MILLIONS of households across the UK are looking for ways to cut back on their spending and easy swaps can make a big difference.
Soaring energy bills, rising fuel and food costs and rocketing inflation have left many families out of pocket.
And one of the first things that some people have cut back on is subscriptions.
Services such as Netflix boomed during lockdown when millions of people were stuck at home with nothing to do – but now people are starting to question if their subscriptions are worth the money.
But if you don't want to quit your binge-watching marathons, there are ways to cut back on spending without having to forgo your daily dose of entertainment.
Reena Sewraz, money expert at Which?, said: "Many of us find that paying for subscriptions is now normal, but the costs can quickly add up.
"But we found many ways to save on a range of subscriptions. Paying annually rather than monthly is often cheaper, and you could even rotate your monthly subscriptions, rather than paying for more than one service at a time."
Here are Reena's top ways to save money on services, from Amazon Prime to Spotify.
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Share your subscriptions
Sharing streaming subscriptions between a household is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Spotify is one platform that has this option.
While the music streaming service costs £9.99 for a single membership, you can get its Premium Duo plan for £13.99 a month.
This saves £71.88 a year compared to the price of two individual subscriptions.
And there's an option for the larger households too – Premium Family is £16.99 a month and lets up to six people access tunes at once.
That adds up to £203.88 a year, rather than £716.28 if you had six individual accounts – a saving of £515.40.
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Pay annually rather than monthly
Sometimes it can seem daunting to pay for a whole year's subscription all at once.
But if you know you're going to stick with the service, it can save you money to pay in one lump sum.
For example, Disney+ costs £7.99 a month, or £79.90 for the year.
Paying for an annual subscription saves you £15.98 over the monthly payment option £15.98.
Similarly, Amazon Prime is £7.99 a month or £79 a year.
If you can afford it, this is a super easy way to save some cash.
Rotate monthly subscriptions
If you have multiple TV and film subscriptions, you could save money by rotating what you pay for each month.
If you're signed up to everything, you could be forking out a fortune
Netflix is £6.99 a month, NowTV £9.99, Amazon Prime £7.99 and Disney+ £7.99 – adding up to £32.96 a month if you have them all, or £395.52 a year.
But each of these services allow users who pay monthly to cancel their subscription at any point with no fee.
So if you can plan what you want to watch, you could alternate which service you're signed up to and save.
If you currently have all four services, and switch to picking just one a month you could save hundreds of pounds.
Do your research and compare prices
With so many streaming options, it's easy to lose track of which film and series are available on each.
But there's no point paying for a subscription if it's not got anything binge-worthy on offer for you.
If there's a specific programme you want to watch, one tip is to research which platforms have it and choose that one.
If it's on multiple platforms, check to see which one is cheaper.
For example, addictive crime series Line of Duty is available on both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
The cheapest Netflix subscription is £6.99 a month, but if you already have a TV licence, BBC iPlayer is free.
Check for bundle deals too – some mobile phone providers offer free extras with contracts.
For example, Vodafone offers up to 24 months of Amazon prime, Spotify or YouTube Premium with certain pay monthly deals.
Downgrade your plan
Switching to a cheaper subscription plan is another simple way to save.
Netflix has three different plans – basic (£6.99), standard (£10.99) and premium (£15.99).
The more expensive packages allow more than one user to watch at once on a different screen – great for families, but not much use if you live alone.
Check you're not overpaying for what you're using – if you're shelling out for Premium but only two people are watching, you could save a fiver a month.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime also offers a basic membership called Prime Video for £5.99 a month.
It doesn't offer its free premium delivery service but it does let you stream shows – so if you're not interested in shopping, it's an easy way to save £2 a month.
All 4, ITV Hub and My 5 are available for free (as long as you are not using them to watch live television), while BBC Sounds has a library of podcasts and music.
Calculate if it's really worth the money
How often do you actually use your subscription?
If it's only a few times a month, it might not be worth having them.
The Pret A Manger coffee subscription, for example, costs £25 a month and gives customers up to five hot drinks a day.
A regular-sized latte in Pret costs £2.95, so if you buy one three times a week you'd spend £35.40 without the subscription.
However, a black coffee costs £1.40 and would cost £16.80 a month for three a week, in which case customers would save £8.20 by buying them individually.
Make the most of free trials
Streaming services often let you try before you commit, and will give you one month for free.
Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Premium all currently give new users a one-month free trial, according to Which?
It's worth taking advantage of this free period to work out if you're actually going to use a service enough to justify paying for it.
Be sure to put the date in your diary that the trial ends so you don't accidentally end up signing up and paying for a service you don't want.
Cancel what you don't use
It's easy to lose track of ongoing subscriptions, especially if you're paying out of several different bank accounts.
Apps like Money Dashboard and Snoop give users an overview of all their bank accounts in one place and can help you spot subscriptions you're not using.
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Some banking apps also have features that make it easier to stay on top of bills.
Look through your bank statement regularly to spot any unfamiliar or recurring payments and make sure you're using the services you're paying for.
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