How To Stream Media/Internet To Your TV – For Free! [Plus: Chromecast Giveaway]

by J. Money - [Edit]

love hate tv

[This is part 2 of our 3-part series on how to save money with your cable, phone, and internet bills (while also FAILING at the same time). You can find part #1 here.]

We’re back! Last article we went over how to get home phone service for practically free by using Ooma, and this time around we’re tackling the heated Cable/TV part of the telecom trifecta. And just like with our home phone line, I unfortunately screwed myself multiple ways in this department too – one of which out of frugality itself!

(See that big honkin’ TV up there? That’s ours. It’s large, paid off, 10 years old and absolutely beautiful. Except when it’s not and your hacking attempts go to $hit. Sigh…)

Let’s start with why we were messing around with TV in the first place

Plain and simple, we’re tired of paying $170+ for cable/internet/phone every month. We still want all three parts in our lives (notice the “want” there and not “need” – except for the internet), we just know there are cheaper ways to go about it if you harness creativity and newfangled technology. So just like with our cell phones last month, and car insurance and home phone service this month, we set out to tackle the TV portion of this outrageous bill all in the spirit of challenging everything.

And why do we still want cable TV? Well, I’ll let my wife answer that part:

“Do you know what it’s like to grow up as a kid without cable? You can’t take it away from me now that I have it – I love it! And you can tell your blogging friends that too.”

That’s reason #1 :) Obviously outside of my control, unless I fancy myself a divorce. Reason #2 is that I too enjoy a handful of the offerings TV and premium channels serve up. I can live without them no doubt about it, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy my reality shows and HBO/Showtimes to catch some of my favorite series. Shows like Game of Thrones, Homeland, True Detective, The Leftovers, and more recently Ray Donovan. My wife calls him my current man crush, and I wouldn’t totally disagree with her – Liev Schreiber is a bad ass now! Like the complete opposite of Cotton Weary from back in the old Scream days, haha…

Anyways, the point is we’re not ready to get rid of TV’s luxuries all the way yet, but we are wanting to scale back and save some dough in the process.

Here was the plan on how to accomplish this

First, find a way to get Netflix/internet onto our TV like all other modern rock stars. I get the appeal of watching it on your laptop, but after 12 hour days behind a computer it’s the last thing I want do when unwinding. The second step – call up Verizon and simply ask them to cut channels out and lower our bill (Hah! As if it were that easy).

We figured if we could find a way to substitute our shows/movies over time by using the internet instead of Verizon, we’d save a nice stash of cash like many of you are already doing and have the best of both worlds going on. Then, maybe, just maybe, my wife would be singing a new tune with those dollars in her pockets?

How to stream internet to your TV, way #1

So off I went… I looked on Amazon for ways to hook up my TV to the internet, and came across a slew of options. There was Roku, Sungale, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and a ton more which I eventually got inundated with until I noticed that many Blu-ray DVD players now come with built-in wifi? Who knew?!

I had never heard of this as we never watch DVDs, but if you can stream the internet on it at the same time while saving that money I was ’bout it ’bout it. And since I thought you needed a DVD player to watch Netflix, it killed two birds with one stone. (That was mistake #1 – you don’t need a DVD player necessarily – you can STREAM shows/movies through Netflix too! Oops.)

So I looked around and landed on the highly rated Sony BDP-S5100 3D Blu-ray that had built in Wi-Fi for $87.03 – on sale from $129.99 which it’s currently at. That was mistake #2. Not because it’s a bad product or anything (the reviews are great!), but because IT DIDN’T WORK WITH OUR TV! I just assumed it would because why wouldn’t it, right?

Here’s our TV again in case you mysteriously missed it the first time:

large old tv

It’s large as $hit (60-something inches!) and rocks HDTV surprisingly enough, but it never occurred to me that it had long met it’s prime w/ technology. I of course knew it was ancient, but who looks at the  ports in the back when buying this stuff? How would I know it didn’t have the much-required HDMI hookup that’s apparently quite important with streaming and internet badassity? I never thought twice, and because so paid a hefty penalty in both time and money w/ this lame hacking attempt of mine.

Then there was mistake #3: waiting two months to open it up and try connecting everything. Meaning, I didn’t realize it wasn’t compatible until it was way too late to return it, thereby losing a cool $87 on the spot, ugh… Of course, I can still hawk it and probably recoup most of that money since it retails for $130 again, but still. Moving in the opposite direction here!

But wait for mistakes #4, #5, #6, and #7 first: I thought I could outwhit myself and find a way to jigger around different cords and contraptions to see if that would save this debacle. So first bought a coaxial cable to see if that would do the trick (the Blu-ray and my TV both had slots for it) but of course that didn’t work – you need HDMI! Then I picked up an HDMI cord (getting closer) and tried plugging that into the DVD player which also connected the cable box, which then connected to the TV. That’s gotta work right? Nope.

sony blu-ray dvd cords

I should have stopped there and ate the loss, but unfortunately I went on… I wondered if you could somehow up convert the old stuff into the new stuff, and came across a handful of reviews saying you could by buying a converter doo-hicky for those wanting to use new equipment with old TVS (like DVD players). Exactly what I needed! So I tried my hand at that dropping another $25 to get the well-rated Mini HDMI to 3RCA Composite AV Converter – along with the appropriate cables (another $5), and off I went to convert.

That didn’t work either. Though, I did muster up some resemblance of a conversion as I could at least then program the DVD player into the TV screen, however it was all pretty blurry and I managed to shrink the viewing size of the TV in half too. Damn.

At the end of the day month, I was out another $50 and chalk full of cords and contraptions. So if anybody needs any…?

And here is what we’ve learned so far:

  1. Do you research before picking up electronics!
  2. Don’t wait for forever to see if it works
  3. Hold onto your patient pants and don’t go dumping more money into something with a tiny % of working. Similar to gambling when you keep waiting for that next big chance to recoup your losses!

This brings us to (the cheapest) way to stream stuff to your TV :)

chromecast tv

The kind folks at Republic Wireless mentioned they were having a deal going on where all new purchasers of their phones/service would be getting a free Google Chromecast thingamajig, and they asked if I wanted to try one out and then do a giveaway (Unfortunately the offer is now over BUT they say it’ll probably happen again – so watch for it :)).

At first I didn’t know what the hell it was, so I Googled it and found this:

“Chromecast is a thumb-sized media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV. Simply use an Android phone, tablet, iPhone®, iPad®, Mac or Windows laptop, or Chromebook to cast your favorite entertainment and apps right to the big screen.”

“Hell yeah!” I said. “I’ve been looking for a new way to stream internet on my TV cuz my dang Blu-ray sucks balls. Send me one to test and then I’ll give one away too!”

But I quickly notice the “plugs into the HDMI port” part again, ugh… Yet another time my awesome TV screws me! Why can’t I just be like everyone else and splurge on a huge (new) flat screen?? It would solve all my problems!!! :)

I once again tried attaching it to my frankenstein concoction of cords I’ve since built in the hopes of capturing that miracle all gamblers hold on to, but yet again no dice (see what I did there?). It then occurred to me that – crap! I actually HAD a newer TV I picked up while pimping out my blogger lair a few years back! Maybe I could try that?? It’s 1/10th of the size, but hell – I might actually be able to pull something off for once!

I ran upstairs to our master bedroom where it sits all alone waiting for action (we never use it), plugged it in to that sexy HDMI port that I’d never had the pleasure of seeing before, downloaded the app onto my smartphone (Android Moto X) And BAM! I was watching episode after episode of Elmo’s World with my baby boy in no time. Best feeling EVER.

I had the internet in the palm of my hand/TV, baby! Literally! ;)

chromecast

And guess what? It only costs $35.00. A one-time purchase for forever streaming of internet/tv/media etc on your TV w/out any monthly fees – huzzah! And you can pick it up in all sorts of stores including directly from Google, and of course The Amazon. Where it’s been reviewed over 20,000 times and has a total of 4 out of 5 stars.

Here’s more about Google Chromecast:

  • Supports Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Plex, MLB.TV, ESPN, Crunchyroll, MLS, Crackle, Rdio, Vevo, Flixster and Google Play Movies and Music mobile apps as well as select content through Chrome browser, works with recommended modem
  • Box includes Chromecast, HDMI extender, USB power cable, and power adapter. No remote needed. Chromecast works with devices you already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows.
  • Easy setup: Plug into any HDTV and connect to your home WiFi network
  • Works with Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows
  • Stream online video, music to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop; Available for Windows computers running Windows 7 or higher

That was my favorite part: Using your cell phone as a remote :)

So, where does this leave us within the TV money saving world?

