When it comes to affordable entertainment, it’s hard to beat some of the top streaming services. Ranging from $0 per month to $18, there are currently more than 200 streaming services available. And major TV networks are constantly coming out with new ones.
Many offer large lists of quality entertainment but with wildly different price tags attached. So, what is a frugal family to do? According to Forbes, 70% of U.S. households have at least one streaming service subscription.
We know how much value, entertainment, and education they bring straight into our homes. But we also know that they don’t have to break the bank. Read on for our list of the streaming services that give you the most bang for your buck.
Streaming services provide endless hours of at-home entertainment. Three of the best streaming services of 2021:
Some of the most budget-friendly streaming services have different versions. If you’re willing to put up with ads, some streaming services offer discounted rates for these types of subscriptions. Ad-free streaming almost always costs more. But there are other ways to score discounts, too.
For example, if Netflix is your preferred streaming service because it is constantly being updated with old shows and movies, new ones, and Netflix originals, just choose one of the cheaper tiers.
Hulu also has both basic and premium subscription offerings. While the basic package involves suffering through some ads, it’s half the price of the premium, which we think makes it worth it. At $5.99, the basic Hulu subscription gives you access to over 1,230 movies and 1,300+ TV shows.
If the people at home love animated movies from Marvel and Disney, go with the $7.99 per month Disney+ subscription. The bundle, which includes ESPN and Hulu, costs $14, but with over 7,500 episodes and more than 500 films included in the original subscription, most families are fine without the extras.
Currently, the basic plan is $8.99, the standard is $13.99, and the premium is $17.99. Unlimited movies and TV shows are available in all three. You can also watch each version on your TV, laptop, phone, or tablet.
The biggest difference is that basic subscriptions allow you to view on one screen at a time, the standard is two, and the premium is four. If everyone at home is huddling up in the living room for movie nights, you only need the basic subscription to enjoy thousands of hours of entertainment.
If you’re willing to try an out-of-the-box entertainment option instead of the more mainstream ones, there are some other excellent cheap streaming services out there to choose from. While Hulu is currently the most affordable among the most popular streaming services, others are even more affordable.
Some fan favorites include:
Discovery+ currently costs only $4.99 per month and offers thousands of hours of both education and entertainment. Even better: verified students earn a 40% discount, dropping the price to just $2.99 per month.
You can also start a 7-day free trial to browse more than 55,000 episodes of content. And if you find yourself getting tired of watching the ads that come with the basic subscription, you can upgrade to ad-free for $6.99 per month, which is still more affordable than most others.
Peacock is one of the few streaming services that offer a free version. It comes with ads and won’t allow access to all of the content on the platform, but many people find that there is still plenty to watch.
If you want to remove the ads or access more content, you can upgrade to Peacock Premium for $4.99 per month. Even at this price tag, Peacock Premium is one of the best and most affordable options currently available.
Like Peacock, there is also a free version of Pluto TV, a live-stream television and on-demand movie service. Because it’s free, there are ads to contend with, but there are also over 250 unique live channels that stream thousands of movies and TV shows.
There’s no credit card required to sign up and no paid option available, so there’s no risk in giving it a try. With so many affordable options out there, it’s no wonder that most people prefer streaming services over movie theaters these days.