Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How we survived on basic cable this past year

Our $75 tv we got on craiglist  4 years ago 
Last August  on the first day of school, we made the decision to cut out most of our cable.  Our Comcast cable  bill including  HBO was  getting to $100 a month.       The boys would sit for hours in front of the “boob tube”  watching Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network  and so much more.  Plus they would want everything that they would see on commercials.  (We won’t talk about my addiction to Real housewives on Bravo) And a plus my husband isn’t a huge sport fan so we don’t need to worry about that.  Still we I don’t think we were watching  $1200 worth of tv a year.   I couldn't  justify that this was our primary entertainment budget anymore.  

I didn’t tell the boys and they were alittle upset.   I saw a bit of bratty behavior that stuck them into their room for a couple of hours.  Oh well, I was standing my ground. 
Instead of having all of the tv  channels, we went down to basic cable for $13 a month. We have older tv that isn’t 100% digital  and honestly I don’t want to worry about switching over to digital.

So how have we survived without premium cable for the past year.

1.       We already had Netflix with 2 discs service =$20.00 monthly cost  The kids were already watching this on the Nintendo  we had bought. Netlfix has alot of tv series that I never watched before plus a number of movies. 
2.       We bought a Roku player  for $69.99  for my bedroom tv 
3.       We signed up for Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month  If you had a DVR Hulu plus is great replacement for broadcast tv,  It has ABC, Fox, CW and Fox tv shows for the past season. They also have some older tv shows .  Occasionally, a real housewives show will be shown. 
4.       We use the library a lot more-the kids and I  are reading more  
5.       We have puzzle or game  night every Wednesday in our house and during the winter we add in hot coco 
6.       The kids don’t know as much about all the latest toys etc  keeping those expenses down.

Annual cost savings 

Basic cable cost  $156
Netflix  $240
Hulu plus  $96
So our TV costs $292 compared to $1200. We saved $900 in year making this simple switch.   Good deal 


Jennifer said...

We only have basic cable as well. It costs us $16 a month though. Just last night when my 14 was complaining loudly about our horrible tv (he couldn't watch the USC football game) I said again - "when you want to pay for cable, we will get cable".

Honestly I don't want it though. Last year we accidentily got the full cable (I have no idea why!) for about a month. While it was fun to see all those shows we hear about but don't get to watch - I was very irritated at the amount of tv the kids (and I) were suddenly watching and all of a sudden their wants list was huge! I was glad when the real cable disappeared as mysteriously as it came.

Crystal @ Serving Joyfully said...

Great tips for keeping the same level of service for less money :)

My husband has always been adamant about keeping our sports channels. We've never paid $100/month for television though.

Admin said...

Jennifer I saw the same thing to my kids. when you can pay for it!

Luckily, my husband is only really into football and most of those games are not regular broadcast stations.

Meghan said...

I want to switch to basic cable too, but my husband is resistant. Perhaps showing him the actual amount it saved you will help persuade him.

Admin said...

Meghan showing the numbers work as a potential years savings. Luckily I didn't have much resistance from my husband.

Jean said...

We dropped cable completely when my oldest was born (he's now 11) and haven't missed it much. Of course, we did have to get those boxes a few years ago and my husband is handy enough that he put an atenna on our roof so we get decent reception. We did get Netflix a few years ago and I will admit I'd be lost without that!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

You don't have to pay for Hulu Plus. You can watch new shows on Hulu for several weeks after they air for free. We watch several shows this way.

You also don't have to have a player for it. You can run a cable between your computer ($12 from Big Lots for ours) and the tv. As a bonus, you can watch other things online on your tv this way as well (that aren't available on the Roku). You can watch Netflix this way as well.

We don't have cable at all, but we do watch some shows on Hulu.

Also, PBS has some shows online (such as Fetch--all 5 seasons) that you can watch for free on your computer or hooked up to the internet through a cable.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Also, my husband watched a college football game on Espn3 online a couple of weeks ago.

Admin said...

Thanks Prudent I didn't want to deal with the hassle of hooking up the computer to the laptop. the roku has paid for itsself!