Entertainment

Frugal Friday Movie Night: Spooks and Sweet Potatoes

This week, Frugal Friday Movie Night is hosted by Keith C., a Brad's Deals graphic designer and true Halloween connoiseur. 

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Frugal Friday Movie Night: BoJack Horseman and a Piping Hot Bowl of Chili

It’s Friday night, and if you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve got some big choices to make.

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Frugal Friday Movie Night: Cozy October Nights with Supernatural

Looking for something inexpensive to do tonight? Wondering what to watch next on Netflix? Here's a little Friday movie night inspiration for you. All you need is your streaming Netflix account, a pizza, and a few little things to make your living room an extra cozy, happy spot for the night.

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Everything You Need to Know about Amazon Prime Music (+11 Free Streaming Music Alternatives)

The first time I launched the new Amazon Prime Music service, I quickly zeroed in on the 50 Great '90s Alternative Songs playlist. I instantly was transported back to my freshman year of college, when I discovered there was more to music than pop, when Seattle grunge was just coming into its own and a flannel shirt was the fashion du jour. It's basically my happy place.

Maybe that's saying a little too much about how old I am, but it's also the kind of experience that Amazon delivers with its latest offering for Prime subscribers - an ad-free streaming music library with a user-friendly interface that caters incredibly well to whatever you're in the mood for. With "over a million songs and hundreds of playlists" to choose from, free access to such a deep music library is a great perk that increases the attractiveness of a Prime account. Users can also listen to individual songs and albums.

Something that Amazon has learned to do very well over the years is recommend products that are similar or that have affinities with the item you're considering. Take that recommendation engine, apply it to the music you've listened to and you've got a service that recommends artists and albums you should check out, much like Pandora. Unlike Pandora, however, you can download songs to mobile devices for offline listening. As someone without an extensive mp3 library, this promises to make finding music for my long training runs a lot easier on my Android phone's data package. Expect those personalized recommendations to be a mix of both free streaming music and tracks and albums you'll need to pay for if you want to have a listen.

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The 7 Best Free Summer Music Festivals

Summer means a lot of things, but if you're finally thawing out from this year's apocalyptic winter, there's really only one thing on your mind: getting outside. Few things go better with summer air than a cold drink and live music - especially when it's free.

When most people think music festivals, there's a good chance they're thinking of one of the big three: Bonnaroo, Coachella, or Lollapalooza. While these fests have consistently stacked lineups and are set in iconic locations, they're also notoriously expensive. If you weren't lucky enough to buy a face-value ticket before they sold out, be prepared to pay $430 for Bonnaroo, $562 for Lollapalooza, and $825 for Coachella.

If you just cringed at those numbers, you're not alone. Thankfully, plenty of free alternatives exist. Here are our picks for the best free music festivals this summer.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest

Columbia, MD (September 20th)

Free music festivals

Virgin Mobile FreeFrest is - you guessed it - a free one-day festival sponsored by Virgin Mobile and Samsung. This year's lineup is yet to be released, but last year's featured plenty of names familiar to any music fan: Robin Thicke, MGMT, Pretty Lights, Vampire Weekend, and others. While there's no cost of admission, there is a suggested donation of $10, which goes to fight youth homelessness. Over the past four years, FreeFest has raised nearly $800,000 for the cause.

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How to watch the World Cup online without a cable bill

When 32 squads of 11 take to the pitch this June in Brazil, countless story lines are sure to emerge. Will host and odds-on favorite Brazil break their recent slump and win the tournament for the first time since 2002? Does the middling U.S. team have a prayer of advancing out of Group G, dubbed by some as the "Group of Death?" Do any of the underdogs - Australia, Costa Rica, and South Korea - have an upset victory up their sleeves?

These potential story lines, of course, are a whole lot more fun to watch live than to read about the next day. If you lack a cable subscription or don't own a TV, don't fret - we've got a breakdown on how to get you World Cup fix online.

Watch the World Cup online

South Korea takes on Nigeria in the U20 World Cup (2013). Photo courtesy of Eser Karadag via Flickr.

WatchESPN - for those with cable

ESPN will broadcast all 64 matches from Brazil online via ESPN3 and its WatchESPN app, available on both iOs and Android devices.

To access World Cup programming, you'll have to provide proof of your cable or satellite subscription. Service providers that allow subscribers to watch online are: AT&T U-verse, BEK TV, BendBroadBand, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and Yadtel Telecom.

