We save 100% on cable each month. How? We don’t have it. Over four years ago we stopped subscribing to cable and what I have to say may shock you.
We don’t miss it.
Sure, I thought we would miss it. I loved watching HGTV. (My husband calls it Happy Girl TV.) My husband enjoyed the sports channels. But what we loved more was the ability to save money. Well, okay sometimes it’s not that fun. But we did know that cable was not a necessity.
Our decision to end cable was because our first child had arrived. My husband was in full time graduate school with one year left and I had just quit my job. We were two crazy kids who thought we could live on savings alone for a year. We did think cutting cable out of our budget would be one of the biggest sacrifices. Instead, we found we didn’t miss it.
Here’s what we did instead:
1. We bought a Basic Indoor Antenna. A number of people don’t realize that you don’t have to pay for TV. In fact, you can get all the major channels for FREE! We enjoy NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and many more at no cost to us. Our antenna allows us to watch them on our tv.
The last time I called our internet provider (who also happens to be the cable provider), they tried to talk me into buying cable. I told the sales lady that we had free tv and didn’t need cable. She then tried to explain to me that for just $14.95 I could get all the basic channels. I again told her I received those exact same channels for free. She was completely amazed and asked me how to do it! Ha! I was really excited to share with her how. I wonder if she dropped her cable?
UPDATE: If you’re interested in knowing what channels you might be able to receive in your area, you can visit this website. We actually receive more channels then it lists for our address, but this give you a good idea of the major channels and how likely you are to receive a good signal.
2. We bought a Digital Converter Box. Since we also have an older TV (old as in a BIG box), we needed a digital converter box to be able to watch our local channels. If you have a new(er) television, you may not need the converter box. We, however, do because of the fact that the signal needs to be converted to digital.
3. We purchased Netflix. We have the monthly streaming membership. And boy, do we use it. “We” enjoy watching Disney movies and TV shows like RescueBots. My husband and I have also really enjoyed watching TV shows that we missed when they were on television. My favorites include Scandal, White Collar, Downton Abbey (no longer on streaming) and Sherlock Holmes. I also LOVE 19th century british TV shows with a strong female lead. At least that’s what Netflix tells me.
Update: You can also check out Amazon Prime streaming. We now have both.
Cost: $7.99 per month
4. Most recently, we purchased a Roku Streaming Media Player box. This was our Christmas gift to each other. We can now stream our Netflix, Pandora and even the History channel shows via the internet onto our old tv. Yes, they have cable provided shows on the Roku that you can watch! Score! Every week, I watch Downton Abbey on PBS on the Roku. This has probably been my favorite purchase because we don’t have to watch shows on our computer anymore. The entire family can enjoy a movie on the television.
Roku® Streaming Player. The best thing to happen to TV since TV. Just $49.99.
Cost: $50 (We purchased the Roku 2 on Black Friday.)
5. We watch tv online. With some of the more popular shows, we watch them on apps on our phone. I will typically watch ABC and NBC shows the next day on an app on my phone. I’m typically busy working on this website during the time they are on at night. My favorites I watch on my phone are Law and Order, Castle and Revenge.
I really am quite proud that we’ve done so well without cable TV. I really thought I would miss it, but I honestly do not. Most of the time when I’m at my parent’s house (who do have cable TV), I find that I just search through all the shows the entire time and never settle on much. My husband will tell you that he does miss ESPN. That is probably the biggest reason why people don’t drop their cable. If we could just pay for ESPN, we might do that, but as it is – that is not an option.
So, how much are we saving? It might really surprise you how quickly it adds up.
How Much Can You Save When You Quit Cable?
Antenna : $10.50
Digital Converter Box: $50
Roku Box: $50
Netflix: $431.36 (monthly fee for 4.5 years)
TOTAL COST: $541.46
Cable TV Cost: $2,699.46 (at $49.99 per month for 4.5 years)
TOTAL SAVINGS : $2,158
Wow, when you write it out – the savings are amazing! And they feel even more amazing when I know we’re not missing it. I do have to admit that after looking at the Netflix cost over the last 4.5 years, I want to cancel it to save. However, you do have to live a bit and we do enjoy Netflix.
How about you? Do you have cable? If so, have you ever thought of ditching it?