I’d be lying if I told you that I think TV is an essential expense. In my household, we cut the cable almost two years ago, and after the initial whining the kids figured out how to entertain themselves just fine. Still, for most families this solution seems radical, so let’s look at ways you can cut your bill, without abandoning your service.
Consider an Antenna
If you are not a huge watcher, and you do have that all-important HDTV, you can get local channels by using an antenna. Yes, it is old fashioned, but it works just fine. You will still be able to get the news, public television and a few other selections, but you won’t have the “benefit” of premium service. Of course, you won’t be paying anything other than the original set up expense of purchasing that antenna either.
Cable or Dish
It really doesn’t matter if you chose to use cable service or dish service. They both offer a ridiculous number of channels dependent upon how much you are willing to pay. Basic service isn’t too prohibitive and should be plenty for most households. Cable is less influenced by weather patterns but even with that potential advantage, satellite based transmission is considerably more reliable.
Choose whichever option gives you the channels you want for the best price. This means taking a look at the channel list and based your decision on your own situation. For example, the satellite provider may provide 150 channels of which you watch eight and costs $20 per month while the cable provider offers 200 channels where you watch the same eight at a price of $25. In this case, you will want to pick the satellite provider even though you get fewer channels.
Combine and Eliminate Services to Cut Costs
Once you have figured out which service is the best for you, price wise, enroll in the most basic plan possible. Granted you have few channels to surf, but frankly, the savings are more than worthwhile.
Get rid of extra receivers by returning them to the local office. Consider removing any DVR you got, especially if you rent it on a monthly basis. Your VCR will do just fine for recording missed shows.
If you sign up during a promotion period and get some premium channel free initially, mark on your calendar to terminate those services a day before they run out. It is just incredible how high that bill will jump if you miss by even one day.
Try to bundle services. For example, many phone companies now offer internet and cable along with the land line service. Bundling often gets you a discount, at least for some period. Calculate your savings and decide if it is worthwhile switching to that company rather than staying with the one you currently use.
Consider watching programs online instead of on TV. Several websites offer episodes of the most popular shows, free of charge. If your favorite show doesn’t appear on your new broadcast arrangement, you may be able to pick it up this way.
We all know that we spend too much time in front of the TV and the cost, added up over the year, is significant. If you can’t imagine cutting the cord with TV completely, like I did, cutting back is a great way to save money, and still lets you have your fun.