Lina’s Saving $100/Month By Ditching Cable! Here’s How…

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I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – packing a remote and cable supplies in a box

Love TV, but tired of paying the large bill each month?

We’ve been on the fence about getting rid of cable for the last couple of years, and this month we finally pulled the plug! I’m pretty sure the reason we waited so long was that we really didn’t know much about streaming TV options (it’s a bit intimidating!), and we were also worried our TV watching experience wouldn’t be as great as with traditional cable, or that we’d miss certain channels.

…AND did I mention that I’m not super techy?! lol 

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – cash money on a cable console

I’ve had cable most of my adult life!

We have switched back and forth between Direct TV and Cox cable, depending on who had the best promotions and rates. Most currently our Direct TV bill topped out at $180 😱, and they weren’t willing to lower it, so we canceled.

On top of the cable, we were also separately paying for Netflix, Hulu, and also watched Amazon Video (free with Prime).

Most recently, I found myself watching more and more shows and movies on these three streaming apps, instead of cable. I mean how can you not with shows like Handmaid’s Tale, Marvelous Miss Marvel, and Ozark!

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – using a mobile device

Today I’m sharing how we ditched cable in a few simple steps!

There are definitely lots of ways to accomplish this, but I’m specifically sharing the products we are using.

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – using a mobile device with streaming

Step 1: Pick a streaming cable replacement

There are several popular choices currently to stream live TV, including Hulu Live, Sling TV, and DirectTV Now, to name a few. Each one has a different price point and channel selection.

We decided to upgrade our current basic $11 Hulu subscription to include the “live” package, for $39.99/mo. You simply enter your zip code when registering and then get access to your local channels. The set-up was easy!

Turns out Hulu Live Rocks!

We’re not noticing much (if any) of a difference from cable, and I’m loving Hulu Live! It has me wondering, “Why didn’t we do this earlier?!” It’s easy to navigate through all the different network channels, and I still get my local TV. Plus, we can watch live HGTV, E! Network, CNN, Disney Channel, Food Network, ESPN, and so much more.

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – Google Chromecast device

Step 2: Pick a Media Streamer

Unless your TV is brand new, you’ll most likely need a media streamer that’ll allow your device to stream to your television screen for the live portion of TV. There’s a variety of products that do this currently, like Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV stick.

We ultimately picked Google Chromecast for a couple of reasons. The main one was because we already owned one, and I only needed to buy two additional units so each TV in our home would have one. (We have three TVs total.) In a way, these replace your cable boxes.

Plus, another factor in the Chromecast decision is that we have Google Home Mini smart speakers in our home, and since Chromecast is a Google product, they can easily sync together. Now I can now say commands like, “Hey Google, turn on Fuller House on Netflix.” It took our home automation another step further. With that said, if you have Amazon products like Alexa, then maybe an Amazon Firestick may make more sense.

The Chromecast plugs into the TVs HDMI is easy to install and allows us to now “Cast” all the streaming apps we have from our devices.

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – DirectTV equipment in a box

Step 3: Return your cable boxes & remotes.

I have to admit, I was NERVOUS to give up my DVR full of shows, so I reluctantly packed all the boxes and remotes to send back to Direct TV. We dropped off a box of all their equipment to the UPS store, where they pack it up and return everything as requested by Direct TV.

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – using a laptop at a bar

Something to consider? You’ll need a strong internet service.

For my remote job, that’s something we already have, and I currently pay for the internet through our cable company. You’ll need a strong internet to avoid buffering when streaming. We’ve had no issues since our modem is fairly new and we have a strong internet connection. I believe we have 100 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. Your internet bill could also increase depending on your plan, and if you pay according to usage, you’ll be using more internet when streaming.

I saved 1200 on cable by streaming – child looking at a mobile device while watching tv

In conclusion, we’re saving over $100/month by streaming instead of using cable! Yippee!

Sure, we had to invest a little upfront in a couple of Chromecast units, but it’s worth it! And it was not super difficult or inconvenient to pull the plug on cable after all. Honestly, I had a little anxiety about trying something new like this, but we’re glad we did!

