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52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}

At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

You knew it was coming… I just couldn’t write a series on ways to save $100 or more per year without going there.

Yup, we’re talking about ditching cable TV this week.

Some of you are thinking, “Of course. We ditched cable a long time ago.” Or maybe you’re like us and you’ve never even had cable.

But others of you are clinging pretty tightly to your cable package and hoping that you can find a way to justify keeping it. 🙂

How Much is Cable Really Costing You?

Well, if you need a little motivation to consider ditching or downsizing your cable package, how about you do something for me, okay?

Go get your latest cable bill. Yes, go get it — or look it up online. See how much you’re spending per month and multiply that by 12. That big number you’re seeing? That’s how much you’d save per year by giving up cable.

Stop and consider what you could do with that kind of money if you weren’t sending it into the cable company every month.

Now, every cable package is different, so I can’t tell you exactly how much you’d save, but I took a poll on Facebook over the weekend and do you know what the average amount people were spending on cable TV per month is? More than $46.

That’s over $550 per year. Multiply $46 per month over five years and you’d come up with $2,760 in savings.

That’s no small potatoes we’re talking about here!

And some people are spending more like $68 per month. That translates to spending $816 per year or $4,080 over five years!

What Could You Do With the Time You’re Spending Watching TV?

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I believe Americans, in general, could survive just fine without watching as much TV as they do. In fact, I think many Americans would be much more fulfilled, more active, healthier, and happier if they spent less time sitting in front of the tube for a few hours or more per day.

I hear so many people lament their lack of time to pursue their dreams or start a business. And yet most people seem to find plenty of time to watch their favorite shows. Is there possibly a disconnect there?

Less TV watching not only frees up more time and encourages you to be more active, it also brings less of the consumerism mentality into your home. If you’re not watching all of those commercials, you don’t know what “amazing” things you “need” to buy! This, in turn, can help you become more content — all while saving a hefty amount of money, too!

Three Alternatives to Paying for Cable

Now, hear me out, I’m not saying you can’t ever enjoy a TV show. We have a few we enjoy watching occasionally and I think some of the things on TV can be educational or clean family entertainment (though the commercials sometimes ruin the “clean” part unfortunately! :()

However, we have found ways to watch TV without having to pay for it (other than our monthly Netflix bill). Here’s a guest post that Jenae from I Can Teach My Child wrote in 2011 on three alternatives to cable that I thought was so helpful that I’d just post it in its entirety here…

There are so many alternatives to paying lots of money for cable each month. Here are three we’ve found to be helpful for our family.

High-Definition Antenna

What if I told you that you could still watch most of your favorite shows for free? ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS and even a few other random channels can all be received for free in most areas* with a high-definition antenna. After a little upfront cost, you can watch these channels for the rest of your life. All you need is a converter box (if your TV does not already have an HDTV tuner — every new TV has one) and a high-definition antenna (which can go in your attic, wall or outside).

High-definition antennas range from $40-$150. You can purchase them at your local home-improvement store (Lowe’s or Home Depot). You can also go here for more information and to purchase one as well. And if you’re really handy (or you know someone who is), you can supposedly even make your own HDTV antenna for less than $10! It might be worth a shot!

If you own a TV that was manufactured after July 1, 2007, it should already have an HDTV tuner. You only need a converter box if your analog TV is older than that. Converter Boxes start at $40 and go up from there. Go here and here for a few converter box options.

*I realize that good reception depends in large part due to where you live. If this isn’t an option for you, you could still opt for the cheapest plan from your cable or satellite provider and implement the other two suggestions.

Netflix & Redbox

Many of you know that you can receive unlimited DVDs in the mail for about $10 a month from Netflix. But did you also know that they have thousands of movies on instant play as well? We’ve watched entire series of very popular shows instantly. You can stream it to a Blu-Ray player, XBox or Wii, or you can just watch it on your computer. Netflix is also a great resource for children’s television shows. The best part is that there are no commercials.

Redbox (a $1-per-night video rental kiosk that can be found outside many McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Walmarts locations) offers at least one free rental each month (usually the first Monday of every month) when you create an account on their website.


Libraries are not only a great resource for books, most libraries also have movies as well! And the best part is that it’s free! You can browse most titles on your library’s website. Another option is to borrow movies from friends.

We’ve gone without cable for our entire married life (almost seven years). At first, we simply couldn’t afford cable and opted for bunny ears. Now that our income has increased and we could afford if we really wanted to, we still choose not to. We enjoy enough television and movie time without spending all that money every month!

Jenae is a wife, mother of two boys’ ages 3 and 15 months, and former first-grade teacher. She loves spending time with her family and sharing fun and educational activities for young children on her website, I Can Teach My Child.

There are also options like Amazon Prime and Hulu to check out now, too! For more ideas, check out Amy’s post on How to Ditch Your Cable Bill.

By the way, if you have sports fans at your house, you’ve got to check out this piece on A Coach Without Cable. Thought-provoking stuff!

photos from Big Stock

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  • This one is really easy for me. I have very few tv shows that I’m even interested in, and the ones I like are on free (network) television anyway. I watch some shows on PBS – Downton Abbey (heart heart heart!) and some cooking/lifestyle type shows, along with some science things, like Nova.

    My sweet Hubby, on the other hand, would love to have some huge cable sports movie package, I’m sure of it. The thing is, he thinks they charge far, far too much for all that. Our compromise is that we have Netflix. He really likes having it, and it makes him feel less restricted. We also borrow things from the library for free.

    I don’t know what it was called, but the found something he could subscribe to on his IPad that got him all the MLB games for something like $16 – for the entire season! He used some of his ‘allowance’ money to pay for that, and was happy with it. It got him access to a lot of games he wouldn’t have otherwise seen. With all the a-la-carte options out there, and with those I’m sure are in the works, cable really does seem like too much.

    Finally, I completely agree that the sedentary sitting/watching of TV can go too far. We limit it in our home, and I often crochet or something while I watch…but I’m glad that overall, our daughter is not growing up with the ‘tv habit’.

  • Jennifer says:

    We ditched cable last fall in order to keep working hard at becoming debt free, minus our mortgage! We were paying $130 a month for a cable and internet package and now pay just $50 for internet, and Hulu Plus, and Netflix. Minus the Food Network we watch just about every show we used to and only those shows compared to flipping channels for hours. And if I really miss a show, I can go to my parents’ house and catch up with their free OnDemand shows available thru their pricy cable package.

    • michelle says:

      I do the same thing with my mom! We have antenna, netflix, hulu plus, and tivo and pay only $33 for it. We were paying over $100 a month on satellite plus we still had netflix! There is only a handful of shows I want to watch that we don’t get, and I can usually watch those online or record them at my moms. And usually if I wait long enough netflix will add them. We also get amazon video through our tivo box and I will use amazon gift cards I get through swagbucks to buy episodes of my daughters favorite shows on Disney junior (she loves doc mcstuffins and Sophia the first.) But even those she can watch online.

  • Liosha says:

    I absolutely love this post. We got rid of cable almost 2 years ago and don’t miss it. I actually HAD to get rid of it when I downsized from two incomes to one… divorce :{ . However, when it was on, I find it was such a crutch and a time waster. And since my kids have been in school (7 and 4) I have instilled a no TV rule during the week. On the weekends we used to go to the library and rent DVDs, but find too many that are scratched, so we opted for one or two DVDs from Redbox, only after I have received a coupon. I still have an Analog TV and actually don’t have the converter box just yet, so the TV literally stays off all week long.

    Just recently, I reintroduced them to games I grew up on… Memory, Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Last night I was able to clean the kitchen and wash my hair (which is no easy task) while they played a game of Memory. It was surreal.

  • Jessica says:

    Great post!! I have been looking into this, where we are we don’t really have reception. Being in a storm prone area I feel most comfortable with local tv for tornadoes, but I called the cable company last week to find out how to cut down to the bare bones package.

    Hubby isn’t convinced yet, but I am going to add it all up for him over the year, great tip!!

    • michelle says:

      Adding up the yearly price is what did it for my husband. He didn’t think $100 a month was that much for cable but when I told him that we spent $1200 a year on cable and we could have gone on a beach vacation with that (which we didn’t get to go on this year because we couldn’t afford it) he quickly jumped on board with the no cable option. We get rid of ours in September, and I thought we would miss it but neither one of us do. There are so many other places to get Tv from these days.

    • Sabrina says:

      My hubby LOVES tv. Loves it. But I kept trying to convince him there was no sense in paying $80 a month for cable when almost all the shows we watch are on Hulu Plus (which we were already paying for, and Netflix). After we went through and I showed him that he could still watch most his shows on the TV through our Wii and blu-ray player (a few have to be watched on the computer) he was convinced. We did have to get an antenna so he could watch sports on the local channels though. He says he kinda misses just being able to sit down and flip channels, but I don’t miss that at all.

