Hello again, savvy savers! For this weeks Thrifty Thursday post, I want to share one of the easiest ways I have found in the last year to save on my families monthly budget, and that is by having cut my cable and home phone services last month, for good! You may wonder why the sudden decision?
Well, here is the long and short of the decision:
- I called Comcast Customer Service several weeks ago, to scale back my service package, as my family and I did not watch most of the channels, and it had been months since I used the home phone service.
- Customer Service was very uncooperative.
- I was placed on hold for 76 minutes.
- The representative returned to the phone and said that they were not going to let me lower my plan, and they were doing me a favor in doing so.
- In that moment, I spoke up and said, CUT IT OFF!
So, within hours I had pulled cords, taken off adapters, removed boxes, and had returned all of the companies apparatuses pertaining to the home phone and cable to the local Comcast office. On the way home from this errand, it dawned on me… I needed to tell my husband when he got home, and how would I do that? How shall I tell him that the Saints and the Whodat Nation will no longer be on television? Simple, we would be saving money, and lot of it!
So, in the four hours until my husband came home, here’s the plan I came up with:
- By cutting cable and home phone service, I would save $1344.00 annually.
- I would be able to watch as many of the shows my family enjoyed, minus sports channels using Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime; I am already a member of all three.
- I would be able to put the money I would spent on cable to pay for season tickets to my husbands Alma Mater, the University of Southern Mississippi.
- I would no longer pay for channels we didn’t watch.
The plan sounded rock solid! My husband took it rather well, and after a month of cutting my services here are some other insights I can share with how anyone can make this switch as well:
1. Investigate internet service providers:
When I made the rash decision to drop my cable bundled deal, I did not take into consideration that my internet plan would now cost me more per month; my monthly internet plan went from $45.00 per month to $58.00 a month. As I work from home, the internet, unlike a home phone, is a necessity (we have cell service for our main phone services), and though I am looking at other options, currently Comcast is my only service provider in my area, and so I am okay with the charge. If you live in an area with several providers, please call your current company’s customer retention department and try to make a deal!
2. Choose a video streaming service:
We were already members of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. We chose to retain all services, especially Amazon Prime because along with video streaming, free two-day shipping, and the Kindle Lending Library were also included in the $79 yearly fee; we pay for our Amazon Prime membership out of our annual tax returns, and so it doesn’t come out of the monthly pot, per se. As for my Netflix and Hulu Plus services, I use Ibotta, Checkout51, and Shopmium (using code GMYMMYPT) to pay for these services, and so there are no additional costs out-of-pocket for our family, as well; if you are like me and have a small but loyal following list of weekly or seasonal shows, than go with Hulu Plus, it’s been my favorite go-to for the past season!
3. Meet My New Friend, Roku:
Roku is a small, plug-and-play device which allows users to stream videos via your subscription service straight to your TV; the service also includes additional free programming as well. We purchased our unit through Amazon, using earned survey gift cards, for only $48.00, refurbished! This service is really awesome! The unit I purchased is here! Our Roku is currently being used with our living room television, as we moved our PS4 to our den, as the gaming system already came prepared with downloadable streaming apps; for those without gaming systems, Roku is the way to go!
4. SlingTV: You can also sign-up for Slingtv, a service which allows you to watch premium channels, as soon at ten minutes after the start of a program in live time. Also, when you pre-pay for three months of tv service (packages start at $10.00/month for cable channel services, with the option to add a la carte channel packs, you will receive a free Roku stick!
5. Get a Leaf for local/sports channels:
I have also been able to purchase the Mohu Leaf, a flat antenna mounted to our TV in our den, which picks up local stations in HD; this feature gave my husband sports channels, which is a plus! I used money from surveys to purchase a unit for $42.00!
6. Re-Think How You Watch TV:
Consider this, by cutting cable you may be cutting your package and the way you watch programming, but that just means you need to think outside the box. My family watches the same shows as before, just a day, perhaps two days later, for upper channels, and using the Leaf, the same as before. Also, I have began to explore programming online that I had not seen before, such as the Youtube Wigs series, watching shows using network apps such as Lifetime, MTV, Bravo, and the like! I now watch what I want to watch, as opposed to simple channel surfing! Its a win-win!
So, this past month I was able to save $112.00 a month, nearly three-quarters of my grocery budget! Was the process simple, no. Was the way we now watch tv easy, yes! Do I recommend this switch, absolutely! So, that’s just a new way I now save money at home!
Here’s to saving!