(This is not a sponsored post. I am just sharing my personal experiences with you.)
We all like curling up on the couch to watch our favorite TV shows or a great movie. Remember when all that involved was plugging in the TV and adjusting the antenna? I do. But that was a long time ago. Now we live in the era of... contact your local cable or satellite TV company to come hook up their service for a small fortune a year.
The good news is there are less expensive alternatives. Entertainment subscription services are very popular now. With them you can stream TV shows, movies and music. Here are the ones we use:
Netflix offers TV shows (including oldies, like Murder She Wrote and MacGyver) and movie streaming. They also offer DVD rental services with no late fees. At this time, we stream exclusively.
Monthly cost $7.99 (streaming only.)
Hulu is another streaming service that I really enjoy. You can stream TV and movies for free. Your favorite shows can be viewed 8 days after it airs. Or you can watch your show the day it airs by upgrading to Hulu Plus. Hulu also offers cooking, gardening and diy programs.
Monthly cost $7.99
With Amazon Prime you can stream TV shows, movies and music. Also, you get free second-day shipping on millions of items marked as "prime" and.... for Kindle users, you can borrow one book a month free with no due dates. (Choose from 500,000 titles) The yearly cost is $99.00.
Monthly cost $8.25
This brings our monthly total to $24.23. WooHoo! And no commercials!!! (Okay, Hulu does have limited commercial interruption. )
The least expensive cable package in our area is $24.99 for 6 months at which time it goes up to $38.99. The next package up is $39.99 for 12 months at which time it goes up to $70.99 a month and so on, and so on.
I think it's safe to say we get more TV, Movies, Music and Flexibility with the above services than with the least expensive cable package. Oh, and lets's not forget the free shipping and books.
Look into these services, read reviews, use their "free month" offers and see if it's something that will work for you.
Okay, there are movies we really want to see as soon as they come out and maybe we want to see them on the biggest screen possible, while relaxing in the most comfortable reclining movie seats. Aaaand, we are even willing to pay a whopping $22.00 per couple, before popcorn and drinks. But every movie? No way Jose!
The above scenario is rare for us. For the most part we head to our local Dollar Theater to catch a movie. Yes, we have to wait 6-8 weeks, but we are adults right? What's 6-8 weeks? If for some reason we want to see it sooner than, we take the 10 minute drive to a nearby town where we can view the movie for $8.00 per couple. Big savings right. Even after the popcorn and drinks we are still ahead. The screen is not as big but it's more than adequate, the seats don't recline but they are comfortable. The popcorn and drinks taste the same. And we did not have to fight traffic or rush to the line for tickets. Ahhh...
There was a time when going to the bookstore, dropping $70.00 for books and music, heading over to their cafe area, placing order for tea, then sitting on one of their comfy couches to sip and read was a weekly event for me. Yikes!
That was a loooong time ago. I most certainly do NOT do that anymore. Mr. F and I love reading, but we spend much less money on books. We have several options.
a) Goodwill - We have found books in excellent condition here. Craft books for me, sci fi novels for Mr. F. and other non-fiction for both of us.
b) Used book stores - From time to time we visit used book stores. It's just fun to look through all the books and find a treasure you want to read.
c) Library - This is how I get most of my books. I signed up with my library's on line service. I receive an email letting me know of new books, music and movies as they arrive. If I want it, I reserve it. E-books and audio books can be downloaded. Movies and music can be streamed but I go old school and borrow the actual CD or DVD.
d) Amazon Prime - Mr. F uses this more than I do. He downloads and reads books on his phone. I can read them on my laptop or Kindle. It's part of our Amazon Prime subscription. We can borrow a book a month with no due dates. ( We have 500,000 to choose from)
e) Family and Friends - You can also swap books with family and friends. The Jane Austen mystery books pictured here are from Mr. F's cousin. She kindly bought the series for me. (Did you know Jane wrote mysteries?)
We all like being entertained, be it with TV show, movies, music, going to the theater or reading books. We can do all these without breaking the bank. And if we SAVE for these things, ( in our case, even for the $8.00 a couple theater), it won't hurt your wallet.
So go ahead and give one or more of these ideas a try. I think you'll find it's well worth it.
I would love to hear how you and your family save money on entertainment.