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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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popcornGoing to the movie theater can be a ton of fun because of the huge screen, tasty treats, and the overall experience.  But going to the movies has become increasingly expensive in the last few years.  So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to look at all the ways you can watch a movie for free or at a much cheaper cost than that of a movie theater.

Free to Watch Instantly


For those of you who don’t know, Youtube recently added a feature where you can watch whole movies online for free. Like the other options listed above, you have to watch commercials every few minutes.  For some this can be annoying, but it is free, so it may be worth the trade off.  The main downside is the selection. These are mostly older movies, but there are some decent titles available depending on what you are in the mood for.

Movie Rentals

Redbox (get a free code for Valentine’s Day)
Blockbuster Express (get current $1 off codes)
Amazon On-Demand

These can be good alternatives to going to the movies if you rent the movie, watch it that night, and return it the next day.  Paying per night is nice as long as you only keep it one night.  What makes these even more attractive is the $1 off coupon codes that are usually available.  Most new releases are now $2-$3, but there is still a large selection of good movies that can be free with the use of a coupon code. If you don’t want to leave your house, you can rent Movies on Demand from Amazon for anywhere from 99¢-$3.99.  Sometimes they also offer codes and discounts too!

Paid Subscriptions

Hulu Plus $7.99/month (free 1-week trial)

Netflix $7.99/month (free 1-month trail)

Blockbuster $9.99/month (check with your store for pricing)

Amazon Prime $79/year or basically $6.58/month
(plus get free 2-day shipping on Amazon purchases)

Paying a monthly fee to these sites can add up, but there are perks.  Each offers a huge selection of movies and TV shows to choose from, you can watch as many as you want, and you don’t have to leave your house to get the movies.  Before purchasing a subscription to one of these sites, you’ll want to review the depth of selection available.

We’ve had Netflix for a while and love it. They seem to have the largest selection and are always adding new features and options. Another perk is that you pay month to month and can cancel your subscription at any time.

With purchase of player

Roku (get a $5 credit to Amazon On Demand when you register your device)
Apple TV

Both the Roku and Apple TV have free content you can access or you can also use them with any one of the subscription services above. They are an easy way to get online content displayed on your TV.  We love our Roku and have found lots of random free shows to watch.  They even have channels for the news! I think I’ve already mentioned that out favorite is Warehouse 13 right now!

For other ideas on how to save on Entertainment, check out this earlier post.

    • Kristie

      Also, check your local library.  Our library has a lot of the latest releases and you get to check them out for 2 weeks.  The one thing I like is that I can go online and place a hold for a movie and when it comes in, they call me to let me know.  I can’t tell you the last time our family has paid for a movie.  

    • Rae

      Netflix is the best! I share an account with my mom and son….we all watch on different mobiles – iPhone and Android, plus our laptops.  Netflix is how I got addicted to Desperate Housewives….right as they get cancelled!

      • Rae

        Oh, and if you have a .edu address, you can get hulu free for a month.

    • Megan of Macon

      Yeah Warehouse 13!

    • Susannah

      I don’t think you can get Hulu Plus through an Apple TV.  We have an Apple TV and Hulu Plus is not available to us.

    • Lexcher

      I love Netflix.   Signed up for free trial to get swagbucks and I’m keeping it.   My kids love it and I can watch Medium again.  lol!!    We canceled our movie channels on cable and saved way more than the $8 that we spend on netflix. 

    • Sabrinawest03

      We have Netflix and love it!! My daughter in college 4 hrs away can watch movies online and on her iphone. The other girls at home can watch on their laptops, phones & the Wii. I highly recommend Netflix – and they have past episodes of some of our favorite TV Shows~

    • Cindyk1014

      I no longer have cable and love Hulu.  I am able to still watch all of the shows I love .  I am now saving $100.00 per month. 

    • Rjc

      We love Amazon on Demand and they offer free codes all the time. Customer service is really good too, if it doesn’t stream well they will refund your money.

