We love to watch our favorite sitcoms and TV shows, and very often we find them for free via multiple streaming services that we are sharing below for you (and we will add to the list as we find more!).. many also offer free audiobooks, online magazines, ebook, music, and more and we have most of these free streaming services on our smart tv as apps when we first sign in… I don’t think there is a show we can’t find on some free streaming service (or at our local library if all else fails), so you may never need to pay for TV again!
1 YouTube has a lot of free TV show episodes and movies uploaded by users (as well as audiobooks)… they probably aren’t supposed to be there for free, but so many are, so check there first to find full versions of audiobooks and movies you are interested in watching, as well as the ability to create playlists of your favorite music videos.
2 Hoopla is offered by many libraries across the country, and your local library may offer this too. Just call them up and ask, and if they do, get a library card! Hoopla offers movies, TV shows, audiobooks, ebooks, and even magazines and music!! They have an AWESOME selection of CDs you can borrow for a week at a time and download to listen to even when you aren’t connected to WiFi, so you can read the most recent magazines and listen to the best old and new music available, all for free… all that in addition to lots of movie options for free.
3 If you are an Amazon customer, you can watch free TV shows with FreeVee (in partnership with IMDb TV) through your free Amazon account (you don’t need to pay for Amazon Prime, which also offers a variety of shows, but may not be worth $130 a year for many- I am happy with the free options). They have ads, but so what? We don’t have cable and ads are when we make bathroom runs or more popcorn (and we can pause so we don’t miss anything if the commercials are done before we are). They are streaming Little House on the Prairie as one of their free options and I can’t wait to start watching this with the boys!
4 PlutoTV by Viacom offers both live TV shows across 300 channels and On Demand options, and they have so many great movies that I’m not sure why anyone would pay for streaming anymore when between several of the options mentioned on this page for free at home movie streaming, pretty much everyone is covered- movies, TV sitcoms, comedy specials, etc. This last week, I watched a string of RomComs like Runaway Bride and How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days.
5 Peacock is NBC’s streaming service (and it offers a premium version for more options of shows that are owned by NBC).
6 Tubi is another great streaming service that rounds out my favorites, and this last week I watched Unplanned and It Could Happen To You. It’s a division of Fox Entertainment, and does feature ads as well as their own original programming (many of the best streaming services create their own original TV shows and movies, and so many are really good). Tubi also offers live news and sports channels.
7 Crackle TV is popular with my husband, and when I checked it out I could see why. Lots of crime dramas, mysteries, thrillers, movies that take place outdoors, and in general a lot of great movies for masculine tastes. Some of the best movies with the best actors are available and I sometimes love watching classic TV shows, so lately this has been more popular in our home.
8 Vudu also offers a lot of fun programming, and they have paid sections and free with ads sections, and while they do offer a lot of great movies for kids, they also have a lot of raunchy selections, so I haven’t added this app to my smart TV yet (just watch on my computer if I see a comedy I’m interested in). There are definitely dozens and dozens of great new options rotated in and out all the time that make it worth checking out.
Finally— Your local library!! Our favorite option is our library. We can order DVDs to rent and watch, or see what they are offering on the Libby app to stream. If you like more obscure movies and sort of artistic screenplays, Kanopy is free from many libraries too (not my taste, but my library offers it and I appreciate it).
I notice that when a show leaves one free streaming service, it tends to pop up on another, so I think many of these streaming services take turns contracting different shows, and you can usually find your favorite shows somewhere.
And if you do want a cheap streaming service that offers a LOT of current TV shows (just a day later), you can subscribe to Hulu for only $7.99 a month. We use it to watch The Bachelor and Call Me Kat and LegoMasters (one of my favorite shows!!). Hulu offers a lot of shows in an affordable monthly membership, but since their ads are not kid-friendly, if you have kids I’d recommend getting their ad-free version, which pushes the price up again, so I’d only do this if you have a month off that you are in the mood to binge watch shows before cancelling. I don’t mind ads, I do mind inappropriate ads that even make me as an adult uncomfortable and feeling like an unwilling voyeur, so… if you do like the offerings on paid streaming services but don’t want to pay much (and don’t want the ads), sign up for a short period of free time and then cancel.
Disney Plus is not free, but if you’d like to binge watch ALL the Disney classics during a month or two your kids have off from school, sign up for a month membership and go crazy… you can watch everything they ever put out (and even many movies that are brand new in the last year and month)… once you are done, cancel. It beats renting DVDs individually or paying to rent on Amazon movie by movie.
Though I still think getting the DVDs from the library are better than Hulu and Disney Plus 😉