Tips to Saving Money on TV

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

My wife and I have no consumer debt, but we do have a mortgage, so I am always looking at ways to keep expenses down.  For example, I will hang dry my clothes as opposed to drying them in a dryer, because the dryer accrues electricity costs.  My little drying rack is free!  Another example would be dropping cable to avoid the high monthly cost.  

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my wife and I moved into our house, and long before we moved into the house, I talked to my wife about forgoing cable so we can use that money to invest or pay extra on the mortgage.  We both agreed to this and agreed to purchase a Netflix subscription, so we could still watch movies and TV series.  This worked perfectly and we have been using Netflix for two weeks.  So, I wanted to give you some strategies of how to still watch TV without cable.

Strategy 1:

I am a big fan of College Football, so the biggest thing that I wanted to be able to do was still be able to watch football.  I knew that I would need ABC, CBS and FOX to watch these games.  Therefore, I ordered a HD antenna with a radius of 50 miles.  Using this antenna, I get all 4 major stations and can enjoy any college football game on any of these channels.  The reception is pretty great on all stations most of the time (only CBS has difficulty sometimes).  I purchased our antenna on for $39.99.  Much less than purchasing cable for even just one month.

Strategy 2:

Of course, for the die hard college football fan, the local channels is not enough.  There must be a cheaper way to watch college football with out spending a fortune on cable monthly.  Well that company is called Sling TV.  There is no cable box needed.  All of their channels are streamed over the internet.  Sling TV charges $20 a month for the subscription to watch TV shows over the internet using their AP.  Sling TV has the following channels available:

As you can see above, you get a decent amount of channels using this option, including ESPN and ESPN2 (where a majority of college football games can be found).  To me, this is one of the best deals in TV, especially since I can still get to watch lots of College Football games.  This is not all that Sling TV offers.  You can also add on other channels, and we did this, because we wanted to have the ability to watch more college football games.  So, we added the sports package for an extra $5.  I took a screen shot of the extra options from the website:

As you can see, there are lots of possibilities for adding on channels.  Personally, the channel options that are available from the $20 basic option is enough for me, since I don't watch much TV.  The only TV that I really watch is college football.  So, we did splurge for the $5 per month sports package.  I would not go on adding a bunch of extra channels, because you won't be saving that much in the end.

Another huge benefit of Sling TV is that there is no long term contract.  This is great, because I could drop Sling TV during the spring and summer and then pay the $25 a month for 5 months and then cancel in February.  That's a total of $125 for 5 months of TV, which is about the cost of one month of cable and two boxes (when we had cable).

Sling TV has another huge benefit.  There are stored shows from each channel in the AP.  Therefore, there is no need for DVR, because all of the shows on the channel have bank of shows available.  This is a pretty cool feature and I believe lots of people will enjoy the ability to watch shows from the past.

Strategy 3:

Watch less TV!  This is the best thing for your mind and body.  We are meant to be active and we are not meant to sit in front of TV for hours upon hours doing nothing but watch TV.  Get out and enjoy nature.  Go for a bike ride.  Life's too short to just sit around watching TV.

I have continued to use all of these strategies.  I try not to watch a lot of TV and I listen to podcasts or music instead while I work on things around the house.  I also have found that an antenna, sling TV and Netflix are perfect for my wife and I's TV watching needs.  Hope this helps anyone trying to dump their cable company and want to watch TV in an affordable manner.