Not a Cable Subscriber? That's OK.

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Amazon Prime's Video Library Just Got a Lot Cooler

This morning, Amazon announced it's rolling out the first wave of HBO content on Prime Instant Video. When news broke a few months ago on Amazon's $20 price hike for Prime users, many suspected this was coming. Now that it's here, what does it mean for subscribers?

Watch The Sopranos Free at Amazon

Now you can watch all six seasons of The Sopranos free with an Amazon Prime account.

HBO, which has been notoriously stingy with its library of critically acclaimed programming, has released a solid volume of shows for availability on Prime, albeit most of them a few years old.

Starting today, Prime subscribers can stream:

If you're looking to give Amazon Prime a spin, check out this free 30-day trial being offered until June 30th. Be sure to cancel within 30 if you don't intend to sign up for a yearly subscription, as Amazon will charge your card $99.

Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Cut your Cable or Dump your Dish

We got rid of satellite TV a few months ago, and we don't miss it a bit. Not only is there extra wiggle room in our budget now, but we've got a content library that's easier to access and less choked with (though not completely free of) commercials. We're also better able to choose shows we enjoy watching, instead of just seeing what's on. Best of all, we don't have to deal with DVR snafus when sporting events run long.

I remember when this was enough. (photo: Beige Alert / flickr)

The 2014 "Cable Box"

If you get rid of your pay TV service, what you do next will depend on what you want/"need" to watch, and what equipment you already have in place. If you have a video game console, it's probably compatible with quite a bit of streaming media. There are also plenty of dongles and boxes to attach to your TV for streaming: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and a new $50 stick from Roku - to name just a few. A smart TV, which is already configured for streaming without additional hardware, is another option.

What's On?

Most of the devices that plug into your TV have small content libraries of their own, some free, some for a fee. Unfortunately, all content sources aren't compatible with all devices. Netflix works with most devices - you just need the streaming membership in addition to (or instead of) any Netflix DVD membership you have. All these prices will be increasing by $1-$2 per month for new subscribers soon, according to Netflix. You can also avoid a device by plugging a laptop directly into most newer TVs via an HDMI cable. This is a quick and simple option, if somewhat unwieldy.

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Check Out $1 Movies for the Kids at Regal Theaters

Looking for frugal ways to entertain the kids this summer? Starting as early as June 3rd in select cities nationwide, Regal Cinemas will be offering $1 admission to popular kids movies for 9 weeks this summer. This special ticket price will only be valid for 10:00 a.m. showings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Better yet, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute, where the money collected will help fund pulmonary research laboratories, medical school fellowships, neonatal ventilators for children’s hospitals and free educational materials.

Here's the movie schedule:

Week Title Rating Start Time
1 Hotel Transylvania PG 10am
1 The Smurfs 2 PG 10am
2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 PG 10am
2 The Pirates: Band of Misfits PG 10am
3 Arthur Christmas PG 10am
3 Despicable Me 2 PG 10am
4 Lego PG 10am
4 Free Birds PG 10am
5 Adventures of TinTin PG 10am
5 Rise of the Guardians PG 10am
6 Kung Fu Panda 2 PG 10am
6 Madagascar 3 PG 10am
7 The Croods PG 10am
7 Epic PG 10am
8 Turbo PG 10am
8 Walking with Dinosaurs PG 10am
9 Mr. Peabody & Sherman PG 10am
9 Rio 2 G 10am

Start dates and participation varies by location, so check out the Summer Movie Express page to see if your theater is participating.

Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! The event was created in response to an article that proposed the idea by Joe Field, the owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, Ca. Since Free Comic Book Day started in 2002, millions of comics have been given away and several celebrities, like LeVar Burton and Stan Lee, have given their support.Free Comic Book Day 2014

Comic stores around the world will participate by offering free comics, special sales and other extra events. For instance, Jellaby author Kean Soo will sign copies of his comic at Challengers in Chicago. In Beaverton, Ore., Things From Another World is offering 20% off almost everything in the store (in addition to a free comic) and will host Joshua Williamson, Vicente Navarrete, and Ben Bates. Check with your local store to see what events they are hosting.

The number and type of comic that's distributed varies, so check with your local store. However, your free comic will be from this list.

Free comic book titles include:

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