5 Sources of Free Entertainment on the Internet

by on Sep 17 2013 - 33 Comments

Using the Internet for Entertainment

If you haven’t noticed, I’m all about saving money. As a blogger who spends hours upon hours on the internet writing, commenting, researching, and interacting on social media, you probably won’t be surprised when I say that the internet also has helped me save (and make) lots of money. Today I specifically want to talk about how you can find free entertainment on the internet.

Before I dive in, it’s important for me to point out that the internet is not free. You obviously have to pay a monthly fee if you want internet at home. Thankfully there are quite a few relatively affordable options for internet available no matter where you live. It’s also to remember that while the internet is not free to use, it does in fact give you unlimited options for free entertainment. That’s an undeniable fact!

1) News Websites

If you’re a news junkie, there really is no reason not to take advantage of all the free content on the web. I can easily spend an hour or two a day reading various news stories on the web. Google News is a great news aggregation tool where you can find the most recent articles about just about any topic you can think of. I do have to point out that not all content on the internet is free: there are some news websites have a pay wall where you can only access so much for free and have to be a paying subscriber to access most of the content (The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are two examples).

2) Blogs

Pretty much every blog on the internet is free and there are literally millions of blogs out there. You’re reading one right now (for free!). I read anywhere from 10-40 blogs a day and none require a paid subscription. If you like to read and learn new things, blogs are the place to be. Even better is the conversation that happens in the comments of the more popular blogs. There’s a reason most of the blog posts on Young Adult Money end with a question for readers.

3) YouTube

YouTube gets mixed reviews from people. Some people spend little to no time on it while others spend hours every single day. There are some people who try very hard to put good content up there. I’ve talked about them before, but there is a reality show on YouTube called Internet Killed Television where this couple essentially documents their life. They edit and upload a video every single day (and make a full-time doing it because of their huge following). While this may not sound interesting to you, there are literally an unlimited number of free videos out there covering every topic you could imagine.

4) Free Television Shows

When I first started to watch the show Revolution I had a predicament because The Bachelorette was online at the same time (my wife loves the show, as does 99% of the female population). How did we solve this problem? Well, there are full episodes of Revolution online as well as The Bachelorette. So one of us could watch their show on TV and the other could watch online. I realize both of these shows are already on “free” Television, but the main point is that there are a ton of places to find full-length episodes online.

Not all episodes of every show are available online, but the internet can still help us find free TV shows so that we don’t have to buy the DVDs. If you go to your local library’s website you can request seasons of TV shows. When they are ready for pickup, you’ll get an email. Then all you have to do is drop by for literally one minute, grab it off the shelf where they put the requests, and be on your way. I do this a couple times a month and it’s super efficient and saves me hundreds if not thousands a year on DVDs that I would otherwise end up purchasing.

5) Giveaways

If you are a regular reader of Young Adult Money you know we are big on giveaways. If you enter enough giveaways you are bound to win one (or many!). If you have access to the internet, you have access to thousands upon thousands of giveaways that end each week. If you wanted to, you could enter them (for free, while watching your free DVDs from the library) and put the money in a designated “entertainment” fund. You can attend concerts, go to movies, and maybe even go on a vacation with the winnings. This approach isn’t for everyone, but it is a good way to fund various expenses and all you need is an internet connection and some free time.

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How do you save money on entertainment through using the internet?
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33 comments
ThriftyTricks
ThriftyTricks

I honestly can't imagine my life without internet. Ican barely remember what I was doing before I had it at home - probably just read anything that I got my hands on. Thanks for this post!

OutlierModel
OutlierModel

I'm always hitting up the news websites. Google currents has all the major ones that I read, and it's so easy to access on my phone.  Maybe too easy ...

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

Most of my entertainment is online, we don't have TV or cable, or even a DVD player. I spend a lot of time reading and download ebooks too, as well as streaming movies. And for any hobby there is a tutorial, I get recipes for example to cook something new.

JourneytoSaving
JourneytoSaving

Reading blogs takes up a lot of my time now. I used to watch Youtube videos, and have watched some vlogs (those that film their lives daily). It can replace reality TV sometimes! I also like to surf the web for recipe ideas - it saves us money since we can just make something we were going to order out.

MoneySma1
MoneySma1

Good reminders to get into all the giveaways.  There are so many out there and if you dedicate some time to it on a regular basis, it is bound to pay off!