Well, for you guys tons of options if you don’t rock an old-ass TV like we do ;) You can go the Blu-ray route if that’s your bag, the Roku route (didn’t look into much but I know some of you readers use and love them), or the cheaper – and more effective route, in my opinion – the Chromecast way. For a whopping $35 bucks. Then you work yourself away from cable and instant savings!

As for us, we’re still up a creek without a paddle. We could move our smaller TV down into our main room if we wanted to have access to everything, but that kinda sucks (first world problems, right?). Orrrrr we can cave in and pick up a new sexy TV to then stream everything to and slowly de-tach ourselves from Cable, but pending a change in the Mrs’ seas, that’s pretty out of the equation right now too. Though, I must admit it would be nice to free up some space up in here and replace that honkin’ thing right up on the wall a la Cribs style! I totally get why normal people do that now – they don’t want to be the next Jay-Z, they just like room to walk around their family room! ;)

So what’s the deal in the end? Well, you’ll have to wait for the last part of our series to drop next week and find out (sorry!). This post has gotten out of control long,  haha… Almost as worse as our Ask J$ Anything Day, which was actually pretty fun! You should check it out when you get a chance – over 50 questions asked and answered – some really good ones too (like how much I made in 2013).

Now onto the Chromecast giveaway!!!

chromecast tv phoneFor all of you who made it this far and haven’t died of boredom yet, your chance at a reward is close. Answer this question below and one of you’ll win a Google Chromecast courtesy of Republic Wireless:

What’s one way you’re currently saving money with TV? Or on your phone/cable/internet bills?

Drop your answer in the comments and we’ll randomly select a winner next Friday, Sep 5th.

GOOD LUCK! And thanks for reading all of this – and my blog for that matter :) I wouldn’t be here without you guys. Have a save (and non-expensive) Labor Day weekend out there – we’ll see ya when you’re back on Monday…. Or is it Tuesday? My boss never gives me any day offs anymore…

UPDATE: Giveaway Over. Thanks for participating everyone! I wish I could give y’all a free Chromecast but unfortunately I only have one :( At least they only cost $35! So don’t let it stop you from testing it out if you think it’ll save you money in the end :) And now, the winner of this super cool and sleek Chromecast is…. bum bum bum… Nicole A! Congrats! Hope you have some fun with it!

UPDATE 2: You can find the last part of our 3 part series here.
——
Big thanks again to Republic Wireless for hooking us up today. Apparently I learn all my money saving and technology tips directly from you now!

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 223 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsey Gallagher August 29, 2014 at 6:12 am

I’m saving money attempting to bundle and use a slightly cheaper internet plan. Making up for some of that with Netflix.

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2 Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com August 29, 2014 at 8:41 am

Trade Netflix for Hulu with a family member. Ie, you use their hulu and they use your Netflix. It’s a win win and multiple accounts can watch at one time.

Jay

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3 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Hah! Sneaky sneaky!

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4 aly November 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

i canceled 2phones(100 a month) for unlimited everything and now i ride off of wifi for talk such as fb or skype, text google messenger, and data out roaming using freedompop wifihotspot. first 500mb free and device is abput 90 dollars no contract. 2 gb is 14 dollars. tv i use chromecast bluray or a roku (donot get stick breaks easy by bending). and internet still trying to figure out how to get for free unlimited or a big quanity for cheap. i know if you have a kid and low income comcast does for 10 dollars.

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5 Vic April 5, 2016 at 10:47 pm

I finally found a roku with the old style red, white, yellow jack connected to bigger older tv , not digital. Need a digital convertor for it and other smaller TV is digital about 5 channels come in great but the higher I get an antennae the more I get from in a valley in a valley with surrounding trees. I have now # 3 -10 ft fence top slide together poles with three available hookups great for my one bedroom slide outs camper small living style with/fancy camping and the woods and water for etc.I also have DVD and VCR. Oh of course cassette tapes. But I want WiFi and hi speed internet aside from my landline. Someday.my cell courteously from son and daughterinlaw.

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6 Christina R. August 29, 2014 at 6:35 am

We no longer have cable and steen netflix.

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7 Aimee August 29, 2014 at 6:44 am

I’m saving money by piggy backing on my landlord’s services. When they said everything is included they meant EVERYTHING! It doesn’t get me a home phone, but I don’t want or need one.

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8 Dan Wolfe August 15, 2016 at 2:35 am

Those of you looking for a home phone to go with this check net talk we pay $3 a month for everything!!!

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9 Ashley August 29, 2014 at 6:46 am

I’m saving money by not having cable, and letting my employer pay for most of my cell phone bill!

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10 Michael August 29, 2014 at 7:06 am

We just cut the TV out of our package and just have internet saving us $100/month. We have an Apple TV but would like to try some of the other options

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11 Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life August 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

I have definitely been guilty of waiting to try something way too long after I bought it and missing the window of return when it doesn’t work out. Totally sucks.

In terms of tv streaming, I typically plug the hdmi straight from my laptop to the tv, works great.

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12 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Well that’s just too easy ;)

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13 Mike August 29, 2014 at 7:27 am

We have Roku boxes and Amazon Prime. Works great.

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14 Andrew August 29, 2014 at 7:40 am

My parents in NY will never give up on there Cable so i called Verizon Fios using there accuont and was told for 6 bucks a month i can have an extra cablebox added to there account. So i ordered a cable box for 6 bucks a month ( its on there account so i just give my parents the money). I then bought a sling box for 150 on Amazon and hooked it up to the cable box (no TV needed) and stream the television over the internet to my TV in NJ and watch it using the Slingbox APP ( $15) app. All together it is 6 bucks a month and 160 cost down. So ill pay that off in two months and i have all the cable i can handle. .i was paying 145 a month for cable but now just 6 bucks well worth it. So ill pay that off in two months and i have all the cable i can handle. The best part is i can watch the slingbox on any of my tv’s as long as it has the app. PLus if i leave on a trip or go away its there.

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15 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

WOW. Just…. WOW. You my friend are creative!! :)

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16 Zac August 29, 2014 at 7:41 am

We use plex and a chromecast to stream local content, like DVD’s we’ve made into digital copies, and that works great for us.

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17 Pam S August 29, 2014 at 7:43 am

I’m going through this same debate with my husband right now (I could care less about cable but he’s convinced his life will end the moment we disconnect). I’ve been looking at Playon.TV as it seems to be a great alternative to cable. Anyone have any experience with how well it works? For some reason actually giving the alternatives a try is taking more inertia than I’ve got, and with football season here…ugh.

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18 Courtney August 29, 2014 at 11:50 am

I used PlayOn for a while, about a year ago, since CBS doesn’t put their shows on Hulu. It was really buggy and there were some days it didn’t work at all, or kept stopping a show at a certain point and starting over. But maybe they’ve worked out the kinks now!

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19 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for chiming in – I had never heard of PlayOn before :)

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20 Diane August 29, 2014 at 7:50 am

I’ve cut my data amount on my cell phone, saving $30 a month and we purchased a Roku and are experimenting with Netflix. Our plan is to purchase an antenna (they are small now, not on the roof) and can sometimes pick up hd channels. The only thing we can’t find is the golf channel. Goal: install antenna and explore Netflix and if we can go without cable, we will cancel the bundle that has just kept going up and up, and just keep the Internet. That will save us (with monthly Netflix fee) around $175 a month!! Would love to try that Google Chromecast!

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21 Jesse Bowen October 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

We live in an apartment and Northern California we were paying over $100 per month on cable TV. I bought an outside antenna at Walmart and mounted it on a piece of PVC pipe and my patio. Now we get 85 over air channels for free. For 799 we get Netflix on a Roku box I bought on sale for $50. We have plenty of movies and over the air TV to watch. We save $125 per month.

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22 EBeth August 29, 2014 at 7:50 am

I understand what you are trying to get with Apple TV, Netflix, Roku, Amazon Prime, Chromecast, Hulu… these are all great options for people who have cable for shows/movies.

I love sports… and literally watch 0 shows/movies. I have HD Cable EXCLUSIVELY for sports (College Football, NFL, NBA, College Basketball, MLB, NHL). Until someone somewhere figures out how to stream sports I am stuck in this cable rut (please someone figure this out… I will buy it). Okay thanks for listening my rant is over.

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23 Kristin @ Brokepedia August 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

There are options! I’m not sure about football, but I know you can stream live with the NBA League Pass and MLB.TV.

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24 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

This is one time where I’m glad I’m not an avid sports watcher :) Though I would be pissed if I couldn’t watch my Redskins play due to frugality.

