Are you fed up with spending thousands of dollars on cable TV every year?
If you landed on this post, chances are you agree.
Like many families, we’ve spent over $200 a month on cable and Internet. A MONTH. That adds up to over $2,500 a year, and that’s even before you calculate taxes, possible late fees, and movies rentals through your cable TV provider.
And if you pick up the occasional RedBox movie, that’s even more cash you’re spending on entertainment…on top of that hefty $200 bill every month.
Cock-a-doodle doo crazy!
I sat my husband down and told him we need to cut corners. We hardly watch TV as it is!
We were paying monthly fees for HBO ($10), Showtime ($10), HD technology ($10), HD DVR service ($8), and an additional outlet and cable box in the bedroom ($18) that was only used 2 hours out of every day, if that. And that’s not even including the high-speed internet and modem fee
Not any more.
I knew that there had to be a way to cut our cable bill every month, but we were afraid of not being able to enjoy the shows we loved to watch (even if they were only 5 or less). Many people do without cable, but I just didn’t know if we could do it.
Now we’re paying less than $40 a MONTH for basic cable and high-speed internet. As in, blazing fast internet.
Here’s how we did it (you may be less of a pushover than I am so you probably would skip straight to step 3).
1. Call your cable TV provider for promotional rates.
When my husband finally said he would be willing to cut out cable, I called our cable TV provider.
Me: Hi. I was wondering if you had any promotional rates available? Our bill is kinda high.
Them: Sure, one moment ma’am. (A few seconds later..) Oh, I’m so sorry ma’am. It appears we don’t have any promotional rates available for you. You are currently taking advantage of all the promotional rates available.
M: (feeling defeated) Oh, thanks. Well what if I just cancel our TV service?
T: Then you will pay $60/month for high-speed internet.
M: Thanks. I’ll have to think about it. I will call back.
2. Call them. AGAIN.
After that conversation, I was convinced I was going to just cancel TV service altogether and keep internet-only. (More on that later).
Me: Hi, I’m calling again because I need to cancel our TV services. We’re paying too much.
Them: Ma’am, I’m so sorry to hear that. Just be aware that if you cancel your cable TV services your high-speed internet will become an a la carte item for $80/month.
M: (Wait, what? That’s different than what the last rep told me. Weird.) Okay, that’s better than paying $200+ a month.
T: Actually, ma’am, I can lower your rate to our XYZ plan keeping your high-speed internet and most of your channels for only $129.99.
M: Hang on. (Asked the hubs.) Okay, we’ll do that. (We’re saving money, right?)
T: Excellent ma’am. Just a moment while I configure your new settings.
Okay. See what happened there? The cable company tricked me into still paying MORE money than I wanted to pay. And like the pushover that I am, I didn’t dig in and ask why the other rep told me internet-only would be $60+taxes.
3. Call them YET AGAIN and say you’re cancelling services.
Yep. I called a third time, and this time to cancel TV for good (hey, you heard that once before, right?).
But then this happened.
T: Yes ma’am. You can cancel, but let me see what promotional rates we have available for you.
M: (internal sigh).
T: We actually have a $39.99 package with only local channels and high-speed internet.
M: That sounds perfect!
T: And it also includes free HBO and Showtime for six months.
M: (thinking this is too good to be true) So, is it the same internet speed?
T: Yes, it’s the same __GB/s speed you have now.
M: (holy expletives) OKAY! I’LL TAKE IT.
So what did I learn?
- There are always promotional rates available. Don’t let them convince you otherwise.
- There will always be a cheaper plan available. It all depends on who you talk to.
- Stick to your guns.
Now, how am I replacing those lost premium TV channels? Read on:
Ever heard of streaming devices? You probably do and don’t even know it. Apple TV is one. Visit your local electronic store and you’ll see a shelf that looks like this in the TV area:
Those are (from left to right) Roku, Roku 2, Roku 3, and Apple TV. I’m sure there are more, but I’m going to concentrate on the ones we purchased.
We purchased a Roku. It’s the latest model, and let me tell you…it is worth every dime! It has an Ethernet port that can hook right up with your high-speed internet, or you can stream over Wi-fi like we do. It even has an HDMI port, so even though we’re not paying for HD technology with our cable provider, we can still enjoy HDTV. Best of all, it comes with a remote and earphones so you don’t disturb others late at night. It can be controlled by your Android or iOS device. And just what can you do with a Roku?
Our Roku offers up to 1080p high-definition streaming. With over 600 channels, the possibilities are endless. You have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Redbox, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Blockbuster On Demand, and many more. We actually get MORE with this than we did with cable. Netflix and Amazon Prime are monthly subscriptions and can vary. Those are the two we are trying for a few weeks to see if we like them.
Another option is ChromeCast. It’s a simpler streaming device. If you’re paying for high-speed internet, chances are that your services includes access to old episodes of TV shows online — for free. And by old, I mean last NIGHT’S episode. It’s a no-brainer.
With ChromeCast, you can watch those shows on your TV. It really is as simple as plugging it in to your TV’s HDMI port, switching the input, and setting it up with your Wi-fi. We decided to put this in the living room and the Roku 3 in our bedroom. We still have access to “non-local” channels’ TV shows despite having the most basic cable TV package.