How We Save $900 a Year on TV

Eight years ago, we realized that we were wasting $80 a month on TV that we did not even watch- almost everything we tuned in to was on the local stations.  When we starting crunching numbers in an effort to pay off debt, we realized that we could easily give up that line item.  We blissfully began to watch what we wanted to see without an overpriced satellite TV package.  

How we kicked that “money dish” out for good:

1. Set a trial period

When we called to drop TV service, we decided to disconnect it temporarily and see how it went.  We got set up and began our new endeavor and discovered that we were just fine without it.  There was less to worry about what shocking sights young children might find when the channel was switched, we were still enjoying our favorite shows, and we were usually busy doing other things anyway. 

When we called to actually cancel, we were amazed to be given a few months free to reactivate it, which gave us a chance to see if it was really worth it to cut it out for good.It was.

2.  Unbundle services wisely

If you have a “bundle” plan with a reduced rate for TV and internet packaged together, you can still save money when you give up this plan.  Just do some calling around for an internet only deal (Comcast is $20 a month and up for internet only). We could not bundle anything in our rural area, so this was not an issue.

3. Plug in to local channels.

For local channels, we opted to purchase a high-definition antenna that currently sells for $60.  We have tried a couple of small antennas and still use one for the TV in our outbuilding, but nothing works as well as this large digital antenna, which gives us 45 (free!) channels. If you cannot stomach the size of it (it’s ginormous), I would try this one for a smaller option.

If you are not ready to plunge into mounting and hooking up an outdoor antenna, try the Mohu Leaf.  At a price of about $40, the Leaf is a flat antenna that mounts behind your TV for local stations in HD. The days of rabbit ears with crumpled foil are gone, but live sports are not!

4. Stream for more.

If you can stream TV, choose the one that fits your needs.  If you already have Amazon Prime (we do for my husband’s business), this is a great option. Amazon Prime offers video streaming, free two-day shipping, and the Kindle Lending Library in the $79 yearly fee. We have streamed some with our new smart TV, but it is not always reliable with our internet which runs off a cell tower. Our usual line-up is live TV, video games, DVD or Blu-Ray rentals, and movies purchased at consignment sales, thrift stores, or the dollar store (yes, actual discs to insert- the price of country living!)

Or try Roku, a little device that connects to your television, allowing you to stream 500,000+ movies and TV shows via your subscription service.  Most of what you can watch is free- with no commercial interruptions! Roku players start at $30 and there are also Roku TVs available.  Right now, you can enter to Win a Roku TV or Roku Ultras

How we save $900 a year:

$80 savings per month by cutting satellite TV x 12 months = $960 – $60 antenna = $900 in savings the first year, but we have saved $960* every year since! 

*Amazon prime was purchased for business purchases before we able to stream anything, so it is not figured in for us (or used very much), but that would still be close to $900 per year saved if including a streaming service. 

At first, dropping satellite seemed like an “extreme” idea, but once we calculated the savings it was worth a try.  And so began the good life:  having $80 more in our pocket every month and still watching what we want!

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we will be compensated when you make a purchase or sign up for a service by clicking through the links. You support of is appreciated!)

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