Do you cringe every time you open your cable bill? Yeah, we did, too. And in an effort to save even more money for our trip and gain back a little bit of the time we were losing to television, we gave up our cable last summer. We’ve now saved an additional $600 toward our trip, and we’ll keep saving at the rate of $100/month until we leave.
But that still leaves a hole in our entertainment. We don’t *hate* television – far from it! We just don’t want to get bogged down again in an expensive habit that keeps us from getting out of the house more.
Here is what we are doing to get our television fix:
- Regular television: Hulu is by far my favorite. I can catch my nerdy shows like Stargate Universe as well as more mainstream shows like House, and I watch them all on my laptop. Some shows have a delay of a few days to a week before they are available on Hulu, but once you get on their schedule it is no big deal. You can easily subscribe to your favorite shows so they are available in your queue without searching – almost like having your own DVR. The one thing to keep in mind about Hulu is that it will likely not be free for long. The Comcast/NBC deal could mean that Comcast becomes a part-owner of Hulu, and the makers of Hulu have said before that it won’t always be free. I don’t know how it will ever be as expensive as cable since you could easily subscribe to certain shows or networks like you can on iTunes, but I’m not an expert on this.
- Sports was the big thing missing for us on Hulu. And by “us” I mean Warren. He is a huge college football fan, and he’s hobbled along this season by watching football on occasion with friends but mostly through his laptop. Not every game is available, though. My friend Cindy told us about ATDHE.Net for streaming sports, and Warren tried it this weekend. It took a couple of tries for it to work for him, but eventually he was able to spend Sunday afternoon watching a few games.
- Movies: We are big movie fans, and we also like discovering older television shows that we missed. Both of these needs are met with Netflix. We have the 3-DVD plan where we can have 3 out at a time. What comes along with this plan is an “on demand” service that allows you to watch a variety of DVDs instantly from your computer. The selection is much smaller than the DVDs you can rent the traditional way, but I would argue it is no less impressive than what you’d find on cable on a random Saturday afternoon.
There are more complicated options available, including connecting a computer to your television. We did not go that extra step because will be here for less than 298 days (and counting) and our current arrangement works just fine.
What are some of the ways that you save money on your video entertainment?
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