Thursday, May 23, 2013

TNO's Tips & Tricks 18 - Ditch your cable!

Each month, a total cable bill can total anywhere from $30 to $130+ in my area. That doesn't include the cost to install the service or buy the boxes in some cases, and - unless you spend even more to have HBO or other channels - it often doesn't include movies either. 

That sounds like a ton of money for a service that keeps you practically tethered to your couch and dissuades you from getting out and enjoying real life, right?  


That's what I thought too. So here's tip number 18:

A few years ago, we decided enough was enough.  We were paying around $120 per month for cable, DVR, and extra DVR boxes - and it was just too much.  Shortly after Little Man was born, we decided to try getting rid of cable for a few months.  At that time, we figured if we hated it, we could always turn right back around and sign right back up for cable again.

Since that time, we've saved a TON of money and never looked back.

Being parents of two small children, we never get to watch anything in real time anyway.  Typically most shows air right around the bath time and bedtime of our two babies, making it pretty difficult to watch.  Even when we would have the opportunity to watch a television show, neither DH nor I want to spend the time watching commercials.  Back when we had DVR, we'd start shows 15-20 minutes after they'd began to air as they were recording in order to fast forward through all of the commercials.  So, no matter when we watched a show, we always relied on a recorded version of it regardless.

Now, we're able to watch those same exact shows without paying hundreds of dollars for cable each year by using services from Netflix and Hulu.  Each month, we pay about $16 total between the two services in order to watch all of our shows {like The Office, Parks & Rec, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, etc.} on our time whenever we'd like, just as we used to use our DVR.  Only, this way, it's almost $100 less per month.

{Plus, DH's awesome parents bought him an Apple TV for Christmas last year, which lets us watch all of our programs with one click of a button in a friendly user-interface for Netflix and Hulu!}

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The absolute only thing that we miss is that DH doesn't always get the best reception for the basic channels and doesn't have all the sports channels, so - unless he goes out to a bar or friend's house - there are times when he'll miss a game or two.

One other huge positive of cancelling your cable service and subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, or both, is the lessening or complete lack of commercials.  When we watch a show on Netflix, there are no commercials.  When we watch a show on Hulu, there are very minimal commercials.  While it's great for me to have to watch less commercials, I find it to be extremely beneficial when I want to watch something with Little Man.  There are no outside influences that he "needs" a new, cool kind of toy.  There are also no influences to want to eat this or that kind of junky food.  {Especially since there have been recent studies linking commercial advertisement to things like obesity, violence, or later substance abuse.}  Thankfully, both Netflix and Hulu provide children's programming with no ads whatsoever, so he is able to watch a show with no interruptions and no advertisements at all.

Honestly, if you're used to watching TV all the time, it may not hurt to try it for a month.  If you hate it?  You can always go back to getting cable again.  But if it ends up being not so bad, you can save yourself a ton of cash and maybe get off your couch a little more, too!

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  1. We cut the cord on cable a long time ago and haven't looked back. Here's the link to my post about it if you're interested:

  2. We are thinking of doing the same! We just got a Roku which my husband has explained to me as the thing that lets you stream from your computer, so if we replaced our cable with Hulu/netflix we could stream it, see our favorite shows, and skip many commercials like you say. I also like how it makes watching TV more "purposeful" - ie you dont just sit down and channel surf for hours, but rather watch something specific, for likely a shorter period of time...

  3. We did this too! We have a roku (you can get them at walmart for pretty cheap) and the apple tv so we are able to use both of our televisions. But we pay for Netflix and Hulu every month along with prime and we can watch almost everything we watched before for a fraction of the cost. What we can't find C will just find and download for us. I don't miss cable very much at all.


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