  • We got rid of cable over a year ago and have only missed it once for a basketball game. But you know what? We still watched it, just not at home. Otherwise I love that we watch less TV, thanks to Hulu and Netflix we can still watch most of our favorite shows (without commercials), and the kids are only able to watch shows WE approve of – no mindless Disney or Cartoon Network. Another option if Hulu and Netflix don’t have one of your favorite shows is to simply stream through your computer using a HDMI cable – most major networks show full episodes the day after they aired. It’s free and easy!

  • Melissa says:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for an antenna? I looked on Amazon, but I was overwhelmed by the choices. Which one has worked well for your family, if you use one? Thanks.

    • Amy says:

      I don’t remember which one we bought but my husband went to Radio Shack and they were extremely helpful. They knew the best one to get and knew our area so they gave him tips on set up, which way too point it, etc. We could have bought it online for less than Radio Shack but the info they gave was definitely worth the extra cost. It seems like the people there seem to be more knowledgeable than most big box stores. Hope this helps!

      • Courtney says:

        This would be a question for my husband. . . sorry! We did get a lot of help from Radio Shack, however, as we were installing our antennea. It turns out, in our area, your antennea needs to be rated for at least 150 miles to pick up any stations. The first one we had was only for 50 miles and we only picked up PBS. We don’t really live in a rural area, but none of the stations were broadcast out of our town, and the other major cities near us were outside of that 50 mile radius. Do a little local homework, and it will save you time in the long run! We definitely found the switch to free antennea TV to be worth it!

    • Jen B. says:

      We just bought this one a few months ago and ditched our cable. It’s around $36 on amazon. It works great. You just have to stick it to the wall, we don’t mind how it looks, and it brings in great reception. We actually get more channels now than we did with cable. And we get free HD reception. Here’s the link:

      Here’s the name: Solid Signal HD-BLADE Indoor Digital Flat Indoor TV Antenna With 8 Ft Razor Mini RG59 Cable

      You can order it direct from the company Solid Signal, or from Amazon. I think Amazon was cheaper. Hope that helps.


    • Jill says:

      We’ve been married 21 years and have never had cable. After buying 2 or 3 amplified antennas for our TV that broke very quickly we found out about the Mohu Leaf Antenna. Highly, highly recommend it!! We bought the amplified version of it (you can get one that has a 35 mile range or a 50 mile range). The antenna is awesome. It is the size of an 8 x 10 picture and is as thick as a piece of paper that has been laminated. You can hang it behind pictures to hide it, you can paint it to match your walls or just use it as is (that’s what we do). We now get many more channels than before and don’t have the problem of frozen pixels either. Also, you don’t have to adjust it’s position because it is multi-directional. Try it and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

    • Kristine says:

      We bought this one at Radio Shack a couple of years ago, and it has worked well for us: We live about 25-35 miles from the local TV transmitters.

    • Kristine says:

      Also, I recommend this FCC site for antenna information:

      This is another helpful guide:

      There’s no one antenna that will work for everyone. There are many variables to consider in deciding, such as your distance from the TV transmitters, their direction from you (all in one area or in many different directions), the terrain, etc. Because of the curve of the earth, it’s difficult to get reliable signals from more than 70 miles away (especially UHF signals, which most digital TV signals are), unless you’re on a mountain top or something.

  • Alex says:

    When we bought our first house in October, we decided that we’d get rid of satelite. Our bill was about $75 a month before. Now we have netflix and hulu plus. It costs less than $20 dollars a month and all of the shows we watch are available the next day after they air. We had a dvr with satelite and never watched shows live anyway, so this hasn’t been a problem for us. My kids have lots to choose from as well. I love that several Veggie Tales options are on netflix. My three year old son is obsessed with it.

  • Ashley says:

    This is one thing that I splurge on and don’t plan on getting rid of any time soon.

    • Meredith says:

      Me too Ashley. My husband would NEVER let me do this….NEVER NEVER NEVER. It’s the sports reason. He follows approx. 25 different college and professional teams. He watches it day in and day out. We tried one time and the buffering on the internet was terrible. Not to mention, a lot of the games aren’t even offered online. Plus, if he went to a bar or pub to watch all of his games I would never see him and the money on drinks and food would add up waaay past the cable bill. If we didn’t have any money, of course I would drop it. We’re doing fine though and it’s a splurge I’ll take.

    • Lori says:

      Same here, we splurge as well on Directv. It’s our entertainment (our kids are grown) and we can more than afford it. We also have plenty of time to do many other kinds of entertainment…game playing, dinner parties, etc. People just have to decide what makes sense for themselves and what they are willing to do to save a buck!

    • I agree! Right now our cable is part of our apartment rent (a change they made between year 1 and 2 of living here–and not a big enough rent increase to warrant the time/effort/cost of finding a new apartment and moving) but once we move next summer, it likely won’t be. My husband loves sports and loves watching the games, and I’d prefer to spend money on cable instead of going out to a bar or restaurant during every single game. If we couldn’t afford it, then that would have to be that…but since we can, it’s what we do.We do know a couple who only subscribe to cable during football season, so that’s something to think about.

    • Kristi says:

      I’m with you this is something I would not get rid of unless we had to. We are a TV family for sure and I am okay with that since it isn’t an all day thing. We all have shows we enjoy watching in the evening and it is my time to unwind.

    • shannon says:

      I think this is a great tip but for our family, having cable actually saves us money because it is our entertainment since we don’t go to the movies, attend big sporting events (hubby loves his sports), and do not go out much. We do limit television in the house but without cable, we would spend more money going out.

      • Rachael says:

        We are the same way. We don’t have Netflix, and going to the movies is a once or twice a year treat—so basically anything we watch is on t.v.

        I think it really matters the types of shows you like. We watch mostly sports and current events type shows, so it doesn’t work to watch things on Hulu later. But, if you watch mostly series shows, I can see how this can work.

      • Chimwemwe says:

        What is entertainment for when you have children?

    • Jodi says:

      I’m reading these comments and getting super hyped of ridding our house of cable! Then the sports comments came up and it all came crashing down 🙁

  • J says:

    My brother just got rid of his cable and we did four years ago. Haven’t missed it yet.

  • Anonymous says:

    I appreciate your post being about how to save by cutting your cable bill and then how you specifically outline other ways to watch shows, such as Netflix. I have to admit I get annoyed when I hear people say..’we don’t watch tv’ when they really mean they ‘don’t have cable’, but they have a Netflix account, Hulu, check out stuff from the library, and even watch full shows on the Internet. For those individuals, it is a bit misleading to say ‘we don’t watch tv’.

    We, personally, haven’t had cable in over 2 years and haven’t missed it. We do have Netflix, which allows us to watch something every now and again and provides some cartoons that are appropriate for our kids. The good thing about not having cable and then having a Netflix is that everything is new to us so we can get interested in a specific series because we’ve never seen it. If it turns out to be junk, then we just move on to something else. It is also something we use more in the winter than in the summer so we can easily cancel our subscription for months when we would be outside more and then pick up later without having to worry about cancellation fees, installation, contracts, etc.

  • Dawn says:

    We got rid of our satellite nearly two years ago. I do not miss it. I was the hold out because I love college basketball. I can watch nearly ever game through We have a Roku, but I also hook the laptop to the tv to watch Hulu,, and the basketball games. We went from nearly $80 dollars a month to just $8. Through the Roku we get Weather 4 Us which alerts us to any warnings/watches in our area. I hate that we spent years paying so much for stuff we can get practically free! We know better now and will not go back.

    • Courtney says:

      Agree! Roku is awesome, and allows you to watch Netflix, Hulu Plus or listen to Pandora from your TV with minimal set up. There are alot of free apps for Roku too!

  • Kelly says:

    Apple TV is another way that you can get rid of cable or satellite. It has an upfront cost, but you can stream Netflix and Hulu through it with monthly subscriptions.

    We’ve been talking about getting rid of our satellite , but unfortunately we’re under a contract and would pay a hefty penalty to cancel. When we get closer to the end we’re probably going to get rid of it.

    • Tara says:

      Roku is similar. A Roku player can be purchased for $80 or so, $40 if you get a refurbished one. I was shocked when my parents decided to go for this plan, but they love it.

    • Kari says:

      We are under contract with our satellite tight now too. It’s up in June and I’m seriously considering going the summer with just Netflix and Hulu and see how it goes. We have Apple TV also and love it!! If you don’t have an HDTV it won’t work but Sony and Ruku make good alternatives.

  • Getting rid of cable is on my list of ways to save money this year! Our two year contract is up in April so that is when I plan to get rid of ours. Before moving to this house two years ago we didn’t have cable, we don’t watch t.v. enough to justify spending the money. However, I didn’t take the time when we moved in to research our options. We live in a semi-rural area and I was convinced it was our only option to get signal for even the basic channels. I would love to hear from others in live in rural areas! 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Go to tvfool?com and click on “check your address”. You can put it in and they will tell you what kind of channels you can get using a set top antenna, attic or outdoor. We are semi rural too and it REALLY helped me.

