Frugal Living 

Cut the Cable: Ways to Save Money on Television and Movies

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In today’s world, the cost of entertainment is high. However, it is also one of the things people are still willing to spend money on. A television, for example, is nearly seen as a necessity in American households. Did you know, though, that there are ways to watch television shows and movies without paying for cable or satellite service? You can use the following tips to save big time on quality entertainment.

Watch Television Shows and Movies on the Internet. If you have an internet subscription, you can download full episodes of television shows and full movies for free. My husband and I personally do this and we love it! We are able to choose exactly which episode we want to watch and when we want to watch it. We also do not have to sit through excessive commercials. Many individual television networks, such as NBC, offer full episodes of their shows in HD quality for free. Hulu, Megavideo, Sidereel, and Surf the Channel are also great sites where you can find links to all sorts of great television shows and movies.

Go to the Dollar Theater. I cannot even remember the last time my husband and I have watched a movie at the theater for full price. The dollar theater provides us with most of the perks of the normal theater for a fraction of the price. You do have to wait a bit longer to see new releases and the quality is not quite as good as the normal theater, but it sure is worth the price. My favorite part about the dollar theater is that I never feel guilty after seeing a movie that I did not enjoy. I never feel as though I wasted my money. To save even more on a movie date, eat dinner before you go and opt out of purchasing concessions.

Take Advantage of Free Redbox Codes. Redbox is quickly becoming the most popular way to rent movies. Rentals are only one dollar per night! However, there are often coupon codes you can find online that allow you to rent a movie free for one night! These coupon codes usually come out on Wednesdays and are listed all around the internet. Also, there is no need to buy a DVD player or television to watch these movies. You can watch them on your computer! Yet again the computer can save money on movies.

Watch Television with Friends and Family. A final great way to save money on television and movies is to get together with your friends and family. Instead of renting movies, you can have a movie night at a different person’s house each week. That way, you can see movies you have never seen before and also spend some quality time with people you care about. This idea is also helpful if you do not own a television. My husband and I go over to my mother-in-laws house almost every week and watch television with them. This time together helps us to grow closer together as a family. Of course, you should be respectful of the people you are visiting. Make sure you are not visiting just for the television. Your primary reason for visiting should be to build stronger relationships with the people you are visiting.

With a little bit of creativity, you can save significantly on television and movies. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them! I am always on the look-out for more ways to get free entertainment.

(Photo: alfito_grc)

{ 20 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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20 Responses to “Cut the Cable: Ways to Save Money on Television and Movies”

  1. MissMartha says:

    I really loved the dollar theater growing up however the local one just closed! I’m not sure if we now have a second-run theater in town… anyone know for the Baltimore region?

  2. Duane Haas says:

    Has anyone played with the idea of having a slingbox @ a friends house and using the new sling catcher @ your house, and streaming tv that way?

  3. Brandon says:

    This article fails to mention Over the air HDTV.

    • Jim says:

      That’s very true, I tried using it once but it was a little tricky but definitely free. 🙂

      • jennifer says:

        yes, my husband installed an hd antenna and we have free tv woohooo! well, 5 channels, but that’s fine with us. we cut cable 3 years ago and it changes how you interact with each other–more time to do other things!

  4. Olivia says:

    I guess I am not familiar with what a slingbox, sling catcher, or Over the air HDTV is. Could you explain them to me? Thanks for your suggestions.

    • Jim says:

      A slingbox is a box that connects to your cable box, you can watch the video feed (and control it) from the computer, phone, etc. Over the air HDTV refers to an antenna, you can catch HDTV broadcasts over the air for free if you have the right receiver.

  5. Henry says:

    Never heard of Redbox until I read this post. I checked online and there are two near my home! Thanks for sharing.

  6. TheRunningBuckeye says:

    We cut cable a couple years ago, and the thing I missed the most was sports. I ended up going to sports bars to watch games, and that ended up costing more than having cable would. Any advice for sports lovers?

  7. Olivia says:

    Hmmm. . . sports are tougher ones to find online. My best advice would be to have sports parties with friends. Maybe someone with a TV will hold the party at his house if you bring the snacks? My family used to get together to watch sporting events on TV all the time. Good luck finding a better way to watch sports!

  8. Money Beagle says:

    I would also add: Going to matinees (not as good as the dollar show but still a savings over going to the full priced show), eliminating pay channels from your cable service, and using On Demand services, which many cable companies are now offering.

  9. Paularado says:

    We got rid of our TV 15 years ago before the internet was really going and even before DVDs. I’d like to point out that you don’t have to watch anything. We flipped one house and built another one in that time. I don’t think we could have done that if we spent time watching TV.

  10. Sylvie says:

    I don’t own a TV; I rent what I want from Netflix and watch on my laptop. I’ve tried watching shows and movies over the Internet, but I connect via DSL in Brooklyn, NY, and the speed is always lousy. Watching online is between maddening and impossible. Sure, I could upgrade to cable, but, um, isn’t the point to avoid paying for cable?

    I like Paularado’s reminder that one doesn’t HAVE to watch anything!

  11. carla says:

    I dont know if I can stand watching movies on a laptop(!) since I work here and its hard to get comfortable – I dont even like watching any kind of videos, but I am trying to talk him into getting rid of cable and just using Netflix though.

  12. Rich says:

    McAfee just gave me a Browser Security breach potential warning for one of your links, above cal;led Surf the Channel.


  13. Olivia says:

    That is really weird. I know several people who have used that site without any problems whatsoever. If any link looks sketchy, though, I would definitely avoid it. Most links are fine on all sites like Surf the Channel, just make sure you don’t register for anything. You shouldn’t have to, so if it asks you to it is probably not trustworthy.

  14. Ed says:

    If you want to watch movies on DVD, the local public library is a great place to get them. In our county, you can put them on hold via the library’s internet website then pick them up on your next visit. The only problem is that there is a wait for the most recent releases. My neighbor requests them as soon as he knows they are going to be released and gets in line before most people. Then they let us watch them before returning them to the library.

  15. Rich says:

    Olivia and community at large, my post was not meant to steer anyone away from Surf the Channel, rather just that I received a warning popup from McAfee’s “Site Adviser”. Perhaps it’s nothing, just wanted to mention it popped up.

    Here is the actual message I just got again; may cause a breach of browser security.

    Why were you redirected to this page? When we tested, this site attempted to make unauthorized changes to our test PC by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious security threat which could lead to an infection of your PC.

    * View detailed site report
    * Back to previous page
    * How to override this warning

  16. seth says:

    Sports fans, you can watch ESPN360 for free as long as you have an internet connection with an espn affiliated ISP.

  17. Jon says:

    You can watch Netflix movies through Xbox live if you have an Xbox 360. Some in HD too!

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