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40 tricks to save money on TV

Tamires Criscio
Tamires Criscio
  | Edited by Tom Church
Updated 8th February 2021

Do you want to save more money? If your answer is yes, one of the things you need to think about is how much money you are spending on TV. Latest Deals have gathered 40 tricks to help you save money on TV. Find the one perfect for you!

In this guide

1. Check what services you are paying for that can be cancelled 

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Check your bank statement looking for any Direct Debits related to TV: 

  • You may be paying for more channels than you are watching.
  • You may have two subscriptions for the same service.
  • You may still be paying for a pay-per-view long ended.
  • You may have forgotten to cancel a free trial. 

The possibilities are endless. If you have lots of payments coming out of your account, you can easily lose track. Check it today! 

2. Get only one paid streaming subscription per month 

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Monthly paid TV subscriptions can be renewed or cancelled every month. You don't have a contract or commitment with them. If you know you won't be able to use a paid streaming service for a period of time, you can cancel it without losing your account and data. If you feel like you will use it again, the only thing you need to do is restart your membership. For example, if you have Netflix, Prime Video and Now TV, you can pick one to keep for that month and make the most of it. Using them alternatively is easy and smart. Also, make sure to cancel them when you are going on a holiday or when you are busier. 

3. Watch free movies and TV shows online 

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If you don’t mind watching random movies and TV shows, you can find some hidden gems online. We have listed some of the best legal websites to watch free movies and TV shows online. Their catalogue is diverse, but you won’t be able to find some of the most popular movies and TV shows of the moment. Expect some good old classics and more underrated productions. 

4. Use free trials from paid streaming subscriptions 

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This is probably one of the best ways to save money on TV. If you know you want to watch something from a specific paid streaming service, make sure you do it over the free trial period. You can even do it during a weekend when you know you will have free time to binge-watch. Then you can cancel before being charged. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn't currently have a free trial.

5. Check if you need a TV licence 

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Understanding if you need or not a TV licence can be confusing. We have a full guide to help you find out if you need a TV licence, make sure you check it before cancelling or getting a TV licence. This could save you £157.50 a year.

6. Get Freeview 

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We have talked about Freeview before here at Latest Deals. This is a free TV package that gives you access to free channels in the UK. If you want to save money by ditching your monthly cable TV bill, Freeview can be a much cheaper option. You can get the application for free here. To watch on a TV, you either need to get a device to connect to your old TV set, or get a Smart TV with Freeview on it. You will have access for free to BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and UKTV Play.

7. Get TVplayer 

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You could also get TVplayer, which we have also talked about before here at Latest Deals. This service is £6.99 per month giving you access to:

  • BBC iPlayer
  • ITV Hub
  • All 4
  • My5
  • UKTV Play
  • Exclusive premium channels (that you can’t get with Freeview). 

This also works as a monthly subscription, so you can cancel anytime with no commitment. Tvplayer also gives you free streaming with some mobile packages, which can save you even more money.

8. Get the cheapest plan on your paid streaming subscription

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If you are getting a paid streaming subscription, make sure you are getting the cheapest plan that you can. Sometimes we feel tempted to get the best out of the best, but do you really need it? Why pay for an Ultra HD service when you don’t have a device that streams in 4K? Make sure you are only paying for the things you need. 

9. Share your paid streaming subscription with someone else

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If you don’t want to cancel any paid streaming service you are currently paying for, you can share it with someone else to cut the cost in half. Some streaming services allow you to share your account with family and friends. You just need to check if the service you are paying for allows you to do so. Make sure you are sharing with reliable people to avoid any misunderstandings. 

10. Pay for your plan in full upfront 

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Some services allow you to pay for your plan in full upfront and save money. For example, if you have Amazon Prime, which gives you access to Prime Video, you can pay in full upfront for £79.00 a year. If you pay monthly, after one year you will have paid £95.88. Always check to see if paying upfront can be cheaper! 

11. Always switch off your TV when nobody is watching it

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A bad habit that a lot of people have is to leave their TV one when nobody is watching it. Make sure you use the timer setting if you watch TV to sleep and always turn it off when you change rooms. This way, you can save money on your energy bills!

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If you are going to buy a new TV, make sure you are getting one with the energy-saving Trust recommended label. This way you can avoid any high increases in your energy consumption. Also, if you are looking to save even more money, avoid getting a bigger TV, as they consume more energy than smaller ones. 