    • Kristine says:

      We’re in a rural area, but pick up antenna signals from about 20-25 miles away with a small indoor digital antenna. We do have it mounted in our kitchen window, and drilled a small hole through our 30 year old countertop to run the coax cable across the basement up behind the tv, but it is a nicer solution than duct taped to Command hooks across the ceiling 🙂

      Check out tvfool, they’re a good starting point.

      • I will definitely need to look into this more. TV Fool says we are about 35-40 miles from most station antennas and due to subdivision rules we can’t have a large antenna on our roof. We had already talked about not paying $10 a month for HD (I’m thinking that is something we didn’t pay attention to when we signed up or maybe they offered free at the time… Thanks!

        • Kristine says:

          There are “attic” antennas. They look like the outdoor antennas, but are designed to hang in your attic instead of being mounted to a pole on the house.

          The furthest stations we pick up with our indoor antenna are 51 miles away. BUT, those are the ones that are in the same direction as our antenna is pointed. There are other stations, similar distances away, but in a different direction that we don’t receive.

        • Rachel K says:

          We had to get some monster antenna called an Orca Stealth. We tried a smaller antenna but it didn’t pick up all the channels we wanted. We live more than 20 miles out. That antenna might be a little more than we need but my husband researched it and that’s what he thought would work best.

          It’s installed in the garage which has a vaulted unfinished ceiling so the HOA won’t complain.

    • michelle says:

      We live in a rural area but we actually get a better signal on most channels than we would in town, since the towers are actually located outside of town. We get Abc, Nbc, Cbs, Pbs, and sometimes the cw. And a couple of other channels. The only one we don’t get is fox, but I think we would if we had a better antenna. We have a small one that is mounted inside. Ours was around $50, best buy has a $100 that has a larger range so I think we will get that when we get tax money in and just move our small antenna to our bedroom. It doesn’t matter to me but my husbands wants fox because they play more sports than the other channels.

  • Jan from Oregon! says:

    We bid a fond farewell to our cable company when our kids became preteens about 10 years ago and haven’t looked back. About four years ago we moved to a remote 640 acre camp out in the middle of nowhere. I did some investigation and bought up a Roku box which works off the same principle as Xbox for about 99 bucks flat rate. No monthly or yearly anything extra. They have since dropped their priced to an very affordable 70.00 or less. We watch Netflix and Amazon plus they have a ton of their own movie, special interest, music, etc. stations. It all works off our internet connection. No commercials. Great programming. Cheap, cheap, cheap. And to make things a whole lot cheaper, we got a cable (can’t remember the name of the thing now, you all probably already know about it.. 🙂 that connects our lap top to our t.v. and we use the t.v. as a monitor. We watch everything that we could ever wish for from our computer and haven’t had to put up with a makeup commercial in years..! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    Depending on where you live internet only is more expensive than internet/cable. We are so ready to drop cable entirely because we have Amazon Prime anyway and a Roku. Plus we don’t watch that much TV anyway so it was an easy way to trim the budget, right? Nope. We have called several times in the past two years and it turns out that dropping cable and just having the internet would be MORE money than what we pay for both- we did drop to the cheapest package so that is something I suppose.

    • Heather says:

      Yeah, we could get cable added for no more money than we are already paying for phone and Internet. But we won’t just because the temptation to waste time is too great.

    • Erin says:

      This is the problem we are experiencing. We are ready to get rid of cable. We have alternative plans ready to take advantage of but it is the internet that is the requirement per my husbands profession. If we drop cable we have to pay a ridiculous amount for internet. Any suggestions?

    • Tammy says:

      We have our internet, phone, and cable bundled, and while I would LOVE to be without cable, it is actually cheaper to keep our bundle. We don’t have a cell phone plan (just a basic trakphone we put 1000 minutes on per year) so we need both phone and internet.

    • We are in a similar situation. I don’t watch much any more, but husband still likes it, and the way cable companies sell bundles, it is marginally not much more for cable internet than just internet. Much less than $40/month savings would be realized if we canceled

      • Emily says:

        Yes! Same here. I would love (LOVE) to get rid of our cable, but we have a bundle package through Comcast. I need the high speed internet (I work from home); we also need our home landline, since I have a bare-bones cell phone plan. If I canceled cable and kept the internet and landline phone, it would actually cost MORE than having all three bundled together. And if I were to cancel that landline phone AND the cable, I’d have to beef up my cell package considerably. I’ve done the math on that, and it would end up being a wash, cost-wise. And so we keep the cable.

        One thing that’s made it easier for me to swallow, though, is that I keep getting Comcast to give me that $99 “new customer” rate each year. I just call once the year mark is up and threaten to cancel everything unless they continue letting me pay $99. They always end up agreeing to it 🙂

        I do love the heart of Crystal’s post, about watching less TV so that you have time for other, more meaningful things in your life. I’ll admit, this prompted a “we watch too much TV” conversation with my husband last night!

        • Andrea says:

          I read this somewhere and this is what got me thinking of canceling my cable: “$2400 a year over 20 years invested at 4% would be an extra $70,000!”
          I was having the same problem with the pricing of my bundle. I finally figured out that I could pay $40 for internet only through my cable company and then I added Vonage for my home phone. When you try and keep internet with phone it doesn’t make sense to drop the cable with the way they do their pricing. I was even able to keep my home number. This has worked great. I got a Netflix account and an antenna for all my local channels. We also have apple tv which allows you to stream netflix and I can also mirror what I watch from the computer right onto the tv. Apple tv doesn’t work with Amazon prime however which I didn’t know before buying the apple tv device. I was paying about $140 per month for the triple play bundle and now I am only paying about $62 a month for internet, phone and netflix. My kids haven’t missed the tv at all and neither have I.

    • Maureen R. says:

      We would only save about $10 a month by dropping basic cable, and that is without a package. So it doesn’t make any sense, because a Netflix account is going to cost just about the same and we don’t watch that many movies. When we do, Redbox is good enough.

    • We were paying $100 a month in our area for a bundle package- it was the cheapest one they had. We canceled our cable and phone and kept the internet for $45 a month. We use Magic Jack for our phone service (love it!) and have Netflix and Hulu Plus. In our case, it made perfect sense money wise to not do the bundle thing.

      I love cable, but have survived without it. If we could get it for super cheap though I would sign up again!

  • Ilyssa says:

    We haven’t had cable tv in years. We’ve set up a nice, quality antenna so we get some of the basic channels in HD. We also use instant streaming on Netflix. It’s only $9 a month. We also use the freebie Redbox codes when they come out. (Usually about one a month.)

  • amy k says:

    Redbox is now 1.30 a night, so we’ve gone from two movies a month down to one. 🙁 that was our cheap date nights!

  • Anna says:

    This is one area where we’ve actually spent more money in the last year. We have never had cable, and now have Netflix. So we are out an extra $7.99 a month now. On the upshot, we just plug a computer in via an HDMI cord and can watch tons of stuff COMMERCIAL FREE! I just think it’s crazy how much you have to pay for cable, and to be advertised to 15+ minutes out of the hour.

  • Pam says:

    My husband and I found a good compromise to be able to watch our shows and save money. We cancelled our extended cable and DVR which saved us $50 per month. We still kept our basic cable. We have a HuluPlus membership which costs $7.99 per month and we have an Amazon Prime account which is $79 per year or $6.58 per month. Both memberships allow us to watch TV shows/movies and we save $35 per month or $420 per year. It isn’t as good as cancelling it altogether, but maybe we will get there eventually!

  • Sarah says:

    The suggestion to ditch cable is made in every cost cutting article. However, the reality, at least in my area, is that this isn’t feasible. Cable Internet is our only option and without a tv package, they double the price of Internet. Even the phone company with dsl, which doesn’t work well here anyway, no longer offers Internet without home phone. So, great if you can actually get rid of cable, but it’s often not that easy.

  • Katherine says:

    We don’t have cable, and haven’t for almost 4 years. In fact, we just purchased a tv on Black Friday – before that, we didn’t have one of those either. Right now, it’s hooked up to our desktop computer, and acts as a huge monitor, as well as a vehicle for watching Netflix. That’s the only tv we pay for. I do watch several tv shows, but they are all available either through their network sites or on Hulu. I don’t mind waiting the extra day to week to watch them either – it works better with my schedule!

  • Dianna says:

    We don’t have a TV, but we do watch TV. We have a TV tuner hooked up to our computer, and it makes it easy to record the few PBS shows I let my kids watch. Between those shows and our DVD collection, they’re happy.

    My husband and I watch very little TV, but what we do watch comes from Amazon Prime. They don’t have as great a selection as Netflix, but all you really need is two or three shows you like if you don’t watch very often.

