Watching the hottest shows on television these days can be pricey; getting access to subscription-based channels like HBO and Showtime can easily cost you over $150 per month. My regular cable bill alone runs us over $700 a year – which is insane when computed in an annualized cost!
Savvy marketing has persuaded households to believe that cable is a necessity, along the lines of water and electricity, but the truth is that cable is a luxury.
If you’re a frugal person looking to cut down on your expenses, you should definitely consider cutting the cable cord. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of the high-quality television shows out there; there are plenty of ways to watch excellent television programs for free or at a very low cost.
Your first option is to switch to some sort of online service that allows you to stream television shows.
One popular service is Hulu Plus. For $7.99 a month, Hulu Plus offers unlimited instant streaming; you’ll have access to hundreds of shows that have aired on networks and channels such as ABC, ABC Family, National Geographic Channel, MTV, PBS, NBC, Syfy, Fox, FX, the CW, Nickelodeon, TV Land and Comedy Central.
Netflix also offers unlimited instant streaming for $7.99; through Netflix, you’ll have access to shows that have aired on networks and channels such as Fox, NBC, the Travel Channel, HBO, UPN, the WB, BBC, CBS, AMC, IFC and AMC. Other well-known streaming services include Amazon Prime and iTunes.
Sometimes, there’s no need to pay for a streaming service since the television show that you’re interested in watching is available for free on the network’s website.
For example, networks and channels such as USA, TBS, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS and A&E have many of their television shows available for viewing on their websites. The most current episodes may take a week or more to show up on the website, but you’ll find plenty of older episodes available for viewing.
Another free option is to explore YouTube. You never know what television shows you’ll find on YouTube, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Streaming Device and Antennaes
Another option is to purchase a device that gives you access to free or low cost subscription services. For example, if you buy a Roku box, in addition to being able to stream content straight to your television, you can access several free channels.
You should also consider purchasing an antenna; you’d be surprised to find how many channels you may be able to access through a device that will only cost you around $50 to $100 (one-time), which is cheap when you consider that pays for itself in just one month of the average cable programming costs.