Best free alternatives to expensive entertainment
Money is tight for a lot of people right now, with the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis likely to be felt for a long time to come.
Expensive entertainment might, therefore, be too much for the budget of many individuals at the moment, but the good news is there are plenty of free alternatives to try out instead.
Here are a few ideas to help you to get up and running if you are trying to reduce your spending.
Free trials for streaming services
Lockdown has had people watching more television than perhaps ever before, and the options are fantastic. The launch of new streaming services such as Disney+ and Apple TV+ has given television fans even more choice, but the cost of keeping them all can soon start to mount up.
Luckily, free trials are available for a lot of these sites so you have the chance to try before you buy. With Apple TV+ – which has new Tom Hanks film Greyhound – there is a seven-day free trial, giving people the chance to watch series such as acclaimed drama The Morning Show.
Big budget, small screen
Unfortunately, Disney+ has ended its free trial period, so anyone who wants to watch shows such as the new Star Wars series The Mandalorian will have to put their hand in their pocket. But anyone who has yet to join Netflix – if there are any people still out there without subscriptions – can still get a free 30-day trial to kick them off. There are loads of Netflix originals to try out, too.
Little Fires Everywhere is one of the hottest shows around right now and people can watch the Celeste Ng adaptation through a free one-month trial on Amazon Prime. That gives you further perks such as faster delivery from Amazon, as well as plenty of content for kids as well.
Sky television can be very pricey by the time various bundles are added, but a budget-friendly option is to take advantage of a seven-day trial for NowTV. The NowTV Cinema Pass has a massive number of films to pick from, including recent Hollywood releases, while taking the Entertainment Pass means TV watchers can catch up on top-rated shows such as Chernobyl.
Plenty of other streaming sites are offering free trials too, with Hayu and StarzPlay among them.
Play games for free online
Bored of long days spent in front of the television? You can turn to your phone for entertainment. There are plenty of free games available for free and the choice is impressive.
If you are addicted to Facebook, you can find games within the platform too, such as Candy Crush Saga or Trivia Crack. Or you can check the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android) for more sophisticated options such as Call of Duty: Mobile.
Then there are the websites: these games are known as browser games, with options ranging from MMORPG The Third Age to platforms curating codes – for example, NoDepositdaily.com – that can be used to unlock benefits in other games.
Free fitness classes and programmes
The chances are that your gym subscription was one of the first things to go during lockdown. Gyms are still not open, and many people might not feel safe using them when they open either.
Joe Wicks became a national hero during the coronavirus crisis, with his free exercise classes being watched by millions of people on a regular basis. But he is far from the only choice for those who want to maintain a decent fitness regime from the comfort of their own home.
Anyone who has an indoor training bike should consider checking out the Global Cycle Network, which has a couple of million subscribers. Plenty of videos are available to help cyclists to create an indoor training programme that will keep up their routine during the lockdown period.
Workouts based on ballet barre can also be found at Barreworks, so there are a lot of options.
Watch a show online for free
It could be a while until visiting theatres is possible again. The cost of seeing a play, a musical or a show is prohibitive for a lot of people anyway.
The National Theatre has stepped in during lockdown by offering a range of productions that have been available to stream for free on YouTube. Every Thursday, there is a new full-length play to watch, with The Deep Blue Sea with Helen McCrory the next to be released by the organisation.
The Old Vic has also been offering streams of productions for no cost, with its YouTube channel set to release a production of Mood Music by Roger Mitchell in the coming days. Cirque du Soleil also has shows available to watch online for free, so there is something for everyone.
The editorial unit