How We Saved $700 by Cutting Cable …and Still Watch Great TV


Guest post from Abby of Just a Girl and Her Blog

When my husband and I decided to get serious about budgeting, one of the first things we cut out was cable.

Still wanting access to some form of at-home entertainment, we weighed our options and finally came up with a solution that saved us almost $700 this year while still watching great TV!

Here’s how we did it:

1. Investigate internet service providers.

When we decided to drop cable, we had the infamous “bundle” plan which gave us a reduced rate because we held our cable and internet with the same company. We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find an internet-only option that made dropping cable worthwhile, but after a little bit of calling around, we were able to get a deal with Comcast where we paid $30 a month for internet only instead of the $103 we were paying for internet plus cable through Verizon.

2. Choose a video streaming service.

We looked at Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. We ultimately chose Amazon Prime because along with video streaming, free two-day shipping, and the Kindle Lending Library were also included in the $79 yearly fee.

3. Meet Roku.

Roku is a little box that hooks up to your television and allows you to stream videos via your subscription service straight to your TV. It also offers additional TV and movie programming, a lot of which is free. (And have I mentioned no commercial interruptions?!) We purchased the Roku HD for $60.

4. Get a Leaf for local channels.

The Mohu Leaf is a flat antenna that we were able to mount behind our TV in order to pick up our local stations in HD. (Yep, high definition from a digital antenna!) My hubby especially loved this feature because he didn’t have to completely give up live sports.

We live in Pittsburgh (hello, hills!), so rabbit ear antennas weren’t really an option for us; however, since the Leaf gets about 10x better reception than standard rabbit ears, we probably would have gone with it anyway. We found our Leaf for around $40.

So let’s do the math:

$73 savings/month by dropping cable x 12 months = $876 – $79 (Amazon Prime) -$60 (Roku) – $40 (Leaf) = $697 in savings. And we don’t feel like we’re missing anything!

I was hesitant to start the process in the beginning because it sounded like a lot of work, but once we figured out how much we’d save without much sacrifice, it was well worth it. And since we won’t have to factor the cost of the Roku or the Leaf into next year’s budget, we’ll save even more!

Could we have saved more by getting rid of TV altogether? Yes. But for those of us who still like to have an at-home entertainment option, this strategy is a great way to go!

Abby Lawson is the author of where she shares her creative ideas, DIY projects, activities for the kiddos, and random happy thoughts. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two little boys, ages four and one.

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  1. Bethany says

    I just made the switch, my cable provider is Time Warner. Time Warner just signed a deal with Roku. If you subscribe to Time Warner TV services you can down load the TWC app on your Roku. You get access to most TWC channels and what’s on those channels live time. For FREE!!! So to break it down, I pay TWC $29.99 for internet, $19.99 for basic cable. I now have access to most channels and can watch my shows in live time, walking dead, army wives, duck dynasty ect on my Roku. It’s been less then a month for me but it’s working for me so far. My bill went from $145 to $50ish. Only thing I will miss is Red Sox games unless they air on Fox or ESPN.

  2. Linda says

    If you have cable wiring in your house, get an HD antenna from Radio Shack and have someone connect it to your cable wiring to all the TV’s and mount it in the attic or on the roof. We get 20+ channels. I don’t miss cable or satellite at all. My kids and husband watch some things on Netflix or Hulu. My son was mad about not being able to watch Ninjago, but we found that you can buy seasons of it on Amazon. MUCH cheaper than paying for cable or satellite!

  3. Lori B says

    We use the Apple TV to stream to our TV. It is dummy-proof (for which I am greatful since our tech kid is away at college). It makes streaming YouTube, pictures and music from the computer, or apps such as Netflix super easy. We have not cancelled cable, but we do enjoy the wifi capability of being able to pick up our little AppleTV box and take it to another room and use it where we want. It’s easier than the Xbox!

  4. Michelle W says

    Hi Jess – Exactly what did you do “the same” as there are so many comments here and I am not sure which one yours is attached to. I live in the Philly area also and do not currently subscribe to an ISP or cable and need suggestions that can benefit me locally. I have HDTV’s and use an antenna but can never pick up PBS, Whyy and rarely receive a sigal for 6. Thanks!

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