We're subscribers to Lovefilm, so I can regularly get my Sean Bean/ Russell Crowe/ Benedict Cumberbatch (et al) fix for only £4.99 a month. Lovefilm is a great way to watch what you want, when you want to watch it, rather than the old-style Wait for a Random DVD Off Your Wish List to Arrive Through the Post and Then Get Round to Feeling like Watching It system. Per view, it is cheaper than renting DVDs from the library, and WAY more affordable than going to the cinema, plus no babysitter is required. To sign up to Lovefilm, click here.
In addition, we need no television licence for this type of viewing. We only watch programmes on i-player which are not "live" - essentially my laptop doubles up as a television. Read more about that here.
When you do want to catch a film on the big screen - who could wait for Skyfall to come out on DVD, for example? - there are ways to cut the price of your cinema visit. Firstly, if you are an Orange customer (now EE), make the most of Orange Wednesdays, as they will give you two tickets for the price of one. It's worth booking your ticket in advance on Orange Wednesdays, though; they are usually one of the busiest nights of the week. I usually go in on Wednesday lunchtime and buy mine then, so we can waltz past the queues later on. Also look out for kids' screenings on Saturday mornings and day-time screenings, such as the Odeon Silver Screen showing, as tickets are much cheaper. It may be worth joining the loyalty scheme of the nearest cinema chain if you go more than once a month, but beware: sometimes you have to pay for the privilege.
Lastly, if you're ever stuck when someone asks you what you'd like for Christmas or a birthday present, consider asking for cinema vouchers. My sister-in-law kindly gave us Odeon vouchers this year and the King and I went to see The Hobbit on Wednesday night - an unexpected pleasure. We used an Orange Wednesday code plus the gift voucher, took a flask of coffee and a twirl each - no extortionate popcorn for US, thank you - and enjoyed every money-saving minute.