Cable and streaming costs too high? How to cut the cord for free

Some of us remember when you didn’t have to pay a bill to watch television. You got four or five channels if you were lucky, but they were totally free. Today, some families are spending well over $200 to watch TV shows, news and movies at home.

Cord cutters say they save money with streaming video over a Roku or Amazon Fire, using Netflix, Sling, Hulu and other services. Those subscription fees can add up, too.

You can save even more money — as in all of it — by cutting all those subscriptions. What can you watch for free? You might be surprised at what I found.

The first place to start when looking for free TV shows and movies is the local TV stations. All network affiliates broadcast a high definition signal that you can pick up with an antenna. You probably don’t need to spend a lot of money on an antenna either. If you’re close enough to the broadcast tower, you might even be able to pick up the HD signal with an old pair of rabbit ears or a coat hanger. Local stations also often broadcast other channels that carry programming like classic TV comedies, courtroom dramas, westerns or suspense. Again, that is all free with an antenna.

Pluto TV is a live streaming service with about 100 channels. There are a few MTV channels, two Nickelodeon channels and Bloomberg Business. There are also dozens of movies you can watch on demand.

Other free streaming content can be found on Tubi, IMDB FreeForm, YouTube and The Roku Channel.