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Canceling Cable…


Each month our cable bill has inched higher and higher. This month, it reached the highest amount we’ve ever seen.

Fortunately, our roommates cover half the bill plus their pricey premium channels but once they move out, I don’t think I can justify spending so much on a luxury.

I decided to look into other options.

We don’t watch TV much, but we both really enjoy staying in on a Saturday night and laughing at our favorite comedies. It sort of makes us less miserable about the whole “we don’t spend outside the budget” thing we’ve got going. Sure I could say we will start playing card games, doing crafts together, or cooking by candlelight but… um… we won’t.

I’ve heard about Hulu.com and Netflix streaming via the Wii but I haven’t actually tried them. So, I’ve got two options. I, the tech idiot, can try to figure it out on my own OR, I can see if any of you folks have made the switch and see how it worked for you.

I may be a tech idiot, but I’ve got common sense at least.

Share your cable cutting ideas!

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  • Reply Julie |

    I love TV, but I still have managed to cut the cable cord with Netflix (streamed via a Roku, but we also stream via a Wii on another TV set), and Hulu Plus (streamed via a Roku). I do end up watching less TV, but I have learned to live with it. We see a lot less commercials – just a few on Hulu Plus.

    There is always something to watch with Netflix Instant Watch. It might not be your first choice, but there’s always something you can watch. The selection seems to get better every month.

  • Reply Graham |

    Wii and Netflix is really an incredible combination. That combined with Hulu and with the exception of a sporting event here and there, I haven’t watched any scheduled programming in months. It’s also an idiot-proof setup. Really.

  • Reply Angela |

    I was really reluctant to give up the cable. We kept saying we’ll do it and then wouldn’t. Until last January we rearranged the furniture and had to do a big project in order to move the TV, and then for a few nights we watched TV on a laptop (Netflix Instant and/or hulu.com both), and we liked it so much we never moved the TV. We sold it instead!

    We use a little lap desk and our laptop and put our feet up on a cush ottoman and watch. The screen is just as big as a big TV since it’s up close (if you put it on your lap and compare, it’s the same size, you know what I mean)?

    And there’s no “tech” to figure. You just go to either site, pick what you want to watch, and watch! Make sure to click the little “full screen” icon at the bottom of the video screen to make it full screen.

    There’s a few commercials on hulu.com, but none on Netflix, and SO MUCH to watch. On hulu.com you might watch 30 Rock, The Office, Outsourced or any number of comedies, and on Netflix instant you can watch from a zillion shows or movies. We worked our way through The IT Crowd (from the UK) and now are watching vintage John Cleese in Fawlty Towers. There’s SO MUCH stuff on there! I have a 1 disc at a time plan and almost never use the disc!

    Good luck!

    ~Angela 🙂

  • Reply Nichole@40daysof |

    We stream Netflix and Hulu through our Playstation which is also our Blu-Ray player. But of course I don’t know how it works. My husband does, though! So send me an email if you want directions. It’s probably extremely simple and he’s good at step-by-step directions. 🙂

  • Reply jilliankay |

    I love my hulu plus subscription! I really have enjoyed going through a lot of old tv shows…currently re-watching all of the X-Files. 😉

  • Reply lauren |

    Our bill was doing the same thing, so I called the cable company, and they applied 12 months of loyalty discount to our bill which cut it by half. They were more than happy to do it. We also have a ROKU which we use quite a bit.

  • Reply Lakita | Personal Finance Journey |

    I canceled my cable last year and kept it off for 8 months. You can search for the article in my archive if you’re interested. But the bottom line is it saved me $80/month (I kept the high speed internet)

    It started as a 3-month experiment, but I didn’t miss the cable, and kept it off. I probably would have stayed off longer but when I got married and hubby and I bought a house we got it turned back on.

    Funny thing…we have a “bundle” with phone/Internet/cable and we hardly use the home phone or Internet, so may scale back again.

    I watched a lot of shows on Hulu and got hooked on LOST during my “no cable days”. There is also Redbox in my area. I eventually got a digital receiver and antenna so I could pick up broadcast stations.

  • Reply Jenn in Michigan |

    I had to replace my roof in April and had the roofers take both the used and unused satellite dishes off and canceled the service. While i sometimes miss the DVR, I am perfectly happy with Netflix streaming and Amazon on Demand on my Roku. I had Hulu Plus for a short while, but found that I didn’t watch it that often so now I am down to my $7.99 a month Netflix streaming only. With Amazon on Demand I will occasionally rent a movie.

