It’s officially been two years since we dropped Dish. I gotta say, I don’t miss it.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate waiting for Netflix to get the latest seasons of most cable programs. There was a year-and-a-half gap between the second and third seasons of Lost Girl posting on Netflix for cryin’ out loud! There’s also a long wait on a few other shows we like: White Collar, Being Human, etc.
But Hulu covers most of the shows we like. The one glaring exception is The Big Bang Theory, which isn’t even available on Netflix streaming. (I’m guessing that the show is so popular the system would crash.) But after two or three months, it became the norm. We barely miss it.
Plus, we can always rent the DVDs if it really becomes an issue.
And for this very slight inconvenience? We’ve saved $1,754.89. That’s not abstract, by the way. It’s the actual amount our accounts have grown, thanks to saved savings.
Hulu has also helped us find programming. I never would have started The Mindy Project, Galavant or quite a few other shows. Nor would we have created our favorite drinking game.
It’s also been a good reminder of a favorite frugality subject: needs vs. wants. We knew we didn’t need cable, but we thought losing it — even for Hulu/Amazon Prime — would be painful. Turns out, not so much.
And it’s helped us put away a substantial amount each month into savings.
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But back to the subject at hand: Doing the savings math made me realize that I’ve gotten complacent about a great many things.
I need to stop avoiding change because I think it’ll be painful. Instead, I need to at least research the option before dismissing it. And I need to look at things from new angles to see if there are options I haven’t even seen yet.
I’m still convinced that regular cooking just isn’t a sustainable option for us. Whenever I tried, I’d lapse, then start getting very down on myself and, therefore, less functional overall.
Instead, I asked my mother-in-law if she’d be willing to cook a little more of any non-red meat dishes. She was happy to oblige and turned down my offer of extra grocery money. I told her to let me know if it becomes a strain on groceries.
Not only will I be saving money, I’ll be eating healthier. Which is important because, despite cutting out candy, I haven’t lost any weight.
I also need to find a more affordable alternative to Vonage. We’re paying $36 a month for what amounts to very few calls. Nadine and Marc actually use the phone more than we do.
It’s especially silly to keep this up because they have a low-cost cell plan with unlimited minutes. Unfortunately, the cell phones we’ve tried in the main house get terrible reception, so that’s not an option.
You guys mainly poo-pooed Magic Jack. So I’m thinking of investigating Ooma next. If anyone has experience with that, please weigh in.
Update: We switched to Ooma and we love it — especially for less than $5 a month!
There are probably plenty of others to reexamine. The important thing is to periodically review expenses. I’m not going to go on a “question everything” streal like J. Money. Given all the other things we’ve got going on, that’s just not feasible. But I can try taking one thing at a time to see where we can trim costs.
Have you guys cut the cord? Do you miss it? Have you started reviewing your expenses to see where you can cut costs a bit?