If you already know how to stream using Netflix, you’ll be able to navigate Hulu Live (or something similar)! EASY.

If you’re on the fence about ditching cable, I’d encourage you to consider it as you’ll be saving money while still being able to enjoy your favorite shows!

Want more ways to save with simple service switches like this?

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About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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Comments 140

  1. Molly

    I use players klub for $8 a month. It gets everything

    • Mell

      I just checked Players Klub is not taking any new subscription:(

    • Melissa Singh

      I’m pretty sure this service is illegal. I’d rather pay a fair price for TV.

  2. Gwen B.

    We did get rid of cable and are just using channels available on the Roku with Netflix and Hulu. The only problem we ran into was trying to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve – we were able to watch Steve Harvey but wanted to watch Ryan Seacrest on ABC and could not get ABC streaming. We tried several different apps (SlingTV, YoutubeTV, Hulu Live) and they all said ABC wasn’t available in our area. So that was a bummer!

    • Nate

      How about plug in an antenna for over the air live TV from the major networks? Get one anywhere for $10-$20.

  3. Marcie

    I switched to youtubeTV from COX a few months ago and love it. Cox was going to increase my bill to $279 in June! I wasn’t having it. YouTubeTV is $50. Unlimited DVR, includes your local channels, and you can stream 3 devices at one time. I think you can have upto 6 separate profiles. Just make sure the live streaming service you choose has your “must have” channels. No MTV or nick so my daughter pays for Philo $20 a month. So for $70 we pretty much get it all. Do your research!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Nice! Thanks for those tips! Yes, I agree streaming is great!

  4. EH

    We did it! We have been off cable 8 days today! My husband loaded all the cable boxes and remotes up and took them back last Saturday. We already had Firesticks on the TV’s so it was as simple as installing the Hulu Ap on Prime. The hardest part was getting used to the navigation of Hulu. Then I found the free TV Guide app for my phone and can see when everything is on. We also ditched the land line and I can tell you I have not missed it at all! Big, huge savings here at our house!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Wow! Awesome 👏 and great tip about that TV Guide app! Yay!

  5. Amanda O'Jibway

    We have one smart TV and two older TVs. We have one Chromecast device and one Roku device. Can we use these two different devices on our two older TVs with one streaming service (like YouTube TV) and it all work together? Sry not tech savvy here either 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ya you can use the same logins to youtube tv from roku and chromecast- we actually have both of those devices now on diff tvs in our house. 👍

      • amandamauldinojibway

        Super! Thanks for the helpful info! 😉

  6. snezhinka

    So how does everyone get their wifi from? Paying for all these services like Netflix and Roku does add up, now Disney goes rogue too. You save by cutting the cable, but my question is what about free wifi???

    • Ded Moroz

      You do have to have internet in the house. WiFi will come from your router or internet provider router.

    • Heather BV

      Wifi requires that you have internet service. Generally, that’s going to come from a phone or cable company.

  7. Mell

    Does anyone have any ideas what to purchase in a package deal if available to get lifetime and hallmark channels? Not sure I could cut the cable cord without them, but would sure love to try. Any suggestions? Thanks you

  8. witoldyna

    We had a cable for 3 months to make the wiring of the house free. Then we cancelled the contract and were using an air antenna. Now we are living in the apartment and for some reason our antenna doesn’t work so we had to sign up with the local company and we are paying :35 for something what we had for free before. None of Hulu and similar solutions would work for us because it does not stream pbs which is what we basically watch (plus news in the morning and at night).

  9. Melissa

    I just cut the cord this past week. I was probably the last person I knew with real tv besides my grandma. I just got hit hard with charges from DirecTV after my offer ended. I called them and spoke to a retention team and they did give me a deal, but they first tried to get me to commit for 2 more years, which I did not want to do because it was still more than my previous offer. I got my first few bills with the “offer” they gave me and I saved a whopping $10 after taxes, fees, and an increased sports fee. That was it!

