Five Ways to Save Money On Cable

Cable is a luxury.   There are very few people out there who can actually and legitimately consider cable television to be a necessity of life.  For the rest of us, it’s just something that’s nice to have.   Unfortunately, it’s expensive.  In my area, prices come as high as $90 plus tax, and that’s not including any of the fancy channels that could feed my True Blood addiction.  If you start adding on channels, you can get up to $250 per month.

That’s a lot of cash.

Cutting back on cable TV is one of the easiest ways to get your spending under control.  Here are 5 ways to make it happen.

1.  Ditch it

Do you really need cable at all?  How much of your life do you waste in front of the TV?  This wouldn’t work well in my house.  We enjoy too many shows, and a lack of TV aggravates my insomnia.   When I wake up at 2AM, I need something mindless to distract me while I fall back asleep.

2.  Netflix Instant

I love my Netflix.   With Instant, as long as you aren’t too hooked on watching the latest show as it comes out, you can catch most of the show you enjoy.   There are thousands of TV series to choose from.   I make a habit of choosing a couple of shows at a time, and watching the entire series before moving on.  This does have the drawback of leaving you a couple of seasons behind for some shows, like In Plain Sight.  Grr.

3.  Go basic

If you do need TV, do you need the extended cable-only channels?  Can you get by with basic cable, and just get the shows that would be otherwise broadcast?   That’s what we did.  This, combined with #2, make TV cheap and easy.

4.  All internet

Did you know that you can use a Roku box to get Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and more?  I have more channels available there than I’ve ever had on cable.   Starting at $50, it’s a steal.

5.  Drop the fancy channels

HBO, Skinimax, and Showtime are pure unnecessary luxuries.  Save yourself some money and buy each series on DVD as they come out.   If you buy one a month, you’ll still come out ahead.

I’m not about to tell you that cable is evil or that TV is rotting your brain.  I enjoy my rot, and you should be able to do so, too.   Try not to waste extra money doing it.

How do you save money on TV?

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  • 15 comments

    Comments

    1. I got rid of my cable when my development decided they weren’t going to use the HOA fees to pay for it (even though that’s what part of the fees were supposed to cover). I tried HD antennae but they really never worked too well, and I only had Netflix for a few months before I got fed up with them too. I do miss it especially Food Network and The Fox Sports affiliate down here, but it did allow me to spend less time lounging and more being productive.

    2. We recently cut our cable bill from $150/month to $50/month. We went from expanded basic with two DVRs, one of them an HD DVR, to limited basic, no DVRs, no HD. We would have gotten rid of cable TV entirely, but it was cheaper to do the combo limited basic + internet than just internet alone.
      We use Netflx – $17.50/month and HuluPlus- $8/month combined with the network websites to see the shows we’re otherwise missing. And I’ll tell you waht, $25.50/month sure beats $100/month.

    3. I’m good at saving, but I’m better at spending. HBO has become a necessity. Have you seen the recent seasons of Boardwalk Empire or Hung??? It’s called must-see-TV for a reason!

    4. i recently cut my internet capacity and saved $30 per month. I was set up to download movies which I do not do. The rep pointed it out to me. A rare instance of the cable company really helping the customer.

    5. I’m on basic cable now and will probably cut it in 6 months or so. I just need internet, the TV service is a luxury.

    6. I have this horrible fear that if I ditched my cable completely or even drastically reduced it, that I would ultimately use that time and money to do more expensive things like go to the movies more often, etc.

    7. We dropped some of the channels like HBO and Cinemax, since we hardly watch them. I wish we could just ditch it but hubby is all about his sports.

    8. I used to have netflix but I cancelled it recently. I hardly ever watch it. I’m with you on dumping the fancy channels. All the good stuff comes on regular T.V. anyway.

    9. Tin Foil Hat says:

      When basketball season is over, we watch a movie most nights until the season starts again. So this year I called Dish Network and had them suspend our service (I think they call it Dish Pause or something like that), planning to start it back up again in time for the season. At this point it looks like that may not even happen, but in the meantime we are saving a ton of money. What few TV series I care to watch I get on Netflix streaming.

    10. A person just needs to look and see where they can trim the fat a bit. Expenses have a way of piling up if you don’t keep them under control.

    11. We’ve currently got just basic cable, and buy our seasons of shows we like off of ebay. We turn around and sell them right back on ebay when we’re done. We’ve made money on each of them except one. It’s like getting paid to watch tv!

      Haven’t heard of Roku though, so might have to check that out.

    12. I have a confession to make. i work for the cable company, so I get a rather huge discount from them. This is the only we have cable. I would be able to justify spending $100 a month on it.

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