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25 Allie June 26, 2015 at 10:03 pm

I have the best streaming box, sports, new releases, pay-per-view and all. It’s called Streamsmart, check it out. $350 on the website but a friend of mine sells them for $250.p I cut the cable in January and have missed nothing. If Anything, we have more to watch now. Blows our Roku out of the water

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26 J. Money June 28, 2015 at 10:26 am

rock on – thx for the info

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27 jen September 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

Can you watch sports live?? Football hockey baseball games on it?

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28 greg December 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm

If u have a smart tv buy chromecast u can mirror wirelessly your phone on a diff hdmi port. Also u can use any app or use anything on the Internet n stream to your phone u turn on nfc.bluetooth connect tv to internet m phone to same Internet. Blam u can play anything in your tv from your phone by remote control to the tv u can save a fortune on cable all u need is wifi

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29 Corinne! August 29, 2014 at 7:52 am

I save money on my internet/phone/tv service by only paying for internet. I have a VoIP phone (it’s an ooma!) and I plan on using a chromecast for the televisions. :D

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30 Jackie August 29, 2014 at 7:55 am

Saving money by only using my iPhone (no landline), and canceling internet (I work from home, so my work gave me a nifty verizon mifi hotspot). Can’t seem to cut cable though (but a google chromecast sure would help!)

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31 K. August 29, 2014 at 8:02 am

I haven’t been able to stream internet to my tv with my ChromeCast; I am only able to use the apps.

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32 theFIREstarter September 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Seeing as chrome browser is technically an app you should be able to steam “the internet” onto your TV, including technically non supported video streaming websites. You can get chrome on android and iOS, may not work on all devices but I’ve had it working on my Nexus 4 and iPad.

J – great article… The Chromecast truly rocks!

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33 Kassandra @ More Than Just Money August 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

I save benjamins by not subscribing to cable and instead using a reliable antenna (affixed on a window) which was a one time cost of under $35 bucks and we get 50 channels! Also saved money on our cellphone bill by switching our plans which lowered our total bill by over $60/month = more benjamins saved :) For movies, we went the Netflix route so I’d really love the HDMI Google Chromecast – and it would work on my tv!

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34 Rosemary August 29, 2014 at 8:16 am

Live in the country. Got tired of paying for satellite. Bought a large antenna for the house. Total cost was under $150.00. Also use Netflix.

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35 Walnut August 29, 2014 at 8:30 am

We have Dish mostly to watch college football and basketball, so we just suspend our contract in the summer months and watch over the air tv and use chromecast then. It extends out our contract, but we’re honestly pretty happy with Dish during our sports watching months.

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36 Sonja J August 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

I ditched cable a year ago and just have internet and my cell phone. Between netflix, hulu, and pbs.org/video (pbs streams a lot of their videos for free because they’re the sh**), I have basically all the shows I want!

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37 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

You don’t hear “PBS” and “they’re the shit” together very often, haha… had to re-read that line there for a second ;)

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38 Chung August 29, 2014 at 8:38 am

I work for a cable company and get free cable. I am so glad I don’t have to pay 100+ for cable bill.

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39 Brian @ Debt Discipline August 29, 2014 at 8:38 am

My cable/internet/phone is all part of benefits from my 9-5.

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40 Shannon @ Financially Blonde August 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

We are roku people, but just refinished the basement and have an extra tv (my mother is our newest roomie) so we were thinking about another roku, but Google Chromecast sounds awesome! I wanted to get rid of cable forever and finally convinced hubby, without divorce, to do it. The biggest thing he loves, though, is football, so we will see how that works out this season since this is our first one without cable.

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41 Gail August 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

I’m loving this series! I desperately want to save some money on phone/cable – I still have a landline because I have a low-tech Tracfone, I have basic cable because I don’t want to rent a digital box every month, and I don’t have internet at home – my total cost is about $100 a month, and I’m trying to figure out how to get internet into the mix without raising the cost, and this series is helping a lot!

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42 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I’m so glad Gail! I’m learning (and saving) a ton in the process myself – so glad I came up with this series too, haha… There will be more to come :)

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43 mark August 29, 2014 at 8:47 am

Already save with one Chromecast which is awesome, but would love a second.

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44 Nicole A August 29, 2014 at 9:07 am

We canceled directv about 2 years ago, and haven’t missed it yet. We stream Netflix and Hulu+ over a roku or on an Xbox. No home phone to worry about, and have been with republic wireless for cell phones for about 4 months now.

One note about canceling cable, I also thought it would be difficult and I’d be missing out on shows I enjoy. However I’ve found I watch much less TV now, and have just altered what I watch slightly and am not really inconvenienced at all.

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45 Angie August 29, 2014 at 9:08 am

We went down to basic cable this summer, in an effort to watch less tv (it’s so nice out!) and spend less money. But husband misses his sports, and I’m looking forward to fall TV, so I think we’ll be upgrading again next month. It was good while it lasted!

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46 Erin August 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

We switched to Ooma about 6 months ago. This allowed us to downgrade to a double play package vs. triple play (with Comcast) and we downgraded our channels at the same time. We also bought our own router (instead of renting one from Comcast, many people don’t realize that’s what they’re doing) so out goes that fee. All in all we are saving over $50 a month from what we were paying before.

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47 Mel @ brokeGIRLrich August 29, 2014 at 9:17 am

Hah, I love your wife’s comment. I feel the opposite though – I grew up without cable and could care less about it now. Thanks, Dad, who knew denying me Nickelodeon and MTV would be such a long term frugal lesson?

Incidentally, if you have a laptop, you can probably plug it right into your “old” TV with a VGA cable, as long as you pick one up with the right number of pins. And then you can download Hippo LITE and it will turn your phone into a remote using your home WiFi.

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48 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

now that’s an interesting idea! It would get pretty annoying plugging in and then unplugging everytime I need to use the laptop, but I bet you could find a used cheap one to do the trick. though, in that case might as well update the tv too? Haha…

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49 Jay MacLean August 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

I save money by calling my cable company every year and asking for a lower rate… hasn’t failed me yet!

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50 Mrs. Frugalwoods August 29, 2014 at 9:25 am

Ahh, yes, now I see your dilemma. We save by not paying for cable and instead using a Roku box. We have Amazon Prime, so it’s practically endless amounts of free content. We get our DIY fix through YouTube–turns out, a lot of people have filmed themselves repairing pipes, building patios, planting blueberries, living in tiny houses, chopping wood… it’s pretty epic.

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51 grady August 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

I called one of the two internet providers in our area and told them our current rates. They gave me a faster speed for the same price. I then called current dish and told them I would be disconnecting. After some wrangling, they told me they would waive any setup fees when they go OTT later this year. I then got Netflix free for a month, Hulu plus, and talked Amazon into one year at the student price. All told, I cut my bill from 150 to about 60.

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52 SophieW August 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

Last summer I cut cable completely and canceled the home phone – even made a couple bucks when I sold the cordless :) The only shows I watch are Game of Thrones and Doctor Who which I can usually stream within a couple days of air, though I did pay to see the DW season premiere at the theatre on Monday. Totally worth the $12 :)

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53 Francisco Rodriguez August 29, 2014 at 9:30 am

I’ve been saving money on cable by dropping it over a year ago, I have Netflix and Hulu which more than make up for it and the best part is id ont pay for either because my roomates already had em! Also never needed a home phone so I’ve been saving on that for forever? lol Of course once I dropped cable Time Warner jacked up my monthly internet payment but we still ended up saving $40-$50/month.

P.s. pick me to win please!

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54 Lauren August 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

We’re adding my boyfriend to my current cell phone plan which would save us about $60 a month, however I still think I could do better.
We’re discussing getting our own place, and I’m voting for the NO CABLE approach. When I lived by myself I watched everything on my laptop and had no cable, I was just fine…

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55 julie August 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

The Roku LT (cheapest – about $30 to $ 50) comes with the red, white, and yellow old school cords. It should work with your tv. The hd quality is not as high, but I don’t notice the difference. Also, the roku app works with it as well, so you can use your smart phone as the remote. We cut cable tv two or three years ago and have 3 rokus for our 2 tvs. (One roku is set up with my sisters amazon account, so she can rent movies. We just switch out the roku.) I miss Hgtv, bout not enough to pay the $75 a month to get it.

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56 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I think I needed to try this about $130 ago, haha… I’m done spending on this old TV.

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57 Marty August 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

I’ve been using Hulu.com for several years. This blog was actually very intriguing to me. For some reason I thought everyone knew about netflix and Hulu video/movie streaming. It’s saved me a bundle and I even have my siblings doing it now. I’m one of those rockstars with a sexy flat screen TV on the wall and it’s actually got the apps preinstalled onto the television. I’m making plans to not re-up my cell plan and just go pay as you go. The good part about this is I can still use data and messaging (don’t do too much of both of those away from wifi) so it’ll bring my $200 bill to just 10 dollars every couple months, if the data and messages are being used. I’m really excited!

