5 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CABLE BILL
1. Start with a good promotion. Try and get the best deal when you first sign up. I waited to sign up for my current plan until they were offering a $400 gift card, free movie channels for a year and zero setup fee. When you do this be sure to read all the fine print and see if you have to cancel anything before the promo ends to avoid any charges. If you are still stuck with a contract with your current cable provider, then do not be shy to call and ask for a better deal! Tell them you are a loyal customer and want to know what they can do for you. Most of the time they will offer you something. Tell them right out you are looking to lower your bill and you want to know what your options are.
2. Buy equipment instead of renting it. Most of us bundle our internet with our cable which is an added cost. To save money, buy your router instead of paying a monthly “rental” fee. If you are in a 2-year plan at $10 a month to rent the router then your out of pocket for the two years is $240 versus buying the router from them for say $150 (or cheaper if you shop around). Ask about other equipment you may be able to purchase instead of rent.
3. Decide what you need. Do you need a DVR? Most shows are On-Demand and can be watched at any time so really think about what you would use the DVR for. If you decide you still want one, do you need one in every room? Or will one DVR for the family work? Do you need a box in every room? Every little expense adds up. Downsizing your Internet service may also be an option. If you’re paying extra for the most bandwidth available, consider whether you need it. Start with the lowest plan and upgrade if needed. I have several devices on wi-fi and I use the lowest bandwidth plan and it works just fine.
4. Take advantage of reward & loyalty programs. Check with your cable provider to see what types of loyalty rewards they may have. Verizon offers Verizon rewards which are an excellent way to rent free movies or cash out for gift cards. Take advantage of referral programs as well. Refer friends and get money or rewards.
5. Get rid of cable altogether! Consider using a DTV Antenna. A DTV Antenna can be used in place of a cable service. Websites like NoCable.org can do a complete analysis for you after you type in your home address. They can also help you find good broadband internet and give you options for local sports viewing. Here is a personal note from reader Chris on why he got rid of his cable and how he watches TV now.
“The kids watch Netflix or YouTube Kids. My wife and I mostly watch Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (mostly Netflix). We had had DirecTV for over three years because when we moved in, it was just one more utility that we needed to purchase. However, as time went on, we realized that our $75 cable bill wasn’t worth it. No one watched the channels we had. I mostly used it to watch the evening news, record SNL and watch our local sports teams.
After research, I decided to dump cable and live the cable TV cord-cutters lifestyle. To be honest, it really couldn’t have gone any better. The kids don’t notice a difference at all – they never watched it. With the DTV antenna I bought, I got crystal-clear reception of all our local affiliate stations (CBS, NBC, ABC & Fox) – even with my house being over 50 miles away from the channel’s broadcast stations.
Replacing my local sports was a little more difficult, but I found an online service called Unlocator that gave me an IP address that is not registered in my local area so that I wouldn’t be subject to blackouts when watching the professional Pirates (MLB) or Penguins (NHL) games.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about using a DTV antenna, you can check out nocable.org for information. You can also sign up for their free ebook The Ultimate Guide for Cutting the Cord & Free Over-The-Air TV.
Do you have tips on ways to reduce your cable bill? Share them in the comments.