How to Ditch expensive TV And Save

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Prices are rising all across the board and finding ways to save is becoming a common paste for all of us. This article is a classic but has been updated for today’s streaming a subscriptions tv. Learn how to ditch expensive TV and save get back in control of your household budget.

Living a simple life is more than decluttering it’s also finding ways to keep more of the money you work so hard for in your pocket where it belongs.

ditch expensive TV and save

With the cost of everything going up, more and more people are looking for ways to cut the cable cord so they can ditch satellite TV. The cost of TV is one of those things that drives me crazy. Even with streaming services that were once affordable even those prices are climbing every other day.

I just cannot understand why these companies are able to get away with charging hundreds of dollars every month to hard working people. I mean what on earth are all these commercials for anyhow? Someone is getting rich somewhere and it sure isn’t me.

a tv remote aimed at a tv. How to ditch satellite tv and save big money!

One day while doing our household budget I took a good hard look at where our money was going. When we first got our TV package way back when we had some promo for $29 a month. Several years later we were paying well over $109 a month and today that prices is even higher.

And the most annoying part of this was we still struggled to find a show that was fun to watch. For over $1200 a year we had access to 500+ channels of nothing. Add to that the sports packages we paid for and we had well over $1,500 that we were paying annually.

FOR TV! Yes, it was time to make a drastic change.  

For a few years, we had been putting our TV on “vacation” mode for 6 months. This means pausing your subscriptions for the summer when many families watch less tv. Although at first, this was hard, we actually began to look forward to it each spring.

Not having that lure of junk on TV to call us away from outside really was a blessing. We got more done, spent more time talking, and enjoyed the outdoors much more than we used too. Knowing we could go without TV for 6 months made the decision to ditch satellite TV an easier concept to consider.

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ditch expensive TV and save

This is how we do things on our end and I hope you will find a few ideas you can incorporate into a plan that works for you.

Local Channels

In our area local channels can be reach with an antenna which other than the cost of the antenna is free after. I do realize that some of the newer TV’s have built in antennas and if you have one of those you should be set. Play around with the quality and see if you can get the locals in your area.

In our area we are able to get 16 channels for absolutely free. This includes PBS’s Create which has really improved it’s lineup of shows.

How to Ditch satellite TV and save money

How can you get your local channels?

Well, if you have a TV that is newer than 2007 if will have a digital tuner. That is all you need.

If you have a TV that is older, then you will need to purchase a Digital Converter Box. I have not purchased one of these in years and things have totally changed. Please use this link as a starting point and do your research to ensure you get the right product.

If you aren’t sure, just go to your TV’s website and look up the make and model to find out. For many people, this may be enough, but I soon discovered I am a TV junkie and need just a bit more.

Subscription Television

Subscription television is a type of television service for which the viewer pays a regular fee to receive a specific range or package of channels. There are many options available in all different prices ranges with some even being free. Below is a list of the most common but there are many more options out there.

Paid TV Services:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • Paramount
  • Peacock
  • Amazon Prime

Free TV Services:

  • Pluto
  • Freeze
  • Tubi
  • Sling Freestream
  • Roku

Premium Services that may include locals:

  • Fubo
  • Roku
  • Sling
  • Hulu Live

Let’s look at a few of the most popular.

Netflix Streaming

Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that a large selection of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and more. For a monthly fee, Netflix users can enjoy unlimited viewing of the platform’s content either with or without commercials. With the ability to stream from any device and a user-friendly interface, Netflix is a good option to consider.

They have a very affordable streaming package that are cheaper if you choose commercials and go up from there. I like Netflix as it is a more affordable option to Showtime or HBO. Before you do this you will need to make sure you have a sufficient internet connection with a large or unlimited data package.  

I believe it takes about a gig to stream a movie, so if you have a cap of 10 GB a month this may not be for you.

how to ditch cable tv and save big

Hulu STreaming

Hulu is another subscription-based streaming service similar to Netflix, with its own selection of shows, movies, and documentaries. The service offers different subscription tiers, including an ad-supported plan, a no-ads plan, and a package that bundles Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. Hulu sets itself apart with its offering of current TV episodes from major networks shortly after they air, a feature not typically available on other platforms.