    • Jer

      Well…here’s my little tip.  You can watch ANYTHING online.  I quit watching tv shows online cause I hate watching commercials and I watch everything online now plugged up to our tv.  All you have to do is google the name of the tv show along with “watch online” and you have a choice of website to go to.  Sometimes you have to watch them through a streaming link like Megavideo which will limit you to a 72 minute session and then make you wait an hour before you watch another session, but that’s just sometimes.  (I don’t normally watch more than an hour of TV at a time anyways).  Once you get used to it and you realize that you waste 15-20 minutes of each hour watching commercials through a 1 hour show, you’ll never go back to doing it again.  And to be able to watch it for free, even better.  I have basic cable so I can watch local news in the morning at the click of a button, but that’s it.  Love streaming websites…that’s all I gotta say.  :)

      • Rae

        i heard that megavideo owners were arrested for hosting copyrighted material?

        • Tammyjnim

          I did this for over 3 years, but it is becomming harder and harder to find shows.  The links don’t work, or it is full of advertising.  It takes 20+ minutes to find each show, which is tiresome.

          Megavideo doesn’t work anymore.

    • Only1thatcan

      With amazon prime… you can get a discount rate if you are student or a mom… and if you have the “kindle” app you get a free rental of a “top best seller” book of your choice each month too. So it’s MORE than worth the price. Oh and offers for discounts on movie rentals (this weekend was “Tree of Life” for 99cents) I paid 40 for a year since I’m a student (and get to pay that for 3 more years) and it’s a bargain!

    • Karendiaz

      Another of the perks to Netflix, etc. is that you do not have to put up with the increasingly rude audiences at movie theaters!  I actually had a senior citizen swear at me because I dared to ask him not to talk during the last movie I saw at my local theater!  :-(

      • Bstar0306

        omg that is awful! I get cheap movie tickets for AMC and I have to wait 10 days to see the movies so usually the theatres are empty but I hate that!

    • Jennypaps

      How do you watch the sports games?

      • Mandi

        We have a $28 antenna that gets awesome HD over the air, which gives us sports on the local networks.

      • We have access to ESPN3 which streams any ESPN sports channel.  Our AT&T DSL service gives us free access to it.

    • Rosemary

      What is warehouse 13? We have Roku and love it!!! The only thing it really lacks is decent news.

      • Mandipresley

        Have you added the Roku Newscaster channel?  There’s so much news on there I can’t watch it all.

      • Warehouse 13 is a show that streams on netflix or through amazon prime.  It is like a mix between the x-files and bones, sci-fy mystery kinda.

    • Allthingscoupons

      Can someone tell me what are the better Internet only services to be able to cancel cable and use just my computer?

      • ACW

        If I had to pick, I’d probably go with just Hulu Plus if you want current television programming. Netflix and Amazon Prime both run full seasons of shows, but they’re always one season behind. For movies, though, I’d have to go with Netflix. One thing to bear in mind is that Netflix will let you put your account on hold for … either 60 or 90 days, I think, before they give you the option to reinstate service or suspend service. It’s useful if you’re going to be out of town, busy with life, etc.

      • Jessica P

        We canceled our cable with Comcast and our internet with Comcast went up by $20 a month because we were no longer “bundling.” We got rid of Comcast and use AT&T for our internet for $35 a month (half of what Comcast was charging us).

        • Jessica P

          I think I just answered your question wrong. We watch television on free sites such as Hulu and YouTube. I refuse to pay for TV shows any more!

    • ACW

      Another thing to remember is that you can actually watch Netflix or Hulu on different devices at the same time. My husband can finish a movie downstairs (his computer is hooked to our TV with an HDMI cable) while I start a show through the Roku box upstairs. I’ve never tested how many you can run at once, but I think you’re just limited by how much bandwidth your router/modem can handle to stream to different devices simultaneously. 

    • Chelsea Daniels

      You have convinced me i am dropping cable and getting roku and adding netflix and hulu plus. My toddler might be a little upset when she cant watch fresh beat band. But this will save us so much money

      • Robyn

        Fresh beat band season one is on netflix!!

    • Ana

      I DON’T RECOMMEND HULU PLUS AT ALL! I paid a 1 month subscription and cancelled within a week. The only thing I watched was trailers because the movies are all some foreign asian movies and OLD movies you’ve never heard of. I just got Netflix a few days ago and there’s a better selection of movies and a lot of stuff for the kids too. The newest movies I saw are Toy Story 3, Tron, and Tangled. 

