I was 5 months pregnant and a week away from my last day at work when my husband told me the shocking news. “Honey, I cancelled the cable!”
Back then, there weren’t many cheaper alternatives. We eventually got used to being without cable, but when we got tired of watching the same DVDs again and again, we explored some of the many options that are now available today.
The subscription cost for services, like Netflix, is reasonable, and you get a good selection of programs for everyone in the family. The problem is trying to agree on one thing!
Most of these companies also offer a free trial period so you can see which one fits your tastes. We did the free trials, and at first, we were excited to have “TV” again. I’ll be honest with you though. After being without cable for many years, this was just TV overload for us.
In my college apartment, we had an old TV and some rabbit ears antenna that was wrapped in aluminum foil. My roommates and I would watch fuzzy reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (I know I’m dating myself) when we didn’t want to study. I was hoping to have moved on from those days, so the thought of getting an antenna was not very appealing until we saw this ….
A flat antenna
It’s thin, matches our walls, and best of all, didn’t need foil to get good reception. We tried it, but unfortunately, this just didn’t work for us because of where we live. We only got a few channels and not any we cared to watch. However, this might be a good solution for you, depending on your location.
Players, like Roku, use your home’s internet to bring entertainment to your TV. I wasn’t really into getting anything like this because it seemed only useful if you had a Netflix subscription.
But one day, my husband came home with a Roku Streaming Stick. He took advantage of a store program, where you can trade in a used cell phone for store credit, so he didn’t pay a thing. Looks like I’m not the only bargain shopper in the family! We’re not subscribed to any streaming services, but we still get a number of free channels through Roku. If you’re willing to pay the upfront cost of this nifty little gadget, it may be a worthwhile investment.
The major TV networks make most of the current episodes available on the internet for free. Sometimes, you have to wait a few days after the original air date, so just excuse yourself when your friends start talking about what happened in the season finale. This really works for us because we’re more intentional about how we use TV. Instead of mindlessly surfing through all the channels, we plan for TV time.
The Public Library
Older DVDs at the library tend to be scratched up but I found ways to avoid this. Our library has a “new releases” shelf, where you can check out those movies for a shorter period of time. These are usually in better condition. See if your library has something like this.
Also, libraries often allow you to put items on hold through their website and will contact you when it comes in. Before a movie is released on DVD, our library will sometimes order it and create a record for that item in their database. So, even before they receive it, I can already request a hold on it through their system.
And the best part: it’s free!
Have you explored other alternatives to cable TV?
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