Get Rid of Cable = Save Money for Preps

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Today we returned the cable boxes and unhooked ourselves from Comcast cable.

It all started out when we moved to a smaller unit a few months ago (part of the plan to downsize).   We weren’t on a contract but we had one of those “bundled” plans that was discounted.  At the same time, we were aggravated by their service issues.  We realized that out of roughly 200 channels, we were really only watching a handful.

Here are a few ideas on getting shows:

Mohu Leaf TV Antenna - Copy

  1. An indoor HD TV antenna or a regular antenna allows you to get all the free channels.  Cost is around $22 for “rabbit ears” antenna or $32 for an HD antenna, and the monthly cost is $ 0.
  2. Get shows via Hulu and Netflix, at a fraction of the cost.  Cost is around $12.99 or thereabouts for either one if your TV is a newer model and allows the access.
  3. Watch shows directly from the networks via internet.  Cost= free.
  4. The Roku is small box that is connected to the TV that lets you stream shows from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus; accessing 1000+ channels and growing.   Initial cost of the Roku 3 is $129.99, monthly cost depends on what services you subscribe to.

For us, getting rid of cable saves $70 from the monthly bill.  Currently we are on Option 1 but may consider adding services later.  Even adding a small monthly bill from Netflix is still only a fraction of what we were spending.

If you are wondering how you might find some savings for the emergency fund or buy some preps, consider cutting out cable TV.    Small steps you can take:

  • Evaluate your family’s viewing habits for a week.
  • Write down the channels you most often watch.  I bet most of those channels are not being used.
  • Do some research on what’s available, talk to the family, then decide.

With all the alternatives available, I am certain we won’t miss it at all.

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  1. We got rid of our cable TV a number of years ago and went the way of Roku. One of the best savings for us was in time spent. We can now watch our favourite shows in about 42 minutes as opposed to “wasting” a full hour, given the number of commercials that are on TV now. Sure, we are behind a good three or more years on some of the shows (Royal Pains JUST came out on Roku and we were watching it when it first came out back in 2009, just before getting rid of cable…it has been a long wait…grin!), but once you adjust to being “behind,” all shows just become new shows to you. AND it is great not having to wait a week before we see what happens next!

    I guess that you could also argue the fact that there could potentially be savings in never being tempted to purchase anything from the ads offered on regular TV. I can’t remember the last time I saw a TV commercial…and I haven’t missed them one bit. If a product is truly revolutionary, I’m sure I will hear about it eventually.

    1. Michelle, That is so true. Not having cable gives less exposure to ads and “i want that” mentality. Just being a bit behind on the shows, but I am liking the freedom. Thanks for the comment!

      1. Freedom…that is definitely what TV on demand gives you. No more needing to be home at a certain time to ensure you catch your episode or be forced to watch it on reruns in the summer. It is nice being able to pick up a series and follow it from beginning to end and not have to wait a week in between. It is also nice being able to plan your own TV schedule…”saving” shows for when you know you will be stuck inside in the cold of winter, heat of summer, on vacation or even pre-selecting a movie to watch on a date night at home. One of the added bonuses of something like Netflix is that you can take it with you on your phone…my husband sometimes uses it while he is waiting in an airport or whatever.

  2. We did it!
    I decided to Finally cut the cord.
    No more cable, no more big ridiculous bills, no more time void.
    It just seemed turned cable turned into huge racket .
    kind of like cell phones & data plans. grrr!
    Proud to say we have had no cable for 4months at 189.00$ we have saved 756.00$

    1. Hi Melissa Jane, It’s amazing to me these things are now all considered to be “needs” but you’re right, they’ve turned into a racket. Until you finally disconnect you don’t realize you were throwing money away. Now we are re-evaluating other expenses. heh cell phones and data plans! Thanks for the comment.

    2. Good for you guys! Wow…that is a LOT of money saved!!! And the really good news is that you will be the only people on your block who are not going through TV withdrawal the first time the power goes out for an extended time!

  3. We canceled our cable service two months ago, I never watched TV and the wife only watched around three channels. Now we use Hulu and Netflix both. Saves me about 40 bucks a month on cable, still have phone and internet service though. The wife was bugged about it at first, but she’s adjusted to just watching shows on Netflix or Hulu. Definately a good choice.

    1. Hi Pierce, Can’t do without the internet service either, got rid of landline tho. I thought I would mind lacking the channels but it’s not as big of an adjustment as I thought. Thanks for the comment!

  4. I switched from cable television to a disk (or leaf) digital antenna last summer when I had investigated the idea enough to learn that digital antennas are very inexpensive and, in my suburban area of two million people, at least, I receive 36 channels including several university/NPR radio stations (and my favorite retro channels MeTV, AntennaTV and PBS) — all in clear digital-signal strength except in the most severe of snowstorms. The best benefit for me was knowing that my viewing habits were no longer being datamined. My prepper brother bought the same antenna for use when his cable television goes down (a prep in and of itself). Now, our friends are planning to get the same antennas!

    1. Hi David, Yes, the Leaf gives excellent reception, we were amazed at the # of channels available. It’s a great alternative. Thanks for the comment.

  5. not had cable/satellite TV in almost 17 years now …. can’t get local channels due to the area. At the time are budget was super tight and we had to choose between having internet or having cable and since we only watched about 3 channels on cable we opted for internet instead. The last couple of years we added in Netflix through the kids Wii. Its great not having the kids constantly exposed to advertising via TV .

    1. Hi Arianna, I would pick internet over cable TV as well. Not having all those channels definitely cuts down on exposure to commercials. Thanks for the comment.

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