How To Make Cord Cutting Cheaper
Anybody who has to live on a real budget knows that this inflation we are dealing with is a problem for families. So here we are as a country trying to find ways to save a couple of dollars whether it’s driving less or buying different brands of groceries or scaling back meals. It’s no fun even if you’re good at it. A lot of cord-cutters dropped cable because of the cost and the declining benefits of having it in the first place. But if you’ve adjusted your lifestyle to not having cable, but still reached your breaking point due to the rising cost of everything something has to change right?
Now while I refuse to say things like streaming is getting as expensive as cable you may well be finding yourself spending money in a way that you could cut back. If you are spending that much it is fixable and it’s about making choices. My last cable bill was something like $120.00 not including the Internet. I spend a lot less than that on streaming. So whether you have racked up hundreds of dollars in steaming fees or just would like to throw in a few stops at Mcdonald’s a month, it’s time to re-evaluate what you watch and what you’re willing to put up with for the price.
We have some ideas to help ease the pain if even just a little.
Think hard about what you watch
This is one of the steps we encourage when people think about dropping cable. We ask what do you watch and can you do it on something else. In this case, the question is more personal. Do you really use the services you have? Or more importantly, do you use them at the same time? I can imagine a scenario where one might have 6 paid services that get used heavily during certain periods but not so much during others. Maybe you are a big fan of Disney+ originals because you are a Marvel or Star Wars Fan Boy. It’s all good. If the new lineup of shows gets you through the summer with a smile spend the 6 bucks. If you love having your kids favorite Pixar movies available all the time everywhere while they are stuck at home that money is probably a sanity saver. But, on the other hand, if you got Disney+ because you wanted to see Hamilton and kept it bc you always intended to get into something that thus far you have not…. Are you following me? So give it some thought. If you think about it and realize that you really haven’t accessed something for a month or so but just keep it around bc you set it to auto-pay and do not want to log on and change it maybe it’s time to buck up buttercup.
Take a new look at the free stuff
You probably don’t pay attention to trade publications like say The Streaming Advisor does, but the big media companies want people to watch TV services that are supported by advertisements. The term in the industry for ad-supported TV streaming is “FAST”. Free Ad-supported Streaming TV. And the powers that be have been making major investments to incentivize viewing. Take Pluto TV for example. It has always been a favorite since it started as curated YouTube videos. But now that it is part of Paramount Inc and the company has focussed on it, Pluto TV is a mix of independent services, CBS archival Content, shows from MTV, Nickelodeon, and other properties. Its movie and tv shows on-demand section has exploded, its menu is easier to search and not only that it gives users chances to see episodes of Showtime and Paramount+ series for free. Recently Pluto TV had a Yellowstone marathon. XUMO is owned by Comcast as is Peacock and there is a lot of cool stuff on those two services for free. There are so many others including Freevee and The Roku Channel that provide original content for free with shows and movies made just for the free service.
Embrace Ad-light services
Another way to cut back, if you have been leaning into the full premium experience with your streaming is to consider calling down your service. If you have Hulu, HBO Max, Discovery+ and other services without ad breaks maybe consider taking the discount and going with the ad-supported versions. Most of the time the savings is about five bucks. There are reasons to pay premium pricing for some services such as Paramount+ which provides a streaming feed of CBS for the extra spending (But are you watching CBS live right now). Maybe you really really do not like having commercials when you are watching on-demand content. But if you can stomach it and give it a try you might notice that the ads are not that frequent and not that long. My Discovery+ for instance has about 1 minute of ads per break or less. I can still watch an “hour-long” show in about 40 minutes. But if that is not going to work for you there is something else to think of.
Take one deep dive per month
The thing that’s great about streaming is that there are no contracts. Maybe you took a step back and realized that maybe you were not actually watching a lot of your services very much. But when you thought about what you enjoy you realized you wish you had been. Are there tons of shows you meant to watch on HBO Max that you never got around to? Have you been meaning to catch up on The Handmaids Tale? Pick a month get one major service at a time and jump in eyes wide open and fully embrace the content of one thing. When you wrap up the month do the same with something else. That way you really enjoy what is out there fully and spend $10.00 on one service instead of 45 on six. Any service with at least a couple of series you enjoy probably has 80 hours of entertainment whether it’s Paramount with all the Star Trek stuff, Netflix with the Comedy specials and original series, and so on. But a deep dive will give you an appreciation for what you are spending on.
I hope that helps. It’s going to be a hot summer and if gas prices stay high there might be less jumping in the car happening. But taking advantage of some of those ideas may ease the pain if even just a little. Take care, be safe and as always stream on my friends.