Fiscal Cliff Survival Guide – Can You Replace Your Cable? {I Saved $881 a year}

Today for our “Fiscal Cliff” plan of things YOU can do to save some money this week. Last week I talked a little about overlapping plans for cable and other services, and about getting a discount on your current car/home insurance and other plans.

Let’s talk about cable. How much do you pay a month and how many channels do you really watch? We have/had cable and watch about the same 4 channels all the time, but PAY for over 100. Can I get those same channels for cheaper or only pay for those that I watch? Cable was about $80 a month. The same price as Amazon Prime for the year.

Costs per year: 

  • Cable  – $960
  • Amazon Prime – $79
  • Netflix – $95.88
  • Hulu Plus – $95.88
By dropping cable and using Amazon Prime I saved $881 dollars a year. We are adding Hulu Plus ($95.88 for the year) so that my husband can watch ESPN. He will get the games the next day and can live with that. On Amazon Prime, you have to wait until the season is over, which is no fun. :)

::Video Streaming ::






Amazon Prime – Cost $79 per year. When you have Amazon Prime, you can get thousands of movies, TV shows and series instantly on your TV and computer. This is at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Get a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime HERE.

Amazon Instant Video streams movies and TV shows directly to your TV over the internet. You can shop and watch over 90,000 movies and TV shows instantly on your TV with Amazon Instant Video.

The easiest way to watch Amazon Instant Video on your TV is to use one of the many compatible TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes (see compatible devices). If you have a compatible device then all you need to do is connect it to the internet and register your account. Need more info, go HERE.






Netflix – For $7.99 a month, instantly watch unlimited movies & TV episodes streaming over the Internet to your TV via a PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 or any other device that streams from Netflix. You can also watch instantly on your computer too. Get 30 Day free trial HERE.

hulu PLUS – Hulu Plus™ lets you watch hit current and back season TV shows and acclaimed movies anytime in HD for $7.99/month with limited advertising. For many popular shows on our service, Hulu Plus offers every episode of the current season, not just a handful of recent episodes. Hulu Plus subscribers also have access to back seasons and full runs of some of TV’s greatest shows, including many that were not available online before.

Even better, you can watch Hulu Plus content in HD (when available) on multiple devices, including your laptop, the Apple iPad and iPhone, PlayStation® 3, Roku, and TVs and Blu-ray players from Sony, Samsung and Vizio. (More devices are coming soon.)

You can sign up for a 1-week free trial HERE, or you can also find a sampling of select Hulu Plus content using our free downloadable app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and other supported devices.

What OTHER programs have you used to replace cable?

* This is the Mohu Leaf Thin Digital Antenna that we have used and friends as well!


  1. amanda says

    i would gladly drop our cable! I could do with out the channels I watch(on the rare occasion I actually get to) and would be ok with the kids loosing some cartoon channels as well. Problem is the sports. My husband has to have the sports channels and won’t wait until next day to watch. He HAS to watch in real time. *sigh* is there anyway for him to have all of his sports channels AND cut our bill at he same time?

    • John says

      Most sports channels offer an online service and you can usually watch them through your tv using Roku or a video game system.

  2. Stephanie says

    I am so glad to see this post. My husband & I were just talking about looking into alternatives to our Dish. We only have 2 TVs and pay$100+ per month. A lot of what we watch is prerecorded anyway. The sports will definitely be a discussion point for him. . .

    • Megan says

      I am the sports fan in my house. (Hubby could care less). I’ve gotten used to it, but it took a good while. Thought I’d throw this out this idea for those “can’t miss games.” I call friends and family members who fans of that sport/team (who have TV) and see if they are planning on watching the game. If they say it’s fine to come over, I offer to bring a dish or snacks to share. Baring in mind any dietary restrictions, I try to use items from my stockpile and what is on sale that week. Usually works out pretty well.

  3. Megan says

    We use Hulu Plus and Netflix with the 1 DVD at a time option. We have the apps for both on the Kindle Fire, the iPod Touch, and the Wii we own. I love being able to have my queue.

    I have found that while I don’t miss cable overall, I do miss BBC America and live sports.

  4. Anna says

    My husband dropped DISH and got Amazon Prime without telling me! I was not a big TV watcher anyway, but the Texans were on their run and I got really annoyed that I wasn’t going to get to watch their games on TV anymore. To make up, he researched and got this “antenna” that doesn’t look like the traditional rabbit ears but rather looks like a laminated piece of cardboard that works with the newer tv’s (sorry, I don’t remember the actual technical term). It costs less than $50. With this antenna we can still watch the local tv channels which is where the major sports events are played. I may not get to watch the games leading to the big match-ups, but at least I’ll get to watch the ones that really matter. :-)

  5. Heather says

    Tiffany- where is ESPN on HULU? We have had it for months and I haven’t seen any programming of theirs….my husband would be ecstatic if I could tell him where to look.

    • Tiffany says

      I am not sure at this point! :) I have been messing with it all day. I am at a loss as far as what to do for live sports. I think there is not a win win

  6. lisa says

    We ditched the dish and it was one of the greatest financial decisions we have made during the bad construction economy. We stream Hulu and Netflix over a Roku and a Playstation and are quite happy. Everyone in the house has found shows they love to watch. For all my friends that are whining over not having any money and having a hard time paying their mortgage, I say your priorities are wrong. 150.00 a month for a dish or cable is ridiculas. We will be paying our home off 12 years earlier by getting rid of the dish and our fancy cell phones. Retirement looks promising.

