If you’re looking to reduce your utility bills to save money, start by taking a look at what you pay every month for traditional cable or satellite TV. A recent study found the average monthly spending for traditional pay TV service is over $103, costing many over $1,230 a year.
#1: Get an antenna for free over-the-air TV
You will not only get the highest resolution possible with the best picture quality ever but you will save money with this simple add-on to your TV. Buying an antenna for $10 to $40 will give you a lifetime of free access to your favorite local channels in HD. Plug in your address at AntennaWeb.org to see which type of antenna is best for your needs.
When we entered an address on the website, it also listed the channels that will be available, such as the local ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and independent stations.
#2: Add one or more of these streaming services
Even if you get all of them, you’d be paying less than $50 a month!
Sling: For $20 a month, stream more than 30 channels, including ESPN, CNN, HGTV, Disney and Comedy Central. You can try out the service free for seven days. There are no long-term contracts.
Netflix: Watch thousands of TV shows, movies and documentaries for as low as $7.99 a month. The standard plan, which is available in high definition, will set you back $10.99 a month. New customers get the first month free.
Hulu: Although it may seem similar to Netflix, Hulu offers a lot of TV shows, including episodes from the current season available the next day. The limited commercials plan is currently $5.99 a month for the first year, down from $7.99. You can pay $11.99 per month for a plan with no commercials. Hulu also has a free trial period.
Amazon Video: Amazon Prime members probably signed up for the free two-day shipping, but you might as well take advantage of the TV shows and movies included with your membership. Like Netflix, Amazon is putting a lot of focus on expanding its lineup of original content. Amazon Prime costs $99 a year or $10.99 a month.
One of the best options out there was the DirecTV Now streaming service with over 100+ channels being offered in some cases for $35 a month. Many ended up canceling because there were just too many glitches. Now the service has improved since last year. DirectTV now has more channels, more supported apps, and everything seems to work. It’s probably the best option for anyone who wants USA and Disney channels since Sling TV would be $40 vs $35 (and still with fewer channels). Sling is good for those who don’t require much, but still want some form of cable TV.
According to one DirectTV customer: “If you want HBO, DirecTV Now is a no brainer at just $5 as an add on (plus I got it free for a year). As long as it’s $5, the value is better than Netflix, and that says a lot.”
If you’re not sure which of these plans will be best for you, head to Untangle.tv and let the free website do the work! Enter your favorite shows, channels and sports — and it’ll build you a custom package for a low price.
More things you can do to reduce your cable bill is to call and negotiate using tips online on how to deal with your cable company. Normally when you call to cancel to Time Warner, Cox Cable, Spectrum, Charter, or any other cable company they will find you a promotion to reduce your monthly fee or at least give you free HBO and Showtime. There are also apps you can use to negotiate your cable rates such as the Trim App.