Of course, the best choice is to forgo cable, but with television being a favorite of millions, cable or Satellite service may just be something you want to fit into your budget. As long as you are careful, cable or satellite service can be an affordable luxury. Or maybe you really need to cut back and give up cable...we can help with that too. Learn how to save money on your cable or satellite bill.
- Switch and Shop online- If you are going to switch from cable to satellite, or vice-versa, do your homework. There's more than one deal out there, and this is especially true for satellite. You can buy direct from the company at dishnetwork.com or directv.com, or you can buy from third party dealers. Sometimes, the third party dealers have a better promotion. Shop around first!
- Promotions- Did you know that companies are often willing to extend their promotions to existing customers? If you see a cool deal, just go ahead and ask your provider if they could extend the service to you. Check their special offers webpages, and then give them a call.
- Call your company- Theres no harm in asking how you can reduce your bill. Who knows, maybe they will let you in on a few industry secrets just to keep your customer loyalty. See our article, Lower your Cable bill with a phone call for more info.
- Bundle plans- A number of companies offer services for around one hundred dollars a month where you can bundle your cable, Internet and home phone service, which will save you money on all three services. Be sure to do all the math to ensure it's really a deal.
- Avoid 500 channel syndrome- Is it really a deal to get 100 extra channels that you will probably just skip though for an extra ten bucks a month? Do you really want to watch a whole channel dedicated to the history of dinosaurs?
- Skip pay per view- Remember, it only stays on your TV for 24 hours, and it's $4-10. Go with a modern rental service like Redbox that lets you rent the movie on a DVD for only $1.00 per day (Just remember to take it back!) Their kiosks can be found at Wal-Marts, Walgreens' and other retailers nationwide. It's not as convenient, but it's much cheaper.
- Get box sets of your favorite shows- Love Big Love, or some other specialty series? Is it the only reason you pay for that channel? Then buy two entire seasons, in a DVD box set, for only $50 and keep it forever, rather than buying a subscription to a specialty channel, which easily costs over $180.00 annually.
Going without cable
- Try using broadcast HDTV - There are a ton of free broadcast channels that air popular cable shows like The L Word (HBO), Family Guy (Adult Swim for Cartoon Network) as well as children's shows like Blue's Clues (Nick Jr.) and Hannah Montana (Disney).
- Watch TV on your PC - Hulu.com has full length episodes, free, of most of the NBC shows. Fancast.com , from Comcast, also carries a wide variety of free full length episodes as well. Also check out Joost.com and Veoh.com. And, if you happen to be a Netflix.com member, you can watch movies on your PC for no extra charge beyond the membership fee.
- Read more! Americans just don't read books like they used to. According to the Associated Press, 1 in 4 Americans didn't read a single book in a year's time. A book usually takes 8-12 hours to read, so if you hunt for bargain books, or use the library, it's cheaper entertainment than television.