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With the abundance of streaming services out there, you have to ask yourself why you’re still paying so much for cable or satellite TV.
By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll be ready to tell your current entertainment provider that they can stuff their high prices, cancellation fees and other crap they milk you for where the sun doesn’t shine.
The streaming services mentioned in this article won’t cost you nearly as much as you may be paying now, require a long-term commitment or surprise you with hidden costs. Sounds good, right? Great, let’s get started then!
- Making the Switch
- What You Should Know About Streaming Services
- Free and Cheap Streaming Services
- Tips to Save Money Before Choosing Streaming Services
Making the Switch
Deciding to save money by switching from cable or satellite to streaming is easy. What isn’t so easy is choosing a streaming service that you’ll be happy with.
When making the switch, some things you may miss the most are being able to watch your favorite channels, keeping up with your most-liked TV shows, and the ability to record a program and watch it later.
Let’s discuss these three things that may be keeping you from cutting the cord.
Letting Go of Your Favorite Channels
The good news is there are some streaming services with plans that include live TV in addition to on-demand movies and shows. For instance, Frndly TV has three Hallmark channels, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, A&E, History, Dove, Outdoor and 29 more for less than $15 a month.
To enjoy a larger selection of live TV channels, Philo is the next best option with over 64 channels for $25 a month. Some of their channels include three Hallmark, both Lifetime channels, UPtv, A&E, Bet, CMT, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, MTV, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, OWN, TLC and TV Land.
Before selecting any service, be sure to look at each streaming service provider’s channel lineup to check if they have your favorites.
Staying Current With Your Most-Liked Shows
If you can handle waiting a whole day and stay away from websites that reveal spoilers, some streaming services offer the latest episodes of ongoing shows the day after they air. Two are Paramount Plus and Peacock.
ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC put the latest episodes on their site within 24 hours after they air. Take note, there are commercials just like on live TV, and after a certain amount of time, the networks lock free viewing of the new episodes.
Recording Programs to Watch Later
What You Should Know About Streaming Services
Streaming services are great for keeping us entertained, but there are some things to keep in mind no matter which online streaming service you watch.
Free and Cheap Streaming Services
Amazon Freevee, formerly known as IMDb TV, offers a free lineup of mostly classic movies and TV series. There are also some Freevee originals.
Being as Amazon Freevee is a free streaming service, you’ll have to deal with ads. This is when you can take time to stretch, get a snack and/or take a bathroom break.
You do need an Amazon account to watch Freevee, but don’t worry, that is also free.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): All in the Family, America’s Test Kitchen, Bewitched, Bug Out, Little House on the Prairie, Love Accidentally, Mamma Mia: The Movie, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Pretty Hard Cases, Reba, Timewasters and many more.
What it cost: Nothing
Amazon Prime Video
In addition to Freevee, Amazon has Prime Video. This one requires you to be an Amazon Prime member to enjoy ad-free viewing as well as a larger selection of better shows and movies.
With the Prime Video app, you can download selected titles and watch them offline, which is great when your internet isn’t working and/or you don’t want to use up your data.
Want to avoid monthly or yearly fees altogether? Check out Amazon’s video store where you can rent or buy shows and movies individually, without paying for a subscription.
I took advantage of Amazon’s Prime Video when I had my Prime membership. I watched some good shows and movies as there was a good selection to choose from. However, I felt the titles other streaming services offered were newer. This was a few years back, though. Upon browsing what Amazon Prime Video offers today, it’s improved a lot since then.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Blue’s Clues, Break Every Chain, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Coming 2 America, Dexter, Harlem, House, Monk, Reading Rainbow, Suits, The 355, The Boys, The Lost City and more.
What it cost: $14.99 monthly or $139 yearly.
Amazon Prime streaming service offer: 30-day free trial.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is the owner of this free video streaming service. You can explore the lineup, watch TV shows and movies, search, and filter results by genre, recently added titles or alphabetically. If you sign up free, you can add shows and movies to a watchlist and set parental controls.