13. Get gift cards 

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Gift cards are not only good for giving stress-free gifts. You can also buy gift cards for yourself and get some good rewards. Most services have gift cards with advantages. The most common one is discounts. Look for them before getting any new TV package, buying or renting a new movie or TV show on Google Play and paying for a paid stream service. CDKeys usually has cheaper deals for Google Play gift cards. At the time of writing, you can get a £50 gift card for £47.99. 

14. Haggle for a better deal every year 

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Haggling is the best way to make sure you are getting the best deal you can to save money on your TV package. We have a full guide on how to save money on Sky and BT where we teach some really effective haggling tips and tricks. Make sure you read it to get the best deal you can! 

15. If you are a student you can get some cheaper options

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Students have the opportunity to save more money. Some TV and streaming services give discounts to students. Look for them on Latest Deals and on websites like Save the Student. You can find some good deals. 

16. Check if you really need to get a TV 

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Most of us are used to the idea of having a TV as the main device of entertainment in a household’s living room. Today there are so many other options that you don't really need to get a TV. Most TV Channels have applications that you can access on your mobile devices. You can also turn a computer monitor into a Smart TV by connecting it to a Smart TV Streaming Stick. You have many options, and they usually cost around £30, much cheaper than a new TV set.

17. Check if you are really watching all the channels you are paying for

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Cable TV packages usually come with many channels, making it easy to get lost in all the selections available. Make sure you check if you are really watching all the channels you are paying for. This is even more important with sports channels. Cancelling channels from your cable TV package can reduce your monthly bill considerably. If you are an existing customer and have finished your first year of the contract, you can try to haggle to get more channels for the same price. 

18. Get the best TV deal 

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The more you understand what you need and what you can get, the better deal you can get. The best TV deal is one that fits your budget and gives you exactly what you need, nothing else, nothing more. The best TV deals can also come with some free extras to help you save even more money. Click here to see how you can get the best TV deal for you. 

19. Utilize NOW TV passes smartly 

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Now TV passes can be a good solution if you are looking to save money, even more, if you are a sports fan. You can get Sky Sports on NOW TV for only £5.99 per month. You can also get BT Sports on NOW TV for £25 per month. Only pay for these passes when you know your sports event will be on! This will be cheaper than paying for these channels in a cable TV package. If you get a contract you are committed to paying for these channels even when your favourite sport is not on. With Now TV passes, you can only pay for them during the season! 

20. Make the most out of your games console 

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If you already have a games console, make sure you are taking advantage of it. You can use your games console to provide much more entertainment than playing games. Most modern gaming consoles will let you watch your cable TV Live, catch-up and also access most paid streaming on-demand services. So, you don’t need to purchase anything else. 

21. Pretend to cancel your package to get a better deal 

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One of the best haggling tricks is to pretend you are going to cancel your package to get a better deal. You can only try this trick if you are an existing customer for more than a year or if your contract is about to expire or is already expired. Sky is the best TV package provider to get deals with cancellation treats. Sky even has a page to help you see what deals you can get if you want to upgrade or downgrade your package. 

22. See if you can get Apple TV for free 

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If you have recently bought an Apple product you are entitled to get an Apple TV subscription for a year totally free. Click here to learn more about Apple TV and what you can expect from your subscription. 

23. See if you can get Disney Plus for free 

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Disney Plus is the most recent paid streaming service launched in November 2019. This new paid streaming service has many deals available. For example, at the time of writing, if you are an O2 client, you can get it for free for up to 12 months. 

24. Download All 4, My 5 and ITV Hub to watch British TV for free 

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All these channels have free applications where you can watch movies and TV shows online for free. You don't need a TV licence to watch these channels if you are only catching-up and you just need to be patient during the ads. This is the cheapest way to watch TV in the UK.

25. Use the Free Trial To BritBox UK

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BritBox has the best of British TV shows and movies all in one place and without the need to watch any ads. You can get a 30-day free trial. You will be able to access BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 programmes without any ads. After 30 days, you will pay £5.99 per month. You will need a TV licence to use this. 

26. Get a VPN to expand your paid streaming catalogues 

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If you have Prime Video or Netflix, getting a VPN will expand your access to their international catalogues. You can then access the movies and TV shows available on these platforms in the US, Australia or Spain for example. 