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58 connieK August 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

I: 1) at least get a 19% discount off Verizon Wireless (personal) cell bill through work so every little bit helps, and 2) I had Verizon take a look at my (smartphone) data usage and we concluded I could go with a 1GB data plan instead of 2GB so that has been a bit of monthly savings.

Love this blog entry almost as much as Ask J$ Anything Day! My favorite part of your writing right up in here was: “That didn’t work either. Though, I did muster up some resemblance of a conversion as I could at least then program the DVD player into the TV screen, however it was all pretty blurry and I managed to shrink the viewing size of the TV in half too. Damn.” You are TOO FUNNY, J$ …. TOO FUNNY! Can totally picture you doing all of this… hah… I don’t know how you even have the TIME to tinker with this crizzap! Have a great holiday wknd~

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59 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Hence why I work 12 hours a day – which I need to stop! :)

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60 Paul August 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

You can also stream Netflix, Hulu, etc. through a lot of gaming systems like Xbox, Wii, PS4, etc. We have a PS3 we bought in 2008 that we use for Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. We dropped our cable when I got laid off last year, and didn’t even think about picking it back up when I started working again in Feb. I also bought an old-fashioned TV antenna and get about 20 HDTV channels through it, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS. I think the antenna was about $40-50. The only thing I really miss is ESPN, but that’s my excuse now to head out to a sports bar ;)

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61 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Well that’s cool! If only I was a gamer!

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62 Brian August 29, 2014 at 10:12 am

Netflix streaming with Google chromecast is great. The only thing I really miss is the sports on channels other than espn.

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63 Joni Touschner August 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

Time Warner internet with “lifeline” tv channels of 2-12 only which include local news, netflicks thru an old Wii game system, No home phone, new republic MotoX and a MotoG, to get away from Verizon soon :). Have our own wifi router, Also watching TV show on iPod thru free apps ie: NBC and most networks have a free app with their shows for free. So I’d love to try the Google device with the TV channel apps!

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64 Will August 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

We use a HDTV indoor antenna and just watch OTA broadcasts. There is more than enough to watch with free TV, and by having fewer choices it means more time the TV is off and we are doing other things.

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65 Million Dollar Ninja August 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

Those were way too many mistakes J$. Sometimes you just have to be humble and ask for help, lol. I, along with hundreds if not thousands of people could have told you what you could do to solve your problem. Well, that’s if you would have opened that DVD player on time. Good thing you finally figured it out though.

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66 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm

More like impatient :)

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67 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar August 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

Awesome! We have been a slow transition away from cable. probably cut the cord about 5-6 years ago away from the set top box. Then we finally got rid of the cable too when we realized we were literally wasting every night watching Every Body Loves Raymond re-runs. Now, I love Ray, but CMON. I don’t need to be paying an extra $30 a month to watch it. We then just kept netflix.

I am an NFL fan so a friend of mine and I split the sunday ticket package that’s online only. We are fans of two teams that are in different time zones so we’re able to avoid a lot of overlap.

Finally, we use Netflix only with my PS3. It’s nice but I’ve recently seen the ability of smart phones to pop youtube videos onto your ps3 youtube app. Very handy. I can imagine that Chromecast would make it even easier!

Oh, and of course we made the switch over to RW last year. They’ve given us great service!

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68 Michelle August 29, 2014 at 10:46 am

we are trying to cut down our tv package but now that my husband is a stay at home dad, it’s tough. That’s his entertainment during nap time!

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69 Erin S. August 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

Someone else said this, and I’ll second it: I grew up without cable, and don’t really care about it now. So I cancelled my cable over 1.5 yrs ago, and I couldn’t be happier. What I do instead is this:

I have a Playstation 3, which is connected to my internet. It has apps for pretty much all the same stuff at the Chromecast, so I stream via the PS3. I already had a Prime membership, and they started offering the free movies and TV shows around the same time I cancelled my cable; for more recent stuff, I used Hulu. About 9 mos ago, more and more shows started moving behind the Hulu paywall, and I didn’t like having to wait 8 days to see the new Grey’s Anatomy. So I bit the bullet and signed up for Hulu Plus. It’s been worth every penny.

Unfortunately, CBS shows don’t stream through Hulu, so I’ll stream those through the CBS site on my laptop, which is a pain. BUT you should know that you can connect your laptop to the TV using an HDMI cable, and in this case, instead of a remote, I use a wireless mouse :)

All told, it costs me $99/yr for Prime (I used to only pay the $39 student rate, since I have an .edu email address, but they caught on to that and now you have to provide proof of student status to get the student rate), plus $8/mo for Hulu. Not bad!

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70 Heather August 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

We are saving money on cable by not having it! We stream all of our favorite shows and movies using apps on our Xbox one using our live membership.

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71 Jahyd August 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

Ditched the premiem channels and got Netflix to save. We’ve been considering ditching the cable completely because we don’t use it all that often but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. The chromecast sure would come in handy making that happen, haha :)

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72 Noelle August 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

We use the Playstation system to stream Netflix to our TV, works like a charm! But I think you may need HDMI for the System.

When we shopped around for a lower internet bill (we didn’t have home phone and cable was included in our condo fees) we found out that the bundle for home phone, internet and premium cable channels came out to cheaper than just internet. And it’s not even a promo! I think we pay $39+tax for the whole thing, but now we have a phone line we don’t use and extra channels that don’t get watched! Oh well, still cheaper.

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73 Laura August 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

Cable free of course. Bundled our internet with a home phone line, since our kids are getting bigger and we want to be able to dial 911 if necessary!

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74 EL August 29, 2014 at 11:45 am

I have a blu ray with streaming, and my tv has a few old streaming apps like Netflix and youtube. Im in the same boat as you the wife wants cable badly to help destress with work. So I save by calling every year to reduce our rates, and get a fixed yearly rate for the triple play option. Thanks for the chromecast giveaway, Its blowing up as many people are buying those little thingamajig.

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75 Courtney August 29, 2014 at 11:47 am

I cut cable a few years ago and just use Hulu Plus and Netflix, which saved a lot but – similar to your experience – unbundling the cable package does mean I spend a lot more for internet. Luckily I’m moving somewhere with Google Fiber soon. Hellooooo, free internet!

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76 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Google is owning more and more of us!!! Haha…

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77 Beth August 29, 2014 at 11:54 am

I save money on my cable the same as all of my other bills…live with someone who pays for everything ;) BUT since I’m a nice person, I will attempt to save him some money by (hopefully) winning the Chromecast.

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78 Jeff August 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I try to negotiate the best cable package I can every six months. I have been wanting to see how many of the shows we currently watch can be streamed so we can eventually cut out cable.

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79 Rick McCray August 29, 2014 at 12:05 pm

We have an inexpensive long distance phone plan and we have removed several unnecessary cable channels that we didn’t watch anyway.

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80 Carol in Mpls August 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

<>

This is what causes analysis paralysis in ADHD folks like me. Yes, I want to know the options, but then I’m always one step behind in some part of the technology equation. It’s extremely frustrating. On the other hand, I can always read an actual book, from the library, for free, which I do, along with DVDs of shows past. I’m in the middle of Treme, and waiting to pick up Sherlock, then will do Luther. Part of my problem is the older TV thing as well. Though I don’t watch much, I will be glued for Downton Abbey, and I like my nice big Sony for it’s good view. I just don’t have a clue how to resolve the tech question at hand, or how to decipher all the choices. I need someone to help who will be unbiased, but also, helpful.

My DSL internet (do not mock me) works fine for home. It’s a local company, with excellent customer service, and it’s not Comcast. Yeah! I bundle my wireless internet, land line, and long distance for about $40-52/month.

My cable (with Comcast) is about $21/month, but it’s been creeping up slowly. I just have the basic, though it does include CNN, and some other stuff I don’t watch, but it’s primarily for antenna service. South Mpls gets horrible over-the-air service, as all the big tower transmitters are way on the other side of the downtown Mpls skyscrapers, in the far suburbs. It bites. I’m also concerned about the potential merger of Comcast and Time-Warner, as they will be divesting some of their properties, and we look like one of them. Who knows what we’ll get in return, and how much it will cost? My friend in St. Paul has basic cable with the Big C, and it’s ~$8-10/month, and mine is the $21. How does that even happen (???), and there’s no amount of explanation that will satisfy me. Maybe I need to move to a Greek island…

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81 Carol in Mpls August 29, 2014 at 12:25 pm

And J$, these in-depth looks at your various financial components have been most helpful. It’s got me looking into mine as well. Thanks, and I’ve already saved some money!

