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?

Hulu vs. Amazon vs. Netflix

Posted on July 9th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

These three companies have revolutionized the way we watch tv and movies. They are a great alternative to cable if you want to save on that bill.  A lot of people are ditching their cable and satellite for these great alternatives. You don’t have to miss any of your favorite shows and even news is being streamed live from their websites.

However more and more of these types of entertainment websites are popping up and that may have your head spinning. What’s the difference? Which should you choose? Here is our breakdown of the different companies and what they offer.

The streaming option is the cheapest at $8 a month. With this option you can watch anything in their instant library. This option isn’t really great for new shows, but it’s awesome for older ones.

Hulu and Hulu Plus
Hulu is free and plus is $8 a month. Free is very limited with fewer episodes of shows, but plus is awesome for all the new shows. You can usually watch TV shows the day after they air, so no wait time. Hulu is terrible for movies though.

Amazon and Amazon Prime
Amazon is my favorite because this is where we rent all of our movies. Redbox is definitely cheaper by $2-$3, but if you are a perpetual late returner, this option is better. Plus there is no monthly cost. Amazon prime is $79 a year which is around $7 a month. With prime you are able to watch instant movies, although their library isn’t very large. You can still watch shows on both, but with regular Amazon you’ll have to pay for the shows.

All of these companies have their pros and cons. But even if you got all three, they would beat a lot of cable and satellite services. It’s definitely worth looking into if you want to save money off your entertainment bill.

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