Whichever way I look at it, Netflix streaming costs me nothing.
I’ve been telling all my friends, and one by one, they’re becoming Netflix converts.
If you’re currently making monthly payments for cable or satellite tv but you like the idea of streaming Netflix for free, here’s my three easy steps.
Follow my lead and soon you’ll be telling your friends “Netflix costs me nothing!” too.
Step 1: Sign up with Netflix for a Free Trial
Take advantage of the ‘free trial’ for Netflix new account sign-ups. This part is easy.
During those 30 days while Netflix is providing you with a free trial of their service, move onto Steps Two and Three.
You need to move quickly. You won’t be watching Netflix month after month ‘for free’ until you complete the next two steps!
But first, let’s take a look at what I get from Netflix.
Watching Netflix on Various Devices
My basic streaming package through Netflix allows me to stream on one screen or device with a standard resolution.
There are many devices that are compatible with Netflix streaming. We already had:
- a bluray/DVD combo with the Netflix app
- an older Wii that has Netflix capability
- and of course, a computer.
For Netflix to cost ‘nothing’, you’ll obviously need a way to view it without additional expense.
- Gaming consoles like Xbox and PS3’s are compatible with Netflix streaming services. Just about any old gaming console will do.
- Netflix app on the Wii allowed me to set it to ‘kids’. Keeping any adult content away from my children while allowing them the joy of ‘controlling’ what shows they are watching and using the remote. (I sometimes think my young one enjoys using the remote control, more than watching the cartoons.)
In the event that you do not have a device that allows Netflix streaming, there are many stand alone streaming devices on the market that won’t break the bank.
How Good Is the Netflix Basic Streaming Package?
I’m happy with my Basic Streaming Package from Netflix. The standard resolution looks amazing on my LCD television in the living room. It even looks great on our old tube television upstairs as well.
The Netflix basic streaming package is a frugal choice at $8.00 a month. (A good, affordable choice for those on a budget who may not be in a position to follow my strategy for ‘getting Netflix for free!’)
Netflix Streaming for More Than One Device At a Time
There are other packages available (at a $2.00 fee increase each) for those who want the ability to stream on more than one screen/device at a time.
With the cost increase of the different Netflix streaming packages you also get a boost to the viewing resolution of your streaming experience.
- The ‘Standard Package’ allows two screens plus upgrades to HD for $10.00 a month.
- Netflix also has a ‘Premium Package’ available. Anyone paying $12.00 a month can enjoy up to four devices streaming at once. Plus a resolution upgrade to HD and Ultra HD.
Is it possible to get the Netflix Standard Package or Premium Package and still boast to your friends you get Netflix for free? Maybe. It all depends on what happens when you get to Steps 2 and 3.
Netflix Streaming on Slow Internet and/or Free Internet
Netflix is not just an option for people in cities with excellent internet access. It is also an effective option for those with slow and limited internet.
- Netflix streaming only requires an internet speed of 0.5 megabits per second, making it a valuable option for those with less than ‘high speed’ internet options.
- I’m amazed I can use the Netflix app on our smart phones as well!
- With most businesses offering free WiFi, I can stream via the Netflix app to keep the kids entertained while waiting for appointments, or even shopping for groceries.
- University students in cafeterias and retirees in restaurants stream Netflix while sipping coffee or waiting for their meals to arrive. Often using free WiFi.
Step 2: Assess Your Current Cable / Satellite Package. (Then Compare it to Netflix)
I took a close look at what I’d been paying, and what I’d been getting from my cable/satellite television service. Closely examine your own package and see how it compares to mine.
- I was paying over $60 a month for cable tv. Each and every month. My costs ran to over $800 a year!
- Monthly payments didn’t drop, even if I watched less (or nothing) on cable tv in any month.
- If I was late with a payment, I was charged a late fee.
- My service was often interrupted because of weather related issues. (Plus scheduled outages.)
- I had justified the cost of around $60 a month for cable by estimating it averaged out to $2 a day …
- But when I counted the number of days I actually watched cable tv in any month, I discovered it cost significantly more than $2 in real terms.
Think of it this way. How much television do you actually watch? Between work and family and errands, it is probably not a whole lot. (When compared with the cost of your cable bill.)
- If you are paying around $60.00 a month for cable (and watch it every day) it averages to $2.00 a day.
$2.00 may not seem too steep until you think of how many days you really do not watch it. Or make allowance for the days your service is interrupted because of weather-related issues or scheduled outages.
- The basic streaming package from Netflix averages out to around $0.26 a day. Yes, just 26 cents a day.
I feel much better about paying cents per day, instead of dollars! It helps enormously if you are trying to live within a set budget.
Netflix is ‘Pay to Play’ ~ Great For Budgeting!
I really like this feature. The great thing about Netflix Streaming is (unlike your cable it bill) it is ‘pay to play’.
- You have to ‘pay’ in order to watch (or ‘play’).
- There are no late fees since the service automatically stops until you make another payment.
- You can cancel your Netflix Streaming subscription at any time without fear of any cancellation fees.
- Netflix offers a few options when it comes to paying the monthly subscription.
- Debit or credit card and, my personal favourite, paying with PayPal.
Cable and satellite companies will continue to let you watch even if you missed a payment or two, and charge late fees as well. Eventually service will terminate, but not before they get in some good penalties and fees building up.
Plus in most cases a nominal fee is charged for installations, and a deposit before you can even start watching. There are large cancellation fees associated with breaking the contract too.
Step 3: Let Go Of Cable ~ Stick With Netflix Streaming
This is the stage where my friends (who followed my lead) and I breathed an enormous sigh of relief. For me, I was gaining over $800 in my annual budget. By letting go of cable tv, I had an extra $800 than previous years.
Friends who paid more for their cable tv service made even greater savings. Suddenly we were talking about holidays. Home improvements. Music lessons for children. Vehicle upgrades. Everyone had at least one thing that had previously fallen outside their budget.
Without the on-going expense of cable television, we all had more money to play with.
Yes, of course, there’s a regular small payment to Netflix. But I pay just $8 per month for my Basic Streaming service. And I save 100 times that $8 payment, each year!
So when I look at my budget this year compared to previous years, I can save $800 and have Netflix streaming for free! (I don’t see it as an expense, but a saving.)
Even my friends who say the ‘premium package’ from Netflix is a better fit for their family, get a year’s service for $144.00 from Netflix. They also view their Netflix streaming service as free.
Why? Because they have additional money in the bank. And, thanks to Netflix, they still have exciting new content to view despite living without cable tv!
Pros and Cons of Netflix Streaming vs Cable
For me, one of the many pros of Netflix streaming is shows are updated by adding a season, not just an episode. Here’s why I see this as an advantage.
I maybe a season behind what is currently airing, but …
- I don’t have to suffer cliff-hanger episodes anxiously awaiting a resolution on next week’s episode.
- I enjoy being able to access Netflix streaming at my leisure, rather than attempting to fit a show’s airtime into my day to day schedule.
- I enjoy shows I really do not want my child exposed to. Like The Walking Dead, and Wentworth.
Take a look at the options available from Netflix and weigh up the pros and cons for yourself.
I’m sure there are people who will remain glued to cable tv. But no doubt many of you will share my joy with saving money ~ and be happy you are getting Netflix Streaming for ‘free’!