And, maybe I can make the Chrome thing work with my laptop to my TV somehow, someway. That would be very sweet indeed.

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82 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Really glad these posts are useful – they’ve been keeping my finances in check too :) I’ve got 10-20 years without ever paying attention, way too long!

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83 Erin August 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I cut my TV expenses years ago by switching to Netflix/Hulu. And I put a hold on my Hulu account during the summer when no shows are on, because I’m a cheap ass :)

I cut my phone bill by switching to Republic Wireless. $25 a month for unlimited everything? Yes, please!

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84 LauraF August 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Trying to save money with a bundling package promo.

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85 Steve August 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I’ve been using a WDTV Live for a couple of years and streaming movies from my PC to the TV using Plex. It only cost me $60 for the device refurbed at the time. The only media subscription I have is through Amazon Prime, which is great if I’m on my laptop, but Prime Instant Video streaming isn’t supported on it. I’m thinking of upgrading to the Roku 3 soon, but am hoping they’ll come out with a new version before upgrading.

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86 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Man, I’ve heard “plex” a few times now in the comments – never heard of until y’all started mentioning!

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87 Ndy August 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I’m saving by calling my cable/internet/phone provider every 6-12 months and asking for current discounts. I have been doing this for the past 3 years, effectively paying similar discount rates as when I initially signed in for the bundle.

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88 Beth August 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Once a year I contact our cable/internet/phone provider and try to haggle a discount each year. It usually works. I still would like to save MORE! :)

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89 Eric August 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm

I bundled everything, called around and told them a lower than quote price from their competition.

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90 Elle August 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

No cable TV for us. We recently bought a (refurbished) Roku 3 and tied our accounts with Netflix, HuluPlus (for current shows), and Amazon Instant (already prime members). Much cheaper than cable and it has practically everything we’re interested in seeing.

We kept the internet service (need it to work online). Shaved about half of our bill with the changes.

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91 Allen August 29, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Ooma for phone. Pageplus Cellular for cell. Saving over 4-600/year using these services. Still have full cable since we have a DVR and haven’t had a super good reason to get rid of it…yet…

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92 Tennille August 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

We went cable free at the start of August and have not missed it one bit. We use the Amazon Fire TV since we also have a Prime membership. Along with that we have Netflix, use my moms Hulu account and my in-laws Showtime password to stream that as well. We are currently only paying $17.00 a month for TV. That’s a savings of $103.00 every single month!

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93 Even Steven August 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Switched about 6 months ago and purchased a Roku, we use Netflix and Hulu on the “family plan” and we save a nice chunk of change each month and I don’t really miss anything so far and that includes sports, I also have a couple work arounds for when I have to watch something, still free of charge. Good work BAS!

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94 Teagan August 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

No cable, Netflix subscrip, and blu-ray box that actually works with our TV…

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95 Kate August 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Saving: not having cable. We also don’t currently use any streaming services. I am interested to try this. No more tiny phone videos!

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96 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Tiny phone videos? Haha… you’re hardcore :)

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97 Dude on a Mission August 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I only pay $35 for cable/internet/phone each month! And that includes all of the premium cable channels. That’s right – I’m *absolutely killin* this one area of our budget. And it’s all due to one simple, eazy peezy thing – I work for the cable company.

Hahaha yeah I know that’s kinda sorta cheating, but it’s an awesome perk. Everyone may feel free to now hate me for selling my soul (although it’s not a bad place to work). Oh, one other thing – if you ever have any issue with your service, drop me a line and I can hook you up with a special customer service phone # and code for people having unresolved issues.

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98 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Nice!! I might have to take you up on that one :)

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99 kristin August 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

it was nice to read about someone who actually purchased the chromecast and seems to enjoy it. i knew your television was old, the moment i saw the pic. as far as saving money, i don’t have cable (only the channels i pick up through the apartment complex) and i have a ps3 (with netflix account) and a basic internet package since i don’t stream a lot of shows on my computer (that’s why i have netflix) i have a cell phone where i pay $50 a month and since i have wi-fi, no worries about burning my minutes.

kristin

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100 Matt August 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Phone: I’m on straighttalk wireless. Better coverage than AT&T in my area (ironically) and I convinced myself I’m only giving away half my freedom by getting a company kickback on 80% of my cell bill. Net to me each month = $9.05.

Internet: I call TWC every 3 months, figure out the best combination of minimum speed I can tolerate and cost and then ask them to move me over (while trying not too swear too often at them).

TV: I’m a diehard baseball fan so it is hard for me to cut the cord. I wanted to do MLB.TV and then stream everything else, but if you are in an MLB town (good) you can’t watch your hometown team on MLB.TV (bad). So, until I solve that problem, I’m still on satellite. The best I can do is add and drop the local baseball channel every 6 months and save about $60/year doing so. Shoot me that Chrome and I might have more success!! :-)

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101 Kipp August 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

The wife and I are saving money on TV by going the antenna route. I also use a prepaid phone while the wife gets her’s from work. Interest wise using DSL currently as they offer better rates and aren’t forcing me to rent their modem (without telling me I am renting until the first bill, I hate you Charter).

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102 Thomas S August 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I use bing rewards to get points that can end up getting me 1 month of Hulu Plus for free. I’ve earned over 15 months and still have a ton of points left.

Shameless plug for me to earn more points – https://www.bing.com/explore/rewards?PUBL=REFERAFRIEND&CREA=RAW&rrid=_42b686a1-a97d-9462-46b7-d6326756d204

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103 Serena August 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I’m in the same boat! To get rid of cable, I’d have to get rid of my lovely boyfriend. And nobody wants that :)

We signe up for a triple-service package for phone, internet and cable in our old apartment, even though we didn’t want or need a phone. It was $50 cheaper than the 2-service plan! We also beer plugged in an actual phone so that nobody “accidentally” made a ton of calls to rack up charges. I wish they still offered that deal but I think the company wised up

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104 Serena August 29, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I meant “never” plugged in a phone. Hilarious autocorrect though!

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105 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Haha…. I wanted to see how beer plugs work :)

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106 Cherie Gary August 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

It did require buying a new TV, but the investment pays for itself in one year.

New Samsung 44″ TV – $600 and something courtesy Sam’s club
Roku – $79 also Sam’s Club – if I had thought about it Chromecast is a better deal
Mohu Leaf HD antenna – $69
Tablo TV – which provides DVR like capabilities AND connects to WiFi – $219
Seagate 2T hard drive – $99
Amazon Prime – $79 but I had it anyway
Netflix – when there is something I can’t find anywhere or I binge watch House of Cards.

And you already know what I think about Republic Wireless … easiest $100 a month I’ve ever saved.

You rock J$

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107 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Okay deal – you give me a TV and I’ll try all that ;)

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108 KC August 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm

We still use a good ole antennae and watch digital channels over the air… zero $. we do how ever spend $10/month on Netflix.

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109 Ky G August 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I’m still struggling with how to save…this post helped. It’s going to help me convince my husband to scale back without losing his many channels/options. I’d love to win!

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110 Scott August 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I’m saving money on my TV bills by joining a 24 hour gym (for $20/ mo **special promo deal), and I go there to workout when my show is on.
*For other shows, I also read episode digest on Google, which give me a general idea of what happened, and the rest I use my imaginations.

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111 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm

If you manage to pull off that work out deal you, my friend, will be a BAD ASS. I’d like to see an update in three months though ;)

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112 Bonnie August 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I’m working on convincing my husband to cut the cable. I’d love to drop cable and home phone and just go with internet. We have the blu-ray that streams Amazon Prime and that’s helping. I’d love to try the chromecast too.

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113 superbien August 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Roku vs Chromecast: currently trying both setups, at my place and my boyfriend’s.

Chromecast is an advantage for anything phone related – you can vary Netflix, TEDtalks, YouTube, etc… but NOT Amazon Prime (which is not phone compatible for either of our phones).

Roku is great for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu, but NOT random Internet. You can get other channels but have to have a paid subscription to some.

Andrew’s Slingbox idea is very intriguing, will investigate further!

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114 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Well that’s interesting to know about all the differences! I just assumed they were all pretty much the same like a dufus.

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115 Rusty August 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I got rid of the cable box. No more cable.

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116 Vicky M August 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm

We just stream Nextflix to either a Roku or Chromcast. No cable at all and no landline phone. That saves money. I did just have to increase our internet package to include more data and speed because not my fiance works from home and sucks up data on hours long VOIP conference calls. You win some….you loose some!

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117 CONNIE August 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I completely cut the cord. I have a Roku andand watch amazon prime.
I also hook my laptop up via hdmi and have never looked back!

