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Frugal Find: Hulu Plus

   Posted On: September 6, 2013  |    Posted In: Saving  |     Posted by: Broke Millennial®

The Hulu Plus app interface.

As a little girl, my parents were pretty strict about the TV consumption in our household. When I summoned up the courage to ask if I could watch Rugrats I was usually told to go play outside. I even tried to be conniving and blame my little sister. “Daddy, Cailin said she wants to watch TV. Can we please put the Rugrats on?” They saw right through that one, especially when Cailin wasn’t old enough to talk yet. These days, I’m a regular TV addict. Perhaps it all those days spent outside in the fresh air, using my imagination and having a wonderful childhood. Or maybe it’s because I grew up in foreign countries and tried to navigate my native culture through American TV shows. However, no matter how much I love TV I just can’t justify the cost of cable. Enter Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus is a flat rate fee of $7.99 per month. You can’t access everything you could on cable, but they offer recent episodes from many of the major networks/channels including ABC, NBC, FOX, ABC Family, Comedy Central and sporadic Bravo shows. They don’t stream from CBS (thanks to Time Warner, but I imagine that will change soon after the post-black out deal). You can catch CBS shows on the network’s own page though. Shows usually go on Hulu the day after they air on TV, so your lag time for staying current with pop culture isn’t too bad. Plus, how often are you actually home, or available, to catch your favorite shows during prime time?

So, why bother with Hulu Plus over regular (free) Hulu? Well, it gives you access to all their content. If you use the free version, you only have access to a handle full of episodes from a season, possibly just the most recent. If you’re delayed a week catching up on a show, then you might miss the episode entirely. If you aren’t paying for Netflix, Hulu Plus offers many of the same full seasons Netflix does. You also have access to more movie selections. If you tend to stream from a tablet, connected TV (Roku) or phone, Hulu Plus gives you access to their content via their app. My main reason for upgrading was to stream shows through a Roku. And yes, the commercials are “limited.”

Optimized-Roku TV
Seriously, just cut cable already and get a Roku.

Hulu has it’s downsides and frankly isn’t even my favorite streaming option (*cough* NETFLIX*cough*). But, Hulu offers access to current shows, while Netflix requires waiting for full seasons to be available months after the season wrapped. Hulu’s “limited commercials” don’t really feel to limited. You used to only have a 30 second commercial break if you used Hulu Plus, but I’ve noticed they’re continuing to increase commercials (money grubbing $&@^!). But you can just mute the commercials and go be productive for a 90 seconds, or more realistically check all your social media accounts and wonder why more people haven’t liked your witty Facebook status?

If you really want to help me be frugal, then try out 2 weeks of Hulu Plus (FOR FREE) using my referral code! I’ll get a kickback of two free weeks if you sign up to try it out. After two free weeks, you can cancel your subscription and won’t get charged. Or you can just cut the cord and start streaming shows online like all the cool kids.

Is Hulu Plus, Netflix or Amazon Prime worth it to you?

SHARING THE LOVE – Just some food for thought

  • Budgeting for 4 Eyes from Student Debt Survivor. – Even though my Dad and sister both wear glasses, I’d never really thought about having to account for eye care in a budget. KK has a great break down!
  • 5 Frugal Fall Activities from Young Adult Money – I do love carving me some pumpkins!
  • Reevaluating My Student Loan Plan from Budget Blonde – Not to rub salt in any wounds, but as a debt-free millennial it’s always interesting for me to read how people handle student loans.
  • Sex, Limes and Financial Education from Mr.1500 on economag – Seriously, why do parents always have “the talk” but rarely are opening to discussing finances with their children? And why do we teach sex ed multiple times throughout middle and high school years and fail to include students comprehensive financial literacy courses?


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28 responses to “Frugal Find: Hulu Plus

  1. We don’t have cable or satellite and use Hulu/Netflix to watch TV. Hulu really does have a lot of shows available….more than enough for us. Right now we’re watching the latest season of Master Chef.

    1. I can’t wait for the new season of shows to start in a few weeks! I don’t see any use for cable or satellite now. Plus, it saves tons of money to cut it out!

