your phone company. There is a lot of TV, internet and home phone bundles you can take advantage of.

This lets you set up all your home services in the same place — plus you could get a discount for bundling. (Of course, pricing and bundle promotions vary depending on your provider as well as where you live, so keep that in mind.)

3. Beef up with free options

As they say, the best things in life are free. For example, you can find many websites that stream high-quality content — no price of admission required! Oftentimes, these free platforms are robust and full of surprising finds; think of it like rummaging through a secondhand store and finding old treasure.

Most of these services are easy to access through the internet, but some may require extra gear, like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV stick. Tap or click here for 10 of the best sites for watching movies free.

Remember what we said earlier about how your phone plan can come with goodies? Well, certain providers let you get big streaming platforms for free. Tap or click here to find out if you’re eligible for these subscriber-exclusive discounts.

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