Cut the cord without cutting out your shows
Is there life after cable? I dare say yes! Eight years ago we dropped cable and installed an antenna. At first I was apprehensive; I needed my Food Network and HGTV. I can honestly say I don't miss my shows or the cable bill.
With the antenna pointed north, we get all the major D.C. network stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, etc.) and we've even angled it towards Richmond to get an NFL game or two. Free TV.
Our monthly cable bill was $70 in 2007, saving us $6,500 (including the initial $200 expense of the antenna) to date. In 2015, the average cable customer pays $75 a month/$900 a year.
For $7.99 a month, we subscribe to Netflix and are able to watch online shows and movies at our convenience. If we want to stream movies and TV shows from the Internet, we have a laptop with HDMI input that we connect directly to our TV.
You may still be saying, "But I love cable and can't possibly live without it!" Consider a streaming player to turn your regular TV into a "smart" TV. Try these options, for example:
Amazon Fire Stick for $39. Fire TV Stick connects to your TV's HDMI port. It's an easy way to enjoy over 200,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, and Hulu Plus, plus games, music and more.
Apple TV starting at $69. Apple TV gives you access to the best 1080p HD content –including blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, live sports, your music, photos, videos and more – right on your HDTV.
Google Chromecast for $35. Cast your favorite entertainment from your phone or tablet straight to your TV.
Roku 3 starting at $49.99. Roku players connect directly to your TV (with HDMI or composite cables), and to your home network to stream entertainment. You choose from a wide selection of streaming channels and put all your favorites in one place.
These devices connect to the Internet through your Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable and stream movies and shows to your TV. If you have a gaming console (Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One or PS3) you already have what you need.
Cutting the proverbial cable cord was easy for us since our family doesn't watch much TV, but if you still can't live without certain shows, you are in luck with several different options to meet your viewing needs.
Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom teaching her two young sons financial responsibility with the less is more mindset.