  • Kristin says:

    My feelings exactly! We ditched cable for good in 07 and haven’t looked back. We even got rid of Netflix (which I will admit to missing sometimes). After that, we still felt like we were watching too much tv and moved our (tiny) tv to the kitchen. That way, we can still watch a few minutes while we’re cooking or cleaning, but not so we just plop down and watch it for hours. There’s no seating in the kitchen and a cold, stone floor, which helps a lot. 😉

  • We’ve never even owned a TV, much less had cable, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out when in the world I would find time to sit down and watch it if we had one. My husband does enjoy watching sports, though, so he is able to watch enough to satisfy him on Just another thing to throw out there for those looking for cheaper ways.

  • Jennifer L. says:

    Yep! We ditched ours ove a year ago. I’m not saying I don’t miss some tv shows, but I think the $75 we save every month more than makes up for the shows I miss. Plus, I have to agree that my children don’t ask for the “latest” toys because they don’t know what those toys are. This year, for the first time since we had children, we did not feel the need to hit Toys R Us for Christmas because we were not bombarded by advertising to buy said toys. Plus, I know exactly what my kids watch on tv because of Netflix. We definitely won’t be going back!

  • We watch a few of our favorite tv shows on HULU! We can still watch shows we love, but for FREE and we get to choose when we want to watch them, plus commercials are much shorter (normally 30 seconds).

  • Kelly says:

    If only I got get my husband on board with this we would be all set…..I have brought it up many many times…..

  • Tammy says:

    I would do this in a heartbeat. My husband is an avid football fan, I don’t think I could talk him out of it…

    • Nicole says:

      My husband loves football too! But he can watch a lot of the games with just our antenna, and for the occasional game that he just can’t miss he’ll go to a friend’s house. I don’t mind the once every month or every other month that he does that, it’s a whole lot cheaper than paying for cable!

  • Wendy says:

    What a great post. We did this almost 2 yrs. ago and now have an HD antenna, a roku box with subscriptions to play on, hulu plus, amazon prime and netflix. Our kids watch much less TV and so do we! We have more family time and it is wonderful. I use the amazon video very little but use the prime shipping and kindle books ALOT! Play on was a one time fee and I have found that most of my shows can be found on you tube which is a channel in this package deal. To start off, it cost almost $200 including prime membership but has been so worth it!

  • Amy says:

    We cancel our cable every year after college football season ends. Even with the hook-up fees, we still save big. We can view nearly every network show we are missing on,, etc. We bought an HDMI cable and we hook the computer up to the TV and it’s just like the real thing. I do miss my cooking and decorating shows once in a blue moon, but I find myself keeping the TV off more in general and I LOVE that!

  • Cathy says:

    We’ve had satellite for about 2 total years out of our almost 20 year marriage. It was an impulse purchase during hubby’s last 15 month deployment when the evenings were feeling long. I sure regretted it after. We found it was cheaper to buy our way out of the contract than to finish out the two years in full and did so.

    We haven’t gotten the antennae thing to work here, but are able to watch the few shows we enjoy online the day after they air. We also have Amazon Prime and have found some items on there to watch as well. Had Netflix for awhile but my husband just took quite a pay cut and we needed to cut everything unnecessary, so that went.

    • Sweta says:

      I always go to my library for dvds. First I go to this website: to find out when movies I want to see are coming out on dvd. Next, I go to my library’s website and suggest that they purchase it that way when they finally receive it at the library I am first in line.

      • shelly says:

        How nice to live somewhere where the library will purchase movies! The libraries in our state can only use funds to purchase books, movies have to be through donation only.

  • Jennifer C. says:

    I have to completely agree with you on this post! My husband decided to go back to graduate school this fall & so we made a major move west. As part of going back to a student budget, we decided not to subscribe to television for awhile. I thought I would hate not having some of the shows that I had loved, however, I HARDLY MISS IT AT ALL!!
    I get the news from the internet & the radio & we rent movies from Redbox 2-3 times/month.
    I think if most people would try to go without tv for awhile (give it at least a month) they would be very surprised at how little they miss it!!

  • Sidney says:

    As you mentioned, unfortunately not everybody is able to get TV through an antenna. My husband and I never paid for cable until we moved about 2 years ago. Where we now live we were only able to get one station using an antenna and the converter box we had used at our previous house. We knew about the other options you mentioned in your article, but getting up to date news is important to both of us, and knew none of those would give us what we really wanted.
    I did a ton of searching before we decided on what cable package to get. If you just call the cable/dish companies they will always quote you the biggest packages, and even if you ask for their smallest package they don’t ever mention what actually is their smallest. We ended up getting a basic cable package for $15 a month and it’s more channels than we need! But, I had to do a lot of digging on the cable company’s website to find that package, and then insist on that package when I called to sign up – the gal I talked with didn’t even realize they had a package that small!

  • Taral says:

    We have the most basic cable but we cant ditch it coz thats the only thing that gets us our low internet rate. We are paying 55$ for basic and internet. If we leave basic cable, internet shoots up to 75$ per month. The reason is comcast net is the best in our area and they pretty much have a mono poly here. Their net is faster. I tried asking them but they were not ready to give any other promotion. Which is bad. What to do in such a situation?

  • Shelly says:

    We haven’t had cable in our home for 13 years now. At first we missed it a little but now we find enough shows between over the air broadcasts and the free Hulu shows to give us plenty to watch.

    But my sister can’t even get over the air broadcast where she lives so she just gets the bare bones cable package for her home which saves her quite a bit over the more full package deals.

  • Melissa says:

    What about those who bundle their Internet with cable? Is it cheaper to cut the cable and pay for an alternative option like NetFlix? What ways are there to save on Internet? Ours runs about $45 a month, and it goes up if we don’t bundle with cable (although we get the most basic cable to save).

  • Kristina says:

    What do you do for internet then? We have the most basic cable we can get just so we can bundle it with our internet to save money. If we had just internet it would be about $60, but since we bundle cable and internet together it costs us $57 a month. I’d love to drop this since we don’t need it and really could send out time doing better things.

    • We have a slower cable internet. It’s still less than the total “bundle” package, and even if my husband wasn’t using it for work, I print enough internet coupons to make it worth it. Our cable is fast enough to watch shows for free on Hulu. It’s $40 a month with taxes. Look on your cable company’s website and see what they really offer, and then tell them what you want.

    • Jen B. says:

      You can drop cable and then have internet through a different provider. We never bundle because then they rope you in with a great price, although you’re still paying more. Drop cable, look for an alternate internet provider, AT&T or a local provider. You probably can save money.

    • michelle says:

      we have dsl too, ours is the fastest speed since we use it to stream netflix and hulu and we pay $45. But that is our only option for Internet, we live in the country and our cable company does not come out here yet.

    • Kristine says:

      We have cable internet (no cable TV, no land-line phone), and it cost us $40 per month. Fortunately, our cable company doesn’t charge more for internet only, without a bundle deal. I know it’s not that way everywhere.

  • I recently added up all the numbers on changes we have made over the last two years for a blog series ($13,000 in total!!!). Cable was a big one. We paid almost $90/month! We were given an apple tv box for free, and have netflix that we stream through that to our tv. Between Netflix and Hulu, we can watch everything we want. My hubby is usually able to find some websites that stream football games for free, too, so we really aren’t missing out on much except that huge bill!

    • Great read. I wrote something similar when we cut the cord a year ago. We saved $1,018.80 It was in effort to save money, simplify life, an be home with my kids. Readers asked me the same thing. How we did it was to have Netflix run through our Wii and had DSL cable. However, we moved this past year and I took a chance working with my cable company. I expressed my budget and why we had canceled services. Then, to my surprise the representative said it’ll just be $2 and change more to have cable without a contract. He went in to say, we always have promo rates you just have to ask. Sold ~ so I have to say I saved money just by speaking up. Now we have DSL & cable for $82.64/ month

  • We got rid of cable in July 2007 (we only had it for a few years; before that we had a regular antenna).

    We find plenty of shows to watch for FREE on Hulu (we do not pay for Hulu Plus–we just wait until things come our on Hulu a week later).

  • Kathy says:

    We ditched directv about 5 years ago. Never looked back. We have over the air Tv, Netflix, and Roku. I love it.

  • Emily M says:

    I also want to suggest using the library for tv shows and movies. FREE!!! My husband and I have been enjoying old seasons of Survivor (the very first ones) all from the library.

  • Chyanne says:

    Our cable bill was going to go up from $50 a month to almost $100 so we cancelled it. We just get the basic channels (like PBS, ABC, etc). If there is a show we want to watch that is on a different channel we just watch it on-line instead….we use Now the kids just watch the educational shows on PBS and we have extra money for our weekly “family fun night”.

  • Gwen says:

    We went cable free for a while-For $10 a month we had the basic channels (abc, cbs, etc) included in HD and our filter let us see ESPN (not HD, though. It was terrible to watch on the HD TV).

