5 Frugal Living Ideas You'd Never Think Of


Ditch Cable and Still Watch TV

You can catch most of your favorite shows online and stop paying for cable.
You can catch most of your favorite shows online and stop paying for cable.
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Cable is a huge expense. Depending on the options you choose and what provider you have, your bill might be $50 to $100 each month just to watch TV. That's $600 to $1,200 every year. It's something you can certainly live without, so the simple solution is to just cut the cord and save some money.

If you can't give up your favorite shows, don't despair. Head to an electronics supply store and get an antenna. You don't really need a fancy one, and a basic model can be found for under $50, about the price of one month's worth of cable. With this, you'll be able to tune in a wide variety of local stations -- you might be surprised at what channels are being broadcast in your area. Since most cable providers use digital compression on their HD signals, you can actually get a better HD picture with your antenna.

If you're still paying for broadband Internet service, there are a number of other ways to access TV shows without cable. Several services provide streaming television shows, but to use them effectively you need a way to connect your TV to the Internet, either through a direct Ethernet connection or through a separate device, like a computer, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Roku box.

Popular TV streaming services include Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster. Some of them offer current TV episodes, some only have past seasons. Deciding which one works best for you depends on whether you just want something to watch or really need to keep up with the latest shows. These services typically cost significantly less per month than cable, although if you need to purchase a computer or gaming system to access the service, add that cost to your evaluation.

One of the biggest problems many people have with getting rid of cable is the inability to watch live sports. There aren't really any ideal solutions to this issue. Several sports packages are available through Playstation 3 and a few other devices that allow streaming of live games. However, these packages can be so expensive they would defeat the purpose of getting rid of cable, and in some cases, your home team's games wouldn't be accessible. There are Web sites that stream various live events, including sports, but not all of them are legal, and they can be difficult to find or access.