Cut the Cord: 8 Cable Alternatives to Save Money

Hi, my name is Heather, and I’m addicted to TV. I also haven’t had a cable bill in five years.

I watch dramas and comedies. I love movies and sports. I even watch TV while I’m working. I love it all — except the expensive cable bill that can creep up every month.

When we finally made the decision to cut the cable, we did so with the idea that we would have to let go. It was time to break the addiction and change our viewing habits, but that isn’t exactly how it ended up.

I seem to watch more TV than ever these days, but I haven’t paid for cable in years. Yes, there are plenty of totally legal ways to watch your favorite shows without cable. Here are 8 cable alternatives to try at home:

  • Cut the Cord: 8 Cable Alternatives to Finally Cut the Cable Bill 1 of 9
    Cut the Cord - 8 Cable Alternatives to Save Money

    Photo Credit (Creative Commons): Flickr user: cakesquared

  • Netflix 2 of 9

    Netflix is our go-to option for television and movie streaming. Starting at $7.99, you can stream to your TV through the Wii, Xbox, Playstation, Blu-Ray players, Apple TV, Smart Televisions, and more. In addition to your favorite shows and movies, Netflix even has exclusive content like Orange Is the New Black

    Photo Credit: Netflix

  • Hulu 3 of 9

    Many shows are available for streaming on Hulu completely free. For the rest, try Hulu Plus, starting at just $7.99, also available for streaming to your TV through the Wii, Xbox, Playstation, Blu-Ray players, Apple TV, Smart Televisions, and more.

    Photo Credit: Hulu

  • iTunes/Google Play 4 of 9
    iTunes and Google Play

    Download or rent TV shows and movies on your iPad or Android tablet. Both iTunes and the Google Play store have episodes and full seasons available to purchase or rent.

    Photo Credit: Heather Sokol

  • Network Websites 5 of 9
    Network Websites

    To see the latest episodes of some of your favorite shows, look no further than the station's own website. Most have at least the most recent episodes available online for free streaming. I got caught up on Castle and Once Upon a Time on ABC this week. 

    Photo Credit: Heather Sokol

  • DVDs 6 of 9

    If streaming isn't your thing, many TV shows are available on DVD just weeks after the season ends. It's perfect for binge watching entire seasons or series. We have an extensive collection of movies and TV series of our own, with access to many more through Redbox and our local library. I have even seen all of True Blood, even though we've never had HBO by checking the DVDs out at the library.

    Photo Credit: Heather Sokol

  • Apple TV 7 of 9
    Apple TV

    In addition to using Apple TV to stream Netflix, Hulu, and other cable alternatives to our television, there is a lot of free and subscription content available. It is another option for streaming from iTunes, YouTube, and digital copies of movies you already own.

    Buy It on Amazon for $84

    Photo Credit: Amazon product image

  • Amazon Instant Video 8 of 9
    Amazon Instant Video

    Amazon provides streaming of most television shows and movies at a per-episode price. This is awesome if you missed the live show and just want to pay for one episode. Better yet — become a member of Amazon Prime and receive unlimited streaming! The $79/year price includes Kindle borrowing, free 2-day shipping, and unlimited streaming from the Prime video store.

    Try Amazon Prime

    Photo Credit: Screenshot by Heather Sokol

  • Antenna 9 of 9

    These are not your momma's rabbit ears! Newer antennas are unobtrusive, lightweight, and simple to install. Simply connect the antennae to your televisions cable input to retrieve over-the-airwaves channels, like local stations, PBS, and weather.

    Buy It on Amazon for $17.14

    Photo Credit: Heather Sokol

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