These days many of us are looking for ways to cut costs and save a few dollars. Maybe you have stopped eating out as much or perhaps you have put off expensive purchases. You might have even thought about cutting out your expensive cable or satellite bill. However, it can be hard to go from hundreds of channels to a couple of local channels, and many people are reluctant to get rid of cable. You might not know it, but there are ways that you can cut off your cable and still watch many of your favorite shows.
When you are weighing the following alternatives to cable, you want to think about how much you really watch television. For example, if you watch television two hours a day (fourteen hours a week), and your cable bill is $100 per month, then you are paying about $1.75 per hour of television. Also, consider someone who watches about four hours a week (sixteen hours a month). They’re paying $6.25 per hour of television. This person pays much more because he watches television less often. So, it might make sense for him to ditch his cable bill. By doing this little exercise, you will have a better idea of how expensive your television habits really are.
You have probably heard of Netflix even if you do not have it. For $7.99 a month, you can watch all of the shows (and movies) that they have available instantly on your computer. You can also stream these shows and movies through your Playstation, Xbox, or Wii and watch them on your television. While you will not be able to watch shows that are currently running on television, they are usually pretty good about adding the season after it has finished airing.
Netflix offers a variety of movies and television shows, and they even have a Netflix that is just for kids. This way your kids can watch their own shows and movies by themselves. Consider, for a minute, the scenario above where you were watching fourteen hours of television a week. If you have Netflix, you will be paying about 14 cents per hour of television.
Hulu Plus is a very similar type of service, and they offer television shows and movies in much the same way that Netflix does. You can watch on your computer, or you can watch on your television by using a compatible game system. One nice thing about Hulu Plus is that you can often watch shows the day (or a few days) after they air. This makes it easier to keep up with current seasons. However, many of the shows will be removed after a certain period of time. So, if you do not catch your show quickly, you might not be able to access it.
Having both Hulu Plus and Netflix at the same time would mean a wide variety of older and current television shows and movies, and it would only cost about $16 a month—considerably less than many cable plans.
Set Top Box
If you would like to watch these things on your television, but you do not own (or want to own) a gaming platform, you can buy a set top box. These boxes either come with or can be loaded with web applications like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora (internet radio), etc. While prices for these boxes vary, you can find a good one for $30 to $50.
Some other options for reducing your cable bill include limiting cable to one television in the house or going with a smaller channel package. Some other options might include buying some board games, becoming a member of your local library, or renting movies once a week. No matter what you do, you should know that there are many less expensive ways to watch television.
Have you recently ditched your cable company? If so, what alternatives do you use?
This post was written by YFS.