By special request from my Aunt Becky, here’s how we live without cable and watch everything we want to watch for less than $50 a month (including high speed internet):
- Fight with your internet company. Don’t actually fight, but kill them with kindness until you threaten to leave. Every time our bill goes up, I immediately call our internet company and ask if they can do anything to help us save on our internet. If they say no, I tell them that I can’t stay with them if I am paying full price for internet because it’s too expensive. My trick, though, is to be as nice as humanly possible to everyone I talk to and try to joke around and make small talk with them. These people are in call centers being yelled at all day. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told, “Wow, thanks for asking how my day is going. People don’t usually do that.” I actually had to call this week and was able to lock in a $30 discount for two years without every having to threaten to leave. The first person I talked to told me he was only authorized to give discounts on bundling (no, I don’t want to pay extra for DirectTV or a home phone…you’re missing the point, guy), but said that since we’ve been with the company for two years the loyalty department would be able to find me discounts on internet only. After 3 minutes on the phone with the loyalty department rep, I had a two-year discount locked in that was the same as our intro price without having to add any services. Total time commitment: 10 minutes.
- Get a streaming device. We spent $30 on a Roku three years ago during an Amazon sale and we can stream a huge number of channels to our TV. It has a remote for maximum laziness. We have friends that use Chromecast and Sony, and they basically do the same thing. Find what works for your preferences and try to get it on sale to cut your initial costs.
- Netflix and Hulu+. We survive on these two subscriptions. Each is roughly $8 a month. Paying for Hulu+ allows us to stream to our Roku. If we were watching on our laptop, I’d probably stick to regular Hulu. The convenience of watching it on our TV is worth it. Netflix is life so no explanation necessary.
- HD Digital Antenna. Andy likes football. Football is hard to stream from the internet, if not impossible without a cable subscription…UNLESS you have a digital antenna. We can get Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS over the airwaves and that covers quite a few sporting events. We also get PBS and a million Christian channels so we could have church in our living room all the time. (http://www.ourladyofperpetualexemption.com/) We initally went to Best Buy where they sold us a shitty antenna for $35 that didn’t pick up ANYTHING. We returned it and they told us we’d have to spend at least $100 to get a roof-mounted setup. We went to Target, spent $30 on a digital antenna with an amplifier, and now we have channels. Antenna TV will always be affected by location, the weather, solar flares and other strange phenomena, but we can generally get the channel we’re looking for out of either Denver or Cheyenne.
- Find out who you know that pays for cable or satellite. Andy’s parents pay for cable and HBO. We have friends who pay for DirectTV. We can go to their houses to watch anything we can’t stream. We may or may not use their logins… If you are from a television provider, we most definitely do not use anyone’s login information.
- If all else fails, find a sports bar with specials. We like college sports, especially CSU and Wyoming. Their games aren’t typically shown on major channels. If we can’t stream it, get it on our antenna, or find a house where we can watch it, we’ll head to a bar with reasonable prices and ample TVs. Road 34, The Bar, CB & Potts, Tap N Handle, Blind Pig, Ryan’s, and Taps have all worked well for us in the past. The CSU Alumni Association usually hosts watch parties for games so you can watch in the company of other fans and have the game day experience.
How do you save on TV? If you only read and work out and are generally better than us TV addicts, I don’t care.