    I printed out the DirecTV channel line up from their site and I went though the list crossing out channels I didn’t care about. I didn’t even realize I got some of those channels. I googled the unfamiliar names to see what was on them Then I went to search for over the air channels which none were available. You can search for them here after that being a bust I asked friends and a majority used Hulu + Live so I signed up for the trial. I then took the channel line up and flipped through Hulu + Live and marked what channels I did get. Surprisingly, it was a majority of the ones I cared about! I am paying about $59 a month for this service because I chose the unlimited screens add-on.

    I was missing LMN, MTV, Teen Nick, etc so I wanted to see what else had them. I found a website and it allowed me to plug in the channels I was missing from my directv package. I love this site it gave me a side by side look at everything and I can compare. I ended up going with Philo to get those extra channels and a few more that weren’t on my package. That is $20 a month with a 2 weeks free if you enter credit card info in the first 48 hours, but you save $5 off the first month.

    So far things work well. I am using the fire stick which you can get a 4K for $24.99 by adding one to your amazon cart and at check out enter code 4KFIRETV also I am using the echo dot that I got on a deal here last week. I LOVE this combo! I plan on getting a dot for all my tvs it makes navigating so easy. Also the fire stick has a “live” guide which Hulu is not working on but Philo is so instead of opening that app I browse the guide. I think you can record on both, but I just heart shows and then watch them later most of them are available right away. I don’t use the record feature. Also I have the version with ads, the ads aren’t long so I don’t mind. Anyways, I hope I’ve helped someone I did a lot of work for this to make sense, but my bill was about $197 a month with DirecTv the savings was worth the work I guess.

  10. Tia

    If you are OK with movies and older TV shows, I highly recommend Pluto. It’s exactly like cable but free, there’s something for everyone…Did I mention it’s FREE!

  11. Adrian

    We moved to a new state this summer and my husband insisted that we could live without cable and save some money each month. I wasn’t convinced, but told him we would try it. As much as it pains me to admit he was right (Ha!), I am NEVER going back to cable.

    We love streaming through our ROKU and we went from an almost $200 a month cable bill to $65 a month for just the internet. We were already paying for Netflix and we took advantage of the deal Colin posted about last year for Hulu at $1.00 a month. I know that price will increase at the end of the year, but we are still saving WAY more than what our cable cost.

    If you are apprehensive about doing this, don’t be! You will be so happy you made the change!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I agree and thanks so much for stopping to comment Adrian!

    • Mel

      Do you have to stream from a phone/tablet?

  12. Mel

    Does the Roku do the streaming for you, or do you always have to have a phone/tablet to stream to your tv?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes it does stream – and looks kinda like a traditional tv changer – so you don’t have to use your device.

  13. Lina

    I’m not good with techs so I hope someone can help me understand this:
    1-how does a roku work. Do I need it to “stream” if I have smart TVs already?
    2-to take advantage of all these “streaming” apps such as Hulu live, Disney+; etc. I need to have a fast internet connection right? I’m on a “grandfather” plan for internet that I only pay $14.99/mo for internet for the last 7+years (good enough for Netflix/online searching/email) I am reluctant to give up this plan but I’m afraid it’s not fast enough for live streaming. Should I upgrade ?
    3. My direct tv bill almost doubled after 1 yr promotion. I called like Collin advices but they won’t lower the price nor let me cancel until pay $20/mo penalty for the remaining 11 months. Is there anything I can do to get around this ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  14. Katrina

    We ditched directtv too as they wouldnt budge on lowering the price after our two year promo ended. We got hulu live and love it!!! However yesterday got an email they are putting up the price from $44.99 to $54.99 around dec 16 from memory this year. $10!!!!! So annoyed but I guess we are trapped with no alternatives than to stay. Oh and the commercials with hulu live are horrendous!! Just warning you lol. Watching ‘this is us’ and there is an ad every five minutes. Ridiculous. Guess they want to push us to advert free …sigh.

  15. Quinn Temores

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

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