Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days: Day 24 - TV for Free? Almost!

If this is your first visit I welcome you to my little corner of the world! You might want to start at the introduction of this series. It explains what 31 Days of Change is, and has links to each day's post as they occur. Just click on the 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly button at the top of my sidebar on the right.

Remember the good old days when as long as you had an antenna, you paid nothing to watch your own TV?   Of course there were far fewer channels, but you didn't pay a dime for those channels.

We had a cable package, which included our TV, internet and phone. At first it was about $100 or so. After the first year, the bill took a jump and started climbing. We eventually locked in for 1-2 years and were paying a total of $147 a month. Our locked in rate expired and we had to decide if we wanted to lock in again at $160. Are. you. kidding. me?

I looked into Roku, a company that manufactures little black boxes, not for aircraft, but for your TV. Basically you choose your box, plug it into your TV, follow the easy instructions for connecting to your wireless router, and start watching. You can also get the most expensive box if you want an ethernet port for wired internet connection.

There are 3 Roku boxes to choose from. We chose the mid priced one. It seemed to fit our needs best and cost us $79, about the same amount we were paying for one month of the TV portion of our cable bill. There are no monthly fees with Roku, unless you decide to add Netflix or some other paid channels.

It comes with several channels already on, and you can add more from the channel store. There are some paid channels, like Netflix, which we were already subscribed to anyway.

Another channel we will probably add is Hulu Plus, for $7.99 a month. Although you can watch Hulu on your computer for free, with Hulu Plus, you can watch it on your TV, and it has more channels. We are going to try the free week to see how we like that. We've barely scratched the surface of the programming available.

Deciding to cut our cable TV out was a pretty drastic move for us. Not that we are couch potatoes, but we have our favorite shows, and it's hard to make changes. We've had our box for about three weeks, and although it took some adjustment, we are liking it.

It may not be for everyone. For instance you can't just sit down and watch the evening news. But we rarely watched our local news, and we can watch our favorite national news channel online for free. We are not sports fans, but I don't think you can watch live games, however, I could be wrong about that.

You can check it out (At the time of this writing, I am/was not being compensated by Roku in any way. I may in the future become an affiliate because I really like the product.)

Cutting our cable TV saved us $80 a month. We already had netflix for movies, so I am not counting that. We may add Hulu Plus for 7.99, but currently are saving $80/month or $960 per year!

If you are benefiting from this series, I’d love it if you would grab my button from the top of my sidebar. I will be back with another money saving tip tomorrow. I will keep up a running tally of my savings at the bottom of each new post. Just scroll down to the bottom to see. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll be back!

My tally so far:


  1. Great tip about Roku! This is how we watch TV, as well. I do miss getting local live news, but I subscribe to local feeds on Facebook, so I still feel "in touch" with the community.

  2. Awesome.. my daughter has this and it works out well for her. I wish I could do it but my husband is a history buff and I can't get him away from the history or national geographic channel on that expensive cable. This is a great thing for those who do not know about it.


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