  7. says

    My husband and i learned about an opportunity to get paid ie make money on paying our bills. We get paid to pay our bills, yes that is right. We are independent business owners that broker for major service companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Direct tv, Dish, Comcast, Zoom and planet energy, ADT. We provide services to any household or commercial business accounts, we do the advertising and pass along the savings. We are recession proof! So when we watch our tv, we are getting paid, when i talk on my phone, im getting paid. So the money we make with these services we can pay our bill..its a win win in our book! I have followed this website for years and love it, especially cause you guys are locals and can give the best deals! That is my fiscal plan…..

  8. Lea says

    Just out of curiosity, how was your internet rate affected when you dropped cable? We had a TV/internet bundle for years at a super low rate (the TV portion was local channels only, no cable) and about 6 months ago they hiked the rate up – we were paying DOUBLE! Many phone calls later and they were not willing to budge so I dropped the TV portion and we bought an HD antennea at a thrift store for $5 and get all the same channels (in better quality!). Somehow our bill for just internet is the same :( Comcast are blood suckers apparently. We were gifted a 1-year subscription to Netflix and Amazon Prime for Christmas so downgrading our internet speed seems silly when we’ll need it to stream.

    • Tiffany says

      THat is something you have to watch out for, for sure. They might not let you out of your contract either. We were able to drop the cable and still keep the same rate for internet. But I have heard that some can’t since everything is bundled now days.

    • says

      most bundles are put out there so you think you are saving money, its usually cheaper to not bundle and use different companies for different services …basically creating your own package. Double check the contract thing-Comcast has a sneaky way of making you believe you are under contract but really are not so give them a call. Also changing every 6 months to a year (really simple) will save some money and usually companies offer incentives to switch – mine does

    • Jerusha says

      Check for competitor internet services in your area.
      My husband found Charter and we got the DSL internet from them and we get faster speeds for better rate vs cable or AT&T. We did have to upgrade our modem and wifi router, but definately worth it.

  9. says

    We pay out the nose for our internet/cable bundle $156. We are using Uverse through AT&T and have a contract. Not sure cost to cancel it but love and use Netflix more than the cable part. What does everyone pay for internet service seperate? Just wondering if it would be worth it.

    • Junebug says

      I personally pay 29.99 a month for upgraded internet, we run a business that requires internet access 24/7. We use Verizon;make sure to purchase your own router, they like to try to get you to rent a router for 2.99 a month, it is cheaper over a year to purchase one yourself.

      Another tip, if Verizon internet ever goes out, call them with the days that it was off, and they will give some credit towards your bill.

  10. Elizabeth says

    We dropped cable years ago and haven’t looked back :) We do not watch sports. We do have shows that we like but we’ve had to be patient until they come on netflix or Amazon. The Amazon prime account pays for itself with just the shipping and kindle lending library. The only thing I hate about hulu plus is that even though it’s a paid service they still have ads. By the way, I’ve heard that you can still get tv through an antenna :) Even though people swear you can’t. And if you call up the cable company and ask them about the “poor mans package” sometimes you can get the super cheap basic plan. And the library has become an awesome resource for shows. We dropped hulu during the summer because most of the shows are on break.

  11. Lindsay says

    About every other year we quit our cable company and go without cable. The only drawback was not being able to record so if we really wanted to watch someone we would have to make sure we were home. BUT then we just got used to cable and missed out on a lot of shows and in the end it just didn’t matter anymore. So we ended up saving a bunch of money and getting some good family time. We just signed up again with cable b/c Uverse came out to our neighborhood. Those first few days of cable are similar to a kid being unsupervised in a candy store! After this year we will need to check into Hulu and Netflix. Thanks!

  12. nikki e says

    Our internet is a bundle with our cable, and u have to have that for these alternative services. I think the internet cost should be considered in figuring these savings. We don’t want to be without our dvr, HD or live sports, so until we can figure around that, I guess we will just keep paying out the wazoo.

  13. Jlsw says

    We’ve never had cable! We have a digital antennae, TiVo for DVR (about $15/month or less), and Netflix streaming. We always have plenty to watch, and there are a ton of kids shows on Netflix. We don’t have a lot of Internet options out here in the woods, but AT&T offers Internet only packages for about $20/month, which is what we have.

  14. Barbara says

    We just dropped cable last month, I wasn’t sure if we could do it, but I am so glad we did. We have Apple TV which only costs $99 I bought this for the hubby last Christmas so he could watch all his movies from his iTunes well it has Netflix Hulu plus and podcast and so much more, and for sports fans espn,,nba,which you pay a minimal fee but we are not sports fans and get all the games.We also get you tube. I honestly never knew how much you can get with all these stations I will watch cooking podcasts the kids watch baby Einstein and I don’t have to buy those expensive DVDs. I have really loved not having that cable bill and with kids we didn’t have time to watch TV in the first place. It is also so easy to search for a movie and we love it. Since the kiddos are both under 2 they don’t have must have shows but these channels get so much and the shows are older like from the 80s it’s kind of cool to watch my old shows like he man and the original Care Bears. I just wanted to say for those who don’t think they can do you would be surprised just how much is out there. Oh also Apple TV has radio our family can listen to music from all around the world, it’s so cool. Anyway hope this helps someone.

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