Hulu offers a nice selection of movies along with network television shows. The biggest adjustment when ditching our satellite TV was losing our DVR. Hulu helps solve that offering a large selection of newer shows. If I miss my favorite show on TV, I can usually catch them later on Hulu.

Amazon Prime Streaming

Amazon Prime Video is another option that is similar to Netflix and Hulu. It offers a vast library of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and Amazon Originals. For a monthly or annual fee, Prime Video subscribers can access content anytime, anywhere. What sets Amazon Prime Video apart is its integration with Amazon Prime, a service offering benefits such as free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases. Another bonus is you can find an even bigger selection with a library of rent or buy movies and TV episodes not included in the Prime Video library.

SLCG Pro Tip: If you are an Amazon Prime member and choose slower shipping when you purchase items on Amazon, Amazon will reward you with free digital credits that you can then use to offset the price to rent or buy.

Even though we like Amazon Prime video we find their selection is not as comparable to Netflix. To ensure you are choosing the best service do a research on the shows and movies they have out now and see if they are ones you enjoy watching. This will help you to make a better decision.

Disney+ Streaming

Disney+ is a subscription-based streaming service owned by The Walt Disney Company. Even though we are adults this option has quickly become a popular one in our family. Not only do they have a huge library of cartoons, both classic and new, but they also have Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and even 20th Century Fox.

We love having a place for our grandkids to go if they are over and want to watch a cartoon or kid-friendly show. Disney has the option to create an account for our grandkids so that we can filter the ratings, ensuring they are only being shown kid-friendly shows.

For a monthly or annual fee, subscribers can enjoy ad-free viewing of all they have in their library. If you love documentaries they have some really great options to check out.

Paramount

Paramount+ is a subscription-based streaming service owned by ViacomCBS. They have a great lineup of shows, including some of our favorite dramas. They also have popular TV series such as Yellowstone and news programs as well.

They also have content from networks like CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and the Smithsonian Channel. Moreover, it provides live TV access to CBS networks, making it an excellent choice for news and sports enthusiasts. For a monthly or annual fee, you’ll get access all these features, with an option for a commercial-free plan for an additional cost.

On the downside, we struggle constantly with the quality of steaming with this service. Although it may just be our area it is still something you will want to research before investing in the yearly plan.

SLCG Pro Tip: If you are a Walmart+ member, you get Paramount Plus Ads for free.

how to cancel tv and save thousands

How to save with streaming services

There are a few ways to save money when streaming. Here are our favorite options.

Netflix – As of today’s date you can still share your account with family members and this can great reduce the cost. However, this option will be going away and something you will want to keep in mind.

Hulu – To save pay for the ads option. Yes you have ads but there is a way to watch them all on the front end rather than during the show. You will watch a block of ads for about 5 full minutes then you can enjoy your show ad free.

Disney+ – As of today’s date you can still share you account with family members to reduce the overall cost. Again, this option will be phasing out and something you will want to keep in mind. Disney is also playing around with a ads option that can lower the price if you choose this route.

Paramount Plus – Get a year for free as a Walmart+ member.

Watching TV with popcorn and a remote. How to ditch satellite TV and save big money.

Next level ways save on tv

If money is still tight there are a few old school ways to enjoy television namely with movies you can watch at home. DVD and VHS movies and shows are a great way to enjoy tv without paying for streaming.

Tip #1  Shop Yard Sales

I cannot even tell you how many movies I have purchased for next to nothing at yard sales. My eclectic collection spans from Singing in the Rain to Jaws. There really is no rhyme or reason to what I will buy and my family is always so excited to see what I will bring home next.

SLCG Pro Tip: Be sure to check for scratches before buying. Most can be buffed out but if your nail can fall in a scratch this is a sign it may not be fixable.

Tip #2  Make a stop at your local library

Did you know most libraries not only rent out movies for next to nothing but also have a pretty large collection of FREE rentals? Not only that but rentals are for a week rather than just days. This is a great way to get movies for pennies without having to buy them and store them in your home.

Tip #3  Call in your friends and family

I am sure you are not the only one that has a large collection of DVD and VHS. Reach out and see if your family or friends would be willing to set up a weekly swap of sorts. Before you do this, however, I would stick a return address label on each movie so what you lend out has a better chance of coming back to you.

