There are a ton of ways to save money out there if you keep an open mind. Saving money on cable TV is one of the best ways to quickly get your expenses down.
Have you ever considered getting rid of your cable TV service and moving into the 21st century of streaming shows through the internet?
If not, read on to see what options are out there for how you can watch cable TV for free and other ways to save money on cable by switching to online TV!
Money Saving Breakdown – Save Money on Cable by Switching to Online TV
- Difficulty (Super Easy/Easy/Medium/Hard/Expert): Easy
- Average Savings per Year ($/year): 700
- Time Required (mins): 15
- Savings for your time ($/hr): 2,800
I recently ran across a great article over at DigitalSpikes (now down) titled How to watch cable TV for free and ways to save money on cable. I’ve been meaning to cover the topic on why you should cut cable for awhile because it is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save yourself a bundle. We’re talking $700+ a year here! What are you waiting for?
The Alternatives to Cable TV
Assuming you have a HDTV and you’ve made the 15 minute call to cancel your cable service, what are some entertainment alternatives to be had? Here are just a handful of the more popular choices:
- TV Network’s Websites: Pretty much every major TV network (Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC) has their own website for streaming the TV episodes for free to your computer.
- YouTube: Another free service can offer just as much – or even more – entertainment than your regular network TV shows. This comes built in to most digital devices (TVs, Blu-ray Players, etc.).
- Over the Air Antenna: All the major networks have converted over to digital broadcasting. While not very sexy, you can still hook up those old rabbit ears into your HDTV and get your normal network television stations for free. You can get by with a $10-$20 normal antenna here.
- Hulu: If you’re looking for the absolutely free entertainment in a more organized spot, you can start with the basic Hulu. The free version is ad supported – I tried it once a couple of years ago and it was OK. They also have a Hulu-Plus service that runs $7.99 a month. The Hulu TV episodes are up-to-date than what you’ll find on Netflix.
- Netflix: This is what our family uses. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You can get unlimited streaming to your TV for only $7.99 a month. They have thousands of movies and shows, and they’ve just started creating some original series that can only be found through their service. I highly recommend this one.
- AmazonPrime: Costs $6.59 a month, you get unlimited streaming of their movies and shows combined with free 2-day shipping with anything you order off of the Amazon website. It also lets you borrow Kindle books for free (1 each month). This is a really good package and something we’re probably going to look into going forward because of the lower price and the enhanced offering.
Set-Top Boxes & Other Devices
If you’re unsure how to exactly get these services to display on your TV, then hopefully this list of potential devices can clear it up for you a bit.
- Something as simple as this RCA Basic Indoor Antenna will do the job for only $8.
- Mini-Android PC with Google TV – you’ll need to buy your own keyboard/mouse or remote – $44.
- Roku HD – handles all the major TV and radio streaming services (720p) – $58.
- Apple TV – iTunes & Netflix (1080p) – $99.
- Panasonic Blu Ray Player – Pretty much any blu ray player has this capability now, I’ve just linked this Panasonic one as an example (1080p) – $80 – $250.
- Laptop – Any laptop computer with an HDMI port can be hooked up to your TV for streaming fun (1080p) – $400.
- Just about any HDTV that’s been made in the past 2 years has these sorts of streaming options built in.
We made the decision several years ago to save money on cable switch to watching TV online. We went with a paid option, but there are several free methods to choose from. By eliminating our cable, we’ve saved thousands of dollars and limited the amount of commercials our family is exposed to. It has been great for our family (even our 4-year-old knows how to work Netflix), and I can’t recommend it enough – it really is a no-brainer. Below is a simple video I made that highlights everything I’ve covered above here for you.
How are you watching TV these days? Have you moved to a free or cheaper platform to watch your TV through the internet?