THIS Is The Secret To Cheaper Netflix

With your credit card information linked to your iTunes or Google Play account, or conveniently saved in your desktop browser, it's way too easy to start racking up purchases — especially those monthly subscriptions that sneak up on you, slowly siphoning money away from your checking account long after you stop loving an app.

Luckily, there are some tips and hacks you can use to get the best apps and services, but for a fraction of the price. In fact, if you followed all of our suggestions, you could save up to $500 a year, and get more free and discounted apps on top of those savings, too. That's enough for a relaxing weekend getaway!

If you're ready to figure out how to save some extra bucks on your mobile apps and subscriptions, read on.

1 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Netflix.
Share A Netflix Account

Chances are you're probably already doing this, but just in case: If you've got roommates, a serious boyfriend or girlfriend, siblings, or family, you can save a couple bucks a month by sharing a Netflix account rather than paying for your own. By switching from a Standard account ($10/month) to a Premium account ($12/month) split between two people, you're saving $4/month. If you share that Premium account with three other people, you'll save $7/month.

Annual savings: $48 to $84
2 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Amazon.
Take Advantage Of Your Student Status With Amazon

Amazon Prime normally costs $99 (or $11 per month). But if you're a student, you can get prime for free for the first six months, and then half off after that.

If you have roommates, you can also save by canceling all but one Prime subscription per household.

Annual savings: $50
3 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Twitter.
Download Apple's Free App Of The Week

Every week, Apple makes one paid app free for the week. The picks are often excellent, but if you don't know where to look, you might miss the deal. Follow @AppleFreeApp on Twitter to get notified of each week's new bargain download.
4 of 11
Photo: Courtesy HBO.
Rethink Your HBO Now Subscription

You may not want to hear this, but of all the streaming video services out there, HBO Now is the most expensive at $15/month. You can share that with up to two friends, which cuts your side down to $5/month. Alternatively, you can just cancel your subscription once your favorite show is done airing new episodes. If Game of Thrones is your jam, you can cancel it after June 7, then resubscribe next year.

Annual savings: $90 to $120
5 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Spotify.
Save On Spotify

Depending on your situation, you can save some money on your monthly Spotify subscription. If you're a student, you can actually get half off a premium subscription, so you're paying $5/month instead of $10/month.

Spotify also has family plan options: $15 for two users per month, $20 for three users per month, $25 for four users, and $30 for five users. It's not quite as good as the student deal, but you could save up to $4 per month.

Annual savings: $30 to $60
6 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Spotify.
Don't Subscribe Through The App Store

Another sneaky Spotify tip (that can apply for other apps, too): Don't subscribe through the App Store. Subscribe through the Spotify website, instead. Spotify has directions on how to do that here. Basically, because the App Store takes a 30% cut of sales, Spotify charges 30% more if you subscribe through iTunes. For your premium subscription, transferring your subscription to the web could save you $3/month.

Annual savings: $36
7 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Use A Family Plan

An Apple Music subscription is $10/month, but you can share with a "family" of up to six people — all of whom get unlimited listening (among other features) for only $5 more. Do you need Spotify and Apple Music? Probably not, but if you've got a few friends you don't mind Venmo-ing each month, you could save more money with an Apple Music family plan than on Spotify. If you've got five friends or family members, you could save $7.50/month compared to an individual subscription.

Annual savings: $30 to $90
8 of 11
Photo: Courtesy App Shopper.
Check App Shopper For Fresh App Deals

If you're feeling bored with your current game and app downloads, browsing App Shopper for some otherwise difficult-to-find app deals can help you get otherwise pricey apps at a steep discount — or for free.
9 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Lyft.
Lyft or Uber?

Depending on where you live — or where you've traveled — one app may be notably cheaper than the other, as rates vary from city to city. There's no harm in having both apps on your phone, since they only charge you when you take a ride. So, before you travel, do a quick Google search to check the rates of both apps in your location. You may only save a a buck or two on a short ride, but on a crosstown trek, those extra few minutes could really pay off.
10 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Pocket.
Switch From A Monthly To Annual Pocket Subscription

A lot of us Refinery29ers love the app Pocket, an app that helps organize articles you find online and want to read (later). If you love using the app and its premium features too, a subscription starts at $5/month. But if you plan to use it indefinitely, a yearly subscription makes more sense at $45/year.

And if your 'read it later' needs are more simple, you can just use Reading List in the Safari browser, which doesn't cost anything. To use this, tap on the Share button in the bottom right when you find a piece you like, then tap Add To Reading List, and it'll be stored for you to read later.

Annual savings: $15 to $60
11 of 11
Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Check Your iTunes Subscriptions

Lastly, it's a good idea to occasionally check your iTunes (and App Store) subscriptions to make sure you're not spending money on some app you've totally forgotten about. To do this, go to Settings, iTunes & App Store, then tap your Apple ID, and select View Apple ID. Enter your password, and then you'll see the screen here. Under subscriptions, tap Manage. There, you'll see a list of the apps that are charging your iTunes account on a regular basis. For any that are listed as "active," you can tap, then switch off automatic renewal, and you won't get charged next month.