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There are so many cheaper alternatives out there that allow you to get all of your favorite shows for a lot less than a standard cable bill! The average cable bill is around $100 a month. There is NO reason why you should still be paying for cable when there are so many cheaper options. We have not used cable in almost an entire year, and we still watch all of our favorite shows whenever we want. Here are some alternatives that will save you money.
(All of these savings have been calculated with a cable cost of $100 a month)
Popular channels such as CBS, AMC, and ABC Family will show episodes for free on their website or through their apps. Some channels limit their selection to only the last season or the last five episodes. If you actively keep up with each show this could be a cheap way for you to catch all of your favorite shows for free!
Savings: $1,200 a year vs. one year of cable
I have been using Netflix for almost two years, and I have never run out of things to watch. Netflix offers a variety of movies and TV shows in almost any category you could think of, and all are ad free. Netflix routinely switches movies and tv shows, so you never run out of new things to watch. While there is a huge library of things to watch, shows that are currently airing are typically a season behind on Netflix. You can get the basic package with one screen for $7.99. We upgraded to the $8.99 plan so we could watch our shows in HD.
Savings: $1,092.12 a year vs. one year of cable
Hulu/ Hulu Plus
Hulu is a similar streaming service to Netflix. The main difference is that all the shows available on Hulu are available the day after they go on the air. A free account allows you to watch most of the seasons available and does feature ads. Hulu Plus reduces the number of ads that appear while you’re watching and allows you more access to shows. Hulu doesn’t carry every show, so check the website before you commit to this option. If you do not have Hulu Plus you cannot use a streaming device to display it on your TV.
Savings: $1,104.42 a year vs. one year of cable
You can get more out of Amazon Prime than just two-day shipping. Amazon Prime also features hundreds of movies and shows that you can watch if you have a subscription. Not everything is available for free, so make sure to check for the prime option such as the one below.
Cost: $99 per year
Savings: $1,101 per year vs. one year of cable
Sling TV allows you to stream your shows live without the long-term contracts and hidden fees. Sling TV carries over 20 channels on their basic package including Fox, Disney, AMC and more for just $20 a month. Plus there is the option to start an episode over or watch anything that has aired in the last 24 hours on some channels.
Savings: $960 a year vs. one year of cable
The Roku 2 allows you to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling TV subscriptions. It also has over a thousand extra channels free. You can include a channel devoted to TED Talks and even YouTube. The Roku 2 also lets you cast from mobile apps and features Ethernet, USB connection for personal media, and a microSD card slot to expand internal storage. You can buy a first generation Roku for $39.99, but you compromise some of these features by downgrading. Roku also offers two other upgraded editions, which are more expensive, but come with more features. You can compare them here.
Cost: $59.99 + any streaming services
Savings: $480.12 (without any subscriptions) vs. one year of cable
One of the best streaming devices out there is Google’s Chromecast. Even if you don’t have a Smart TV, you can use your Chromecast to stream anything from Netflix to Youtube, even your internet browser. A Chromecast can also be paired with free applications to stream local files, such as a movie collection. We used our Chromecast to watch the Super Bowl, and watch the ball drop for New Year’s Eve. If we can’t find something on Netflix, we usually stream it online using our Chromecast.
Savings: $1,165 a year (without any subscriptions) vs. one year of cable
With so many different alternatives out there, it might be a little overwhelming. Try to just pick one or two based on your preferences. Cutting cable was one of the best decisions we’ve made, and we don’t have to sit through ads during our shows or movies.
Are you still paying for cable? What alternatives have you tried?
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