When you’re looking to cut back on your spending, it’s important to find savings in as many areas as possible. There are plenty of opportunities to do this, like setting a budget and sticking to it, making your own lunch for work instead of heading to a nearby cafe, or leaving your car at home and walking when you can.
Another great way to slash your outgoings is to find free alternatives to things that you would normally pay for. Sometimes these are free forever, while other times they may be time-limited. Regardless, though, both will help you save a few bucks.
Here are some free alternatives you can start taking advantage of today.
Free Movies and TV
Most Americans pay more than $60 per month for a cable TV package, giving them access to hundreds, or even thousands of channels. Yet, most of us only watch a dozen or so, meaning the majority of the subscription goes unused.
Streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video save us lots of money already since they usually charge around $10 per month for as much content as we want. This means the average American can save as much as 83% on their monthly expenditure for TV and movies at home.
However, if times are tough and you need to save even more, there are ways to get great quality video content for free.
Platforms like YouTube and Twitch offer millions of hours of content that caters to just about every taste. With apps available for smart TVs and the ability to cast to Amazon Fire and Chromecast devices, you can watch fantastic, educational content on almost any device.
Secondly, many paid-for streaming services also offer a free trial for new customers. So if you haven’t already got an account, you can get as long as a month to watch shows for free. If you use these trials wisely you’ll have several months’ worth of content without spending a penny.
Playing video games can be an expensive hobby. A console will set you back several hundred dollars, while new AAA games can each cost $60 or more. Assuming you already have a console, computer, or phone to play on, there’s plenty of titles you can enjoy in your free time.
That’s exactly where free-to-play games come in. Free doesn’t mean poor quality either, as you’ll find some famous names offering games that won’t cost you a penny, including Call of Duty, PokerStars, Forza, and even Super Mario.
While free-to-play games have traditionally been most commonly found on smartphones, you can now find them on consoles and computers too. The blockbuster hit, Fortnite, is free on all platforms, including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though be aware you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play it on the latter.
Free Gym Memberships and Workouts
Of course, you don’t need to spend money to do quality exercise. Simply strapping on some running shoes and jogging around your neighborhood will do wonders for your health and wellbeing. You can also workout at home, using your own bodyweight and household objects instead of expensive gym equipment.
If you need some guidance and motivation while you work out, then check sites like YouTube for free workout videos from expert coaches. You can also use great workout apps like 30 Day Fitness Challenge, or Spartan Home Workouts.
If that’s still not enough, why not take advantage of the free trials that many gyms offer. Some will let you try them out for a week or a certain number of visits before you have to pay. Like with the streaming services, if you use them one after the other, you’ll get lots of free time to pump some iron.
Years ago, if you wanted to find recipes to cook up some new dishes, you’d have to go to a store and buy a cookbook. Today, you can get them from a whole range of places online. From sites like All Recipes and Good Food, as well as plenty of free ebooks from sites like Amazon that’ll help you rustle up some tasty meals without paying for the recipes. If you combine all of the ideas fleshed out in this article, you can potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars each month that you can direct to investments or dream purchases.