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118 Kevin August 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I would love to stop paying for cable, but, there is no way to watch my local sports teams without it! You would think with all the public money that goes into paying for stadiums and arenas there should be.

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119 Mike @ Simplifiable August 29, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Here’s where Craigslist (and people’s infernal need for the newest technology) is your friend. ;-)

Go out to Craigslist, and go to the electronics section, then in the search box, just type ‘720p’.

The results will return dozens of beautiful, perfectly serviceable 2-4 year old flat panel TV’s with HDMI outputs. a 42″ 720p LCD or Pasma TV (gently used) shouldn’t set you back more than $150-$250.

Why?

Because the screen density technology is now two generations old. 1080p, and the new 4K TV’s coming on to the scene, are pusing down prices of the 720p units dramatically. Personally, I can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p unless I’m within 24 inches of the screen.

You could likely sell your current TV for $60-100, so you could be looking at a net cost of upgrading for as little as $50!

As the 4K TV’s proliferate, the next 12-24 months are going to be an incredible time for picking up quality 720p, flat panel TV”s with modern ports, for dirt cheap.

Just something to keep in mind… ;-)

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120 Mike @ Simplifiable August 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Whoa…sorry about all the typos! I was so excited to post the info, that I forgot to double-check my work. ;-)

In any event, here’s a perfect example of what I described, from my local area – a beautiful 42″ Vizio 720P plasma TV for $200 (which you could realistically get for $150-175 with a little negotiation).

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/ele/4602551947.html

Sell yours for $100, and the total cost to upgrade comes out to $50-75…less than you spent trying to upgrade the ports on your current TV. ;-)

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121 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

YES!!! This comment got me to look at CL too – and I actually found one!!! $170 for a 42″. Unfortunately they haven’t emailed me back yet, which leads me to believe it’s long gone…. still, this is an excellent tip – thank you sir :)

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122 Susan T August 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm

We use an antenna for tv, I have a stupid phone (talk & text only) & I am getting ready to cancel Verizon Jetpack to go to a broadband which is cheaper by $30/month.

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123 Stacie Yates August 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm

I work for an employer that considers my cell phone service a “perk” for working in IT, so I essentially get my plan for free. Other than that, even as a tech-head, I don’t upgrade every time a new iPhone comes along. I use that sucker until it dies of old age and abuse before I upgrade, thereby saving myself from having to pay full price for the phone. My 3GS lasted over 3 years, even though I did outdoor runs multiple times per week with it. The 4S met a slightly untimely not-quite-total-demise on a 14-mile run when I accidentally drowned it in perspiration. (Mostly, it started thinking it was docked part of the time and sometimes spontaneously powered back on after being turned off. Stretchy silicone phone skins are great right up until they aren’t. I got a Lifeproof case after that.)

I phoned AT&T, was honest about why my phone died, and asked nicely about my options, and in exchange for a bit of patience while the customer service person worked her magic, I was allowed to upgrade to the 5 several months early, for $199, the same price it would have been to replace the 4S through insurance. Honestly, I had forgotten the plan even included insurance. Pays to ask.

It was one of my more delightful customer service experiences, if only because the agent seemed a touch amused that I hadn’t tried lying or playing dumb about why my phone had suddenly started acting wonky. She was also just plain fun to chat with while her supervisor approved the upgrade.

And what little episodic television viewing I do, I mostly do it online.

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124 M.E. August 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm

We save money on TV by…not having a TV. We watch all our shows on our tiny laptops from YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu. When that doesn’t work, we rent an occasional DVD from the library.

We only have internet service at our house, which isn’t the best deal, but the ISPs are few and far between and can kind of charge whatever they please. Here’s hoping that Google Fiber comes our way someday!

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125 D. Steadmoney August 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

So while what I write may not be completely ethical, I DO, however, save a ton of money. Basically, if there’s a specific TV show I like and want to watch, I download it from a private torrent site.

I pay for Netflix, which gives us quite a bit of comment, and we use my wife’s parents Hulu account for some other TV shows she likes. I do all of this on our Apple TV, which I LOVE!

Only problem I’ve had is sports. I split a MLB.tv account with a friend, and we plan on doing the same thing as soon as the NFL comes out with something similar. All of our content needs are pretty much met, and I haven’t had basic cable for YEARS!

It takes a little creativeness and ingenuity, but I believe that anybody can cut that cable bill in half if they really took the time to research all the options.

Thanks for the post J, and I can’t wait to try out the Google Chromecast I’m gonna win! Lol!

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126 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

haha… if only you could download that from torrent too, right? ;)

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127 implicit August 29, 2014 at 5:40 pm

We only subscribe to Fios internet! All of our entertainment comes from Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.

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128 Yana August 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I save on the phone by having an OBi and Google Voice for a “landline”.

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129 Sarah August 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Here’s my trick: I haven’t upgraded my cell phone in years, which saves me on my phone plan. No home phone for me, as I’m never there. A friend traded me his HBO GO and Netflix info for my Hulu account– and I siphon financial advice from J$ and share it with him.. I’m definitely saving, and he’s starting to! Win win. Every couple of months I ask AT&T about downgrading my wifi to a less expensive internet plan, and they magically find a $10 and $20 off for me!

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130 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Smart woman ;)

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131 Ben @ The Wealth Gospel August 29, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I’ve been scoring a free Hulu Plus membership each month by using Bing Rewards (Bing sucks btw, which is why they’ve resorted to paying people to use their search engine). I switched over to Republic Wireless last year and we’re going to switch the wifey over as soon as her contract ends. I’ve tried working with the Internet, but Time Warner Cable’s customer service is horrible. All I can get out of them is them trying to talk me into adding cable.

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132 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Hahahahhaha…

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133 Susy August 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Using my sister’s Netflix account has saved me the money of having cable to begin with!
As a trade, she uses my Amazon prime account.

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134 Mel August 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

We have a prepaid cell phone plan and no home phone. Costs only $70/ month for 2 (which isn’t great, but is cheaper).

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135 Megan August 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm

We got rid of cable last year! We used to get it only for college football season but this year we decided to save money instead. We watch netflix/amazon through our bluray player. I think it’s the same one you tried to use!

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136 Mom @ Three is Plenty August 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm

You can always “spurge” for an old receiver that takes HDMI and outputs component (or composite…). You can probably get one of those for $80 or less on craigslist. Much cheaper than a new TV.

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137 Liz August 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Dropped cable completely!

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138 Corinne August 29, 2014 at 11:38 pm

We don’t have cable. I buy 12-month hulu+ gift cards on eBay for a fraction of the price.

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139 LeisureFreak Tommy August 30, 2014 at 1:53 am

I use a Chromecast on one tv and a ROKU on another. The great thing about the Chromecast is you can watch programs from other than the normal ROKU or built in BlueRay options of Hulu, Netflix, etc. With Chromecast we can watch from NBC.com, FOX, ABC, CBS, etc. I still have basic cable but looking to cut the cord soon. I need to order a roof antenna so we can get free local channels because we can’t get many channels with set-top antennas. I used a site http://www.antennaweb.org to get an idea of which is the best antenna for our location.

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140 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm

thanks for the link!

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141 Ellen August 30, 2014 at 9:10 am

I’m about to make the switch from cable to Netflix and Amazon prime streaming!

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142 lil August 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

no home line and no cable.. use an apple tv to stream and play our shows instead!

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143 John E August 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

My apartment complex gets a deal on the cable and it is itemized out on the lease as $15 for basic plus HBO. I can also get free wifi from the complex, but the service is too spotty so I pay $54 for internet. I tried Republic (I used your link) but the Sprint service was horrible so I went with a $40 plan from T-Mobile.

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144 PK August 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hmm, that’s a tough one – what’s the model number on the TV? Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Kanex-Pro-Component-Converter-HDRGBRL/dp/B00BW0XXZ6 will get you most of the way, but will puke when your content throws up a protection flag.

It’s doable… (if you have a DVI jack on the back of the TV, or you get a similar converter from a shadier source) but you’re probably better off getting a TV with HDMI inputs.

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145 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I think I’m done messing w/ the old tv, so now it’s just keep it and sulk or go out and get a new (used) one… which I’m thinking I’ll end up doing as soon as I find a good one on CL!

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146 debs August 30, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I’m just glad I have The Irishman to sort this stuff out for me. My eyes kinda glazed over as I was reading this post. I’ll show it to him. Then maybe we can translate it into Canadian.

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147 J August 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

My husband works for a subsidiary of the cable company so we get an employee discount.

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148 Shauna August 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I guess we are saving money by not having all the channels (I miss you, HBO) but I know we’d be saving tons more if my sports-fiend husband would even entertain the idea of other alternatives to cable.