    We did fine for a while, but then realized that our HD looked terrible on our series 2 tivo. We’re saving up for a new tivo (with lifetime plan) and it is a big chunk of change. But, we love our tivo–it lets us watch when we want and I refuse to give the cable company anymore money. We have expanded basic now with internet speeds bumped up. At some point, we’ll cancel and sign up again. We live in an expensive city and staying in the house (not to mention the bitter winters) saves us from going out to eat, etc.

    We live in a pre war building and at one point had the cheapest antennae target sold. It actually looked better in HD than our HD cable did (signal/noise/age of lines issue). However, the cat kept knocking it over b/c it had to be in the window.

  • Samantha says:

    I have gotten TV over antenna for the past two years after having cable TV my entire life. I LOVE IT! I did it to save money, but I was also sick of dealing with the bad customer service and billing problems associated with the cable company.

    I bought an antenna from Costco and store it in a closet. I live in Houston and get 15 channels, including a dedicated kids’ channel called Qubo. The picture is BETTER than with cable.

    We only miss cable when it’s college football time, but my husband figured out how to get the ESPN on his laptop. We then plug it into the big TV to watch games.

  • Kara says:

    We cut our cable package last year. We really only used Disney Junior and NBC on Thursday nights other than that it was a waste. We have Netflix and Hulu Plus, pay $36/mos for both and $58 for internet (larger download speed) and we are good. We’ll have people ask if we have seen this show or that commercial, I reply we don’t have cable. The only time it is missed is during Football and Hockey season.

  • Katie says:

    My husband moved into our current apartment about a year before we got married and has never had cable since then. He was paying almost $100 a month for cable that he rarely watched and his roommate paying another $100 a month as well! My husband hardly ever watches TV, so we decided when we got married to not have any cable. Once realized that life was fine without cable and we watched a total of maybe 3 redbox movies on our TV in 5 months, we sold our television. The whole thing! The tv, dvd player, stereo, x box, wii and every other piece of equipment went out the door. We realized there was more important things to do with money the TV would make us (funding for planting a church) and more important things we could do with our time. We are now able to spend more time with each other, have company over to play games and for dinner, and we are able to read for pleasure which is wonderful! We save tons of money and precious time with out cable. You can make the cut! Your wallet and marriage will thank you!

  • Holly says:

    We took the plunge and got rid of cable about 3 years ago and haven’t truly missed it since (okay, I do miss the DVR feature, but not so much the shows). We replaced it with Netflix so our girls would have kid friendly/commercial free shows to watch. We get redbox movies from time to time…but we just don’t have as much time to watch shows these days. One thing we did though was up our internet speed so that we would be able to watch those shows without frustration!

  • harleygurl828 says:

    We have 4 seperate cable boxes in our home (1 in living room, 1 in our bedroom, 1 in 17 yr old daughter’s room & 1 in 21 yr old son’s room in the basement) – how would you handle that? Would we have to buy 4 seperate boxes such as the Roku/Boxee boxes, or possibly 4 BluRay/Streamers? Because we all definitely do NOT watch the same shows. Any suggestions???

  • We ditched cable almost twp years ago. We assessed our bill and checked out the package options offered by our local carrier. We were spending nearly $200 a month for a full land line phone service, high speed cable internet and a moderate cable package (not the lowest, but no extra tiers or movie channels). We found it would be cheapest to switch to NO cable, increase our internet to the fastest available and make our land line phone local only. We saved $100 a month! We now subscribe to Hulu Plus and Netflix (for $8 each per month) and use Amazon Instant Video (included with our Prime membership). We haven’t missed cable at all. I would suggest to anyone considering this switch – check the packages carefully! If we had dropped our phone all together we wouldn’t have saved as much! By keeping a “package” we ended up saving money!

  • Christia says:

    I agree I should give up cable. It’s so hard though! I am so tired at the end of the day and all I want to do is have a seat with my DH and watch cable. It is usually junk anyway though so maybe I should really pray about this.

  • Rachel says:

    This is an interesting one for me. We did get rid of cable several years ago and was without for several years and didn’t really miss it very much but we did have internet that was $45 or $50 a month. However about a year ago we made the decision to get rid of our cell phone plan and just get a prepaid phone for emergencies and get a home phone line instead. It works for us because my husband has a personal phone line at work and I stay at home so I just use the home phone. We get the 3 in 1 package with the internet, phone and cable. With taxes and fees I only pay $87 per month, which is almost what we were paying just for the cell phone plan. Every time that they try to raise my rates, I call them and they usually give me another promotion. This summer they wouldn’t do it again, so I switched to another provider and got another deal. I refuse to pay more than $95 per month for all three. I would still be willing to get rid of the cable, but 2 of those is the same price as 3. I don’t know how to get the cable and phone for much cheaper than that. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

  • Heather N says:

    We have been married for 15 years and have NEVER had cable. For us, I just can’t justify the cost for the few shows that we would watch.

  • Penny says:

    I also love

  • Mar says:

    Our downfall is NFL football. We didn’t have cable until we moved to an area surrounded by mountain ranges. We are in the valley and the only thing we can get with an antenna is PBS. Now we have a bundle but I would love to get rid of everything but internet. After football is over I will be cancelling the TV (bc the company is no contract and super cheap to have it reinstalled in time for next football season). However, we would love to do without cable forever. Any ideas on how to watch all the NFL games without our cable? It’s the only thing we consistently watch and the one thing my husband and I love. Last year, my husband would go to his school (he’s a teacher) on Sunday afternoons so he could work and watch games on their cable. Not such a great deal since he has to drive 10 miles one way and then we either have to go with him or be without him.

  • Monica says:

    The winter is so hard for me. I am an outdoorsy person but cannot stand the cold. I literally get cable for December through February. I usually end up depressed and feeling like a terrible mom for those 3 months though.

  • Angela says:

    Great post! But, after years of wanting dishnetwork bill gone, I have finally accepted it….and even enjoy it some nights with the family. Our favorites are history and hunting/ outdoor channels. Don’t mind spending the money for now. Some months when we need a price break, I talk the dish rep down to just locals and the always add in a few extras for less than $20 total. Last year we even went on “vacation” for a few months for only $5 per mo and added channels back when it was football season! We do enjoy Netflix and got amazon prime- helps with shipping school books quickly too! We get redbox once every few months since we live in the country. And we only visit the library a few times a year- its too many books etc to keep track of with 6 kids. and inevitably one gets lost or chewed on….and that gets expensive!! Remember to stay balanced and not compare yourself to another family! 🙂 everyone is so different.

  • Nisha says:

    Thanks for this article! We are all ready to do this, we even purchased the HD Antenna. Ok, my question is: We need our internet and phone (well, we could actually do without the land line) as we run half of our business from our home office. Any tips on purchasing internet services and/or phone services outside the infamous “bundles” offered by most companies?

    Unfortunately, this is the only dilemma that is causing us not to disconnect tomorrow, as the prices do not seem to be much of a difference.

  • Julia says:

    We dumped cable two years ago and we don’t miss it. We have Netflix and HuluPlus, but if we’d get on the stick and put up an antennae then we could drop Hulu. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Donna DaBillo says:

    We got rid of cable tv about a year ago and switched to Netflix. In the beginning we did both the by mail and streaming, but now only stream.
    We had Vonage for our home phone and had cut it back twice to the bare minimums, but also let that go.
    With our savings, (and also scaling back on eating out..) we have been able to pay off 3 credit cards that had balances of over $5000. We have 3 more to go that have less than $4000 ea. Still a ways to go, but making great progress and we aren’t watching as much tv either, we are more active.

  • Rebecca K says:

    I am wondering if anyone out there in reader-land has any experience with Roku ? It is a streaming device that plugs into your tv and I know you can netflix through it… but I wondering if anyone has any real world experience with them…

    • Tara H says:

      Rebecca, We have Roku and it works great for us. We only subscribe to Netflix through it but there are a lot of other options on it if you “need” more. I’m not sure about all the options but some are Amazon Prime, Hulu, Popcorn Flix (that is movies that are free), there’s even an angry birds. 🙂 There are several more things on there too, some free, some paid, but just for safe guarding of our kids, we don’t venture through much.

    • Carol S says:

      I have had a Roku and no cable for almost 5 years. I use both Netflix and Hulu-plus for about $16 a month. Hulu-plus does show comercials, but not near as many as cable TV. I also have Amazon Prime that pays for itself on shipping, so I don’t really count that as a TV expense, more like an added bonus. I did miss the local news and weather when I first made the switch, but I have found other ways to check those when I’m on the internet. I like that my TV watching is on my schedule not the networks’ schedule. As for the Roku itself, I have had very litte problems. It does take a lot of your internet, so sometimes shows don’t stream smoothly.Occasionally my screen goes all green and then the Roku resets itself. Not a big deal for me. I know I can do whatever I want in the middle of a show and always come back where I left off.