Unfortunately, Crackle’s selections of shows and movies are weak. The titles for both are also pretty low quality and not as good as other free streaming services.
Another thing I didn’t really care for was the number of ads. I don’t mind ads when I’m getting something free, but Crackle, in my opinion anyway, goes a bit overboard.
At the beginning of a show or movie, there’s one ad, but after that, there are quite a few ads, with three to four during each break.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): 21 Jump Street, 999 Critical Condition, 10 Items or Less, Alf, America’s Dumbest Criminals, Annie: A Royal Adventure, Barbershop, Brian’s Song, Cagefighter, Crown Vic, Just One of the Guys, The Abbott and Costello Show, The Beverly Hillbillies and more.
What it cost: Nothing.
If you enjoy reality shows, true crime, paranormal and documentaries, Discovery+ gives you access to over 2,500 current and classic programming from networks such as A&E, Food Network, HGTV, History, ID, Lifetime, OWN, TLC and others.
With a Discovery+ membership, you can stream on as many as four devices at once and create up to five profiles with a watchlist for each one.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): 90 Day Fiancé, Back to School Mom, Body Cam, Chopped, Family Pictures, Fixer Upper, From Straight A’s to XXX, Gone, Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, House Hunters, I Love a Mama’s Boy, Johnny vs. Amber, Lovely Bites, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Nightwatch, The Pregnancy Project, The Sinister Surrogate, plus many more.
What it cost: $4.99 a month with ads or $6.99 monthly for ad-free viewing.
Discovery+ streaming service offer: 7-day free trial.
Although Frndly TV’s channel lineup excludes local channels, sports, news, TBS, TNT, USA and quite a few other popular channels, they’re the cheapest live TV streaming service at this time. Their most expensive plan is just $10.99 a month, so if you’re on a really tight budget and can live without some popular channels, Frndly TV may be the perfect choice for you.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): 60 Days In, American Pickers, Chesapeake Shores, Court Cam, Full House Game, Love, Match, Panic 9-1-1, Romance in Style, The Journey Ahead, When Calls the Heart and more.
What it cost:
Frndly streaming service offers & discounts:
When it comes to on-demand streaming services, Netflix is usually the winner. It can be a bit on the pricey side considering live TV isn’t an option, but many folks still pay. Plus, you’re still saving money when compared to Dish and DirecTV.
Unfortunately, there’s currently no free trial, and you can’t see the entire lineup of shows and movies unless you buy a subscription.
On the bright side, you can download shows and movies to watch offline. In addition, they have a great selection to choose from.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): All of Us Are Dead, Bigfoot Family, Fatherhood, Fuller House, Good Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Hellbound, iCarly, Lucifer, Maid, Manifest, My Little Pony: A New Generation, NCIS, Orange is the New Black, Squid Game, The Boss Baby: Get That Baby, The Last Kingdom, Thirty-Nine and more.
What it cost:
Paramount+, formerly referred to as CBS All Access, is a great streaming service at a really affordable price. What makes it great is the new release movies and current CBS TV shows (available for viewing the day after they air).
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Big Nate, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Halo, Honor Society, Ink Master, Jackass Forever, Jerry & Marge Go Large, Orphan First Kill, Paw Patrol, Rugrats, SpongeBob Square Pants, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Good Fight, The Lost City and much more.
What it cost:
Paramount+ streaming service offers & discounts:
NBCUniversal is the owner and operator of this streaming service. If you sign up for their free plan, you’ll gain access to sports and WWE events, news, older movies and TV shows, some past episodes of present shows, and new episodes of current shows that are available eight days after they air.
To enjoy episodes of current shows the day after they air, as well as newer movies, movies that are in theaters, and all shows, movies, sports and WWE events, and news on Peacock, subscribe to Peacock Premium for as little as $4.99 a month.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Ambulance, Baking It, Bel-Air, Copshop, Downtown Abby, Dr. Death, Furious 7, Honk for Jesus, Jurassic World Dominion, Killing It, Law & Order SVU, Love Island, Modern Family, Mr. Mercedes, Psych, Psych 3, Save Your Soul, Ted 2, The Bad Guys, The Black Phone, The Office, The Resort, They/Them, Two and a Half Men, Vengeance, Yellowstone and more.
