Have you been thinking about cutting cable? For a long time, I wanted our family to cut cable to save money, but we were reluctant to do it. The reason why? We love TV.
We have two small children, so we don’t get to leave the house a lot. Having cable provided us with an escape and a glimpse into the outside world. For real. Watching TV was one of our few sources of entertainment.
We researched ways to cut cable, but we soon learned that our huge, big screen TV from the 1990s wasn’t compatible with a lot of the technology we’d have to use to stream videos. We didn’t want to buy a new TV in order to “save” money, so we continued to pay just under $200/month for our bundled cable package.
Last year, we were planning to move across the country, and we realized that we needed to get rid of our TV. It was huge and heavy, and the price of our move was calculated by weight. So, we got rid of the old beast.
When we arrived at our new home, we bought a new TV that we could use to stream video. It was a pretty big upfront cost for us, but we shopped with coupons and a gift card to bring the cost down.
Once we had our modern TV, this is what we did to set up our new viewing system:
How We Cut Cable
- We signed up for internet service only. At first, we signed up with Comcast, and we had internet service for $29.99/month. Then they raised the price to $45 after 6 months. We switched to CenturyLink, because Comcast wouldn’t budge on the price, and now our internet costs $27/month. We had originally heard that only Comcast would work for streaming video in our neighborhood, but we’ve found that CenturyLink works just as well, and it has better reach in our home. Of course, this will be different in different areas of the country.
- We linked our Amazon Prime account to our TV. Amazon Prime offers a lot of free videos. We especially like their offerings for kids.
- We signed up for a free trial of HuluPlus to see if we liked it and if it would actually work. Now, this is how we watch most of our shows, and it’s awesome. There are commercials, but they are much shorter than if you were watching TV on a regular TV station. It costs $7.99/month.
- There were still a few shows that my husband wanted to see that weren’t onHuluPlus, so he figured out how to stream them using his computer. He can connect his laptop to our TV using an HDMI cable, and watch his shows on the TV screen. I bought him a remote that he could use to control his laptop with as a Christmas gift, and he loves it.
- Unfortunately we live in an area that doesn’t get a good antenna signal, but if we lived somewhere else, we would have also purchased an antenna for HD signals. Then we’d be able to see the local news, and watch our local networks live.
- We occasionally purchase shows to watch online if we can’t find them anywhere else. Because we don’t have an antenna that works, we buy episodes of Downton Abbey from Amazon, and watch them through the Amazon Primeapp on our TV. Even though it’s costing us a little more, it’s still way cheaper than paying for cable each month.
We’ve had this setup for almost a year now, and I can honestly say that we don’t miss cable at all. If anything, our viewing experience has improved because we see fewer commercials. We’ve been exposed to new shows through HuluPlus, because it has such a user-friendly home screen, and we’ve found some great educational programming for our children.
If you’re considering cutting cable, I’d recommend doing it in small steps. You don’t have to completely cancel your cable to try streaming video onto your TV. See if you can get things set up, and try out services like HuluPlus. If you buy anything like new cables or remotes, keep your receipts in case things don’t work out.
Once you have everything working, try to only use your non-cable services for one week and see how it goes. If you like it, then it’s probably time for you to cut cable!
We used to spend almost $200 each month on our bundled cable services, and now we spend less than $40 each month. Over the course of the year, not having cable has saved us $1920.00.
Because we replaced an old TV with a newer model that had the capability to stream video, we did have to spend money up front. Even with this upfront expense, we still saved money this year. And we still get to watch our shows!
Have you cut cable yet? Are you considering it?
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