  2. We’re cutting our cable within the next couple of weeks and we’ll start off just with netflix. I think that’s all we’ll really need, as there aren’t many shows we watch real time. But we’ll see. Hulu Plus might be in the picture in the near future.

    1. Netflix certainly has a lot of options, but I like keeping up with shows in real time once they start. Plus, Hulu does have a few shows Netflix doesn’t. Good for you cutting the cable!

  3. I use both hulu plus and netflix, although it does irk me a little that when you pay for a subscription you still get commercials, but honestly that’s such a first world problem. I cut cable earlier this year and haven’t looked back!

    1. I agree. I don’t see the point in complaining about commercials. You get them when you pay for cable…Plus, there aren’t too many commercials so I still think it’s worth it.

  4. I don’t agree with Hulu Plus’ method of service. From Hulu Plus’ meta description:

    “We include advertisements in Hulu Plus in order to reduce the monthly subscription price of the service.”

    Right. Because Netflix and Amazon Prime have to do the same thing. Oh wait. For me, the whole point of streaming is to avoid commercials and actually watch content. I’m more than likely going to hate the product they’re advertising because it’s interrupting my show.

    That’s why Hulu Plus really annoys me and why I’ll never use them.

    1. I have all three services, Amazon Prime is more for the free 2 day shipping than anything. I’ll be frank when I say I’m not really impressed with Amazon’s content selection. I love Netflix but for TV shows you are waiting until the season could be purchased on DVD. With Hulu, it is the current season the day after the episode aired on TV. Purchasing the rights to show an episode the next day is going to be more expensive than purchasing the rights of a season a year later. That’s why I feel they are both good because they serve different niches. Hulu is for those who need to keep up with pop culture, netflix is for those who can wait.

      1. That makes sense. I suppose that’s why I don’t understand it. I usually can wait because there’s so much to watch already. Good points.

        1. I agree with Micro. I also have all three and Amazon’s selection tend to be pretty weak. I do appreciate them having Justified, but that’s the only thing I’ve watched via my Prime account. I have Prime for the shipping. Netflix is great, but I enjoy watching shows when they’re current. Some shows, like Mad Men, I have to wait until they go to Netflix because they don’t stream on Hulu. But for the most part, Hulu helps me stay current.

  5. Right now we have Amazon Prime (roomie pays for it) and Netflix (I pay for it) and she’s thinking of getting so we can keep up on our shows. I am really sad that CBS isn’t on there because I want to keep up to date with HIMYM, but I really like being able to watch the few other shows that we’re interested in.

    I definitely think Hulu Plus is good if you want to keep up on shows. The annoying things is that they do have commercials, but you can always go make some food/go to the bathroom, ect.

    The worse thing when we did have Hulu (for a bit in the spring), was they had a commercial that my organization was affiliated to and I had seen it at a conference, I began to hate that said commercial from seeing it so much.

    Great post Erin!

    1. One thing I do like about Hulu Plus is the ability to click whether an ad is relevant to you. When I click they aren’t, then I tend not to see them too much anymore.

      And you can stay caught up with HIMYM via!

  6. We just have basic cable. I’ve considered doing netflix or the like, but we don’t watch that much TV (and bf pays for the cable-I’m cheap, I never had cable or netflix when I was single). Big thanks for the mention!

    1. Not watching TV is a good habit. I like having background noise, so I tend to have it on in the background. I had cable for my first year in NYC, but when the roommate took the TV I cut it and didn’t miss it much.

  7. I tried Hulu Plus when it first came out and didn’t find it worth the cost compared to Netflix. But, I also have an antenna, so I get access to most of the shows that they offer. I do like the regular Hulu.

    1. I find it worth the cost because I like staying current with my TV shows. I don’t pay for Netflix because I share the account with my family (score). I’m rarely home during prime time so even with an antenna I wouldn’t get to see many of the shows I enjoy.

  8. Yes, I also will agree with most of you cable is way to expansive vs netflix and hulu. Plus i really spend little time watching TV and when i want to watch something that is on netflix or hulu.

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