      • lorelai says:

        Very similar to us. We’ve had Roku for almost 2 years, use Hulu & Netflix (also have Amazon prime but that’s for shipping so also a bonus for us tv-wise). I could get rid of Netflix but it’s easy for my young kids to navigate (plus I have enjoyed the convenience of having multiple seasons of shows that are new to me – I watched 4 seasons of Breaking Bad this past summer, for example) and it’s only $8 so we keep it.

        I highly recommend nowheretv (a “private channel” you can add to your Roku, for free) for news. It has EVERYTHING, often within hours of airing. I love it.

        Also, Plex makes it very easy to watch things from your hard drive/hulu/ on your tv without having to attach the computer to the tv with an hdmi cable. Right now, I’m watching Downton Abbey but my laptop is on my lap being typed on…

        Giving up cable has been a very easy, nearly painless experience. We watch far less TV and what we do watch is quality – when you have to make an effort to watch something, you’re only going to do it if it’s worth it. No more tv on in the background or mindless channel surfing. Yippee!

    • Stephanie says:

      Love it and I wish we had it sooner.

    • Kristine says:

      We have a Roku and love it. We use Netflix with it and sometimes Amazon Instant Video. We don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, but I’m thinking about subscribing to it because I order stuff on Amazon fairly often.

  • Angela O says:

    We rarely watch our cable, except for news or a few kids shows, but my husbands loves baseball and football. He doesnt have any vices, he’s not out partying, golfing, or spending money on any other hobby or activity. These are the two things that he enjoys; they are his relaxation. So, we have chosen to spend money in this area. But if I can find a way to cut cable and still get the two sports, then I’d do it in a heartbeat. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to watch sports without cable (and the games run on the regular channels won’t suffice–he likes to watch “his” teams, which means we do spend extra for football season, even. We do not live near a big city.). Would love to hear possibities.

  • Courtney says:

    We’re willing to cut back in other areas to keep our Directv because we love to watch sports. We’re hockey nuts and life would be sad without the NHL channel! 🙂

  • kathy says:

    how do you get your internet without the cable? thats the only way we can get internet where im at

  • dorothy says:

    We pay $225 month for our bundle which includes phone and internet.. I think it’s alot but hubby isn’t giving it up..

  • Lesley Frank says:

    My husband and I haven’t had cable since we moved in with each other. We don’t watch 98% of the crap on cable anyway, so why would we pay for it. We have Hulu plus and we love it! We can watch all our tv shows with Hulu and we rent all our movies from redbox. Its way cheeper then cable for the amount of time we spend watching tv. And when were not doing that we are spending quality time with each other and coming up with inexpensive date ideas. Much better use of our time!

  • Jill says:

    We don’t have cable either but that allows me more time to read your site every day. 🙂

  • Luba says:

    My dad threw away our “broken” TV over twenty years ago, and we have never missed it. I agree 100% about what you said about TV, Crystal. There are so many things to do without watching TV. And yes, many commercials are less than desirable. Thank you for a great post!

  • We ditched cable in order to make room in the budget to stay home. I am so glad we did! I didn’t realize how much useless television we were watching. We now have Hulu and Netflix, which cost us about $16 total a month, but since you select shows on those we don’t end up having the TV on for the sake of having it on anymore. I will say that I wish we could get local channels (we are part of the 3% of the US who can’t get TV via antenna) so we could watch our local college team, but I love all the savings!

  • My husband works for the news division of Time Warner Cable, and free cable is one of his employee perks. But now that we are moving South and he has a job that doesn’t give him that perk anymore, we are really having to consider whether or not we’ll spend money on it. We’re leaning towards no, mostly because we can watch our favorite shows on the internet if we want. Sometimes as soon as a day or two after it airs!

  • Summer says:

    We live in a rural area. We opted to buy a digital converter box instead of getting cable. We tried and returned 3 different store-bought antennas, but we couldn’t get more than 1 or 2 channels. We looked on youtube and got directions on how to make one at home (with coat hangers/washers) and we get 9 channels with perfect clarity for free!

  • Lisa says:

    Ditching cable is easy. I dare say there are just as many folks wasting all kinds of time and money on the Internet.

  • Ian says:

    As the only guy I’ve seen on here thus far (reading this at the recommendation of my wife), here’s my 2 cents.
    Penny # 1 – we have not had cable since we got married 7 years ago, other than a brief carryover of the prior tenant’s cable service coming through for about a month, because we both know we have epic addictive tendencies with TV.
    Penny # 2 – I love sports (and am a 49ers fan excited about the Super Bowl!), but I also find it ridiculous that so many guys allow their feelings about some guys they don’t know who have nothing to do with their own family’s future be part of a family decision about time or money. I mean really, you’re a grown man. Take the other guy’s name off your back and get excited about your own family.

  • Katie L says:

    We’ve been without cable for several years now. We have netflix streaming plus one dvd at a time. We use the library. We aren’t big sports fans, but go to friends’ homes for big games like the Super Bowl.

    We were disappointed that we couldn’t find a way to pay a fee for Olympics coverage online– we would have gladly paid a reasonable one-time fee to get streaming coverage of the whole thing this summer, but the cable companies didn’t want our money, I guess. Or, they only wanted our money if we were willing to commit to contracts with them. We were not. Hopefully by the next time around, they’ll figure out how to let us pay them for what we want! Instead, we watched videos of single events as they became available for free on the network website.

    Sports is the toughest thing without cable, but for us it’s not worth the cost. Without cable, we watch WAY less television, our kids are exposed to WAY fewer commercials, and we save a lot of money.

  • Misty says:

    We got rid of cable almost 2 years ago now. I LOVE what we pay now! For DSL internet and Hulu Plus and Netflix we pay $40 a month total!! Our Cable/Internet/Phone package was over $200 with all of my husband’s sports programming. He DOES miss his football, but we can get a lot on the antenna, and online…he just doesn’t get 24/7, EVERY game. We didn’t need the landline phone, and have had great, fast service with our DSL vs Cable internet. So, the savings for us was HUGE!! Even with adding in the extra cell phone line so that my daughter has one(since that was why we were hanging on to the land line) we still are saving $150/month. Best money saver ever!

  • Erin says:

    I could easily live without cable…. hubby not so much. Another avid sports fan 🙂 We gave it a try for a few months, but since he must have good internet speeds for work, we didn’t save much because the price of internet increased dramatically when we took cable out of the bundle. {DSL wasn’t an option as an alternative} And hubs REALLY missed his games. He tried watching a lot of them online, but often the specific game he wanted couldn’t be found online. I don’t mind spending a little extra for cable, since he asks for so little otherwise. It fits in our budget and sometimes marriage is a little give and a little take. This is my little give 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Ugh… SO frustrated. We “can’t” get rid of cable because of all the football on ESPN. Any alternatives other than giving up football that I can suggest to my dear hubby? 😉

  • Andrea says:

    We were all set to ditch cable, even with the hubby loving his sports – we knew the savings would be worth it – and then we found out our internet and phone would be MORE – A LOT more if we come out of the “bundle” package. We also bought a digital antenna and tried it – could only get 4 out of the 18 channels you can get – because of where we are – and even then the channels kept freezing up and skipping, so we are returning that. I’m really bummed – was really looking forward to the change.

  • Christy M says:

    We are currently looking to buy a Roku box and get Netflix and HuluPlus. It is so much cheaper that what we’ve been spending on cable! I’ve talked to friends who use it and they love it!

    • Lauren says:

      I have never had cable as an adult. It’s just not worth the money to me. I do have 2 Roku streaming players, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. This costs me about $16 a month plus the cost of internet. (Mine is currently $25/month.) I absolutely love mine and gave several as gifts for Christmas last year.

  • Jodi Karnes says:

    I would love to cancel our cable. We actually upgraded to Direct TV recently and almost immediately, we had some financial changes and now seriously regret our decision. We have a 2 year contract and I was told in order to cancel it, we would have to pay over $700!!! Is there a way around this? I feel very foolish for having ordered it and would really like to “right my wrong”!

    • Rachel K says:

      We also have Direct TV because my husband “has” to have the NFL Sunday ticket **very expensive would love ideas to avoid that** to watch his Chicago Bears (we live across the country and do not get most of those games). What we did was suspend Direct TV for 6 months at the end of the regular season for the Bears. In 6 months it will come back on but I believe we can call and add 2 more months until the football starts again.

      Maybe call and see if you could suspend service, maybe 6 months from now you’ll be doing better with finances and you’ll be able to continue your contract.

  • hs says:

    I’d love to cut cable…the only reason we have it is because it is included in our HOA fees…we didn’t have it before, and I’d at least like to have the option to choose providers if we decided we wanted it! Anyone ever deal with an HOA in getting costs like this cut?? Ours only seem to go up….

  • Sarah says:

    This one is easy for me because I grew up without it! However, one way I’ve found to entertain myself is subscribe to good youtube channels. There are genres for everything!!! 😀

  • Rachel Wesley says:

    Would love to do this but don’t think hubby could give up sports. What do those that have done this do about those big games?

