Are you tired of shelling out a monthly fee for everything from TV to shopping? If so, you’re among the millions of Americans with ‘subscription fatigue.’ The cure? Ditch your paid subscriptions and make use of these free alternatives to put money back in your pocket.
Movies and TV
Forking out monthly fees to Netflix, HBO Max, and other streaming services? Good news! A rise in ad-supported services (a few short ads are inserted into movies and TV shows) means hours of free entertainment. For example, Amazon’s Freevee offers thousands of TV shows, movies, and original content, no Prime membership needed. And NBC’s PeacockTV.com lets you watch more than 10,000 hours of shows and movies sans subscription.
For more free shows and films, visit Crackle.com, Pluto.tv, Vudu.com, Plex.tv, and TubiTV.com. Want to keep Netflix? The service just launched a Basic With Ads plan. For $6.99 a month, it plays short ads during TV shows and movies, saving you $3 a month compared to the ad-free plan.
You may already know that one way to get free Amazon.com and Walmart.com delivery without paying for a Prime or Walmart+ subscription is by making a minimum purchase of $25 to $35. But if you don’t want to spend that much, try private sellers who list their merchandise on either site. Many (who are often small, independent online and brick-and-mortar stores) will ship for free with no minimum requirement — it helps them compete with Amazon and other sellers for your business. To find them, check out the “Other Sellers on Amazon” tab on a product’s Amazon page, or search for the product you want on Walmart.com, filter the results by selecting “Pro Sellers” under the “Retailers” category, then click to the product pages. The seller will let you know if they offer free shipping.
Music and podcasts
Love to listen to songs and podcasts? You don’t need a subscription to hear them! That’s because you can choose from countless hours of audio entertainment for free in exchange for listening to a few commercials by visiting Deezer.com, iHeart.com, Pandora.com and Spotify.com or by downloading the apps for these free providers. Enjoy seeing your favorite musicians and podcasters on video? Go to YouTube.com, where you can watch free live and recorded concerts as well as podcast episodes, at YouTube.com/hashtag/podcasts.
Sure, you know your local library is stocked with hundreds of books you can read for free. What you may not realize is that your library card also entitles you to borrow digital and audio versions of biographies, mysteries, romances, and more so you don’t have to shell out for a Nook or Kindle subscription. Simply download the free Libby app (Overdrive.com/apps/libby) or Hoopla app (HooplaDigital.com), then use your library card to borrow the eBooks and audiobooks you want. Once they’re due, they get automatically returned to your library, so you never incur a late fee.
Don’t want to end your subscriptions? Many services offer group pricing that allows you to split the use and the fee with others! For example, Instacart+ lets two shoppers share a single account. Just add that person in your Instacart+ membership section. And Amazon Prime lets you share streaming, eBooks, and more with household members by adding them at Amazon.com/myh/households. Check your Netflix and Spotify accounts for sharing discounts as well.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.