How to Save on At-Home Entertainment | theSkimm

How to Save on At-Home Entertainment

Published on: Sep 1, 2020fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
Spotify, streaming, audiobooks
The Story

It’s day ??? of quarantine, and you’re bored in the house…and in the house bored. We’re here with budget-friendly entertainment ideas besides tie-dying.

Let’s hear them.

If you’re still watching, find something new to binge. A lot of streaming services have free trials. Psst...Netflix just launched a new site that lets you watch some movies and shows on your Android or in your browser. No subscription or credit card info required. For something a little more highbrow, see what “live” theater you can watch.

Pro-tip: set a calendar reminder for the day before your free trial ends, so you can hit unsubscribe before the bill comes. If you decide to start paying, see if your rewards credit card is giving cash back or discounts. Some have started giving cardholders extra points for spending on streaming.

My eyes need a break from the TV.

There’s a lot more you can try for free. Listen to music and audiobooks with trials of Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Audible, etc. Sweat it out with workouts from Rumble, Peloton, Nike and other fitness services. Learn to do graphic design, cook or start a biz through Skillshare. Or try these apps to brush up on your Spanish (or French, Mandarin, whatever).

Gracias. What if I’m craving social interaction?

See if the group chat is down for virtual book club or game night. That way, you’ll never run out of things to talk about or Code Name clues to make fun of. 

You can also hit up your concert buddy and enjoy a show...quarantine-style. Or host your own with Spotify’s new Group Session feature. Download the Netflix Party plugin and share your thoughts with your fellow movie fans. If you’re itching to leave the house, go on a museum or art gallery, national park or world wonder tour with your favorite travel partner. None of it will be the same, but it will be more affordable. 

Talk to me about IRL get-togethers.

Keeping your social distance can help you keep more money in your wallet. If you’re entertaining, health experts recommend limiting the number of guests and staying outside. Think: BBQs, garden (mini) parties or backyard movie nights. (PS: try the park if you don’t have your own outdoor space.)

One easy way to cut costs: make it a potluck. Or even BYO-Everything...including food, drinks, plates, and utensils. (If you’re providing the plates and utensils, go for disposable.) Since you’ll already be having a pre-convo about what everyone is comfortable with, your guests will have time to prep.

Oh, and no cooler, no problem. Fill some bowls with water and ice, sprinkle on Kosher salt, and place dishes on top. A kiddie pool of salted ice provides the same solution for bottled and canned drinks.


In the Before Times, cancelling plans was a lifestyle. Now it’s all about planning socially distanced and affordable ways to have fun. Without straying far from home.

Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Elizabeth Smith, and Elyse Steinhaus