  • Reply Lyssa |

    haven’t done Hulu. Wii and Netflix on the other hand is fabulous! and relatively simple. 🙂

  • Reply KLM |

    Don’t forget, if you are a fan of shows on most ‘regular’ channels, you can also just go to that channel’s website and usually find the last few episodes as well.
    But both Hulu and Netflix should meet your needs and are easy to use. My BF actually connects his Ipad to his regular sized TV and we can watch streaming Netflix stuff on the TV.

  • Reply jaye |

    I guess this goes without saying but… there area a lot of free channels on your TV if you have a decent antenna. We get the basic channels, Fox, PBS and a few others. Now my husband (a sports nut and the main reason we had cable) watches local sports when they’re on, and national games are often broadcast as well. As for Hulu and Netflix, they are fantastic. We pay the minimum for Netflix and stream onto our laptops. Not paying for cable is the best! The biggest hurdle was convincing the family that it wasn’t necessary. None of us (there are 5 of us) misses cable at all.

  • Reply Niki |

    We gave up our cable last month and have not looked back. I wished I had done it sooner. With Hulu and Netflix through the Wii it makes the transition very easy. We still watch TV.

  • Reply Andy |

    All of these comments are making me feel good about our decision to also get rid of cable after being on the fence about it for months. I am so happy to hear it has gone well for so many of you.

    We used to justify keeping cable with the whole “we don’t go out and spend any other $ on entertainment, ect”. But we have recently realized that we are not getting our $’s worth out of it. And my husband is an IT guy and is hooking our playstation up to HuluPlus and Netflix.

    We are cutting the cord on Friday. And I am sending DH this link ASAP 🙂

  • Reply CT Girl |

    Netflix… very easy to deal with, and inexpensive. I just bought a Roku box so it will be even easier.

  • Reply Stacey |

    Hubs and I just went through this exercise about a month ago when we got rid of satelite TV. We got a TiVo Premier box – which has a LOT more features than the old TiVo. In addition to streaming Netflix, Amazon videos on demand, Blockbuster, and Pandora, we can access YouTube and of course record network shows. Our digital antenna gets about 20 Baltimore channels, and if we get a stronger one we can get the DC channels as well. The only thing the TiVo doesn’t do yet is access Hulu, although I hear that is in the works. Other similar products may already have that function. The TiVo box was $299, then $12 a month for the service. So much better than the $80 we used to pay, and I actually feel like we have more BETTER options now than we used to have with those oodles of useless channels.

  • Reply danna |

    We haven’t had cable in over a year. I don’t miss it at all. We have a digital antenna (open box item we got for $30) so we get local channels. I found that is what we watched most anyway.

    Hubby does miss ESPN but if a game is on that we want to watch we just head to our local bar and watch it there. The cost of a couple of beers is much less than the cable bill.

    I watch Hulu sometimes (I love Glee)…but have found that there are so many other things I want to do than watch TV!
    Try it!

  • Reply Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com |

    Netflix on Wii is ah-mazing! It constantly updates with newer movies and tv shows but has all of your faves too! You can usually pick from your online queue or add to your queue. You still need an internet hook-up…but I did spend an entire weekend watching the entire run of Roswell (you know, that awful 90s alien show with teenage Katherine Heigl?).

  • Reply Caitlin |

    I cancelled my cable almost 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. It was getting to be about $75/mo for the one-step-up-from-basic, so we cut it and haven’t looked back.

    Just last month we decided to try Netflix (it just launched here in Canada) for $8/mo, and so far it’s pretty good. It doesn’t have anything current for the most part, (eg the latest season of Mythbusters that have have is 5 – the current season is 8), but for the amount we watch, it’s alright. A lot of old shows I used to watch are available on it, so we’ve been watching those. ^_^

  • Reply Alexandria |

    My husband is a videophile, and after having netflix streaming for a few months, it is the first time he has considered dropping cable. For just $8/month or so, it’s a great deal. A combo of something like that and hulu is currently what we are looking at. (He has also talked about some kind of amazon streaming? Where you can buy shows you can’t get otherwise – to fill in some gaps – much cheaper than cable).

    That said, we never paid for cable until we reached a certain financial point in our lives. We simply lived without. These days, there are so many options out there! I think the industry is kind of a racket, and simply look forward to dropping it for that reason. I just don’t want to support the high prices any longer.

  • Reply Babybluewater |

    We recently canceled cable and have been watching through Netflix or hulu instead. We also invested in a fairly inexpensive amplified digital antenna ($39 at Best Buy) and have been able to pick up some good local channels. The picture is actually really good, I was surprised! I’m in the San Diego area too and we are able to get Fox, CBS and NBC for FREE! It’s a good supplement to Netflix and hulu. Good luck!