How to Save mOney on streaming

Let’s review the tips we covered. Give a few a try and see if you are able to reduce your TV bill every month.

Step #1  Put your service on vacation mode.  

Call your company to see if this is a free option. While you are on the phone make sure you are not under contract. Try it for a month to find out if you can live without subscription tv without going stir crazy. If you survive proceed to step two.

Step #2  Make sure you are able to get local channels

I always like to start here because they are FREE! If you have an older TV you may need to purchase a box. (please see tip above)

Step #3  Cancel your expensive TV

If you are under contract you may have to pay a cancellation fee, read that fine print to make sure. Return all equipment as advised. You are not saving money if you have to pay for non-returned equipment.

Step #4  Free movie options

Get your movie fix by renting free movies at your library. You can also stock up on cheap movies at yard sales and do a swap with your friends.

Step #5  Purchase a streaming device for your TV

If you have a smart TV you can skip this step. If not before you buy, make sure your internet is fast enough to stream movies and you are NOT on a limited data plan.

Step #6  Purchase a streaming service

Refer to our list above for a few ideas to start with. Check for a free trial so you can try before you buy. Be sure to set a reminder on your phone or calendar to cancel before you get hit with a fee.

Step #7  Sport options

If you or your family are sport fans you can find may options on these services:

  • Peacock
  • CBS Sports
  • ESPN
  • Paramount Plus
  • Amazon

You can also stream your sports through your computer, but we did not like this option.

Step #8  Celebrate

Because you are officially saving a nice chunk of change and getting your household budget back on track.

For years we paid a fortune for TV not knowing there was another option. When we first cut the chord our friends were a bit surprised, they just couldn’t understand how we survived without TV. Now they are just like us and have ditched expensive TV and saved big in the process.

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ditch satellite tv and save big

32 Comments

  1. Lilly Maus says:

    Instead of paying for Netflix or Hulu. I signed up with Amazon Prime. I get free shipping on everything I buy from Amazon (they sell EVERYRHING) and I also get the free movies, just like Netflix

    1. Hi Lilly,
      You are absolutely right my friend! Thank you for reminding me of Amazon Prime, I added info on Prime above. πŸ™‚

  2. Our problem is internet. We don’t want to give it up

  3. So where does your Internet come from and not pay a fortune. Mine is thru cable and costs us 70 per month with the taxes

    1. Oh I pay a pretty hefty amount for our internet I’m afraid, but that is not something we are willing to give up. It’s all about choices and what you are willing to let go of in order to keep something else. πŸ™‚ In our case cable/satellite TV needed to go, and we are the better for it!

  4. Hi there, I have a new tv and I am not sure how you get free tv with it. I also have Roku and Netflix
    Our cable is so expensive and there are only two internet providers in this area. I think we have a data cap too. Do you get your local channels? Have you heard about the tv key that they have now, I wonder if it works?

    1. Hi Kathy,
      yes, if you have a cap on your internet streaming may not be an option. However, we have been putting our TV on vacation mode for half the year before we were able to stream. We used an analog box to get our local channels and rented free movies from the library. We also used Netflix and their DVD mail membership which is very reasonable and their movie selection is larger than the online selection. I have not heard of the TV key, I will have to look into that.
      Thanks so much for sharing and good luck! It just frustrates me how cable companies get away with charging such insane amounts. I hope you are able to come up with a solution!

  5. I have Frontier for Internet and it is only $ 35. 00 a month.

    1. Hi Rosemary!
      Thanks for the heads up on your service provider. I will have to look them up. We are very limited on who we can get unlimited internet with…only one company right now. I will have to look into Frontier. πŸ™‚

  6. And if ever u need live TV u can always download the Mobdro app on your Android device. It contains hundreds of tv channels, all u need is a really good Internet connection

    1. I couldn’t find it in the app store.

  7. I had the same thought as Maria… What about the internet?! I was so excited reading this and thought about how my Comcast bill is $180 a month … I could literally save two. thousand. dollars!…. But… then I bet Comcast would charge me over $100 or so for Wi-Fi. I’ll have to look into it. I really enjoyed reading your post though, and I’ll peruse through more of your blog. πŸ˜€

    1. Hi Clara,

      I just realized by the large response of internet questions that you all must get your internet bundled or at least through your TV provider? In that case, I do see how this post would not be of much help. I tell you what, I will do some research and see if I can come up with ways to save money on TV in your situation. I’m on the job!

