How We Cut Cable & Still Watch All Our Shows
If you have been around A Step in the Journey for some time now, you probably have realized I LOVE saving money wherever I can. Thrift, consign, reuse, save, coupon, and DIY are all part of our regular vocabulary around here. Whether it is searching for a coupon code before ordering a new light fixture or finding 85% of my kids wardrobes at consignment sells, we are always up for saving where we can. So it probably comes to no surprise that we cut the cord on cable about 3 years ago! It was pretty scary at first, but now that we “seem” to have it all figured out…I’m not sure we will ever go back!
I wanted to share what we have found works best for us and about what we pay/save! Before we cut the cord we were paying $89.99 for cable and internet (only for the first two years), $7.99 for Netflix, and $8.25 for Amazon Prime each month. That equals out to $106.23 a month to have access to internet and TV. That is not terrible, but we knew it could be done cheaper.
So, we did our research and then took the plunge. The first thing we did was get an antenna. We live pretty close to Atlanta, Georgia so we only needed about a 15-20 mile antenna. We started with rabbit’s ears, and they worked really well, but were a little unsightly, so we traded up for the 1byone flat antenna a few months ago. It works great! NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC and your local Pubic Television stations are always floating around, just waiting for you to watch through an antenna. and the best part is it’s FREE!
The rest of what we watch on TV we stream, using the internet, through our Roku. There are several streaming devices out there, but we have only ever used the Roku so that is all I can speak to. We paid $79.99 for it about 3 years ago, however you can now get a Roku on Amazon for about $60. To stream content with a Roku, you have to also have internet. Our current internet is $39.99 a month and gives us speeds up to 60mbps. It was a one year deal, but after 12 months I called to let them know I was going to cancel since my bill was going up and they offered me another 12 months at $39.99! Sweet.
Through the Roku is where we watch the rest of the channels we can’t pick up over the antenna. You have a few options here….
First, there is SlingTV. On the Sling Roku channel, you can live stream between 25-50 channels (depending on your package). Our favorites are ESPN, ESPN2, SECN, Food Network, HGTV, and the Disney channel. Sling coming around was a lifesaver for cutting cable. We are huge football fans (War Eagle!) and during the fall we need access to the games! Going to a restaurant or friend’s house to watch the game was not always an option because of our kids sleep schedules. SlingTV offering ESPN was a game changer. They have an additional sports package you can add through the fall for $5 more a month. Another beauty of SlingTV is there is no contract, so you can activate and deactivate your account whenever you want. It’s awesome.
As I mentioned before, through an antenna you can watch all of the broadcast channels live. However, I know sometimes live is not always possible. We have a solution for that too! First up, Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus allows you to watch any of the shows you missed on ABC, NBC, and FOX the next day with a subscription of $7.99 a month. If you are willing to wait a week to watch the latest episodes you can do so on ABC, NBC, & FOX’s Roku channels for free. CBS is a little trickier. They have a Roku channel, but they charge about $6/month to access it. If you choose to do so, you can watch their shows the day after airing.
Netflix….well, it’s awesome. Netflix allows for binge watching some of your favorite shows from the past as well as some new Netflix original series. Some of our most loved series are Friday Night Lights, 24, White Collar, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, & our current obsession, West Wing. They also have TONS of children’s content (Mighty Machines, anyone?) and movies for the entire family. Netflix runs anywhere from $7.99 – $11.99 a month depending on how many screens you want access to it on at the same time.
The last channel we use regularly is Amazon Video. It is very similar to Netflix. They too have lots of your favorite series from the past as well as their own original series and movies. Amazon Video allows you to watch tons of content “free” (as long as you have a Prime membership), and also allows you to rent newer content through their channel. Chickadee’s favorite, Daniel Tiger is a regular on our Amazon Video channel!
So that is about the gist of how we do it. For the options we chose, the breakdown comes to $39.99 for internet $19.99 for Sling ($24.99 during football season due to sports package add on) and $8.99 for Netflix. That is only $73.94!! Yall, I mean come on. Isn’t that amazing…I could factor in 1/12 of Amazon Prime too which would bring the total to $82.19, but I’m not going to because we would have Amazon Prime regardless of what we were doing television wise! That is a savings of $32.29 each month and $387.48 over the course of a year. So for the three years since we cut the cord we’ve saved over $1,000! That is awesome. As long as you search for internet options in my area on your phone or desktop, you can find alternatives to TV.
If you (or your husband!) have any questions let me know. I would love to help you save as much money as I can!!