  • Leah says:

    Just FYI, if your home has a laptop or your computer is near your TV, and you have a non-old laptop that cost, say, $400 or more and a flatscreen HDTV, like pretty much all new ones made in the past 6 or 7 years, chances are high that both of those machines have a HDMI port. You can plug a HDMI cable (male to male cable) from the laptop to TV, switch to the HDMI channel on your TV, and you’ll see your computer screen on your TV. Then you can just pull up netflix, youtube, any kind of video – streaming or downloaded, fullscreen it on your computer, and it’s a lot like just watching TV! You may need to adjust your TV screen resolution (fullscreen, widescreen, whatever doesn’t cut off any of the picture and fits your fancy), but it’s easy enough. HDMI cables are pretty cheap if you buy them online. NEVER buy them in stores like Best Buy, or even Walmart – they charge too much! You can get cheap ones on sites like amazon or newegg – and don’t be fooled by the high priced $30+ cables, they are rarely any better and totally not worth it. I have always bought cables that are less than $10 and the sound and video quality is just fine (yep, a single HDMI carried both video AND sound to the TV). Read the online reviews.

    • Cathy says:

      This is what my hubby does as well. Seems a lot more “normal” watching on the regular screen rather than all be huddled around a small computer screen.

  • Kandace says:

    We’ve cable-free for nearly 5 years now. We have an antenna (~$75), Netflix, and Amazon Prime. It’s still more tv than we really need.

  • rebecca says:

    I just cancelled mine last week i was tired of them rasing the price and sneaking in fees. last year i paid total 819 for cable 1020 is what i would be paying. no thank you ill watch online

  • Sarah says:

    Great idea! It is great for EVERYONE!! Time and money waster. We decided to not get cable for the first year of our marriage. That was 14 yrs. ago and we never did get it! One of the best decisions we have made together.

  • kp says:

    We just ditched our cable bill this last October. I don’t miss it since I have a full time career and am a full time mom. My husband on the other hand misses it for the sports. But we were paying $125 a month just for directv. That did not include internet. Crazy how much we are saving now! The next step is to cut down on our cell phone bill. Thanks for a great post!

  • Kristy says:

    Hi. What do you suggest about internet? My wifi is billed in with my cable tv. My internet and tv right now is 70 per month, but just internet would be almost that much if I had it alone. Any suggestions?


  • Stephanie says:

    Just want to say that I have seen SO MANY couples fight over this issue! We all have our indulgences in life, and for many men, it’s TV. I don’t like the television and could do without it, but my husband loves it. So I found other areas in our budget to cut so my hard working husband could enjoy his cable guilt free. 🙂 Just a thought!

  • Tara G. says:

    We have been married 12+ years and haven’t even had a TV. To be sure, we have found other ways to waste our time, but in general, this has saved us a lot of money and we have spent a lot of time in other pursuits that have brought us together as a family. The biggest “loss” has been sports for my husband (but this was his idea!); he has been able to watch online what he has wanted to see, though.

  • Kellie says:

    Ive been satelitte free and cable free since last July! I have to say during the summer its no big deal i rarely watch tv anyways in the summer the winter months have been a little harder, so I opted for a lower cost option of Netflix watch instantly, and I have Apple Tv which connects from my phone or computer and I go to ABCFamily and SCFi channel to turn on my favorite shows….i may have to wait a extra day for my shows but it saves me alot of moolah….so instead of watching Pretty Little Liars last night I get to watch it tonight, i just tell people not to tell me what happened. But Im saving alot of money and still get to see my fav shows, and when my shows arent on I find a documentery on Netflix or watch a movie, the kids options are great! i also watch a lot of regular channels to 🙂

  • Morgan says:

    We have done without cable for almost 4 years now. We kept internet for $33 a month and bought a good antenna for $85 (we live in rural area). We can only get ABC and PBS on our antenna but we learned to be content with it. We love hulu-we don’t pay for the plus as we would probably never turn off the tv if we had it. We bought an HDMI cord so we can connect our laptop to tv. My hubby does miss his sports. But if it is a really big game that he doesn’t want to miss we go to one of our parents house and watch it. At first we felt deprived but now when we do go to our parents we realize we aren’t missing out on much. We were spending close to $120 on cable and internet! This is a huge savings every month!

  • Jennifer says:

    This is a battle I would never win with my husband. He lives his TV. Me I could take it or leave it. Since most of the time I fall asleep as soon as I turn it on!

  • Mary says:

    Realize if you save $5,000 a year, that’s like earning $10,000 a year (due to the tax implications of most people). In other words, you’d have to earn around $10K a year to save $5,000.

    That’s huge!

    I’m in! Now – please tell me how to get my DH off cable. LOL – he’s the challenge for this week.

  • s says:

    We were paying $120 for cable and internet and just a few weeks ago we cancelled our cable. We kept our high speed internet connection and went got an antenna for $15 from Walmart. Later on we realized that we don’t need an antenna without it we get all the major channels and a couple of kids channels too. I think its because of our internet connection. So if you flip thru channels mabe it will pop up. Why waste money on antenna when you can get it for free. We signed up for netflix and we love it.

  • Great article. We use an antenna and a converter box and no cable, and my husband finds plenty of sports and news to watch and be satisfied. There are also some good programs on public TV stations, like PBS and Create. I’m afraid that if we had cable, we’d do nothing but watch TV (Nat Geo anybody?). But antenna works just fine for us.

  • Christina says:

    Thank you for posting this tip about saving money by getting rid of cable. It’s amazing how quickly families can get hooked on television shows, and the commercials that are almost always a part of the broadcast. We ditched cable at the end of last year. Without the station previewing what’s coming next, it’s much easier to say, “This is the only one you’re watching” and sticking with it. I’m looking forward to reading your other weekly money saving posts this year.

  • Melissa says:

    We have never had cable. In fact, for a few years after college I didn’t even own a tv. We do have a tv and dvd player now, but we decided not to hook it up to a signal so the only way to use it is to watch movies or play on the Wii. We don’t subscribe to Netflix or use Redbox. We get our dvds from the library or borrow them from my husband’s parents occasionally. It sure does free up a lot of time from what I can tell.

  • celia says:

    We got rid of cable nearly three years ago. We have instant watch netflix and a roku and an antenna. There is not much worth watching on tv, and our son watches very, very minimal tv. Maybe if the baby is fussy or something weird is going on like we have a repairman and I want him to stay put or when I was in my 3rd trimester. Less than a half hour a week, generally speaking. We don’t miss it and think the letters and visits from comcast trying to sign us back up are hilarious. They always tell me about their “great deal” and I ask if it’s better than free! We are not sure how much money we’d have to make to feel like we’d be ok wasting it on tv. Why watch people live life when we can actually live our own lives?

  • Maureen R. says:

    We hooked up a computer to our television and watch television at Project Free TV. As the name implies, it’s free.

  • Barbara says:

    Most people think we are nuts for not having cable. I have even had people tell me that my child “needs it” or “deserves it.” We do just fine with $8/month streaming Netflix and our DVD collection.

    We’ve also noticed the difference between our household and my sister’s household (who has cable). They have the TV on constantly. It’s always on in the background, they’re always sitting in front of it. We barely watch even our Netflix and our daughter gets to watch Netflix or a DVD maybe once or twice a week, which encourages her to play or color more often. The biggest difference in advertising. For a while, our daughter was going to my sister’s every day after school for the hour gap between school letting out and us getting home from work. We noticed her “case of the gimme-gimmes” getting out of control – she was constantly watching Cartoon Network or Nick, so there were always a million toys or movies she was coming home talking about wanting. We tried to remind her that she rarely plays with her own toys. (She is 9 and is starting to move towards the reading/drawing/writing/music only phase.) She didn’t care – the ads looked cool, so she wanted it. That never happened before she spent time over there because she isn’t immersed in toy and DVD advertisements for an hour every day, and it’s waned down now that my husband works from home and she stays with him.

    We started with the “only Netflix” choice when we committed to budgeting and paying off debt, but now I honestly don’t think we will ever choose to get a cable package. It isn’t worth it to us and once you go a while without it, you’ll realize it isn’t something that’s very important.

    • When we had cable I would put a show on for the kids and often forget the tv was on (it was on the other side of the house) and my kids would end up watching way more than I meant for them to!

      Now with Netflix and Hulu Plus, I put the show on they want to watch and when it is over it’s over- no other show comes on afterwards. I also love that they don’t see tons of commercials and bug me to buy them ever junky toy under the sun!

  • When my husband and I decided to move, he suggested that we get rid of our cable bill altogether in our new house. I was shocked! It turned out, we only had a pricey cable bill because I thought he wanted it, and he thought I wanted it. Neither one of us could care less about it! Sometimes just bringing up the topic and re-evaluating together can save a bundle!

