Have you ever woken up one day and realized you are paying over $200 for cable and come to find out rates are going to increase by 15% in 60 days? Well, that is exactly what happened to Bub and me! I will add a couple caveats so you can get a hold of the whole picture here. Our cable bill did include our internet service and it did include five, yes five, DVR boxes. It did not include any movie or premium channels.
Let us explore this for a second. When we moved into our house, we transferred our then cable provider’s service from the rental. And we were fine for a while and then Bub’s alma mater went to the National Championship game and our cable kept going on the fritz during the game. It was a sight for sore eyes to see a grown man literally running circles around the outside of the house, like the friction of his jeans was going to put enough electricity in the air to get the cable to come back on. He could hear the neighbors yelling and he would run faster- it really was a sight.
It was the very next week that we got that service turned off and the next service turned on. See, they reel you in with those first year promos and then the second year, the promos end and you pay full price and you’re locked in with a contract. Well, I started reviewing the bills and checking to see where I might could trim some fat. That $200 cable bill with a 15% increase on the horizon became my target.
I knew we could not live without internet- no way Jose. But, could we live without cable? Life without ESPN is not a possibility for Bub, so figuring out how to get ESPN was the first hurdle. We accomplished that through the use of Watch ESPN app. The second was researching and figuring out Apple TV verses Roku. A simple definition of these 2 devices is that they are a platform through which Netflix, Hulu and You Tube, among other streaming services, can be utilized on our TVs.
We had five DVR boxes because we had one in the den, the living room and 3 bedrooms. I could wax and wane about why we had them in the 2 bedrooms upstairs that are strictly guest rooms. What it boils down to is that Bub and I not only enjoy watching TV in bed, but we sleep with the TV on- and, so we both agreed that having a TV with cable in the guest rooms was important and a nice touch for our guests- hence, five DVR boxes.
I put a query out on Facebook asking for a comparison of Apple TV and Roku. I gained a great perspective about the two. But, in that process, a friend offered to sell me his, slightly used, Apple TV for half price. At that point, it became a no brainer. We did come to the final conclusion that the Roku would ultimately be the platform we would like to purchase but was not necessary until further notice. The TV in the den is a smart tv and therefore we were only in in need of immediate action for the TV in the bedroom. At this point, we are intending to do some comparison shopping between the Roku and Amazon Fire TV before we make any further purchases.
Not that the Apple TV does not do the job it is supposed to do, but- the channels and apps available on the Roku look more plentiful and awesome. The smart tv… as a streaming platform… in comparison to the Apple TV leaves much to be desired. We also got digital antennas for both the den and our bedroom TVs so that we can get local channels. They work pretty good— we got the base model from Wal-Mart and Bub keeps saying we need to upgrade those too. Ultimately, the plan is to move these digital antennas to the bedrooms upstairs as well as the Apple TV and then put Rokus or maybe Amazon Fire TVs in the den and our bedroom.
We also subscribed to Netflix and Hulu Plus. And I have to say, I have been really pleased with both and we use both daily. We probably use Netflix more but, mainly because it has such a wonderful selection of cartoons. Baby Bub’s latest obsession is trains— my Moma has even let him watch the Thomas the Train Christmas movie! But, Baby Bub will never run out of cartoon options because all the major players, at least it seems, are available on Netfix.
This is the first time I have ever had a Netflix subscription and I realize how awesome it is! I was able to finish Weeds. I own the first 6 seasons, but never got around to finishing the last two seasons until we turned off our cable. If you have never watched Weeds or started it and never finished it, I recommend you go back to it. To describe it in one sentence- a suburban mom turns drug dealer and all her exploits. The story line, is at times cray-zee, but- it’s a great show and absolutely entertaining.
The second show that has captured my attention is Parenthood. I don’t know how long it has been on air or anything. I did see some snippet of the current season and was shocked at what seemed to be the plot line- I guess I will get there soon enough. However, I really like this show. It’s about four adult siblings and their lives and how their lives and drama continue to be intertwined. Yes, it’s drama packed, at times awkward and I am totally enthralled.
Another show that Bub and I have embraced is Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original. This show, created and produced by the same folks who did Weeds– is CRAY-ZEE! Granted, we are just making our way through the very first season- but, each episode leaves me wanting more! Hold onto to yourself with this one because— I mean, it’s awesome. I am fascinated with this show in a way because it adds a story to a culture, an inmate culture, that is somewhat out of the realm of everyday thought… the premise of the show- a girl did something illegal and just before the statue of limitations is passed, she gets called and sentenced to prison time. And the show is all about how she navigates prison life. Yep. It’s fascinating.
And those that know me, know I love reality TV and dear reader, not having cable did not stop me from finding a great new to me reality TV series- House of Joy. I have never heard of Joy or her husband but apparently, he is a very successful music producer. His wife, is so charismatic and his children adorable. Not to mention, all her family lives in the house with them— they have birthday parties, they vacation to Hawaii and she takes dance lessons from P.Diddy’s choreographer- what’s her name, the bitch? So- anyway, another great show I would have never found had we not canceled cable.
To recap. Life without cable- is not too shabby. It has taken some getting used to but, the $20 cable bill as opposed to the $160 had helped us get through the adjustment phase. ($230-$70= $160) And, it has some perks too- like getting to finish shows I started 8 years ago as well as start shows that are 5 seasons down the road. Plus, Hulu Plus helps us keep up with the prime time shows that we enjoy like Modern Family, the Middle and the Neighbors. I can safely say that Bub and I would both recommend anyone at least review their options as far as cable goes. Saving money is def fun!
Are there any other bills that you have managed to trim to save some money. We are always open to the possibilities of saving money!