What it cost:
Are you a cable cutter afraid of losing your favorite channels? Philo is a great alternative with over 60 top-rated television channels at a more affordable price.
Roku users can search for something else to watch while already watching a show or movie. Furthermore, if you want to multitask while watching Philo on your iPhone or iPad, you can do just that with the picture-in-picture feature.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Better Call Saul, Blue’s Clues and You, Bubble Guppies, Cooper’s Bar, Deadliest Catch, Footloose, iCarly, Killing Eve, Matilda, Mean Girls, Pretty in Pink, Saved by the Bell, Young Dylan and more.
What it cost: $25.00 monthly.
Philo streaming service offers & discounts:
If you enjoy older shows and movies and don’t want to mess with a sign-up process, Popcornflix may be for you. Their selection isn’t very big, but it’s worth a look.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Archie Bunker’s Place, Barney Miller, Between Brothers, Blue Thunder, Bonanza, Booker, Code Red, Dragnet, Hardcastle and McCormick, Iron Horse, Man in the Saddle, NewRadio, Private Resort, Rake, Runaway, The Weird Al Show, T.J. Hooker, Tour of Duty, plus more.
What it cost: Nothing
Like Popcornflix, Pluto TV has older shows and movies, but with a much larger lineup. In addition, you’ll find some current CBS television shows with recent episodes.
You can browse their selection and start watching immediately.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): 10.5 Apocalypse, 2020 Fallen Earth, 21 Jump Street, 40 Days and 40 Nights, 500 MPH Storm, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, American Hero, Blackout, Bomber Boys, Bonanza, Bondi Ink, Booker, Christmas Twister, Cold Blood, Dragnet, My Sisters and more.
What it cost: Nothing
This streaming service offers a free plan that lets you watch a select number of live TV channels, as well as on-demand shows and movies without signing up. Their paid plans are affordable, have more shows and movies than the free service, and include many of the live channels that cable and satellite providers have.
In addition to Sling TV’s free and paid streaming services, they have a rental section of new release movies such as Gold, Hatching, My Babysitter the Super Hero, Tyson’s Run and more. On average, rentals range from $5.99 to $6.99.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): 9-1-1, America’s Got Talent: Extreme, A Royal Christmas, As they Made Us, Bull, Caribbean Summer, Feeling Butterflies, Grace and Grit, Law & Order SVU, Love in the Forecast, Modern Family, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, NCIS, Queenpins, The Bradshaw Bunch, World Trade Center and more.
What it cost: The free plan, which doesn’t require you to sign up or enter credit card information, gives you access to over 150 live TV channels (news, sports, adult and kids entertainment) and over 40,000 on-demand movies and TV shows. Start watching immediately here.
Sling TV’s Paid Plans
This Fox-owned streaming service has a good selection of older TV shows and movies from networks such as A&E, Disney, Dove, Fox, Lifetime, Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Starz and others. In addition to on-demand video content, viewers can watch live news, weather, sports and entertainment channels.
Entertainment you can expect (subject to change): Columbo, Highway to Heaven, Little Mike, Moby Dick, Popeye and Friends (Vol. 1), Scooby-Doo Where Are You, Son of the Mask, The Flinstones, The Nanny, The Pink Panther, The Three Stooges (In Color), and many more.
What it cost: Nothing
Tips to Save Money Before Choosing Streaming Services
So, you’ve decided to pay for a video streaming service rather than just sticking with the free streaming providers. Before you pull out the card to pay, here are a few tips to help maximize your savings.
That concludes my list of streaming services. There are many other streaming service providers out there. However, my focus was on services I believe are decent, with free or budget-friendly plans (less than $60.00 monthly).
If you know of a video streaming service not mentioned here that is free or affordable, let me know about it in the comments area below. Then I’ll check it out and may add it to this article later.