      Tracy Lynn πŸ™‚

      1. I have Comcast. I just iunbundled our service. You can get ultra high speed internet for less than $100/month.

        1. Hello, Diane,
          I am glad you are able to get a good deal on your internet. Where we live Comcast is not available and the cost savings of $100/month is for our satellite TV costs. Our internet is only available through our phone carriers here. I was giving suggestions for cutting costs on TV not the internet. Sorry for the confusion! πŸ™‚
          Tracy Lynn

        2. Just wondering, how hard was it to unbundle? I have Comcast, internet, TV and land line phone, $264/mo, and it goes up every 4 mos or so. I would like to get rid of TV because it is so pixelated that we can’t watch, but wondering if I can keep Comcast internet , which isn’t that good either, and get a different TV and phone service. We are rural so we don’t have a lot of options.

          1. I totally understand; our options are extremely limited here as well. To be fair, we did not have things bundled; it wasn’t an option here, but I would call to see what the price is for each separate part first. This will better help you to see if the cost justifications are there.
            Once you have the cost of each you can start removing things one at time being sure you do not get interrupted service. My folks were bundled with Comcast and finally left after too many hikes and switched to YouTube TV. This is not a service I have ever used but they are very happy with it.
            Tracy Lynn

  8. Ladies, look to your cell phone providers for unlimited Wi-Fi. Use that for your internet.

  9. Sandee West says:

    TIVO makes a “broadcast tv” version for around $50 and the service is $14.99 a month. It works great at recording several shows at once. This was a great compromise for us as we missed the ability to pause live tv or record our favorite shows like we had when we had DISH. It has an app as well so if you are away from home and want to set it to record a show, you can do that too. We haven’t missed our Satellite TV a bit and the savings is tremendous!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this information! I broke down and got U-verse, mainly for HGTV and football. I’ve heard of Roku but didn’t really know what it was and have never heard of Sling. I will definitely be checking into it! I’m also glad I came across this, via Pinterest because I am going to start following your blog.

    1. Hi Melanie and welcome!

      I am so glad you are here. πŸ™‚ I have not heard of U-verse, I am really excited to see what it’s all about.

      thank you for sharing,
      Tracy Lynn

  11. Your posts are always so timely! We *just* signed up for Netflix and assuming we can assimilate with it easily enough we will then drop cable. There will be a bunch of shows we would miss, but will look into Hulu (thanks for that idea!). I can hardly wait!

  12. What do you know about TV Scout?? i have searched everywhere, sometimes it looks legitimate & sometimes their website doesn’t exist? Anyone else?
    Since I am Canadian and would love to know: Hulu, Crave TV Amazon Prime(not available to Canada) or Netflix working well within Canadian system.

    1. Hello, Vincent,
      I do not know about TV Scout, maybe someone else will chime in? I do know that Netflix has an option of DVD by mail. My son does this option and although it is not streaming, you do at least get unlimited movies (1 or 2 at a time) in the mail. This will give you something new to watch when antenna TV is lacking a bit. As far as working in Canada with their systems, I would call. That way you can ask exactly what you need to know and get specific answers. You can find all phone numbers under contact in most website footers. Hope that helps!
      Tracy Lynn

  13. Thank you for this post! I have been researching streaming tv & cutting DirecTV for when we move in a few weeks & have been making it more difficult than it is! Ha! This all makes sense though! Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Shayna,
      I am so glad! I have a very bad habit of making things harder than they need to be sometimes so I am right there with you!
      Good luck with your move!
      Tracy Lynn

  14. Antoinette says:

    Great post! I upgraded my home internet from Frontier to T-Mobile and recently signed up for YouTube TV. I’m very happy with both. T-Mobile internet has been very reliable and works really well for me. I’m in a dense suburban area though; not sure how it would work for someone in a more rural area. YouTube TV, Amazon Prime and the free options on the Roku app are solid options to look into.

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