Last week I talked about ways to save money on groceries. How about those other items that you regularly spend money on? Can you save money on those, also? If you have been reading my blog for long, you will know the answer is yes.
Let’s start by talking about cable TV. We had a love/hate relationship with our cable service. We loved it when we could watch the programs and movies we wanted, particularly Nebraska football. Yet when that bill for nearly $130 came every month, we questioned our sanity. After realizing that our $99 per year Amazon Prime membership included many of the shows we liked to watch (not Nebraska football) plus lots of movies, we decided to make a change.
Step 1: We purchased two Roku boxes for $99 each. If you don’t know what Roku boxes are, they are simply receivers that allow you to stream shows and movies through your internet connection. Many services like NetFlix and Hulu are already loaded on the Roku. Now we could watch all those shows and movies through Amazon Prime on our regular TVs and not just on the computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Step 2: We dropped our cable from the $130 per month package to the basic cable costing less than $30 per month. Two months of savings paid for the Roku boxes and the third month of savings paid for the next year of Amazon Prime. So first-year savings will be $900. My husband could go to several Nebraska football games and we would still come out ahead!
Step 3: we spent about $50 on antennas. This is in anticipation of getting rid of the cable completely. With the antennas, we can receive all the local channels, including PBS for both Nebraska and Iowa.
Step 4: In the near future, we intend to get rid of cable completely and switch to an alternative. We haven’t decided yet on the alternative and that is the reason for our delay. Here are the options we are considering:
- Netflix or Hulu for $8 per month. This would give us access to additional movies and TV shows.
- Sling TV for $20 per month. This is a relatively new service offered by Dish. The basic $20 plan gives you access to 20 popular channels such as ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, History, HGTV, and Disney. You can add on additional channels for an additional monthly fee. The basic channels include almost all of the channels we like to watch. Combine this with the free channels we receive with the antennas and we will be able to watch all the channels we were watching when we were paying $130 per month, including Nebraska football. So, even if we go with the more expensive Sling TV, we will still be saving $110 per month or $1,330 per year.
I know some folks who have gotten rid of cable completely and have just antennas. Others will combine the antennas with a service like Netflix. Taking either one of these routes would save even more money.
How do you save money on your cable TV?