How to Save Money Cutting the Cord

Two Money-Saving Tips for Cord-Cutters

August 17, 2021

It only takes a few minutes to find articles complaining about the cumulative high cost of cord-cutting. Most on-demand services are cheap, and live TV streaming services are cheaper than traditional cable. But add in half a dozen services and you could easily find yourself paying more for content than you did with traditional, especially thanks to content siloes. That said, free options are also getting better, and you could save yourself a lot of money by leaning into those free options.

Streamer's Spotlight: Supplementing Cord-Cutting with Free Streaming

Free streaming options have (in the past) been mostly relegated to one of two truths: either they're illegal and copyright infringing and hosted on sketchy websites, or they don't have anything anybody wants to watch. More than ever, however, free streaming options are finding a nice middle ground. Often monetized with ads, free options now abound that have high-tier content without adding to your monthly streaming bill. Here are a few options to consider and a recommendation on saving money with paid services.

1. Consider Peacock and Tubi for On-Demand

launched in 2014 as an ad-supported TV streaming service. That format has not changed in all of that time. The service was acquired by Fox Entertainment in 2020, so we're still waiting to see what happens with its free-with-ads model, but so far, Fox hasn't made any indication that it's going to add a paid tier, though that may change. Tubi has over 28,000 titles, over 4,300 of which have IMDb ratings of 7/10 or higher, and over 850 of which have IMDb ratings of 8/10 or higher. So yes, this service is definitely worth adding to your rotation and may well help you save money.


is probably one you've heard about by now. This Comcast-owned streaming service has a paid tier, but it also offers a freemium tier, as well. Comcast launched the service after purchasing NBCUniversal as a way to compete against CBS with its CBS All Access (now Paramount+) streaming service. To date, CBS has not offered a freemium tier, giving Peacock a distinct advantage. It has over 400 titles with a 7/10 or higher IMDb score, most of which can be viewed free with ads.

2. Try PlutoTV, Xumo, or Locast for Live TV

If you need to scratch that live TV itch, consider


, or

(where available). PlutoTV and Xumo are very similar, operating 24/7 content channels with unique purposes of with content-lite options from major networks. For its part, Locast is a perfect alternative to having an antenna, if it's available in your area. The only issue you may encounter is the extra ads from Locast advertising the fact that it's free and wants a donation (kind of like PBS). Otherwise, it's a solid option without the added expense of a live TV antenna.

3. Save Money By Suspending Accounts

The great thing about cord-cutting is that most services now eschew the older model of locking you into subscriptions with early cancellation fees. You are free to start or end your subscriptions whenever you want. So why don't you? If you find yourself not using services for long stretches of time (e.g., between seasons for their original content), consider suspending or canceling your account in the intervening months or weeks.

Many services now let you suspend (instead of cancel) your account easily. You just need to go to your account settings and select the suspend account option. If there isn't one, in most cases, the service will retain your account information and let you restart the account without much trouble.

This Week's Streaming Guide

1. Liane Moriarty's NYT Bestseller '9 Perfect Strangers' Comes to Life

This dramatic story is brought to the small screen this Wednesday (Aug. 18) on Hulu. -

2. Netflix Brings Its WWII Drama to Life This Wednesday

Taking a page from Saving Private Ryan, the Netflix war drama 'The Defeated' sees an American cop searching for his lost brother in 1946 Berlin. - Watch on Netflix

3. Multiple Bew Release Movies Hitting HBO

Get ready: Paw Patrol: The Movie (for the kids) and Reminiscence (for the adults) are both hitting HBO Max this Friday (Aug. 20). -

4. The Walking Dead Returns for Season 11

America's favorite zombie TV show is back for its 11th season. Watch 'The Walking Dead' on Sunday (Aug. 22) at 9 PM EST on AMC. -

News and Industry Developments

1. Watch the Preview for Netflix's First Nigerian Original

This marks a major move for both Netflix and Nigeria. -

2. YouTube TV Won't Be Raising Prices (in the Near Term)

No promises on late 2021 and early 2022, however. -

3. Does Disney+ Need to Absorb Hulu and ESPN+ to Rival Netflix?

Netflix is still a giant, and Disney+ is stretched thin. -

4. Cult Hit 'Alien Nation' Streaming Free on Tubi

Canceled well before it should have, you can enjoy the entire series on Tubi for free. -

Join the conversation

or to participate.