Monday, July 1, 2013

Tips for Living: How we Cut the {Cable} Cord and Survived - Part 1

I enjoy tv. 

I like the comedy line-ups in fall. I had a crush on Jim from The Office. I was loyal to Gilmore Girls. I like PBS kids and HGTV and secretly watch 16 and Pregnant. (Shhhh.)

But at the end of April, I called our satellite company exactly 2 days after our two year contract was up, and discontinued service. 

And you know what? It felt GOOOOOOOD. Really good
Want to know how you can do it too?

Welcome to my 3 part series to show the skeptical or curious or those considering dropping their cable/satellite that you can do it, while continuing to watch your favorite shows, and while saving a BUNCH of money! Just in case you don't like shelling out serious dough every month to your cable provider.

 Over the last four years I've become increasingly uncomfortable about the constant commercials my kids are exposed to. Both the constant bombardment to BUY BUY BUY something, but also the content of the commercials. Erectile Dysfunction at dinner time anyone?  Explain that to a 6 year old. Puh-leeeeze.

 Kids channels, which used to limit their commercials now push more commercials an hour it seems than regular channels. Of course, marketing is a genius invention, and each item is specifically targeting my little impressionable mini's making them think they need something they had no idea existed just minutes prior. 

If I hear that Stompeez commercial one more time, my head may explode.

And then came the quality of the satellite we were subscribing too. Channels would disappear for months on end because of money and contract disputes. Some channels (and only during peak evening time) would constantly blank out or seem to pause. But I was never refunded for these problems. Shocking. I know.

After Mr FF and I discussed other cable options toward the end of our contract, I started to really push for cutting the cord, so to speak, and figuring out a better and cheaper option that would work for us.

Part 1: First Things First- Getting Free Channels

You should be able to get free local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and probably a few more channels you didn't even know existed). Since air waves are now digital, you must have an HD tv in order to not require a digital converter box. We didn't have that problem, so I won't go into any more detail about that.

After a few minutes we got a few channels, but the quality wasn't great. So I hustled over to Big Lots and picked up two antenna's.

One like this for about $10.

Basic Indoor Antenna

And one like this for about $15.
Flat Digital Antenna

Both work the same and I have the same channels on both tv's. It comes down to choice and price. 

Of course there are some other options, and this one had really great ratings on Amazon.

Mohu Leaf Paper Thin Antenna
These just screw into the cable outlet into the back of your tv and that's it.

After I plugged these in, the free digital channels came through crystal clear. In fact, they actually looked better than the premium HD channels I was paying a premium for through our satellite provider.

So you may be thinking, that's great for local channels, but what about if I miss my favorite show? What about children's programs? What about HGTV for the love of subway tile! Ahem. Maybe that was just me.

Read Part 2 HERE
Part 2: How to Stream to your TV.

I hope you'll continue reading to learn how we have not only cut our monthly cost, but also become happier in the process.


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  1. First, HOLY CUTE BLOG! Thank you so much for stopping over at because I'm not sure if I would've found you otherwise! Second, this post couldn't be any more perfect for me right now. I keep going back and forth what to do and once you teach me how to stream my TV, I might cut the cord.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! So glad you came over. I'm so glad we cut the cord, and I hope I can teach you how to do it too! It's been a great thing!

  2. Thanks for the tips. We want to cut the cable cord too but hubby needs his CNBC, which is live. If only there is a way to stream this then we can totally cut it off!


    1. Maybe there is a way! Hope you will tune in for the whole series! Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. we cut our satellite off several months ago. Best decision ever. I LOVE Gilmore Girls. I watch my DVDs all the time.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Sonja! I agree - Best Decision EVER! I haven't regretted it yet :)