One of the main ways I have chosen to make cuts in my budget is cutting the cable off. I didn't come to this decision lightly, but I couldn't get around the fact that I had to pay all this money for a crap ton of cable channels that my family doesn't even watch. I work night shift, so my favorite shows come on when I am sleeping, working, or getting ready for work. Because of this, I have to either purchase the higher priced packages for DVR purposes or compensate with online viewing. Here are a couple of workarounds that can help you ditch your cable bill for good!
A digital antenna is a one time purchase, no monthly fee! These antennas give you access to digital channels like ABC, CBS, PBS (for those of you with little ones, I actually get two different PBS channels for the toddler to watch), FOX and more. Antennas can cost as low as $10, all the way up to over $100. The lower priced antennas will have to be connected to your individual TVs, while the larger, more expensive types can be hooked up outside your home. Here is a great article on choosing and installing an outdoor antenna. Crutchfield.com
Internet Based TV is really popular these days. For those of you who don't already know about Netflix and Hulu, they are online streaming venues that allow you to watch TV shows, movies, documentaries and so on, over your internet. You can purchase a Chrome cast ($30) or a Blue Ray Player ($60+) to stream them, watch from your computer or tablet, or hook up your tablet to be viewed on your TV screen. There is also Rabbit TV. This little USB can be plugged into your TV and stream in this fashion.
An easy way to save money on internet TV is to share username and passwords. Get a couple of friends and or family members to purchase one monthly subscription to Hulu, or Netflix and share. Now if you have someone in the group who HAS to have cable you can share with them as well. Using their password information will give you access to premium channels like HBO Go, and Showtime Anytime. If that person has Comcast, you can use Xfinity online to watch cable shows streaming live! Sharing passwords for these sites will save everyone money, and allow everyone to watch their favorite shows. Sharing is caring people.
I do have a few drawbacks that I've come across. If you go the cheaper route on antennas, you'll need to buy one for every TV in your house. I started out with one antenna and have purchased two of the cheaper ones since then. Also, for those who still own a couple of box TVs, you'll need to purchase a digital converter box in order to receive the digital channels. Cheapest i've seen on this is $30.
All in all, for as low as $10 per TV, you could be watching American Idol, Scandal, Fox Sports and more! Keep in mind this is without any reoccurring charges. You pay a one time fee to start up, and it's very inexpensive to start small. How's that for saving some big dollars in the long run?
Do you have any tips on saving money on cable TV? If so, what has worked for you?