    • amy says:

      SPORTS! We tried this last year and we could find most everything but sports. Our hockey team won their division and we missed all of the games because they were on cable. That’s what made us go back. 🙁

      • Kristina says:

        You should look into Sling TV go to You will need either a roku, or a playstation or a an xbox & hi speed internet. Their basic package for $20 has espn , espn 2, tnt & tbs amongst other channels . They also have a sports add on for $5 more. I’ve been using sling for over 2 months and I don’t miss cable. It has my fav channels AMC (The Walking Dead!), History, Food channel, travel ch , sundance & IFC. For all the channels I’m getting I pay $30 a month. No contract, no dvr fees no hd fees.

  • Jessica says:

    We are in the “never had cable” group. 😉 We don’t think we are missing out. The only time I wish we had it is at Christmas, for the Hallmark channel. We do check out movies at the library, but Christmas titles can be hard to get during the holiday season! Sometimes the wait list is so long we end up getting them in late Jan. ha
    I agree with the time wasting factor! I know if we had cable I would be tempted to watch way too much HGTV, and my husband would be tempted to spend too much time watching sports. So, we have saved lots of time as well as money over the years.

  • Rachel K says:

    We’ve given up cable for about 8 months of the year when the regular football season is over. We then have an antenna and Netflix. Netflix is off when we have programming.

    Would love ideas of how to watch out of market NFL games for my husband. I know they can be streamed online but I worry that the sites aren’t completely legal since I heard the only way is through Direct TV’s NLF Sunday Ticket.

    Does ESPN online stream Monday night football? This doesn’t concern me as much as my husband has friends he could go to on that night .

    • Kristine says:

      I don’t think there are any great options unless you watch them after they’re aired. You can get NFL Game Rewind for that. Or if you want to listen to games live, you can subscribe to NFL Audio Pass. There are some sites that claim to stream NFL games for free, but I’m kind of skeptical about those.

      • Kristina says:

        Sling TV live streaming channels. Basic includes ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, TBS. They also have a sports add on for $5 more

  • Sandy says:

    I did this 18 months ago and honestly, I don’t feel as though I’m missing out on a thing. In fact, antenna TV has opened up a world of programs I didn’t get before and I have found several I really enjoy!

  • I could not agree more. In fact, I wrote about our experience on cutting the cable cord ( Sure I miss HGTV, and we don’t get all the college football games (missed the Civil War game between Oregon and Oregon State), but we just couldn’t justify the expense for those few channels we enjoy. We don’t feel deprived in the least!

  • Stacey D. says:

    I have committed to doing this for 2013, and I don’t think I’ll be turning back EVER! I saved $70 per month by getting rid of my home phone (we have unlimited calling on cell phones) and cable service. I thought I’d miss it. I thought my daughter would REALLY miss it! We don’t! I get so much more work done now and I even FINALLY found time to exercise! Tv was stealing so much time from me! It’s only January and I already realize this was a great decision on my part, not just for the budget, but for my family!

    We still watch tv on Hulu (free) and we also have Amazon Prime, which gives us lots of free shows/movies. The membership has a fee, but it doesn’t compare to the extra $70/month I was paying before, and I get upgraded shipping on every order with Amazon too!

    We only watch like one or twice a week now, as compared to every single night before.! My house is clean and organized! My work is caught up! (I work from home) Best of all, we find lots of fun things to do together now that we’re not just vegging on the couch!

    If you’re thinking about it, do it! YOu don’t have to miss out on all your shows. You just wait one day later to watch them! You’d be surprised how many you watch that you don’t even care about watching! The savings and the extra time added to your life will be sooo worth it! I’m a believer! Wish I had done this before!

  • Chimwemwe says:

    Yes, TV is a waste of time. But so much time blogging and looking at others’ blogs is a big waste of time–not necessary.

  • Wendy says:

    We have the $99 Comcast bundle too – want to cancel when our term is up. We looked into Hulu Plus and it seems like they don’t have any current season shows – it’s all seasons past that we have already watched. Plus my husband loved Food Network and the Cooking Channel and we could not find those anywhere. Anyone know where I could watch current season episodes? Some are available online next day but not all for the shows we love. Thanks!!

    • Chimwemwe says:

      You can watch sports online on ESPN.

    • Stacey D. says:

      Hulu (free) has current shows, lots of them. So does Hulu Plus, but you pay for that. They carry every episode of certain shows on Hulu Plus. Hulu I use all the time to keep up with my favorite shows, but you can also find lots of shows online for free as well. I would try Hulu before paying for Plus, unless you know there’s a reason to pay.

      Hope this helps you out!

    • Stacey D. says:

      One more thing! You don’t have to wait till your Comcast bundle is up to cancel. They prorate your bill, so you can cancel any time and they will give you credit for cancelling. My next bill will be nothing because I cancelled effective January 1st and I currently have a negative balance.

      Ok. I’m done now.

    • kat bailey says:

      if you want current episodes (give or take a few days) look at and they have a plug in for the cooking channel and food network.

  • Challice says:

    If any of you have the time or the inclination, I highly recommend a book called, Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. Its a fantastic read.

  • Sarah says:

    We would love to give up cable, but have found that it is cheaper to keep basic cable with Internet than to give up cable completely because of the package discount through Comcast. Sadly, Comcast has also increased their prices each year, so we are now paying close to $80/ month for basic cable and Internet. This is ridiculous because we really only want the benefit of high speed internet. Anyone have any ideas of how to get high speed internet cheaper?? We would sure LOVE to ditch cable and save some money.

    • Rachel K says:

      Does your local phone company offer DSL? We’re getting a great price of 15.99 for Internet right now (goes up in a year a little but they just told us to call again and they’ll give us another promotional rate). We have a bundle with them even though we’ve cancelled the land line and suspended Direct Tv until the fall so the just cell phones & Internet are bundled.

      • Sarah says:

        We have DSL but only at a speed of 1.5. I called yesterday and the cheapest rate will be about $60! That will be a little savings, but not worth it if the Internet speed is terrible. I can’t figure out how all these other people are getting Internet for $25-$45. So frustrating!!

  • Sarah says:

    I am glad we never paid for cable because honestly you don’t miss what you don’t have. Also most of what we want to watch is available online. With technology it it easier to let things go and save!!!

  • Ryanne says:

    Does anyone use a smart tv to watch sports? That is the only reason we still have satellite and it would be awesome to get rid of it! I know that local channels have a lot of games, but not all of them and not most of the better games like MNF. Any sports enthusiasts out there want to chime in? We haven’t used the “smart” part of our smart tv yet and finally getting wifi this week so just wondering.

  • Gina says:

    Since we don’t have an Xbox, we bought a Roku (~$100), which allows us to stream movies from Amazon Prime Instant, Netflix, and Hulu Plus to our TV.

  • Olivia says:

    My husband and I don’t have cable, haven’t had it in over two years. He misses televised sports games, but he just goes to his parents house when there is a big game on. We love our Netflix subscription, and for $7.99/month, our checkbook loves it, too. 🙂

  • Tracey says:

    Can you get HGTV shows on netflix or amazon prime?

    • lorelai says:

      if you use Roku, you can get (& the shows they offer online) through Plex media (which is free). or you can hook up your laptop to the tv with a hdmi cable and stream it directly from yourself.

  • Mel says:

    We’re spending $190 for a cable “bundle,” and $122 of that is for the TV part alone! We’re moving cross-country in a few months, and I’m definitely looking for a more reasonable alternative. The only person who watches much TV/movies is my husband anyway. But $4 a day just on TV is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Sarah says:

    Crystal and others with DSL,

    Do you also have a landline phone and get a package deal with DSL? We don’t have a landline and I am wondering if DSL will be a cheaper option than cable. Thanks.


    • Rachel K says:

      I don’t know if you are the same Sarah but I replied above that we have DSL and no land line. When we cancelled we lost one $5 bundle for the land line and one $5 for suspending Direct TV but we were paying almost $45 for the land line (with all the taxes and fees) and a lot more for Direct TV. We still got the great $15.99 for DSL on the same call where we cancelled our land line.

  • kat bailey says:

    I have had no cable for several years and instead we use a system that allows us to stream directly from the pc to the ps3, and just a 0ne time fee.

  • Sontag B. says:

    My boyfriend & I cut the satellite once we moved to our new home. Now we have connected our tv up to a $10 attenna & receive 13 different channels! and we have hooked his PS3 up to the internet and stream Netflix, as well as you can watch Youtube clips….and any cable show that I want to watch new episodes of I stream on the tv networks webpage!

  • Christine says:

    We ditched cable 3 years ago. Finances kinda forced us into it, but we wouldn’t go back now that we see the occasional tv at a friends house. WOW those commercials are even too much now days!

    What we did is purchased a ROKU for about $70 and walmart. We have internet for homeschooling, so we connected up (we actually did wireless) and subscribed to Netflix for $8 a month. There are other free ‘channels’ on the ROKU too.

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