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149 Lance @ Healthy Wealthy Income August 30, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Saved us $800 a year. Easy decision a nd there are so many ways to get content online. Not cutting the cord is like holding on to your landline. Just no reason.

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150 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

That’s not true, actually. Doesn’t make sense for everyone.

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151 Awa August 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

This sounds great, will it work in Canada though.

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152 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Good question?

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153 Megan August 31, 2014 at 8:43 am

We took the slowest internet package known to man to save $30 and we don’t have cable. But like you I’m tired of watching TV on my computer screen.

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154 Lynda August 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

we are saving money by not having cable. and we share netflix and hulu plus with other family members.

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155 Birdiebee September 1, 2014 at 12:38 am

The way I’m saving money on my tv is that I no longer have cable or satellite.

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156 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank September 1, 2014 at 6:58 am

Having internet connection at home can be an alternative to cable. We at home just download tv shows we are interested in the most. Doing that, we don’t have to get cable services.

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157 Emily September 1, 2014 at 8:33 am

We just use the antenna. Not a huge deal for us since before we moved we lived for years with only one channel– now that we live in the city we have over 40! For “DVR” service to watch shows at the time I choose, I just use the network websites.

Now for internet my employer buys it for me because I work from home. (SCORE!!!)

Our employers also supply each of us with cell phones (DOUBLE SCORE!!!) Really, the hardest thing though was doing away with the landline. For a long time I didn’t use my work cell phone unless I traveled. I was a cell phone hater. But my frugalness won out so now the landline is gone and we just use our cells. Which gives us a cable/phone/internet bundled total of $0! Woo hooo!

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158 Rick September 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

We are implementing the Ooma device you suggested soon! Hopefully that saves us a ton and works out. Will let you know how it goes!

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159 J. Money September 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Please do! I hope it works equally as nice for you guys :)

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160 Lydia September 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Currently using old wii console and a roku. Called cable to cancel and they have a deal of channels 1-22 plus free HBO for a year, so I’ll worry about how to get HBO when the year mark is approaching!

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161 DaveC September 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Our apartment complex pays for basic cable and we just use Internet for everything else with all the channels on their respective websites or ROKU etc. We use Republic wireless too but missed out on the Chromecast so hoping to snag one this way!

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162 Chris September 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm

We’ve cut out cable, and I have a reminder on my calendar to call our internet provider every six months and ask for a discount. So far so good!

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163 Erica W. September 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Our cable and internet is built into the rent at our apartment complex. However, we still get most of our entertainment from a free Hulu account and from YouTube. We switched to Republic Wireless in February and have been LOVING the savings on our cell bill!!

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164 rachel September 2, 2014 at 12:38 am

I’m still holding my breath waiting for our first (glorious!) Republic wireless bill to come in showing $100+ savings per month! For TV/movies, we pick up Disney vhs tapes for <$1 a pop at yard sales and thrift stores for my girls to watch (they dont know mary poppins isnt a hot new release) and us grownups watch whatever's on Netflix on our computer when we have some rare time together. I would dig being able to watch on the big screen though!

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165 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:01 pm

I’m waiting for our first Republic bill too :)

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166 rebecca September 2, 2014 at 10:05 am

Switched our home phone to Vonage and shaved down our cell phone shared data plan.

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167 Ange September 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

I’m planning on calling to see if we can lower the cable bill now that we’ve gotten booted off the promo pricing and finally received the rebate we had been expecting for 3 months from our move (paperwork got messed up-uggh… but now it’s done!). I know that cable is definitely a want/luxury in our budget, but right now it’s still one we definitely enjoy too much to completely cut the cord.

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168 Nick W September 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

No cable at all, in years – Home Theatre PC hooked directly into the “TV” – which technically is a projector, so I’ve got a 155″ TV. It’s about as baller as it gets.

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169 Rick September 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

We cancel service each year when they try to up the fees only to reconnect with the latest & cheapest “bundle”.

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170 christina h. September 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I had heard Verizon was considering offering a $5/month home phone service – just to have it for emergencies, guessing it would have then required a pay-per-minute situation. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

My long distance is through Pioneer, which charges ridiculously low amounts, we’ve never had cable, but we do have amazon prime and netflix, mostly because we have kids of a certain age.

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171 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:01 pm

That’s a great idea (and smooth move) by Verizon actually :)

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172 lynda September 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm

We save money by not having cable tv.

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173 Christine Presto September 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Well, I don’t know if I would call it saving money, but I did manage to score HBO and Starz for free by persistent customer complaining and making sure I’m getting the services I signed up for. Comcast sent THREE different technicians to my house, with the final one being competent enough to provide me the correct service and speed, and with that, he also gave us premium channels for free!

We also do not own a home phone and therefore did not need service for that part- bundling our internet and cable is also how to save the most money with our provider.

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174 Saniel September 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Dropped cable and got an anyone-basic channels. Netflix streaming only- $7.99 monthly. Cell phone family plan bundled.

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175 Jan September 2, 2014 at 6:56 pm

We have a smart tv that streams Netflix and Hulu. My sis gifted us the yearly subscription to Hulu Plus, so we only pay for Netflix. No cable!

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176 Mercedes September 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I’m saving money on my TV by downgrading my television service on my one TV that still gets cable. Last month my bill was $160, this month, $70! I also purchased my own router when I initially got my cable, it was a little more upfront, but after 4.5 years its more than paid for itself by not leasing one through the cable company. I also use a roku on my TV in my bedroom to stream my netflix, and an antenna to get the local channels (and then some)! Though my roku is starting to have some glitches, so a chromecast thingamajig would be awesome!

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177 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I wanted to pay for our router too but Verizon doesn’t allow it :(

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178 Michelle September 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm

We dropped cable ages ago and haven’t looked back! Instead, we stream Netflix and very occasionally will check out a Redbox. We also found a reputable regional cell phone carrier and avoided the Big 4. $122/mo for 2 lines, unlimited minutes/texts/data AND wireless internet for our home. We had Ooma for quite a while but realized we never used our LAN line so we cut that out, too. I know you’re a big fan of Ooma, so if you know of anyone that needs an Ooma box for a steal, we’ve got one we’re trying to get rid of! :)

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179 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Haha… will keep that in mind :)

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180 Beckey & Jeff September 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

We dropped cable in January 2013 and haven’t looked back. The first 2 weeks were the hardest, now we just stream Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime through a Roku on both our TVs. We only pay $35 for high speed internet, which we change from high speed internet to DSL every 12 months when the rates go up, and the monthly/yearly fees for the streaming services. We also purchased a lifetime subscription to PlayOn TV, which allows streaming to the Roku’s. It was like $80/life and we use it for channels/shows that aren’t on the streaming services we pay monthly/yearly for.

We don’t have a house phone, we both have cell phones and get great reception in our home.

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181 Mrs E September 3, 2014 at 10:28 am

I reduced my cable bill by almost $60 last month just by asking for a cheaper bill. I didn’t have to change my plan or decrease my channels. I guess they just gave me the latest promotion because it lasts for a whole year!!! Sometimes you only need to ask!

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182 Deborah Kulish September 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

To answer the question “How am I saving money on TV, cable, phone, or internet?” (Sigh) Sadly, I’m not – YET!!! After reading your blog (and many others) it gave me some great ideas. So, I’m going to start testing things out on our TVs. We have Uverse and AT&T wireless services. I think they should change their slogan from “Your world connected” to “Robbery without a gun ; )” Anyway, we have 3 TVs; one smart and 2 smart ready. Plus we have a blu-ray, in fact I think it’s the same one you bought (but ours was a gift – $free). So, I think I only need one chrome-thingy to get the 3rd TV up-and-running and GOOD-BYE CABLE!!! My problem is that I have to be certain I can access sports channels or my husband’s not going to go for it : (

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183 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Good luck! You should be able to cut your bills down just by asking too – so def. at least call up and do that even if that’s as far as you go :)

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184 Jason September 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I use Plex on my Roku to access online content from a variety of channels, like food network, a&e, and USA.

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185 J. Money September 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm

*** Giveaway now over ***

Thanks for participating everyone! I wish I could give y’all a free Chromecast but unfortunately I only have one :( At least they only cost $35! So don’t let it stop you from testing it out if you think it’ll save you money in the end :)

And now, the winner of this super cool and sleek Chromecast is…. bum bum bum… Nicole A! Congrats! Hope you have some fun with it!

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186 Justin B September 11, 2014 at 4:18 am

Haven’t had TV in years. Have a PS3 streaming Netflix. Even a cheap-o Wii does this.

