Skip to Content

15+ Cable Alternatives that Cost $20 or less!

15+ Cable Alternatives that Cost $20 or less!

Our household hasn’t paid for TV service in five years! Well, at least the traditional sort of TV service anyway. We cut the cable when we realized we were spending $120/month on channels we didn’t want to watch. Why pay so much when there’s never anything on, anyway?


We rely on Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, network websites and iTunes for our TV shows and movies. Of course, there are way more online streaming options available!(Worried about your Internet bill? We may be able to help you get cheaper Internet service).

If you prefer, you can even pick up FREE broadcast digital channels with a digital antenna. Depending on your area, your FREE channels may include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and more! Click here to find what stations you could get with a digital antenna! If you’re viewing on an older TV, you may also need a converter box.


tvdead for

No, streaming doesn’t mean you have to watch on a tiny screen.

There are many affordable streaming devices that you can plug directly into your television. Each of the devices listed below can display your selected streaming service (except iTunes) directly on your television! It’s fantastic.

You can find affordable streaming devices on Amazon!


Here are our favorite cheap streaming services!

Our family currently uses the network websites, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. I can’t wait to try SlingTV – it’s the last one on the list and it sounds incredible!

Stream current TV shows from the network’s website.

During the active TV season, we stream The Flash and other favorites directly from the CW website. The full episodes are only available within a week of the original air date, so it requires some diligence to make sure we don’t miss any episodes… but really, who wants to get behind on their favorite shows anyway?

Check out these FREE streaming services!

There are many free streaming services, although their offerings are much more limited than the paid services. These free alternatives to Netflix still have some great stuff, though!

Get a library card and stream FREE movies!


No joke! Most libraries around the US are now offering FREE legal music downloads, FREE movie streaming and more! See what’s available at your local library – click here now!

iTunes – price varies

When we want to watch something that isn’t available anywhere else, we break down and buy it on iTunes. We watch Costco and other sellers for discounted iTunes gift cards that cost less than their face value.

Amazon Prime Instant Video – $5.99 per month

At just $5.99 per month with your EBT card, Amazon Prime membership is a steal! You’ll get access to the Amazon Prime Instant Video library, free two-day shipping and so much more!

It seems that the video content was much better a few years ago. Now, most of the titles we enjoy aren’t free any more. However, my kids LOVE shows like Umizoomi, Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues – which are all available FREE from Amazon!


CBS All Access – $5.99 per month

For just $5.99 per month, you can enjoy over 8,000 CBS programs with minimal commercial interruptions. New episodes will be available the day after they air on live TV! Eliminate most of the commercials for just $4 per month more!

Feeln – $5.99 per month

Enjoy Hallmark movies and hundreds of family-friendly, romantic Hollywood films and TV series with Feeln. They cater to a very specific audience, so there isn’t a lot of variety at Feeln – it’s all Hallmark type shows, all the time.

If you pay the annual rate of $35.99, that’s just $2.99 per month!

Hulu – $7.99 per month

At just $7.99 per month, you can get unlimited access to Hulu’s library. Hulu’s shows do include some advertisements. I’ve never particularly enjoyed Hulu but I know people who love it more than I love Netflix! lol

Netflix – $9.99 per month

Netflix is my favorite. There’s a reason it’s so popular! If you haven’t tried your free month yet, I highly recommend it.

One of my favorite things about Netflix is how quickly they get new content. Finding Dory, Secret Life of Pets and Moana were available on Netflix very quickly.

We actually pay $2 more so that we can stream Netflix on four screens at one time and stream Ultra HD content.

HBO Now – $14.99 per month

Stream every episode of every season of every HBO original program! You’ll also have access to hit movies, documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials.

You’ll start with a 30 day free trial. If you’re a student in an accredited college or university, you can get a $5/month discount!

SlingTV – $20+ per month

Sling TV lets you choose what channels you want to have access to. Instead of paying the full price for thousands of channels with no content you actually enjoy, Sling offers you access to some of the best channels for a fraction of the price.

The cheapest Sling service is the $20 Sling Orange plan. It’s a single stream service, so you can only stream content on one device at a time. For $5 more, you can get Sling Blue and watch your content on up to three separate devices at one time.

Sling Orange includes the following channels:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • AXS TV
  • BBC America
  • Bloomberg Television
  • Cartoon Network
  • Cheddar
  • CNN
  • Comedy Central
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3
  • Food Network
  • Flama
  • Freeform
  • Galavision
  • HGTV
  • History Channel
  • IFC
  • Lifetime
  • Local Now
  • Newsy
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • Tribeca Shortlist
  • Viceland

For $5 more, you can upgrade to the multi-stream Blue service. You’ll lose the ESPN channels, Freeform and the Disney channel but you’ll gain

  • BET
  • Bravo
  • El Rey
  • Fox
  • Fox RSNs
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • Fox Sports Network
  • FX
  • FXX
  • National Geographic
  • NatGeo Wild
  • NBC
  • NBC RSNs
  • NFL Network
  • Nick Jr.
  • SYFY
  • truTV
  • Univision
  • Unimas
  • USA

You can add even more channels, if you want! They’re available in $5/month packages. A Cloud DVR service is also available. Remember, though – all these add-ons add up quickly!

Got questions about SlingTV? Ask an expert now!


Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today,,, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

We have had a Netflix acct for a couple years. How can I change it to get the disounted price?

Hannah Benge

Friday 21st of May 2021

There isn't a discounted price for Netflix. The lowest costing version is the 9.99. If you would like to switch to the lowest costing version or switch to paying more you would have to go to your settings and manage your account. -Hannah


Friday 19th of March 2021

In November or December of 2020, Hulu was offering its regular monthly plan for $2.99 per month for a year. Sure, their regular plan has commercials - but I have a bladder, so it often works out ;-). Unfortunately, I did not know of this website's existence at that time, which is why I did not post this when the special offer was still valid. However, this sort of thing is not unheard of - it's just not an everyday occurrence. Therefore, I recommend that all of your readers do a web search every three to four weeks (takes a minute, if that). Either a general one for streaming service deals, or separate individual ones for each service that you are interested in (that's how I discovered the Hulu deal for Mom).

Stacy Cates

Monday 27th of April 2020

All I have to say is Pluto TV. It's %100 free with tons of channels for everyone.


Sunday 28th of March 2021

Yes this! I think this is even better than paying for anything else that requires a subscription!

Anthony Lilley

Thursday 21st of March 2019

Thanks for the great information!!! My question is, if I get a couple packages- Amazon, Netflix, what do you recommend for internet access? AT&T has internet access for around $10/mth, will that work? Is the data amount too restrictive for streaming apps like Amazon? I have a Roku TV. Thank you so much for your insight!!! Anthony Lilley

Riley Thomson

Thursday 21st of March 2019

Anthony, Here is everything we have for low income internet options. I hope this helps. -Riley


Friday 14th of December 2018

What a terrific guide! Just the roundup and comparison I was looking for (& thought I'd have to build myself)! I will be using this for my own personal use & then for teaching the "cable-cutting" class I've been planning to give to low income & disabled seniors in my building.

Riley Thomson

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

Nodo, Thanks! -Riley