These days, there’s a ton of content available online, from ebooks and music to movies and TV streaming services. It’s great to be able to stream the entire Taylor Swift catalog, or Netflix and chill any night of the week… but the costs can add up fast. The good news is, there are some ways to minimize them. Here are some tips to help with how to save money on entertainment.
1. Libby (ebooks and audiobooks)
Libby is a free app that connects to your local library, giving you access to a vast collection of ebooks and audiobooks. All you need is a library card, and you can borrow digital titles for free. Libby offers a user-friendly interface and allows you to download books for offline reading or listening.
2. Hoopla (ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music)
Hoopla is another library-based app that offers not only ebooks and audiobooks but also movies, TV shows, and music. You can borrow a set number of items each month, and there are no late fees since the content is automatically returned when the borrowing period ends.
3. Kindle unlimited (ebooks and audiobooks)
If you read a lot, Kindle Unlimited is worth considering. For a monthly subscription fee, you gain access to a vast selection of ebooks and audiobooks. It’s particularly useful if you own a Kindle device, but you can also read Kindle books on the app available for various devices.
4. Audible (audiobooks)
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook platform, offering a wide range of audiobooks across different genres. While it’s a paid service, Audible often runs promotions and discounts, and you get one free audiobook each month as part of your subscription. Plus, you can keep your audiobooks even if you cancel your membership.
5. Spotify (music)
Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services globally. While it offers a premium subscription with no ads and offline listening, the free version is ad-supported and provides access to a vast library of songs. You can create playlists, discover new music, and listen to your favorite artists without spending a dime.
6. Pandora (music)
Pandora is another music streaming app with a free tier. It offers personalized radio stations based on your music preferences, and you can skip a limited number of songs each day. If you’re willing to tolerate ads, you can enjoy a variety of music without paying for a subscription.
7. Tidal (music)
For audiophiles who value high-quality sound, Tidal is a great option. It offers a free tier with ads, but the real value comes with the premium subscription, which provides access to lossless audio quality. Tidal also has a vast catalog of music and exclusive content.
8. YouTube (music and video)
YouTube is not just a platform for user-generated content; it’s also home to a vast library of music videos and official tracks. You can create playlists and discover new artists, all for free. YouTube also offers a paid premium service with additional features like offline viewing and no ads.
9. Kanopy (movies and documentaries)
Kanopy is a free streaming service that partners with public libraries and universities to offer a broad selection of movies and documentaries. With a library card, you can access a wide range of cinematic content, including classic films and indie movies.
10. Crackle (movies and TV shows)
Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service that offers a selection of movies and TV shows. While its content library may not be as extensive as some paid services, it’s a good option for budget-conscious viewers looking for free entertainment.
11. Vudu (movies and TV shows)
Vudu is a digital platform that allows you to rent or purchase movies and TV shows. While it’s primarily a pay-per-view service, it often offers a selection of free, ad-supported content, giving you the chance to watch movies without renting or buying.
12. Tubi (movies and TV shows)
Tubi is a free streaming service that offers a diverse range of movies and TV shows. It’s ad-supported, but the ads are generally less intrusive than on some other free streaming platforms. Tubi’s library includes titles from various genres, making it suitable for different tastes.
13. Crunchyroll (anime and manga)
If you’re a fan of anime and manga, Crunchyroll is a go-to app. While it offers premium subscriptions, you can access a limited selection of content for free with ads. It’s an excellent way to discover new series and read manga without spending a fortune.
14. Freebooksy (ebooks)
Freebooksy is a website and newsletter service that helps you find free and discounted ebooks across all sorts of genres. You can sign up for their newsletter to receive daily or weekly updates on free and discounted ebooks, making it easy to build your digital library without spending too much.
15. BookBub (ebooks)
BookBub is another ebook discovery service that provides daily email alerts about free and discounted ebooks tailored to your preferences. It’s an excellent tool for avid readers looking to save money while expanding their digital book collection.
The bottom line: how to save money on entertainment
By using these apps and platforms, you can have access to a wide range of digital content without straining your budget. Whether you’re an avid reader, a music enthusiast, or a movie buff—or all of the above—there are options available to get the content you enjoy while keeping your spending in check.