      • Bstar0306

        I use Hulu and Hulu Plus to watch all the current TV shows I watch :) it’s more for tv not movies

    • Veganpadua

      my husband recommended this almost a year ago when we were trying to brainstorm ways to save money.  i am not a creature of change sometimes so i was a bit leery.  we finally did it and i couldnt be happier.  i only wish we had done it sooner.  we have netflix for the older series (it’s what my kids primarily watch) and hulu for the current shows ( our favs are house, modern family and glee :)  awesome money saver.  we watch it through our play station.

    • Pbk911

      I fired “DimHouse” 2 years ago. I watch my network shows at ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s websites. So what if I have to wait until the following day for it to be available – I usually dvr’d the shows anyhow.  Ditto for other networks like HGTV, etc… all offer full episodes online.  Im an ice hockey fan, so for SPORTS  I use peer to peer and watch games live. My local stations now provide NEWS live stream online. I got all I need for FREE!

    • JB

      Do any of the paid subscriptions have Spanish or other foreign language tv shows or channels?

      • wiiandthekid

        Hulu has a ton of foreign content. Spanish, Asian, and a lot of Bollywood stuff too.

    • Kaitbritt

      Want a movie that is more than $1?….Blockbuster Express Kiosks have $3 off codes too!
      Here’s something I found on another site– I’ve used it a few times already and it works every time:

      Blockbuster is offering up to 25 Codes for $3 off a DVD Rental at 
      Blockbuster Express Kiosks. To get the code, just text one of the following words to the number 39777 on your cell phone:

    • Diane Lyles

      I don’t think you can watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Guest

      I desperately want to get rid of our cable because there are so many other more affordable options. But my husband is a sports nut & can’t stand the thoughts of getting rid of it. Are there any more affordable options for watching sports than cable? Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Denise

      I have a question about texting codes to Blockbuster Express.  Is there a charge for this if you unlimited texting or is this considered premium texting?  I have Verizon phone.  Thanks for any info.

    • eriksuperman

      These are all great selections.  I’m a big fan of YouTube, but also prefer to have a provider organizing all the content for me.  Nothing bums me out more than wanting to watch a movie, but having to search forever online to find a decent quality film.  With DISH, and the Blockbuster @ Home package, I get access to thousands of movies, games and TV shows and can get them either in-store, by mail or streaming live!  The variety is fantastic, and DISH does most of the work for me.  DISH even added 20 HD movie channels to my regular lineup!  Working at DISH gives me a good chance to try out a lot of technology and programming before it’s released, and this is one that definitely delivers!

    • Lisa

      Trying to research antennas, somebody told me that she was able to get quite a few channels using an antenna, this was after they went digital.  Anybody have any experience with this?  I’m confused by all the antenna info, not sure what kind we would need.

    • Laura

      These blockbuster codes are not supposed to be used to just go get a free movie any time you want one. But people keep sharing them on the internet as if that is what they are for. I am surprised blockbuster hasn’t cut off this program.

      Their intent and usage as stated on their website is
      IF you go to rent a NEW release AND it is not in stock at that time THEN  you will receive instructions on how to text us for a one rental night on us for any available movie (up to a $3 value). When you send a text for the In-stock promo code, you also give us permission to send you promotional messages via text.”

    • Laura

      I’m new to roku & haven’t tried to watch much yet. My box came pre-loaded with 300+ channels but none are the major network tv stations. Some channels are free but it looks like a lot are pay for channels. I was hoping youtube & hulu would be on it it, but only hulu plus is there and facebook. I think all you can do with facebook channel is watch anything yours friends posts on their walls.

      But I got roku mainly to watch netflix & amazon video on my tv so all of the 300 channels are a bonus anyway. There are plenty of different types of channels such as movie, sports, comedy, childrens, music, news etc categories and some channels like crackle do have lots of older tv shows. I don’t see a way to watch any current tv series though except for the netflix, hulu plus, hbo & showtime channels (but those are pay channels of course.)

    • Lizzita182

      Somebody knows if Apple TV does streaming to Puerto Rico?, because Roku doesnt, at least for now that is what they said. 

    • Rachel

      Also, ps3 can be used as a device if the gamer in your life will share :) wifi is necessary.

    • Jo

      Hi Jenny! I too watch Warehouse 13 and recently got the Roku. But it’s not showing Warehouse 13 in the listings. I’m not able to pull it up under HuluPlus to watch. Can anyone help me with this? Or does it not stream to the Roku via HuluPlus?