While this is somewhat less likely with scripted shows, if you’re just someone who wants a late-night talk show fix or would be interested in segments of reality or documentary series, by piecing all videos together you basically have a season fully available for your viewing, on-demand and with fewer ads as well. Just search for a few of your favorite shows (just watch out for spoilers) and see what you can find!
8) Consider Sharing Plans
Family plans exist for a reason, and there are probably many people close to you that you consider as close as family. As long as service plans don’t get overburdened (there’s usually a screen limit on some service and streaming plans), then you can save money and make the most of everyone’s plans without paying $100 a month to keep up with everything you might want to.
Naturally, you will want to do everything in good faith, and not abuse any privileges you might have based on your connections. We’ll leave it to you to determine the best practices and consider who you might want to consider sharing with in your family.
One last note is that there can be more to this than just the standard sharing of streaming services or online accounts. If you have family members with a Pay TV subscription and you live close by, then you can often use an online login to watch live or on-demand television from another device. Most major cable companies have a version of this, so look it up and see if it would be worth the trouble. This method can be great for couples who live apart for work reasons or students living away from home.
9) Use Your Library Card
If you have a DVD or Blu-ray player and don’t mind waiting until a series comes out on DVD, you can use your library card to borrow a season of a show and watch it at home at your leisure, usually with enough time by the renewal date so you don’t have to binge-watch all day. There isn’t too long a wait except for the most popular of shows, and for those, there are likely several copies in circulation anyhow.
And while in previous decades you might have been limited to tapes that were only in your town’s library, now you can likely use an interlibrary loan system online from the comfort of your home to have a box set of what you want to watch shipped to your library for pickup in a few days. This gives you a vast array of options and often replaces any need for a pay TV subscription or a streaming service. Just make sure you return what you borrow on time!
10) Hoopla (in Conjunction with that Library Card)
On top of getting DVDs with your library card, there’s an excellent site called Hoopla that you can potentially use to watch a decent amount of programming each month. In short, the site has partnered with various libraries across the United States to provide access to e-books, audiobooks, other media, and most notable for the current topic, television programs. There is a limit each month depending on your library, and it’s not available with every library in the country, but it’s certainly worth your consideration.
11) Streaming Service Partnerships
Streaming services and even sometimes TV providers have partnerships with other companies, memberships, or stores that allow for trials or provide for several months of a subscription to content. While you shouldn’t seek these out for their own sake, you can and should take advantage of worthwhile opportunities that come along.
Just remember that oftentimes these deals and partnerships have some sort of contract or automatic renewal built into them, so you should read the fine print and make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for trouble or unwanted expense down the line.
12) Use Free Trials to Your Advantage
Sometimes many of the things you’d like to watch on TV are gated out either by the requirement of a cable subscription or a paid account for a streaming service. However, many of these sites, which probably have TV shows you want to keep up with, offer a free trial for either a week, two weeks, or even a month which you can use to watch to your heart’s content.
Using a series of these trials with some decent schedules can lead to a pretty strong plan for entertainment, especially if you only want to watch a few shows from each service and are committed to the plan. This can be a great option if you’re in an exploratory mood and want to sample different genres and ideas.
The most important thing is to cancel the free trial either as soon as possible (if you’d still be eligible to watch shows during the trial period) or at the very end right before your credit card would be charged. You might also want to turn off marketing emails so you don’t get inundated with spam for months on end.
13) Take Advantage of Other Free Offers and Downloads
There are very few specific suggestions that we could list here due to the ever-changing nature of this suggestion, but stay on the lookout for methods to gain free access to the shows you love, whether that means deals with companies or services you were using anyway, offers to get you into some streaming service or partnerships with another product, or something else entirely. On rare occasions you might be able to watch TV via something you never expected!
Naturally, you shouldn’t spend more money just to get access to content like this, but you already might qualify for a few options you aren’t already using, so take a chance to review everything when you can!
You will want to take the same precautions as you would with any other free offers, and watch out for scams as you would with anything online. If it’s from a trusted name, it’s probably fine. If not, some further research can keep you safe, and a lack of information is a reason for mistrust.
Not all the above methods are going to be reasonably applicable to you and your family, and that’s perfectly fine. We hope that at least one of the above methods will be useful for you to watch the shows you like without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money. And while a few of the methods above may involve buying an item or two, the services or devices often have other uses and are still cheaper than a service subscription. Whatever you wind up doing, we hope you find exactly what you want and can easily enjoy your favorite shows.