Cut the Cord and Travel More
Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of millions of cables around the US being being cut. Cable TV is a colossal waste of money. It’s time to join the cord cutters and put that money to better use. The $60-100+ you throw away every month on cable could easily pay for a flight to almost anywhere in the world!
I haven’t had cable for four years and I’ve never looked back. In the past I had it all including premium content such as NFL Sunday Ticket, HBO, and Showtime. I was easily spending over a hundred dollars a month. We’ve cut the cord and you can too!
When Mrs. TT and I got hitched, that was the end of it. She didn’t even own a TV when we got married (no she’s not a serial killer). She simply values other things such as food and travel, instead of vegetating in front of a television. Now I’d be lying if I said we didn’t watch any TV. We still have Amazon Prime TV, Hulu, Netflix, and access to HBO Go. These alternatives don’t cost much and still give us more than enough programming to keep us entertained. Let’s cover the basics of these cord cutting alternatives.
Thrifty Tip: Even if you don’t want to cut the cord just yet, we recommend calling in to your cable company and telling them you want to cancel your service. They will likely offer you a reduced price not to quit. Works almost every time!
If you don’t have a Smart TV with apps for Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix, then get a Roku Streaming Player. The Roku will allow you to watch almost any streaming service. Think of it as your cable box replacement. It’s costs less than $45 and will work right out of the box. It’s the size of a USB memory stick and fits right into the HDMI port on your TV. It easily turns your dumb TV into a much smarter one.
Amazon Prime TV
Amazon Prime is a $99-per-year shipping discount service available for items sold on Amazon. Prime offers you unlimited 2-day shipping, and also offers a fantastic TV and Movie streaming service. Amazon recently launched Prime Stations, which is a music streaming service similar to Spotify. All of this is included in the $99 per year. We purchase so much on Amazon that the 2 day shipping service is worth $99 alone; all the other great services are just a bonus.
Amazon Prime has a decent selection of films, although it’s nowhere near as vast as Netflix’s offerings. More often than not, a film you find on Amazon Prime will also be on Netflix. Amazon is working on expanding its original programming. I recently watched The Man in High Castle, and was generally impressed. Amazon also recently won a Golden Globe for Mozart in the Jungle.
Hulu Plus is a TV streaming service which I have used for the past five years. Hulu is only $7.99 a month. A great feature of Hulu is their great app which allows you to watch on any device.
If you want to keep up with the newest network television shows including ABC, Fox, NBC, the CW, and others, then Hulu is what you’re looking for. Hulu is great for catching up on recent episodes of all your favorite TV shows, but it has a downside: advertising. However, advertising is minimal, at least compared to what you’ll see on network TV, but if that’s a turn-off, you can pay a little extra for the ad-free version. Both Amazon and Netflix are gloriously ad-free.
Although Hulu Plus doesn’t have a lot of movies, it does have access to the Criterion Collection, which is the great resource for classic award-winning movies including international picks. Hulu Plus is currently offering two free weeks through my link and you can cancel the service online if you’re not satisfied.
Netflix is a TV and movie streaming service which also costs $7.99 a month. We watch most of our programming through Netflix. It has the best original programming such as House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, and Making a Murderer. Netflix has the shows you won’t want to miss, and also the largest array of movies. If you choose only one streaming service then go with Netflix.
The biggest gripe I hear about cutting the cord is the lack of sports programming. I will admit even with an HD antenna you’ll still be missing out on ESPN and other sports networks. You can always go over to a friends place or watch at a local watering hole. You’ll make it! If you absolutely need to watch every sports event then take a look at SlingTV. It’s $20 a month and includes ESPN.
If you want to watch local HD programming the Mohu Leaf HD antenna is the way to go. It’s the best way to watch local programming without an obnoxious antenna. You attach it to the back of your TV and you’d never know it’s there. It’s the size of a sheet of paper and pulls in signals 30 miles away. It’s a great deal for under $40!
We love Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. All three services are very affordable at less than $10 per month for unlimited video streaming access. If you only go with one service I’d do Netflix, or you can do what most cord cutters do; go with all three services. With a total cost of around $24 per month, you’re spending significantly less than you would with cable or satellite. The best part is the content is on demand to watch when you want to. It’s time to cut the cord!