Ditching Cable TV

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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Not too long ago, I was discussing TV shows with an acquaintance. At some point in the conversation, she mentioned her cable bill seemed kind of “high.”

“What, like a hundred bucks a month?” I inquired.

She thought for a moment and then dug around her desk. She handed over the current month’s bill and my jaw quite literally dropped when I saw it. Two hundred and five dollars.

“But what exactly are you paying for? Do you even watch all these channels?”

“Oh, no,” she said. “Mostly just whatever’s on ABC or Fox and stuff. But, I mean, it’s cable. How do you watch TV without cable?”

A couple of decades ago, that was a good question. Modern technology has raced ahead, however, and there are plenty of options for watching TV shows that don’t involve shelling out money to a cable company! Certainly, if you are okay with paying $200 or more a month for TV, I suppose you can keep on trucking, but for those of us who are looking to save on TV, there are options.

The most common option is using on-demand streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. These companies contract with the license holders of TV shows, past and current, and upload them to their websites.  You pay $7-10 a month for access to those websites, and you can watch whatever they have uploaded, at your leisure, an unlimited amount of times. They may not have every single show you’d like to watch, and many currently airing shows only upload the past 5-10 episodes, so you might not be able to binge watch an entire series. However, paying $120 per year is far cheaper than paying that same amount—or more!—per month.

Before all broadcasting went digital, many people used “bunny ear” antennas to get basic cable channels on their TV for free. Those old bunny ears won’t work anymore, but the good news is that digital antennas are absolutely a thing. You can pick one up for about $40, plug it into your TV, and bam, you have all your local stations and the big broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, PBS, etc. $40 can be a bit much for some people as an upfront cost, but then again, you have no recurring monthly costs after that, and you can watch most current shows as they air.

How else do you save money on cable?


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