Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cutting the Cable

I never thought the day would come where my husband would be willing to get rid of his beloved satellite dish.  When we first started dating, he told me that he had one requirement: cable TV!  Since we’ve lived with each other, we have had that one recurring bill each and every month that I hated to pay, because I never saw it as a necessity.  Most of last year, we paid $93/month for our satellite service (that is $1,116/year!!)

Todd was starting to get sick and tired of nothing being on TV, so he downgraded our package to the “bare minimum” for $46/month (still too much, if you ask me!)  When he did this, there still wasn’t anything we were interested in watching on TV.  That downgrade didnt even last a full month before we looked into our options.

At the beginning of the year, someone at work talked about getting a Roku.   This is a little box the size of a puck that enables you to watch shows from the internet wirelessly through the TV by using either their free channels or from a service like NetFlix or HuluPlus. 

At first, I didn’t like it.  Then again, I don’t like change, so it’s no wonder.  I didn’t like the fact that we had to get a subscription to HuluPlus to be able to watch some of the shows that we enjoy watching.  Once we tried the HuluPlus one week free trial, we noticed that we weren’t watching the satellite at all! 

There were a couple of weeks that Todd was dragging his feet to cancel the dish, but I decided to take it upon myself and do it. I was able to cancel the dish within 15 minutes.  Once I told them that no matter what they offered, we weren’t interested, they gave up. 

Now, a month later, we are not missing out on anything.

We pay $7.99/month for HuluPlus to watch some of our favorite shows every week at our convenience.  It is like having the TiVo: we can watch a show when we want to!  There are also a lot of other programs on HuluPlus that Todd is watching to get his SciFi and History fix. 

The initial cost wasn’t too terribly bad.  We bought the high-definition, top of the line Roku for the Family Room for $89.99 along with a less expensive one for the bedroom at $59.99.  We also paid a $175 early termination fee from our satellite company to get out of our contract.  Add that all up, and we are still saving a lot of money each year in cable!

My father asked the other day, “What next?  Are you going to cut your electric?”  Believe me, if we could, I would!  That is our next highest recurring bill each month that I am trying to decrease.  But contrary to what many people believe (like my dad,) cutting the cable is easier than you may think! 

The argument my father has is the news and football.  To be quite honest, Todd and I rarely never watch the news.  And if we need to get the weather, there is a free channel on the Roku that is dialed in to our zip code and gives a 5 day forecast whenever we need it.  Football can be watched online if Todd ever wanted to, but he’s been so frustrated with his team over the past couple of years, he has given up on football.  We could always hook up the TV’s with the analog boxes we have and get our local stations for the games in the future, but at this point, it is not a priority.

Have you cut the cable?
What was your experience?


  1. We haven't cut ours yet but we did downgrade some. We could downgrade more and it wouldn't matter t me at all! We have the cable,phone and Internet all from the same provider and it's a whooping $150 a month...I am not much of a tv person so I could live without it

  2. We don't have cable and the only shows we watch are on Netflix. I like it that way. I can monitor what the kids watch and they have so many options I never would have even known about if it weren't for their suggestions. My kids are enjoying watching older shows like Andy Griffith and Nancy Drew. My hubby and I can watch old sitcoms after they are in bed. I think not having regular TV available at any time is a great thing.

  3. Okay, the dollar figure for cable blew me away. We've never had cable and I just didn't realize how stinkin' expensive it is! Good for y'all for cutting it and yay for all that saved money!

  4. We thought about cutting the satellite we have too limited of an internet speed to adequately stream so we can't get netflix or steam through a gaming system. Ours internet is through a company in town that transfers the internet cable access via airwaves to an antenna on our roof. We live on a ridge top and they won't run lines up here. We also have my granddaughter here every other weekend and, to tell the truth, cutting back to local programming won't work. I can't let her watch that network stuff, even some of the commercials are inappropriate. So far we'll hang onto the cable, it's our only entertainment expense. We rarely go out to eat and never to movies or night spots. Maybe someday we'll be able to. Good for you!

  5. I was astonished that hubby wanted to get rid of it. Tonight at the dinner table, he stated he didnt even miss it. He's got so many shows to watch on Hulu, he doesnt feel deprived. And it is 10% of the cost of cable! I love not having that recurring bill every month. :-)