27. See if you can get a discount if you bundle up

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Sometimes bundling up can save you money. If you already have a cable TV plan, see if you can get a discount on broadband or telephone. If you already have a broadband or telephone, see if you can get a discount on your new TV package. Using the same provider for different services can be cheaper if you are going to use all that is included. 

28. Switch your provider 

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People tend to avoid changes, but if they are going to save you money, go for it! Switching your cable TV provider sounds like unnecessary stress, but you can get a better deal! Just keep your eyes open after your contract is over or about to expire, maybe you will find a better deal that will work better for you. Also, the switching process usually doesn't take longer than two weeks. 

29. Take a digital sabbatical

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Taking a digital sabbatical can be a bit controversial, but it’s a nice way to take a break and maybe go back to old habits, like reading, cooking and much more. Think about all the time you spend in front of a screen and what you could be doing instead. If you take a one-month sabbatical you can save money on all your paid monthly streaming services. 

30. Get into the habit of watching YouTube and Vimeo

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Youtube and Vimeo are still free if you don’t mind watching ads. If you want to take a break from spending money on TV, you can try to watch more YouTube and Vimeo videos. You have so many types of content available there. On Youtube, if you like cooking TV shows, you can find so many cooking channels there with similar quality. At Vimeo, if you like documentaries, you can find some good short ones there. 

31. Get a library card

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If you think you are too modern for a library card, you are wrong! Getting a library card has lots of benefits including access to movies and TV shows for free, both as DVD and online. Visit your local library and see how you can get a free membership today. Your library card can also give you access to other virtual libraries such as Hoopla. 

32. Go back to the habit of watching DVDs

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Sometimes all you want to do is rewatch your favourite movie or TV show over and over again. You can get a hold on cheap DVDs at pound shops and charity stores. They are available on eBay as well, where you can find some good deals. Also, you can always borrow from a family member or a friend that has a bigger collection. Going back to the basics can save you some money if you really want to tighten your budget. 

33. Keep an eye out for any hidden fees or extra charges 

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If you are busy or not taking close care of your personal finances it’s easy to overlook hidden fees and extra charges. To avoid this, make sure you read everything you are signing up for. Sometimes when you get a new deal, it can look perfect in the picture. Weeks later, you can see yourself surprised with a higher monthly bill without understanding why. Take your time to read things and look at the small print, usually, that’s the most important information. 

34. Limit the add ons on streaming services

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Some paid streaming services have add-ons. On Amazon Prime Video and Now TV, for example, you can add more channels to your subscription. These channels will look appealing, like Hayu which you can get for £4.99 per month in both services. Try the best you can to limit your additions and only get what you are watching. An extra very important piece of advice is to see if you can get the channel going directly to the channels’ website. So, instead of paying for Amazon Prime Video and Now TV , you will pay only £4.99.

35. Use JustWatch to see where you can find what you want to watch for cheaper 

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JustWatch is a huge catalogue that combines everything you can watch online. You just need to select what you want to watch and see where it is available. This can also be used as a tool to see where you can find the movie or TV show you want to watch for free or cheaper. There is a watchlist feature that can be helpful as well. 

36. Use Google Opinion Rewards to get credit for spending on Google Play 

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Google has an opinion reward program where you can get credit to spend on Google Play and buy movies and TV shows for free! Make sure you install the application and get all set to start replying to surveys. Google pays 60 pence for each completed survey.

37. Buy a smart TV during sales

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If you are planning to buy a TV, we would recommend buying a Smart TV during Black Friday or Boxing Day. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy one directly with the brand, on their official website. You can even create alerts on your favourite shops to be notified when the prices go down! 

38. Be aware of the amount of data that might be used when streaming on your phone

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Streaming on your phone can be more expensive than you imagine. So, be careful not to use all your data to stream when you are outside your house. Make sure you always download movies and TV shows to watch on the go and that you have your wi-fi on when you are inside your house. 

39. Pay your TV bill with rewards credit cards

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Some credit cards will give you rewards when you pay your bills using them. We have an article all about rewards credit cards and how they can help you save more money. 

40. If you use Now TV swap between movies and TV shows passes to save money

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Now TV is one of the most expensive paid stream services. If you don’t swap between watching TV shows and movies there, you can potentially spend more than £20 per month just with this subscription. Choosing between Sky Entertainment (£8.99 per month) and Sky Cinema (£11.99 per month) will save you money. 

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