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Want to Save Money? Ditch Cable

Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

I’ll give you a little bit of backstory about how I’m a madwoman that enjoys paying hundreds for nothing. I moved into my house at the end of 2011. I didn’t have tv for months until finally I broke down and got DirecTV. It was dirt cheap to begin with because that’s how they get you! I was happily going along paying $30 a month for a while, then I was all of a sudden paying $180. So what did I do? I paid it. For a while.

And by a while I mean like two years. And then I called them and said hey, I’m going to switch unless you lower my bill. They told me they couldn’t do anything, and I switched to cable. I was able to get my internet and tv (and phone which I paid for without ever even owning a house phone) for the $180.

Once I called to cancel, DirecTV was more than willing to lower my bill. They had their shot and blew it, I was definitely switching. In fact three years later it still steams me!

Anyways, back to cable. I had cable for about two years when lo and behold, my payment amount increases to $250. We’ve already gone over the me being pretty cheap thing, so you can imagine I just about fell out of my chair when I opened the bill.

I immediately started looking for alternatives. DirecTV was out because I was still carrying that grudge against them. And honestly I think it’s crazy companies screw us over because it’s a hassle to switch. It irks me to say the least. And I’m not about to be apart of their nonsense.

Then it hit me. Why do I need to pay so much for live tv? I barely watch it. I spend most of my time on Netflix or Hulu and only used the cable for two things:

1) Mets and Jets games. Because a girl needs to watch her teams and suffer.

2) To watch ID (Investigation Discovery) before bed. I don’t know what it is but true crime is my favorite thing to fall asleep to. 

The true crime wasn’t an issue. The Netflix options may not be as good as ID but they would do. Same premise and besides, I’m only falling asleep to it anyways.

However, not being able to watch Mets or Jets games would be an issue. My boyfriend is also a fan of the same teams. We’re big fans. Not casual by any means and certainly not willing to give up access to games. I considered MLB.TV, because if I’m being honest the Mets are more important to me than the Jets (sorry Gang Green). If I had to ditch one, it’s the Jets. I mean they’re equally as bad for the most part but baseball has always been and will always be my great love. Good news (or bad) for me, Mike feels the same way.

MLB.TV starts at $91.99 a year. Not awful but it only solved one of my problems. Jets games would be a thing of the past. I was willing to do it but I wouldn’t do it without a fight. My next move was to see what else was out there. I had no idea going into all of this, but there are several alternatives to expensive cable packages.

Here are the alternatives options I found and considered:

Netflix - I love Netflix. It didn’t solve our sports problems but it does make up the majority of our tv watching. Besides old favorites like Friends, Netflix has a ton of original programming that’s just downright good. Full disclosure - we’re currently in the middle of a Grace & Frankie marathon and I’m in love with Netflix for making the show. I also strongly recommend Love Sick, American Vandal and 13 Reasons Why. All. So. Good. Best of all, Netflix starts at only $8.99 a month.

Hulu - If Netflix isn’t on in my house, it’s a safe bet Hulu is. Hulu is a great way to catch up on all the current shows that you might miss by saying goodbye to live tv. Additionally, Hulu offers originals such as the Handmaid's Tale and 11.22.63. A regular Hulu account is $7.99 a month. But, Hulu has a second option! Hulu offers live tv for $39.99 a month!

Hulu + Live TV included all of the sports channels that we had wanted and since we liked Hulu to begin with, we made the switch. Check out the available channels in your area here.

Amazon Prime Video - I’m not an Amazon Prime subscriber. I’m too cheap to pay for the membership since I don’t order much from Amazon. However, my dad is. And he raves about Amazon Prime Video. They have a good selection of old favorites and original content. I haven’t watched any of the original content but my dad has tried to push the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Z: The Beginning of Everything like crazy on me. But that’s because my dad knows me and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has ties to my hometown which I would obviously dig and I’ve been slightly in love and most definitely fascinated with Fitzgerald since I was forced to read the Great Gatsby in eleventh grade. So even though I haven’t seen them yet, Amazon is pretty ok in my book. And since my dad gives his seal of approval - I know it’s a solid choice. At $119 a year, the price sure beats the heck out of cable too.

Crackle - I first heard about Crackle back in 2015 because I was spending a lot of time away from home and trying to entertain myself. Crackle is owned by Sony and is 100% free streaming. And let me tell you, my how the game has changed since I spent hours watching Blue Mountain State. There are some way better options on Crackle now days like the Bourne Ultimatum, Seinfeld and Superbad. Crackle is also now offering original content. I haven’t watched any of it yet but Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser is definitely on my to watch list.

Sling - Sling offers live tv at perhaps the best price. Sling offers two different packages at $25 a month so you can pick which one works best for you. Best of all, they include channels you might actually watch like ID, ESPN, HGTV and TBS. The upgraded package is $40 a month and gives you all of the available channels. The downside to Sling is a lack of sports channels. We wouldn’t be able to watch Mets games.

DirecTV Now - I know, I know. I said I wouldn’t ever go back but I did consider DirecTV’s live streaming service for a little while before I decided on Hulu + Live TV. DirecTV offers a few different packages (including ID!) ranging from $40-$75 per month. Even the most basic package comes with over 65 channels. And they offer the oh so important sports channels. Ultimately, my grudge and a sweet Swagbucks cash back offer swayed me to go with Hulu. But DirecTV Now does offer a DVR option which is nice.

If you want more options or you’re craving an in-depth review of each, check out TechHive’s review of all streaming services. Whatever you choose to do, I’m sure you’ll be happy with all the money you save by getting rid of that ginormous cable bill.

I know I made the right choice. For how little we watch live tv, I was certainly willing to make some sacrifices!

Have you considered switching over to just streaming options? Have you already? Are you happy you cut the cord or do you miss cable?
Broke Dolly
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  1. I was so amazed by how companies can really screw people over! I knew about the cables, but didn't realise how crazy it was! No joke, I could probably use those money to buy 1-2 weeks of grocery! I hope you find an alternative soon! Thank you for your great post!

    1. It's totally crazy isn't it?! I switched to Hulu + Live TV and I'm very happy with it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something different. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. We didn't have cable for years, the broadcast channels have their own websites and we just watched shows online. Recently we went back to cable but only because if we added it to our purchase of the internet our bill was $10 less.

    1. Watching shows online is a great idea! It's crazy it's less money to add services isn't it? That's how I ended up with a home phone line and no home phone!

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