  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    I second everyone else who’s used Netflix/Hulu, etc. via Roku.

    We turned off network and cable tv ten years ago. Just got the Roku in the past year, and LOVE IT. Before that, we just watched movies online at Netflix’ site, or rented. Now, we hardly ever rent movies. There are several channels on Roku through which you can rent movies to be streamed to your tv, so if you have to see the movie that just came out, you can!

    I would add, also, that if you love “Glee,” or “Lie to Me,” those and many others can be watched on Hulu the day after their air on network tv, so you’re not having to wait until the dvd comes out.

  • Reply Mel |

    I attempted to drop cable tv. It lasted exactly one month. (a very productive month!) Football season came and my boyfriend said he would have to watch football at the bar otherwise. I figure basic cable was the cheaper option. Thankfully Basic cable is only $18 a month. We did up our Netflix and stream it through our Wii and X Box’s. $65 total for net and tv is a heck of a lot cheaper than the $150 a month our net and cable TV was for a few months after the promo expired.

  • Reply CareaBearaSara |

    earlier this year i couldnt afford cable and internet anymore so i cut them, got netflix, and used my neighbors unlocked wireless… used bunny ears on my tv as well. saved a lot of money that i didnt have to spend anyways…

    netflix is great, theres series to watch as well as movies, if you get a 3 out at a time account you get variety each time, if thats what you like, or you can get a half or sometimes a whole season of a series at once.

    Right now I pay for basic cable w/a DVR since i can afford it, and the 1 dvd out at a time w/netflix, plus unlimited streaming.

    its soooooooo easy to set up on the wii, you just go to their store, search for it, and once it installs you enter your info w/a code from the netflix site and you’re good to go.

  • Reply Alison |

    We’ve never had cable and have always gone the antenna route (now combined with a digital receiver). We use hulu a lot for shows we miss and it’s really super easy. We’ve tossed around the idea of doing Netflix, but haven’t yet.

  • Reply jdargos |

    I’ve had it with cable too. This was supposed to be so “inexpensive”. Please update us on your streaming TV options, I’ve been thinking about trying that myself. I know my nephew uses his laptop to stream sports events from ESPN and displays it on his wall through a projector.

  • Reply Angie |

    You’ve inspired us! We’re cutting the cable in January – we’re going to make it through football season and then be done with it.

    Now, what to do with all the money? Oh yeah, pay of debt!

  • Reply Jen |

    My boyfriend does all of his TV watching with Netflix, both DVD and online streaming. He’s very happy with it. The only cable TV service he has is the most basic package, and that was so he could get the lower rate for internet. As long as you don’t have a “need” to see your shows when they first air i think Netflix and Hulu are the way to go.

    As for me, I’m too hooked on certain TV shows and channels to give up my cable package. But, once Mad Men and Doctor Who go off the air I may switch to Netflix. But I would still keep a very, very basic cable package, both for the lower internet rate AND so I can watch the broadcast channels in case there’s a big news story.

  • Reply Kathryn |

    My boyfriend and I each nixed our cable. He survives on free television and Tivo, and we share the Netflix. While he would still like having cable, he didn’t like the higher and higher prices. Me? I simply LOVE not having many boob-tube options. I’m so much more likely to pick up a book or craft! These decisions have also forced us to be a little more sociable. For TrueBlood, we worked out a deal with friends that had HBO. We brought dinner, they provided the television, and we had an evening chatting with friends. More win!

  • Reply Jenn |

    Ok, so you got rid of cable… good idea, love it, and want to do it myself, but need to talk my husband into it… what do you do about your internet? Our’s is a cable modem?

  • Reply Dream Mom |

    I cut cable a year ago and just have the basic one for $9.99 or so, which is basically nothing. I do miss it a bit but I am not a big t.v. watcher. Now I watch it even less. I did enjoy the Food Network and HGTV.

    I do use the internet a lot. Never heard of Roku or Hula and don’t own a Wii. Don’t watch movies either since I am not a movie buff. Yikes…guess I am the only one. I do read a lot though.

  • Reply Jenn |

    Thanks for a response…I don’t want to get rid of the internet, but I have a cable modem so I’m not very techy- just asking what I can use for high speed internet without cable tv?

  • Reply Amber |

    I love Netflix and we just started a free trial of Hulu and I LOVE it. $8 and $7.99 respectively. Can’t go wrong! I think cable is exhorbitantly expensive. Haven’t had it in about 3 years and that was before I decided to get serious financially.

  • Reply Sharon Thomas |

    I suggest you to not cut the cable. Various cable providers are offering different packages which suits the need of a customer. So change the package which you find it luxury and choose a package which suits your needs.

So, what do you think ?