When my husband and I first talked about getting rid of our cable, it was in more of a “Wouldn’t it be great if we were the type of people that could go without TV?” way. In other words, it was a nice idea in theory, but in practice? Um, heck no. Our kids would divorce us. Then we found out that we had no choice.
When we moved to our new house recently, about ten miles out of town, we entered satellite territory. Our options were either to pay obscene amounts of money each month to hang on to the TV we were accustomed to, or do without. We deliberated, but it was a credit check that actually decided the matter for us. Because of our cruddy credit score, we would have needed to fork over nearly a thousand dollars as a deposit to get satellite TV going, not to mention the fact that satellite TV service isn’t cheap and somewhat unreliable. Seriously: a bird poops on your dish, and boom – there goes your HGTV.
Luckily, we found other alternatives for free and cheap TV instead. If you’ve got a ready to cut the cable cord or make a frisbee out of your satellite dish, check out some of these cable alternatives:
Hulu is a free site that offers a lot of the current shows we were missing out on. I didn’t like the idea of sitting in front of the computer to watch TV, but my husband ran a simple cable from the laptop to the TV, and now we watch it on that. They offer everything from classics like Mary Tyler Moore and Bewitched to your favorite Family Guy episodes, all for free.
We watch some of our favorite TV shows, like the ones on Syfy and Fox, on the network websites. The shows are usually uploaded on to the websites within a day or two of their original air date. My husband especially likes this for the newer episodes of the TV shows he craves, like Hell’s Kitchen.
For $9.95 a month, we rent one movie at a time and have access to the Netflix collection of free movies and TV. This is cool, because new movies ship quickly (within a couple of days) and while we wait, we get all the older releases we want with the Watch Instantly feature. I also really like Netflix because they offer some great, all-but-forgotten offbeat 1980’s TV shows. For example, my son loves the same cheesy Super Mario Brothers Super Show! that I remember from the good old days of Saturday morning cartoons.
So even though we can’t get cable or satellite TV, my family doesn’t feel deprived. With a little creativity and about $10.00 a month, ultimately, we have a bigger selection of TV shows and movies than cable could offer us. Even better, we don’t have to pay for the cable cow – we’re getting the milk for free.