Saturday’s Saving Tip: Learn to live without cable! We’ve done it for a YEAR!

We decided a year ago to discontinue our cable service. At $75/month, do you know how much we’ve saved since cancelling satelitte? $900!! That’s a nice chunk of change!

After a year, we don’t miss it.  In fact, if I think about it too much, I get MAD at myself for wasting all that money all those years we DID have it!!

And can I just say, without stepping on anyone’s toes, that I am glad we haven’t had it during the holiday season?  Bug hasn’t been bombarded with commercials for the hottest new toy or gadget or “must-have”.  He hasn’t been exposed to the “consumerism” that makes 4 year olds put iPads and iPods in their letters to Santa and makes last years Nintendo DS no longer worthy and in need of replacement by the newest 3DS or whatever.

My sweet boy asked Santa for TWO things with a combined total of under $50!  I could’ve gotten out cheap.  Thank the good Lord, that I’ve been saving all year and buying all year so that he will have a wonderful Christmas where he gets the two things he asked for as well as lots of “surprises”.  But without the pressure of  “expectations” that I feel many children have.

And I’m going to stop there before I offend anyone.  I’m just glad that we have a “filter” on what comes in to our home by eliminating cable from our lives.

Here’s how we live without paying for television service:

Before we turned off our service, I DVRed a lot of my son’s favorite cartoons. Even though we turned our service off, everything on our DVR is saved (after all, it’s just a hard drive like in your computer.) We can access everything saved on it.

We turned our service off the beginning of December, so when people started asking what to get my son for Christmas, I suggested several of his favorite cartoon series’ on DVDs. He has a sufficient library of things to watch and I don’t have to worry about him being inundated with commercials for the hottest toy, junk food or another TV show I don’t want him watching.

I still watch all my favorite shows on the network websites. I watch Grey’s Anatomy on and House on Yes, I do have wait before it’s posted – some shows are posted the next day others run a week behind. Either way, it’s not the end of the world to have to wait. My co-worker that watches Grey’s Anatomy knows not to come in on Fridays talking about it – we have our recap conversation on Mondays.

One word: Netflix. For around $10 a month we have access to hundreds (maybe even thousands) of movies and TV shows. Eight seasons of 24 for me and every Thomas the Train movie my son could ever want to watch. We can stream movies and shows instantly through our Xbox or computer. Ten dollars versus $75 – much more reasonable expense!

HULU Plus– For $7.99 a month we have access to all the shows on the major networks as well as our favorite shows on networks like A&E and USA.  Plus hundreds of shows that are off the air that we can catch up on!

So what about those things you need TV for, like news or weather reports?
News – is readily available online. I can even still watch my favorite news show, The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News site. I follow Fox News on Facebook so I get news updates. Plus, I listen to a lot of talk radio. I get the Sunday and Wednesday newspapers as well as a free local paper on Thursday so I know what’s going on locally also.
Weather – I use the Weather Channel Desktop when I need to check the coming forecast. I also have weather on my phone. Plus, just about every radio station does the weather every 15 minutes in the morning so I get the days high and chance of rain – which is all I really need so I know how to dress.
So just because we don’t have cable – we haven’t completely cut ourselves off from civilization. It is possible to live without TV. And even with all the other ways to watch TV, now that we don’t have satellite service we watch a lot less TV. It’s not on just for background noise anymore which is peaceful and I don’t get sucked in to watching a Saturday afternoon marathon of a bad reality series when I should be doing something else.