Sometimes, you want to head downtown, grab dinner and a glass of wine and enjoy the nightlife.
And, sometimes, you just want to stay in for the night (or weekend), lounge on the couch and watch your favorite TV show, sports team or simply cuddle with the dog and a good book.
If it’s feeling like one of those evenings, well, we’ve got great news for you.
You can stay inside without busting your budget on streaming services, cable subscriptions and expensive audiobooks. Here’s how to do it.
6 Ways to Save Money on Home Entertainment
Whether you’re a big bookworm, love to watch live sports or can’t get enough of your reality TV shows, there are ways for everyone to cut costs.
1. Download Free TV Apps
With the plethora of streaming options available now, there’s no reason to be stuck paying a pricey cable bill. While many streaming services do charge their own subscription fees, there are some TV apps that are completely free.
Download these free TV apps if you want to keep your costs at $0. You may not get access to the latest shows airing, but there are offerings for movie lovers, kids, gamers, anime fans and those who enjoy classic TV shows.
2. Ditch Cable for Streaming Services
Cutting the cord is a great way to cut down on monthly expenses, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the perks of viewing live shows and programs.
These streaming options allow you to watch live TV starting at about $35 a month — and at half that price for your first month. Many also offer DVR capabilities, just like cable companies do, so you can record episodes if you aren’t able to watch them when they air.
3. Watch NFL Games Without Cable
If you’re a sports fan, you might be holding onto cable so that you’re able to catch all the games of the season. However, there are many ways to watch NFL games without an expensive cable package.
You can stream games from the NFL Network or purchase the NFL Game Pass or NFL Sunday Ticket. Plus there are several streaming services starting at $5 a month that’ll let you catch football games
4. The Great Debate: Fire Stick vs. Roku
For those switching from cable to streaming for the first time, one of the questions you’ll have is which platform you should use to stream content.
Amazon Fire Stick and Roku are two very popular options. We break down the highlights of both the Fire Stick and Roku so you can choose what’s best for you.
5. Score Cheap Audiobooks
Reading an interesting book is a great way to pass the time. Audiobooks are even better because you can essentially have the book read to you while you’re driving, out for a jog, doing chores around the house or whatever.
These nine options for finding affordable audiobooks let you build out your private (virtual) library without having to drop $25 for each hardcover book.
6. Discover Free Library Apps
Public libraries offer a wealth of resources, but you don’t have to get in your car and drive to your nearest branch to benefit from it all.
Free library apps like Hoopla, OverDrive and more let you access books, movies, music and online training programs at no cost. And there’ll be no one to tell you “shhhh” if you talk too loudly while deciding what to check out first.
Nicole Dow is a former senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Robert Bruce, also a senior writer, contributed.