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187 Smooth October 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

Just ordered Apple TV through work for free and will be planning to cut my cable once I move in a couple months. Once I am able to see my football without cable I will be set. I have verizon fios paying $119 for home phone, internet and cable

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188 J. Money October 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Let us know if you figure out the football dilemma :) I’m just praying I can watch my ‘Skins in Monday Night Football tonight! We nixed ESPN!

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189 Maria Mango April 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Smart Tv stream of digital channels Netflix

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190 Pete May 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

I just saved money by switching to Geico!

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191 Bill June 3, 2015 at 1:45 am

Just buy a video card with HDMI for your computer and run it to your tv. I have mine on my 60in and everything is wireless “keyboard, mouse” I watch everything and have computer also much cheaper and a lot better. Now a days computers come with an HDMI already on motherboard just check your computer.

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192 J. Money June 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Good idea for sure. As long as your computer is somewhat close to your TV :) We ended up selling our old TV and getting a (much smaller) new one with all the modern updates. Then we cut cable even more and now stream netflix/etc. Should help make up for the tv upgrade – and then some – in no time.

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193 mac July 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm

If there are stand alone boxes that can receive the Full Shilling Internet, just like a pc can, I would very much like to know about it. Most internet boxes only receive a fraction of what the web has to offer. So far the best solution is to buy a pc laptop and connect it to your tv. Then you will have the true internet! If there is a stand alone box that equels that, please tell me about it?

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194 J. Money July 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I don’t know of any myself, but maybe someone in the comments above shared any? Everyone here seems to be a lot more knowledgeable about this stuff than me :)

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195 Mimo July 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm

So it sounds to me that you are still using quite a bit of the technology you are trying to eliminate. In order to stream through Chromecast, you are using a smartphone app. Isn’t that costing you data minutes? Unless your phone plan has unlimited data (mine doesn’t), you will be paying an outrageous cell phone bill every month. Personally, I am sick of the level of technology in my house and the cost I’m paying every month just to watch TV and have a phone. I’m paying AT&T 250.00 every month just to have TV, Internet, and a cell phone. PLEASE give me back my landline, broadcast TV, and my monthly cost of $35!

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196 J. Money July 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I have republic wireless for cell phone which is unlimited data/calling for $25/mo :) Here’s why I switched to them if interested:

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2014/07/republic-wireless-review-cell-phone-savings/

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197 Stephanie Hunter July 30, 2015 at 5:04 am

I try anything that sounds as cool as at youve posted here.’….Ive had my cable ajusted shut off and had to have it back on as s.oon as i stopped ,it,..them turn it right back on

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198 Beth August 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm

We are not saving at all. We thought we were by going back to a video store, an actual store, but as it turns out we are still spending over $90. per month.

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199 J. Money August 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Time to start changing it up again! We have to too now – all our discounts just got nixed w/ Verizon, ugh…

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200 Crystal August 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Is there a way to hook your phone up to your tv so you dont have to have home internet service? Just use the internet on your phone for Netflix ect?

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201 J. Money August 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I don’t know of any way to do that, but I’m sure some techies have figured it out :) I’d imagine it would be super slow though if so? And probably jack up your cell bill? (Not many offer “unlimited” anymore, but some do)

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202 kellyn westra August 18, 2015 at 5:03 pm

I use my smartphone (currently have a Samsung s4)’s data plan to run Netlix and Hulu Plus, youtube, etc and if you have a smart tv you can cast it to your tv which actually uses no internet at all. I have no home internet. You need a smart tv though for this to work. I however, will switch to Republic Wireless after paying off my device as my tmobile bill is too much!
Thanks for that tip on the Republic Wireless!

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203 J. Money August 21, 2015 at 10:26 am

thanks for chiming in! always blown away at how people rock technology like that – let me know how it goes with RW if you end up trying them out :)

btw, we’re giving out a free phone w/ service this weekend if you haven’t seen the notice yet – make sure to enter!

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2015/08/giveaway-republic-wireless-phone-service/

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204 jodi September 7, 2015 at 6:33 pm

i saved money by ditching verizon and going to comcast. not a total savings like chromecast or anything but i hated verizon so much. i called up comcast and told them i hated verizon what can u do for me or something and now my bill is about thirty dollars less.

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205 J. Money September 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Hah! I did the same thing last week before cutting cable altogether, and Comcast gave me a HIGHER price! I was like “and why would that make me want to switch over???” haha…

They told me it would be locked in for a year straight so I didn’t have to worry about it getting increased. “But you just increased it?? And now want to lock in that increase for 12 months straight???” I quickly retorted.

Some people….

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206 Donna george September 13, 2015 at 3:44 am

nice post. Big project putting all those actions to ink. Tech stuff is frustrating period! Think I might try the chrome cast .
Thanks a bunch.

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207 Lisa Clewis October 6, 2015 at 11:43 am

I am saving $150.00 a month by using Roku instead of cable. Lately I’ve noticed though that the streaming channels are being updated with new movies as much as I would like them to be but I hate to complain because other than paying $99.00 a year for Amazon I’m watching tv for free.

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208 J. Money October 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

$150/mo savings is incredible – congrats :) We finally cut cable once and for all too, however keeping high-speed internet didn’t save us that much in the end… though that’s also because we got it down as cheap as we can before vs starting with it being crazy inflated :)

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209 Linda January 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I have cell phone but no internet in my home or cable. Am i to understand i can run tv off of my cell phone. Have hotspot nut use up the data really fast. Can i watch tv with the use of my phones signal?

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210 J. Money February 1, 2016 at 10:51 am

I’m pretty sure you need internet at home to be able to do it, but things change so fast so some of that might be possible these days? Or prob in the future.

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211 Kristie February 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm

I don’t get to watch TV unless I buy a movie.

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212 Amanda February 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

We use an digital antenna

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213 cathie abram February 27, 2016 at 11:31 pm

I use the clear tv system

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214 Mishelle Dean April 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm

I returned my Uverse box to AT&T, cancelled Uverse TV, and started using Netflix to view movies.

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215 Brian April 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

By downgrading to the basic TV package with Direct TV and using Netflix on my tablet to view all the programs I’ve previously missed out on.

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216 Brandy street April 30, 2016 at 6:36 pm

So my problem is actually trying to find a decent internet provider since I live in the middle of nowhere. We’re using satellite now but it’s pretty expensive and has weird peak hours so you can only stream video from like midnight-5 am. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears!!

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217 Shoptalker May 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

I am trying to break up with AT & T U Verse BADLY !!! However, I do not have unlimited data.
They have managed to screw us every time we tried to get a lower bill. I need a reliable internet speed to stream, but I don’t want them to catch me in a corner on data. Any suggestions? I was trying to research another provider who offers unlimited data, but saw bad reviews on most of them.

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218 Susan July 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

I have Vizio smart TV, I have digital antennae TV, I have 6 gigs of data from Verizon. Can I stream TV without using my gigs through these new items like u r giving away, a senior citizen in Wi needs ur advice. Thank U

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219 J. Money July 25, 2016 at 10:44 am

I’m pretty sure it all uses data :( Maybe call them up though and just ask? Maybe you have some special plan or something?

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220 Kimberley Sloan August 28, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Is there any good websites to find all the movies and tv shows that I would normally watch on cable to cast to chromecast. I have a chromecast, but I was thinking about buying a fire stick and found your site. I am like why do I need a firestick when I have chormecast. I know how to use it and I have. I just don’t know the good sites to go to to get good quality and shows I want to watch without cutting off my cable. Ty in advance for any advice.

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221 Daylemary September 12, 2016 at 5:10 pm

After $400 a month bills from Fair point and xfinity
I stream vdvu movies over my smart talk phone the monthly card for unlimited talk n text is $40

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222 Tonis January 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

I have not paid for television in over 13 years, and then it was under protest. I have been happy with streaming media. I have found that using Opera browser and placing all the free streaming media channels I could find with google searches I was able to place them all into one folder on my browser on opening it.
For shows that my wife and I like to binge watch, I use Aviator browser and go on to sites like putlocker, with that browser if you don’t have a flash player the stream becomes a download without needing a torrent app.
As for saving on my phone, I have been with the big V for a while, they have this new plan that works for our family since we like to keep our phones for as long as possible, once the phone is paid for in two years interest free, it comes of the bill, also we sparingly use 3gb data between 2 phones and get a teachers discount/state employee discount through work.
As for WiFi at home, I am able to access internet for free from the business downstairs that seemingly has no restriction to access for the exception of a password that is freely given to anyone that is a customer.
As a side note, I am able to go to my public library and borrow for free any DVD, CD even Wii games. They even have new releases.
The laptop we use for watching our shows is about 10 years old Toshiba Satellite that I refurbished myself with a new OS, new HD, new power pack and battery, works great.

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223 J. Money January 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for sharing your tips :)

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