Getting Rid Of Cable: A Simple Money-Saving Guide
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I finally canceled my cable plan, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll be saving more than $800.00 a year – and I’ll still be watching TV.
Let’s cut to the chase: Cable television is really expensive.
But there are easy ways to replace cable and still get good programming.
Here are some options to consider:
1: Negotiate Your Cable Bill
Cable companies make a practice of charging different customers different amounts. Cable companies often offer a low price initially, and then gradually raise the price as the years go by. This is confusing and frustrating to customers who may not understand why their cable bill has gone up so significantly over time.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reduce your monthly cable bill:
- If you are willing to downgrade your cable or internet plan, you can save around $20.00 a month, give or take.
- Threatening to cancel may be an effective way of getting a discount on your cable bill. Many cable companies have special retention teams that are able to offer discounts or deals to existing customers to entice them to stay. They may offer more channels or faster internet, for example. In some cases, they may offer a lower rate. If you threaten to cancel, be firm. You can probably finagle a deal, but there are no guarantees.
- You may be able to save money by switching to another cable provider. Ask your neighbors what company they are with.
Before you call your cable company, consider what channels you typically watch. There may be a cheaper plan available that includes your favorite channels.
2: Get A $40 Digital TV Antenna, Save $800+ A Year
After I canceled cable, I immediately purchased a digital TV antenna. And now I’m thinking, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
I paid about $40.00 for my digital TV antenna – a one-time purchase that will last indefinitely. I get about 30 TV channels – many are in high definition.
And to be completely honest, I like the antenna TV channels better than cable TV channels. I enjoy watching old I Love Lucy episodes and obscure old movies. Plus, I get ABC so I can still watch The Bachelor.
What I purchased for less than $40, which is helping me save $800+ a year:
This isn’t your grandma’s antenna: If you look at the photo above, the antenna is the white square paper-like device that is attached to the wall.
3: Switch To Streaming Services
There are SO many streaming options – too many to name here. But here are some of the big players:
- Netflix: Netflix has three subscription options (basic, standard, and premium) starting at $7.99 a month.
- Hulu: Hulu offers two subscription options with different add-ons available. The basic plan is $7.99 a month, and Hulu with Live TV (which includes 50+ live channels) is $39.99 a month. Hulu with Live TV may be a good option for those who want to cut cable but still want to watch some standard television. If you’re a Sprint customer, you may qualify for free Hulu.
- Amazon Prime: If you have an Amazon Prime account, take advantage of Prime Video.
- Other options: There are free ad-supported options: (Tubi TV, Crackle, Pluto TV) and cable replacement options (DirecTV Now, Sling TV, Playstation Vue).
- YouTube: YouTube TV comes with 85+ live channels. But my preferred way to use YouTube for TV? Using the app to watch videos directly on my TV. No subscription required.
According to Reader’s Digest, the average streamer spends $37 a month on streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.) – while the average cable user spends in excess of $200 a month.
#4: Buy A TV That Comes With Channels
Many televisions now come with channels. For example, new Samsung televisions come automatically with Samsung TV Plus – a totally free, no subscription needed service.
Samsung TV Plus comes with channels like People TV, Crime 360, CBSN, Fox News Now, ABC News Live, Bon Appetit, America’s Test Kitchen, Paramount Movie Channel, several children’s channels, and many, many more.
What I Pay
I cut out cable, so now my only bills are:
- $49.95/month for internet
- $9.95/month for Netflix
- $0.00/month for Hulu (included with my Sprint account)
- $0.00/month for Amazon Prime (included with my $12.99/month Prime account)
What Are You Waiting For?
You can save hundreds of dollars a year by cutting cable and replacing it with a digital antenna, streaming services or a combination of the two.
No matter what option you choose, there is money to be saved.
Want to learn more? Check out The Vod Squad, a podcast that discusses streaming technology, cord cutting, and breaking away from cable.
And don’t forget to share your favorite cable-replacement options below!