Watch movies and TV shows at home for Free (or cheap)
This week our family is pulling the plug on cable. Finally! We were like many of you; we used some features of our cable or satellite service. So we had to figure out if we were getting our money’s worth. Another reason we took so long to cancel cable is because we were so confused about the plethora of other options out there. We also had to figure out if the cost Roku, Netflix, Redbox, etc. was worth it. Agh!
The confusion diminished after I talked to Terra from the Brown County Library, who explained how she watches her movies for free or on the cheap.
I haven’t found one service that offers every television series and movie that we want at a reasonable price, but by using the best of several services we get what we need.
Time Warner Cable’s On Demand service
We have cable. Do I care to pay for cable? Nope, but it’s important to my husband so we have it. One thing I do like about our cable service with Time Warner is free On Demand. I love it for my son. There’s a big enough variety of shows that are refreshed every couple of weeks or months to keep him happy. AND the big money saver and lifesaver is fewer commercials! This is especially valuable when the Christmas season (and the onslaught of advertising that targets kids) begins. Offerings include Disney, Nickelodeon, PBSkids, Sprout, Boomerang and more. There are also movies for kids and adults as well as adult TV shows available for free on On Demand.
We do occasionally take advantage of not-so-free On Demand movies. Instead of taking the family to the theater for a small fortune, we’ll rent a new release for $4.99 and have a family movie night in- though we’re finding that Amazon’s usually offers the same streaming movies for at least a dollar cheaper. More on that to come.
Netflix at www.netflix.com
I use this service daily. For less than $10.00 per month we have access to their streaming movies and television shows. They have a great selection of movies and television shows for children and adult, also commercial free (Can you tell I love commercial-free television?).
Netflix shows and movies can be watched on computers, but we usually watch on our television by streaming it through our wii console. You can also watch Netflix shows on iPads and iPods…all over the country. I watch shows all over the place on my iPad; at work on my break, on vacation, and while I’m cooking. Watching movies while I cook supper every night definitely keeps mama happier.
DVDs and Blu-ray at www.browncountylibrary.org
This is my absolute favorite free option. Our Brown County Library system has thousands of DVDs and even Blu-rays available to checkout for free. Classics, foreign films, new releases, educational, there’s something for everyone. They check out for seven days. Where else do you get movies for that long these days? If what you want is checked out you can place a reserve on it and they’ll let you know when it’s in. Or if you prefer not to wait, the library also has a collection of Rental DVDs. These new and popular movies cost just $1.50 for seven days.
Amazon and Amazon Prime at Amazon.com
We have a Prime membership which saves more in shipping than it costs annually, but that’s another topic for another day. With a Prime membership you also have access to hundreds of instant videos. Tonight I watched Fraggle Rock with my son and then started an episode of Larkrise to Candleford. This weekend we plan to watch the movie Skellig. You can watch them directly from their website on your computer or on your television if you have a Wi-Fi device like our BluRay player. Movies and television shows can also be watched on computers and iPads.
As I mentioned earlier, we also rent movies for 24 or 48 hours for about $3.99. This is cheaper than the $4.99 cost of Time Warner streaming videos. Keep your eyes open for movie credits for Amazon (Facebook and Twitter) and they are even more affordable.
These are just a few affordable video options.
Thanks much, Terra!
How do you save money on movies? Do any of you use Redbox or ROKU? We’d love to hear your experiences. It’s gonna be a whole new viewing world out there now!