How To Lower Or Eliminate Your Cable Bill

by KNS Financial on February 21, 2011

Many people are still struggling to cope with their new economic reality after the most recent recession. One of the fastest and most effective ways to make a financial change is to lower your cable bill, or even eliminate it completely. 

Here are several options that you have to lower your cable bill

How to Cut Your Cable Bill

Get Rid of Unwanted Channels

Look at your bill and cut out all of the channels that you don’t need. It doesn’t make sense to pay for 800-1000 channels when you only watch about 6 or 7 regularly! Many times the company will try to force you to buy packages rather than individual channels; however, you may have some success with paying for only a few stations. 

Take Advantage of a Bundle

Most service providers offer more than one related service. You may be able to combine your cable service, Internet connection, land-line phone, and maybe even your cell phone into one bundled service. Sometimes you can find significant savings by going this route (but not always), so make a quick phone call to your various service providers to see if any of them offer bundles. 

Call and Ask for a Discount

Pretty much all cable companies offer various promotions and discounts. Usually these offers are extended to new customers, but not always. If you are a current customer, call up your cable company and ask them if they have any promotions available for existing subscribers. If not, ask to receive the promotion for new customers. 

If they say that they can’t, then threaten to cancel your service – you will quickly be transferred to their “customer retention department”, who will try their best to get your to stay. Normally, the first thing that they offer is the discount that you were told that you couldn’t receive. 

How to Eliminate Your Cable Bill

Cancel Your Service and Use Cable TV Alternatives

Were you expecting something a little more complex? This is by far the most effective way you eliminate your cable bill ;-)! However, this is usually the last choice for many facing serious financial trouble. Just cut your cable completely, and learn to find enjoyment out of other things in life. 

Since I know that many of us can’t imagine life without television, I list a few alternatives below. 


Netflix is a service that allows you to rent DVDs through the mail for a monthly fee. The way it works is that they mail you the movies that you wish to see, and you are allowed to keep them as long as you want – with no late fees – and once you return them, they will send you the next movies. You can repeat this cycle for as many times as you are able within the month. 

In addition to this unlimited DVD rental feature is the ability to watch movies either on your computer or on your TV (through the assistance of various devices and consoles). We pay about $10 per month and we are able to watch a huge selection of movies, documentaries, series, and TV shows on our television through our Wii. This is also possible using a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPad, iPhone, and even various Blu-ray players. 

Hulu Plus

If you like to follow television shows on a regular basis and don’t want to fall behind, Huluwill work for you better than Netflix. Hulu allows you to watch many of the currently running shows through your computer. Also, many of the same devices that can play Netflix offerings on your TV can handle Hulu as well. Hulu Plus costs $8 per month. 

Other Services

Netflix and Hulu Plus are probably the two most known options. However, there are a number of other options for you to watch movies and television shows without subscribing to an expensive cable plan. I will just list them here, providing links to their websites: 

*photo by Renjith Krishnan 

Reader Questions

  1. What have you done to cut or eliminate your cable bill?
  2. Do you have experience with any of these other options?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

We had decided the beginning of the year to cancel our cable. When I called the company to cancel they told me that we could suspend our account for up to 6 months. I decided to do this just to make sure we didn’t want it again. The benefit of this is that you are considered a customer yet and if you turn it back on you won’t be under contract. The company we are with will allow us to turn it off twice a year for a total of 6 months. This way if you don’t want to commit to completely cancelling you can at least save some of your bill throughout the year. We have been without cable for about a month and a half now and don’t really miss it, so we will be completely cancelling it soon.

Anonymous February 24, 2011 at 4:01 am

This is a great way to see if you can live without cable! We actually did this with Netflix for a few months. We were able to keep our queue and customer status even with the suspended account.

Suzanne February 27, 2011 at 12:57 am

We canceled our TV service in July, because we just flat out didn’t watch it enough to justify the costs. The shows we DO enjoy, we can still get on Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes (for the few shows we want to buy & watch again and again).

The best thing about canceling: no commercials tempting us to buy MORE than just the $100 / month TV bill — new cars, new gadgets, new furniture, etc. — just to be cool like everyone else, the proverbial Joneses. We’ve noticed our overall spending has dropped, because our exposure to advertising has dropped. So, it’s been a great decision for us!

The Prudent Planner February 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

There are a lot of shows online without paying for netflix and/or hulu. abc, cbs, fox and so on have full episodes online for free. I definetely encourage netfilx, it’s well worth the money. Also those high definition antennas that you can put ontop of your roof are a great way to get all the basic cables for free. Some of the newer models can pick up a lot of channels, much more than those “bunny ears” that people used to put on top of their tv in the old days.

Anonymous March 13, 2011 at 3:25 am

Avoiding the temptation from commercials is another benefit that isn’t often talked about!

Anonymous March 13, 2011 at 3:26 am

I remember the days of using the bunny ears and aluminum foil!

julie September 22, 2011 at 6:09 am

i have no tv service can’t aford it i us vcr tapes or dvd when i have an dvd player i get to watch my moves save money for other things i need far more than tv shows i never get to see but do miss out on the new shows but that is ok all my movies have to have cc on them so i till others u want me to have cable u pay the billing i don’t have the money i was also unlucky to get the free box that would just give me the main tv shows on tv with out cable  but i am on an low low income so alot i can’t aford  hard enough paying an ph billing for the house i can’t even hear on it for i can’t hear on reg ph’s any more so when they say ok we give you ph tv & inter net for one price i say ok but i can’t aford it am fighting to just pay the house ph i us if an emg would come up  for when u have no ele the inter net the tv or the ph will be of no us i think fill if they would lower it for the ones over 62 yrs old they would have more people buying it or go by there income i get $674.00 an month not much to live on but i do the best i can with what i can & do have so sorry i can’t us the tv cable or internet billing u all offer my taxes is high so have to save money to pay them so i know loss my home  so good luck for u all who can pay cable tv & internet service  enjoy what u can while u can cell ph’s i can’t here at all even on the pay as u go so it makes it harder at times so i till them come see me

Dave October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I canceled my cable completely, saving me $1,500 per year, which is awesome.  What is even better is I didn’t even lose out on TV; I actually have more show options now than I did before.  That’s really the beauty of the internet!  I’ll never go back and I have this site to thank:

It works, but don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.  They even have a guarantee.

Anyways, there are good tips in this article.

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