SavvyWithSaving
SavvyWithSaving

I could spend hours and hours on youtube...and I do. :)

moneystepper
moneystepper

Not only are blogs free, they are usually educational and you can learn something to improve all aspects of your life. Such as this post...

TheHeavyPurse
TheHeavyPurse

I have spent more time reading blogs this year than I ever have the past. And I am also enjoying it much more, because I took to the time to start connecting with the bloggers themselves. It really does make a difference! I definitely get some news via the internet but I still have my subscription to Wall Street Journal. It's a bit of a ritual for me to read it in the morning!

ayoungpro
ayoungpro

If you are a video game player, there are TONS of free video games online. :)

Eyesonthedollar
Eyesonthedollar

Reading Young Adult Money has been my favorite source of online entertainment for over a year now!

FrugalRules
FrugalRules

Great list DC, we do a lot of them ourselves. Of course it's usually me as I am on the computer seemingly 24/7. I am always on either some news site or blog.

BorrowedCents
BorrowedCents

I have always watched things online especially since I have Netflix. I also like YouTube and I have actually followed internet killed TV. If I had to choose my TV with cable or my computer with internet, the answer is so obvious.

PFUtopia
PFUtopia

Good suggestions, DC. For those who rely on "paid" entertainment (mainly cable/satellite tv I suppose), it's all about re-setting our entertainment expectations or thinking. The problem is, I do most of my entertainment via online sources anyway. We might as well drop paid tv, but something tells me we aren't quite to that point yet.

Andrew LivingRichCheaply
Andrew LivingRichCheaply

Even before I had a blog, I used to read a lot of blogs.  I'm also fine with watching stuff online and surfing the web. 

Beachbudget
Beachbudget

I think I spend HOURS on reading blogs. I also catch up on shows that I normally wouldn't watch on TV but online I'll watch, like some kind of MTV show. I also love watching House Hunters. And music...don't forget music!

SingleMomIncome
SingleMomIncome

I love to read blogs. That keeps me pretty entertained. And, my girls love to watch funny animal or baby videos on YouTube. They also can watch PBS cartoons and play educational games on PBS Kids websites for free which is pretty nice.  We can pretty much keep busy with the internet!

brokeandbeau
brokeandbeau

I have a netflix subscription and there are movies I'm unable to stream there but are on YouTube in their ENTIRETY.  (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and When Harry Met Sally are the two that come to mind).  Also obsessed with blogs.  My list of daily reads keeps growing- I don't know how I'll keep up!

StudentDebtSurvivor
StudentDebtSurvivor

Blogs are by far my biggest entertainment source on the Internet. I currently have over 400 un-read posts in my reader that I need to catch up with.

Matt @ Mom and Dad Money
Matt @ Mom and Dad Money

I can waste a lot of time on ESPN and on different message boards. For me, it's not a question of being able to find free entertainment, it's making sure that free entertainment doesn't take over my life.

SenseofCents
SenseofCents

I agree with your list! I love that reading blogs is a free source of entertainment :)

Money Life and More
Money Life and More

If you're watching Revolution and you're caught up I don't see how you can't watch it live every week. I'm always wanting to know what happens next!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@BorrowedCents I agree.  The answer to that question is very obvious and I think we'll see more streaming options and more entertainment options as various entertainment outlets look to compete on quality video content.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@PFUtopia I haven't dropped my cable but mainly because of sports.  I also like shows on HGTV and a few others that I wouldn't get unless I had cable.  At the same time I take full advantage of free options as well!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@Beachbudget I spend probably 5-10 hours reading and commenting on blogs each week.  I think of it as part of my business, though : )  Ah music!  I have spotify so I technically pay $10/month but it's so much better than buying the actual cds.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@SingleMomIncome That's awesome!  I forget how many free kid entertainment/learning resources there are on the internet.  My cousins love my Aunt's ipad.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@brokeandbeau I wasn't able to keep up with my growing list of blogs : /  I have probably 200 in my favorites and have to really pick and choose which to read.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@StudentDebtSurvivor At first glance 400 seems like an insane amount.  Then I think about how many blog posts I read on a daily basis and how many I wish I had time to read and it doesn't seem that crazy.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@SenseofCents I could literally spend 8 hours a day reading and commenting on blogs.  Problem is that would take up most of my day, then, haha.