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How we're saving on cable TV

How to save money on your cable bill

Since we found out I was pregnant last spring, my husband and I started looking at ways to trim our budget to help accommodate the new cost of a baby (hello diapers and daycare!). One of the things we researched heavily was how to decrease our cable bill. Once the little guy was born, we implemented what we had learned!

My husband and I aren't huge TV watchers, but we do frequently watch HGTV, The Food Network, and ESPN. We also love to watch movies. I so wish that cable providers would allow you to pick and choose your channels instead of paying for thousands of channels that never even get watched! We wanted to find a way around this backwards system. We ended up saving $40/month off of our TV expenses which is almost $500 a year!
Here's how we started saving money...

1. We bought an HD antenna.* This allowed us to get rid of one of our two cable boxes which each have a rental fee of $12/month. We put the HD antenna* on the TV in our master bedroom. We were surprised at how many channels we were actually able to tune into! We can watch plenty of local and news channels including NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS. 

How to save money on your cable bill


2. We reduced our cable package. On our main TV, we opted to keep our cable box but reduce our package to basic cable. This allowed us to keep all of the main channels plus access to OnDemand which we frequently use to watch free movies. Check with your cable provider first to find out what channels are included in their basic package. Reducing to basic cable cut our monthly bill by almost $50/month!


3. We purchased the Amazon Fire TV Stick.* This little gadget plugs right in to the HDMI port on your TV and is super easy to move from one TV or device to another. If you have Amazon Prime* membership, there are tons of movies and TV series that you can stream for free. Don't have Prime? You can pay a small fee to stream the "Prime" options in addition to the many free movies and series that are available (definitely more cost efficient to use Prime since you get free streaming of movies, TV, and music, free shipping, and tons of other freebies and discounts). You can also stream live TV through apps that are available for some channels like HGTV and HBO (some do require a paid subscription). This one time $39.99 purchase allowed us to cancel our Netflix streaming, which will save us $9.99/month.
How to save money on your cable bill
4. We downloaded Sling TV.* For just $20/month, you can watch some of your favorite channels live! Sling TV works well for us because it includes the channels we watch the most. Sling TV also works on your phone, tablet, computer, and a few other devices so you can watch your favorites on the go. They have extended packages for kids, movie lovers, and sports fans for only $5/month extra. Check out their site to find out if they have the channels you need.

In total, we cut $60 from our cable bill, but with the addition of Sling TV, our total savings is $40/month. Between the HD antenna, Amazon Fire TV stick, and Sling TV, we are contemplating getting rid of our other cable box and getting an additional HD antenna and Fire TV Stick for each TV. We're going to continue testing it out for a few months to make sure it fully meets our needs, and then we might just be able to get rid of our entire cable bill through a few easy one time purchases! Wouldn't that be fantastic?!

Do you have any additional methods for saving on TV costs? I would love to hear what works for you!!!

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**TV image used in title graphic via DBGthekafu @ Wikimedia Commons

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