How to cut back on subscription services and save money

How to cut back on subscription services and save money

The hot new show everyone’s talking about is on Netflix. But that old classic you want to binge is on Amazon Prime. And let’s not even talk about Disney+, Apple TV+, BritBox, Now TV, Hulu, Channel 4 Plus, ITV Hub Plus, and NextUp. TV is becoming pretty exhausting!

Whether you’re a student or a professional, you’ll no doubt be subscribed to a couple of your favourite TV subscription services, and perhaps even receive a beauty and snack box in the post once a month. But are they good value, or are you throwing money down the drain?

This week, we’re offering some tips on subscription services, and how to stop subscribing… 

Chum up for TV

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about TV subscription services is that your favourites are never all in one place. Stranger Things is on one and The Grand Tour is on another. Ugh.

However, rather than forking out for four or more services, each priced at between £4.99 per month and £12.99 per month, consider chumming up, sharing logins and accounts with your friends and family, and splitting the cost equally. Bring four friends together, and it’s £5 each.

Apple TV+, for example, costs just £4.99 per month and offers access to TV shows for up to six users, whilst Netflix’s Premium subscription at £11.99/month allows up to four TV shows and movies to be streamed at the same time. Be strategic and share logins where possible, but note that some services (including Netflix) are looking to limit account sharing in 2020.

And do the same for music. Apple Music and Spotify both offer family plans at £14.99 per month for up to six users. When split, that works out at just £2.50 per person per month, half the price of a student subscription. Choose Spotify and you’ll get a free Google Home Mini.

Jump between services

If you don’t want to share your passwords and lose your spot in the latest Black Mirror, why not jump between services month to month to cut costs? The chances are that you’re only going to watch one TV show at a time, so find your next binge-worthy series and subscribe to the relevant streaming platform for a month. Once you’ve finished, you can cancel your plan and find something new to watch on a rival service, only ever paying for one per month.

And with the streaming wars heating up, expect tons of free trials and ‘come back’ discounts, with Amazon and Netflix, in particular, doing everything they can to win back your loyalty.

Try YouTube

If you’re looking for a decent show to watch and want to save money, turn to free sites like YouTube, where you’ll find millions of hours of entertainment without having to spend a dime.

Whether you’re in the mood for Family Guy or The Crystal Maze, there are thousands of full episodes of classic TV shows and newer titles, ready and waiting to be watched.

What’s more, YouTube recently made its Premium Originals free to watch (with ads, of course) so why not try shows like BookTube and Overthinking with Kat & June? 

Ditch the boxes

Beauty subscription boxes are a great way to try out new products and score a bargain, with many £20 subscription boxes usually containing £50-£100 worth of product inside.

However, unless you’re a makeup artist, the chances are that most of those products will go to waste, and you’ll only end up getting value out of one or two items per month. Not only is that bad for your bank, but it’s harming the environment, creating unnecessary plastic waste.

Instead, head to your local shopping mall and stock up on your favourite beauty products, and try out moisturisers and face masks from discount stores like Bodyshop, Primark, and Superdrug. You can even pop your haul into an old beauty box to enjoy over the next month!

Make your own snacks

Love spending money on to-your-door snacks from companies like Graze and Munchpak?

Though it’s fun to try new healthy snacks, the truth is that these boxes are super expensive and don’t offer value for money. Instead, make your own snack boxes for uni or work by stocking up on nuts, seeds, and cakes in bulk, and portioning them into reusable containers. 

And for treat boxes like Candy Hero and SnackCrate, head to Home Bargains and find international candies to create your own hampers for a fraction of the cost. The best part? There’s no subscription - stock up whenever you need a sugar rush, and save money (and calories) when you’re on a health kick. Your body (and purse) will thank you!

Want to save even more on subscriptions? Sign up to Billing Better - the smart way to manage bills if you’re house-sharing - and receive Amazon Prime on us for FREE. Click here to find out more and arrange a quote for your house - you might be surprised at the savings!