Frugalinda’s “Cost per Use” Edition – 8 Ways to Save on Unlimited Subscription Services
Sometimes paying one price for unlimited goods and services is a good idea. Opting for pricing plans that allow you to use or consume as much as you want can pay off, if you do your homework. Always consider the “cost per use” rule when signing up for monthly or yearly contracts. Here are some to consider . . .
1. An Educational Website with MY name on it?
Where has Lynda.com been all my life?
For just $25 per month or $250 annually, you’ll have unlimited access to more than 2,000 online courses at Lynda.com. Here’s a place where you can sharpen your business skills and improve your creative side by watching easy to follow video tutorials. From learning software, animation, and web development to photography, business, education, Lynda teaches you anything you want anytime you want for one low price.
Ian Aronovich, the founder of GovernmentAuctions.org has used the site to learn Photoshop. “While I’m not an expert after the watching the lessons, I can do lots of basic graphic design things, and at my level of the organization (CEO) that is enough.”
P.S. Oh, even if you “incorrectly” type in Linda.com, the site will redirect itself. It’s that smart.
2. Unlimited Access to Remote Tech Support with Flat Rate Pricing
What’s worse than technology when it doesn’t work? The clock ticking in the background and the sound of the cash register going chi-ching!
Jonathon Fishman, President and founder of RimÖtsupport.com has taken a different approach when it comes to technology support. He believes “you can’t create a trusted and vested relationship while your customer is worrying about the bill.”
RimÖt offers four different price plans for unlimited access to top tier remote technical support, starting as low as $50 a month. They’ll even throw in an extra free month if you opt for the yearly plan.
3. You Could Listen to the Music Forever
Remember the old days when the only way to make a set list was to buy an album, and then record the songs you wanted onto a cassette tape? What were we thinking?
Sony Entertainment Network’s Premium Music Unlimited service gives you access to millions of songs, tons of channels, allows you to make your own playlists on multiple devices (and no ads!) for just $9.99 per month. Similar pricing and features are offered on Rhapsody.com. AT&T Wireless customers may prefer Beatmusic.com, where for just $14.99 per month, the family plan can accommodate up to five people. All offer free 30 day trials.
4. Parks and Recreation
Pick a park, any park, and take advantage of season passes! To get the most bang for the buck, make sure you visit often enough to make it a great deal. Factor in “cost per use” when considering theme parks, community pools, and even season tickets. Check with your favorite theme park and do the math if they offer season passes.
For example, New Yorkers can take advantage of the Empire Passport. Glenn Craig of freefrombroke.com says “What’s great about it is, for a yearly fee of $65, you can get into any NY State park for free.”
The passport provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks. You also get access to a good number of beaches as well NY’s famed Jones Beach. And The Access Pass permits residents of New York State with disabilities free or discounted use of state parks, historic sites and recreational facilities.
Find the details on unlimited passes to the parks in your home state at the National Park Service.
Couponpal.com offers world class theme park passes at deep discounts, too. And you don’t have to wait for summer if you live in San Diego to score big on unlimited access to the San Diego Waterpark. Click here, and then you’ll be taken directly to the website for the park, where you can order your pass. Your credit card will be charged $8.48 a month which includes free parking and no blackout dates.
5. Pump Your Ride
Despite some technical frustrations and encounters with angry cabbies and oblivious pedestrians, Stefanie O’Connell says she’s quite pleased with her experience with New York’s Citibike program. The New York City actress and webmistress of The Broke and Beautiful Life says within the first five months of pedal power, she saved nearly $250 in transportation costs, and says, “all in all it’s been pretty rockstar.”
The annual membership at $95 plus tax is the best deal for frequent riders, especially interested in extra cardio workouts and avoiding headaches with mass transportation.
Of course if getting around via mass transportation is more your speed, and you live or work in a big city monthly metro cards for unlimited rides on public transportation might be the way to go ($112 In New York City). Visitors to the Big Apple can also save by purchasing 7 day unlimited ride passes for $30.
6. Shave Time, Shave Money
A Great Shave for just a dollar? Dollar Shave Club offers bargain basement priced razors delivered straight to your doorstep. And you can earn bonus credits too for every pal you sign up. (Watch the really funny commercial on their website, no charge). For guys and gals.
7. Free Shipping, Streaming Video, and More From Amazon Prime
Longtime subscribers will attest, even though the price has recently increased, Amazon Prime remains the darling of Internet shopping. With so much available (what can’t you find on Amazon?) and the convenience factor coupled with competitive prices, what’s not to love?
For $99 you get free two day shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited access to stream a selection of movies, TV shows in Prime Instant Video, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.
Just be forewarned if you are an impulse shopper, it could cost you more in the long run. Also note that not every purchase meets the “eligible for free shipping” requirement.
8. (Almost) Unlimited Photo Scanning
If you’re one of those people who stores a lifetime of memories in a shoe box under your bed, or in bins in closets, or envelopes in every available drawer (or all of the above), consider having them all scanned and stored safely on a disc at ScanMyPhotos.com.
President and CEO Mitch Goldstone says, “We have long used a pay one price model to make ordering of photo scanning easy and affordable. It works because there is only one price and is super simple.”
Their most popular service? A prepaid pay one price, fill-the-box scanning, for just $99. This includes free 3-day shipping and fast 5-10 day scanning.
Can’t beat having about 1,800 to 2,000 nostalgic photo snapshots digitized in days for just $99.