It feels like we’ve only had Hulu for a couple of years, but apparently it’s been almost five. Even my last post on how much we’ve saved was more than two years ago.
So I figured it was time to revisit the subject — especially now that people can cut the cord but still keep their favorite cable channels!
We were so naive
For years we thought that cable was our one justified expense. We’re home all day every day, and our health issues mean we stay in a lot.
But we started rethinking this rationalization around the time our Dish bill jumped to $100. Especially because Tim had been increasingly complaining that, despite all the channels, there was still nothing to watch during the day.
Initially I was skeptical that Hulu would be sufficient. But at $100 a month, cable/satellite needed to go.
Doing my research
I checked Hulu and was surprised by how much was actually on there. In fact, there was so much on there that I had trouble figuring out what was missing.
That’s why I always tell people to make a list of everything they watch regularly. Then you can check off the shows that are on Hulu and get a better sense of what, if anything, you’d be giving up.
Thanks to the combination of Netflix (which we already had) and Hulu, we were only losing two shows. Granted, I don’t love waiting til the end of the year for certain shows to come onto Netflix. But lately we’ve been falling behind on even the ones that we have access to weekly. So Netflix’s wait really isn’t that big a deal. (Besides, we enjoy being able to binge-watch shows.)
Another surprisingly good way to supplement your entertainment is YouTube. It’s not all cat videos and crotch shots. In fact, it’s got some great channels explaining science, others explaining random facts (I now know why fire hydrants are different colors and where the term “pleased as punch” comes from), some hilarious comedy channels and even news.
We also use the Comedy Central and CW apps to keep up with The Daily Show and our various superhero shows.
All in all, we don’t miss cable and we definitely don’t miss the bill. In fact, that lower cost — and the fact that we save our savings — means that just over $4,600 has gone into our savings account in the last five years.
The most common reason I hear for not cutting the cord (besides simple misconceptions about streaming services) is that the person would miss ESPN, HBO or some other specialty channel too much.
That’s not an argument anymore.
Most, if not all, people know that you can now get HBO and Showtime without a cable/satellite subscription. But not everyone knows just how wide SlingTV’s offerings are now.
Besides ESPN 1, ESPN 2, etc., SlingTV now offers whole channels devoted to a single sport, like the NFL Network. I imagine that has to go a long way toward replacing a season pass that you’d get through a cable or satellite subscription.
Meanwhile, the company also offers most people’s favorite cable channels: AMC, TBS, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, etc. Packages start at just $20 a month. Specialty packages — five kids channels, six lifestyle channels or 13 sports channels — can be added for small charges. Specifically, sports is $10 and most of the rest appear to be $5.
I’m sure some people will still find a reason to keep cable (maybe even a valid one), but most folks really have no excuse to not cut the cord.
Now is probably the best time of the year to look into cord-cutting.
Black Friday is coming up and will bring appreciable markdowns on streaming devices. (And you can buy those devices through cash back sites for extra savings.)
Meanwhile, Swagbucks is once again offering a 2,250 SB for trying Hulu. That’s enough SB for a $25 gift card. So even if you don’t end up keeping Hulu, you’ve essentially made a $17 profit.
It’s hard to argue with that.
Are you still holding on to cable? If so, what keeps you there?