Nov 02 2008

We’re canceling our cable (and still watching our favorite shows)


Not long ago, we bought a digital converter box because we thought we might get some use out of it if we ever decided to get rid of our cable. Well, I think we’re going to get rid of our cable sooner than I even imagined.

We’re going from:

  • $23/month cable
  • It included all main broadcast stations and a few others, and the Comcast “digital classic” package which has about 50+ channels and some all-music stations. We also had HBO and Encore movie channels.
  • On-screen TV guide of what’s on
  • Semi-decent picture quality


  • Free TV viewing
  • Paid about $12 for our digital converter box (after using a $40-off coupon issued by the government) and picking up some rabbit ear antennas for $15
  • All main network stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, a Pittsburgh cable channel, local weather, and a few others. Check to see a listing of channels you’ll be able to receive.
  • On-screen TV guide of what’s on
  • BETTER picture quality than we had with cable! WHAT?!

Even though our cable bill was pretty cheap, we don’t watch enough TV for it to be worth it. We don’t really watch any of the cable-only channels anyway, and we rarely use OnDemand to watch shows or movies.

When we first got cable back in January, I was really excited. Over-the-top bursting with excitement. Kinda silly, really. The thrill of it all wore off pretty quickly though.

We recently took my old computer tower and hooked it up to our TV. (Don’t ask me how; Shane is the tech whiz around here). We can stream online programming straight to our television if we wanted. We like Hulu for some shows, and you can also visit many TV station sites to watch full-length programming for free.

For even more movies and shows, we can pick up movies for $1 (or free if we have a code!) at a Redbox.

Canceling our cable will free up $23 per month ($276 a year!). And ya know what? We won’t miss it.

With the economy doing crazy things and more people trying to cut expenses, and with cheap alternatives available, I predict many more people will cancel their cable in the coming months.

Do you pay for cable? Are you considering dropping it?

Want to see if you can still watch your favorite show without paying for cable? Check this handy guide here.

Other bloggers who have recently dumped cable:

I cut the cable – Prime Time Money

Now it’s easier than ever to cut cable – Smart Spending

When broadcast is better than cable – Mrs Micah

Like buying a new 50″ TV each year and tossing it in the dumpster – Cancel Cable

Posted under Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “We’re canceling our cable (and still watching our favorite shows)”

  1. We also don’t have cable. We paid $17.50 a month for the broadcast stations only, but when we got our HDTV earlier this year, we were able to get all our stations in crystal clear HD quality with just the antenna. We also have a Netflix membership and get old TV episodes of Bewitched and I Love Lucy.

    We only miss cable when our team is playing football on ESPN :-). Otherwise…we think it’s better quality without!

    Corrie @ “Cents”able Momma’s last blog post..Printable Coupon Roundup

  2. Thanks for the link and for initially inspiring us to get the digital converter box. Like you, I was astounded by the quality of reception…it’s just not something you expect from tv. Maybe DVDs…

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..Happy Halloween – Cookie Recipe

  3. Out of curiosity, do you have DSL internet?

    ashley @ twentysixcats’s last blog post..the many faces of Paul

  4. No, we have cable internet. I looked into DSL, but that’s not available here for some reason. It’s supposedly going to be an option “soon.”

    We have a promo price of $19.99/month for six months, and then after that it’ll double. I’ll just make a stink about it and maybe we can hang on to the promo price. Maybe by then, we can have DSL.

  5. We haven’t had cable for years & years & years. We also just got a DVR box and we are amazed with the quality! Yay free, clear tv!

  6. Wow…you only paid $23 a month!?! I think the cheapest plan I’d be able to find here would be over $30 and we pay more than that. :) Then again we get a lot of use from it because we watch a LOT of T.V. Including the cable only channels. We have our phone, TV, and internet bundled together and we pay over $150. *ouch* But we don’t go to a lot of movies.

    If we had to I would absolutely cut the cable out though. It’d be one of the first things to go.

    castocreations’s last blog post..Important Stuff Before Tuesday

  7. We’re canceling our bill also. Its funny that my husband and I were talking about for the past weeks. We’re going to start in january. We’ve got the cards to buy the converter box. Wow i can’t believe you only paid $23/month for cable. We pay $60 per month with Directv.

  8. I love not having cable! We used to have it when we had cable internet, because it was more expensive to BLOCK the basic cable signal, but then we switched to DSL. I’m no longer tempted to waste time watching boring stuff I don’t even want to watch just because it’s available! Instead, I watch all of the shows I like online!

    I read a news article (maybe LA Times?) a few days ago that said 20-somethings would gladly give up cable but wouldn’t dream of giving up internet. So true! The internet provides all the entertainment I need, along with so many money-saving and money-making opportunities. It’s one of the best frugal tools ever invented, I think.

  9. Oh man, I couldn’t give up the internet either. There’s just too many things you can do with it!

  10. Wow,,,only 23 a month! Here in WV we pay $50.00 for basic cable…no frills, no movie channels, nothing. Funny you would post this because we just discussed this weekend getting rid of it. I think we plan to after Thanksgiving. My family come to my house and they would be disappointed if I don’t have the “game” on! Thanks for the links to hulu and the antenna web thing! We are members of Netflix and I watch a lot of my favs online already..but I did not know about hulu. Unfortunately, living in mountainous WV limits the antenna stuff a lot. WE have lots of deadzones for cell phones as well. With rabbit ears you are lucky to get one channel, it looks like we might only get two with the new digital system. But it might be worth a try. Thanks agaiin for the info!

  11. Yeah, $23/month is a crazy cheap deal. But, it’s going to waste since we barely use it.

    Maybe you could try a roof antenna, or one that can at least go in your attic? Dunno if that would help. Some antennas are supposed to be stronger than others.

    Hope you get some channels with digital!

  12. I’m trying to cancel our cable, too! I’ll be picking up two digital converter boxes so thanks for posting the link again.

  13. I would love to cut the cable, but most of the television I watch is on the cable networks.
    We have slashed the movie channels and reduced the number of boxes.

    And I think my daughter would “DIE” without Disney.

    Spendthrift’s last blog post..Basic Family Budget Calculator

  14. Thanks for sharing my post, Kacie. Sorry the complete cancel didn’t work out.

    PT’s last blog post..Extend the Life of Your Razor Blades and Get Free Razor Samples

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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