With the continuing squeeze on household finances, family entertainment is suffering. Holidays are being cut back, leading to more time spent at home. Yet the cost of in-house entertainment is also on the rise with price rises put out by cable and satellite. So what can you do to keep the family and yourself entertained via the box, without having to resort to extremes?
If you have an internet-connected TV, or the ability to hook a computer or compatible games console up to your TV, you could instead of buying DVD’s and blu-ray discs at £5-35 a go that you’ll only watch once, instead stream down your broadband on-demand for a flat fee just £5.99 a month. Sign up via QuidCo and get £7 cashback, too!
If your broadband isn’t up to the challenge of streaming realtime video, or the items you routinely watch are not available via Netflix: don’t despair just yet. The older, more established competitor of Netflix, while also offering streaming, allows you to order physical DVDs and blu-rays as well as games all through the post.
There are numerous packages to choose from and starting at just £4.89 a month the price is comparable to Netflix and still cheaper than buying a single title in the shop!
Got Cable or Sky? Haggle!
If you are out of your minimum contract period with either provider, it is time to give them a call to talk down your package costs. Do you watch every package you subscribe to? If not, knock it off. If you’re contemplating giving it up altogether then give them a ring and see if they are prepared to offer you a deal to keep you as a customer.
See my 6 Steps to 21st Century Haggling to help you win the battle!
Switch to Freeview or Freesat
If you decide to get rid of Sky or Virgin completely, there is nothing to fear. You are no longer limited to 4 (or 5, depending on your location) channels of rather dubious quality. Freeview now has over 50 channels and 4 of those are in HD, and completely free to watch. All you need is a suitable receiver if one isn’t already built into your TV.
If you go away from Sky, keep your equipment. You will still receive the ‘free to air’ channels. You won’t be able to use the Sky+ features on them though.
Get into Reading
If money is really tight then you could do worse than get rid of your ‘idiot box’ as my step-dad calls it, and delve into your dusty book collection instead. Those of us in the 21st century may have a book reader (did I ever tell you I love my Kindle?), and can download books anywhere, anytime, for a fraction of the cost of buying in print.
Of course if you don’t have one already, going out and buying one isn’t the cheapest option, initially. Consider re-reading your dusty library first!