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How We Saved Over $100 on Cable

I told you a couple of times this month how we switched to basic cable in order to save over $100 a month and I got so many questions about it that I figured it would be easier to just write a post about it. I’m almost ashamed to tell you how much we were paying for our cable service. We had a bundle and our bill recently climbed to $249 a month for high speed wireless internet, landline phone and the highest cable television package. Are you appalled? I know, that’s a lot of money and it doesn’t even include our cellphone service! When Matt and I sat down to go over our budget after being surprised with a very large bill for Cam’s private school tuition, we decided we needed to make some changes.

The first thing we did was cut off our landline phone. We never used it and only had it because it was included in the bundle. Dumb, right? We don’t even own a landline phone. Ha! So that took $37 off our bill immediately. Then I cut our high speed internet from the highest turbo max speed down a level. I haven’t noticed any difference in the speed and it’s saving us $10 a month. We originally had service on 4 TV’s in the house. We recently took the TV out of our bedroom because we never watched it and removed cable service from the TV in Ty’s room so we turned in those 2 receiver to save $14 a month. We’re up to $61 savings per month already!

The next step in ruthlessly slashing our monthly expenses was to cut off the cable channels. We chose to drop down from the highest package to the basic channels. Yes, basic cable. We get 8 channels- our local stations and that’s it. No more movie channels, no more ESPN, no more mindlessly channel surfing through 600 channels before finding a rerun to watch. I chose to keep the DVR for now and was able to negotiate getting it for $9 a month instead of $15. Basic cable costs us $19 plus $10 for HD service and the $9 for the DVR. That’s $38 compared to the $117 we were paying before. That’s a savings of $79 a month!

Now I knew that I was not going to be happy with just the basic channels. I like my Teen Mom, Pretty Little Liars, Sons of Anarchy….I need them. So I started investigating our options and found Roku. If you’re not familiar with it, Roku streams to your TV much like Apple TV. We paid $99 to purchase the Roku player because we wanted the Ethernet plug but you can get a Roku player for as low as $50. It took Matt literally 3 minutes to hook it up to the TV and it’s the size of a coaster that just sits on our DVD player. We have an existing Netflix subscription and Roku streams Netflix directly to our TV. We also signed up for a Hulu + subscription for $7.99 a month and that also streams directly to the TV. We also have Amazon Instant Video streaming to the TV and if you are an Amazon Prime member (which we are) there are a ton of movies and tv shows that you can watch for free. I also added a pay channel to Roku called PlayOn for $4.99 a month that lets me watch shows from channels such as OWN, TBS, MTV, HGTV, DIY, ESPN, ESPN3, etc.

Hulu+ has a queue much like Netflix does and you can set it up so that the shows you watch every week will automatically be added to your queue. I’m watching most of my favorite shows on Hulu+. Plus you can watch full seasons of your favorite shows! I love it. The only thing I had to get used to is that some of the shows I love such as Covert Affairs and Suits are added to Hulu on a 30 day delay. So 30 days after it airs on TV, it will be added to Hulu. Also Hulu+ doesn’t have the rights to stream every show to your TV so for some shows I have to hook up the laptop to the TV with a HDMI cord and stream the show. I thought that would be annoying and I’d hate it but really it’s easy and takes me a second to hook it up. We haven’t missed one show that we love yet! Of course, we can’t watch Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football anymore but it’s a small sacrifice to make.

So to recap, here’s our breakdown of savings:

$249 – Landline – Turbo Internet – 2 Cable Boxes – Expanded Channels = $109 a month
$109 + Netflix + Hulu + PlayOn = $130 a month

We are saving $119 a month! That’s $1,428 a year!

Have you made the switch to cut down your cable? Are you glad you did it?

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