How to Survive Without Cable

cableCable television is one of those pleasures that most of us have a love/hate relationship with. It’s great to be able to relax in the evenings with some television when your day is coming to an end, but it’s also one of the most expensive bills in the home and I hate to say it, but cable television is not a necessity. Also, you have to watch your cable television bill, because you’ll notice that there will be spikes in the bill from time to time and you have no idea why.

It’s been about a year now since I decided it was time to cut ties with the cable company as far as television is concerned. I called them up and told them we were seeing some spikes in our bill and we were wondering if anything could be done. We were told that the price was going to stick, so we told them to disconnect our cable and we’d turn in the hardware (cable boxes) ourselves. I was amazed at how quickly they changed their tune and said that they could offer us a lower rate, but that’s when we declined and said we were done. They should have offered that lower rate when we first asked.

Want to hear something absolutely crazy? We haven’t even missed our cable subscription, even though my husband had to give up ESPN and I had to give up Bravo TV. We both feel as if ditching cable was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Below, I’m going to give you some tips on how you can ditch the cable bill and still survive.

#1. Get an Antenna.

This may sound crazy, but you can install an antenna on your roof and you’ll be able to receive all of the local channels for free. All you’ll have to pay for is the price of the antenna itself, which should be less than $100. Heck, it’s less than your monthly cable bill. It can be somewhat of a royal pain at first, but it’s totally doable and once it’s done; it’s done.

#2. Get a Roku.

I would highly suggest getting a Roku, which is a streaming media device that you can connect to your television. If you have a Smart TV, you probably won’t need one of these, but most people I know don’t have a Smart TV. A Roku will enable you to watch videos on your TV from subscription services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc…

#3. Get Netflix.

If you’re going to ditch cable, I would highly suggest you subscribe to Netflix. Netflix is only $8 a month and gives you access to a huge library of both movies and television series.

#4. YouTube.

YouTube is the biggest source of videos on the Internet. You can find tons of movies and television shows on YouTube and watch them for free at any time.

#5. Forget About Television Entirely.

As I said, ditching cable is one of the best things we’ve ever decided to do. One of the main reasons we feel this way is because we spend less time in front of the television as a family. Instead, we seek out other forms of entertainment. For instance, we’ve purchased board games with the money we’ve saved and played them together as a family. Ditching cable has given us more quality family time. We’re done with cable and we’re not ever going back.

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  • Rudi Pittman

    You neglected to mention that all of your local broadcasters (ABC, CBS, NBC etc.) allow you to view on demand recent episodes of shows that aired so even if you miss recording the show you can still access it and those are free (but will contain commercials)… also have the option of downloading the shows via torrent’s for channels not over the air. *cough* or OTA and those would be commercial free (a 1 hour show typically has around 40-45 minutes of actual show).

    • Kevin

      most now require a cable/dish tv provider’s login credentials.

      • Rudi Pittman

        I checked abc prior to my post…although it does require a login for “live streaming” ie watch online same time it’s airing it doesn’t to watch recently aired shows (after they have aired). I guess you’d have to see how the other channels handle it.

  • Nicole

    Unfortunately, Netflix et. al. do not allow for sports. So, this family cannot ditch cable without ditching the hubby also. 🙁

  • Sue

    While there’s still cable TV in my home, I agree that many TV shows including sports are available online. I know for certain that you can watch a football game live online because I’ve done it to see a game not airing in my area. For the most part the TV we watch is local TV stations, although I’m rather fond of HGTV and DIY.

  • Steph

    What about internet? Most of these suggestions require internet. Most companies bundle now. It’s cheaper to keep the cable internet mix than have just internet. We cannot afford cable or internet. I have my one cell phone that is grandfathered into unlimited dates, but that is it. We have an antenna and dvds. Any hacks to get internet?