My daughter had a decidedly short list for Santa this year. I would like to think that it is because my husband and I have instilled an impeccable sense of giving in her. Considering that this is the child who once decided to give those less fortunate than her three used crayons in a crumbled snack bag, Tony and I won’t be crowning ourselves parents-of-the-year just yet.
However, I think one of the big reasons that her list so sparse is because we don’t have cable. She sees very few commercials. When we decided to quit cable last January, I knew that we would be saving money on our monthly bills, but I didn’t anticipate that we would be saving money at Christmas too.
Yes, almost a year ago we became one of the growing number of people who have cut the cord, and we haven’t missed it. At all. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t quit because were shunning this form of entertainment. No. In fact, we love television. Absolutely adore it.
Maybe I shouldn’t say that. Maybe I should tell you that after a long day what I really like to do is read Nietzsche or make handmade soap, but lying is bad.
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I am actually watching TV as I write this. Well, the TV is on. I really do have a problem.
We quit cable for one reason. The dollar, dollar bills, y’all. Cable is expensive. I was paying well over $100 per month for cable through AT&T UVerse.
Here’s how we cut the cord and lived to binge watch another day:
Antenna: One-time purchase of $29.99. It is a small, flat rectangle that hides behind our TV. The antenna takes care of all local channels including: NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX.
Google Chromecast: One-time purchase of $29.99. This is a thumb-size streaming device that fits into the TV’s HDMI port and is easy to transfer from one TV to another. Plus, it has a whole slew of available apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Google Play.
Netflix: Monthly charge of $8.99. Is there anything better than a rainy-day Netflix binge? It has movies, the complete series of many shows and fantastic original programming. I could write sonnets about how much I love “Orange is the New Black.”
Hulu Plus: Monthly charge of $7.99. Hulu Plus has a couple of minor irritations. There are some shows, like “Jane the Virgin,” that it only shows partial seasons of and/or random episodes. However, Hulu makes your foray back to social media quicker by showing buzz-worthy shows like “Scandal” the next day.
Amazon Prime: Annual charge of $99. I’ve had Amazon Prime for years because I loathe shopping and adore free two-day delivery. It also has a lot of movies, full series and original shows that are included in your annual membership. “Veronica Mars”… enough said.
HBO Go: Uh, borrowed. OK, cutting the cord is becoming more prevalent, but everyone knows someone who has HBO through a cable provider. If they’re not your parents, bake them a cake or take them a bottle of wine and ask them to slide that password right over.
And, although this is yet another thing that I’m not supposed to readily admit, I sometimes let my daughter watch TV/have screen time/whatever you want to call it so that I can do stuff like write this article, wrap Christmas presents, cook dinner, etc. She hasn’t missed TV at all either. She’s found many of the shows she liked to watch on cable and discovered some classics from my day - He-Man and Jem and the Holograms.
After cutting the cord…
… We pay around $25 per month (if you spread out the Amazon Prime cost on a monthly basis). That means that we are saving about $75 per month.