Despite what can only be called an addiction to the Real Housewives (along with everything Bravo) on my part, and a fanatical obsession with ESPN for my husband, we have unplugged our satellite dish for the summer.
Why just for the summer? Well, it’s an experiment of sorts. We are always trying to pare down summer expenses, since my husband is a teacher and we don’t get a paycheck for 3 months. Since it’s mostly reruns and no major sports events happen in the summer, we figured it would be a good time to dip our toes in the satellite-free waters.
How much will we save? $210 over 3 months. Not a HUGE amount, but not insignificant either.
Going cable- or satellite- free doesn’t mean you have to forego TV altogether. There are a TON of cheap and easy options. Here are my tips:
1. Purchase a Roku box — we spent about $70 on this and it enables you to get streaming through services like Hulu Plus, Netlfix, and Amazon Prime. There are a few free channels you can get as well. This is the model we have: Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p.
2. Purchase an antenna. We bought the Paper Thin Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna for $34.00. Before the antenna we only got 1 network channel, now we get six – CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, and CW. Since our tv is wall-mounted, this paper-thin antenna — it looks like a laminated piece of construction paper — fits neatly behind the tv. You can find out if this antenna will work for you based on your geographical location through Antennaweb.
3. Use the Library! When we cancelled Netflix, I was pretty sad about
“losing” some of the titles in my queue. Now when I think of something we would like to watch, I go on the library home page and place a hold on it. For $0.50, it is delivered to my local library. Yes, sometimes we have to wait for a hold, but my husband and I don’t really care if we see things RIGHT when they come out.
4. Whether or not you have a Roku box, you can watch tv and movies on your computer for free! Hulu (free version) as well as many individual stations offer full episodes of their most popular shows online. I’ve watched America’s Next Top Model, The Next Food Network star, and other brain-numbing shows this way.
5. Paid subscriptions on your Roku or enabled Blu-Ray player: Hulu Plus and Netflix are both $7.99 per month. I really love Amazon Prime because not only do you have access to hundreds of free movies and tv shows, you can also get free Kindle books and FREE 2-day shipping.
So far, I’m loving not having to pay for satellite or cable. As for my husband, well, let’s just say that it’s a VERY good thing that the NBA finals are on network tv.
I’d love to hear what you do for tv and movie watching at home if you don’t have cable or satellite!