We haven't had cable or satellite TV service since we moved to the farm almost 2 years ago. Brian had satellite at the old house and when we moved we called and "suspended" it. The company offered to install it at the farm for us but we moved in the midst of harvest season and knew we'd be way too busy to watch much TV. As we approach another fall we both agree that life without a TV bill is totally doable.
The Digital transition really threw a wrench in things. We used to get 5, 12, 19, 25, 28, 46, and 66. After the digital transition we get only half of those plus their "extra" channels (19 now has 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4, often all with separate programming). We can still get most channels but we have to adjust the antenna constantly depending on what we want.
We've developed a few strategies that help us deal with the "welfare TV only" lifestyle.
First, we subscribe to Netflix during the winter months when we aren't busy and are stuck in the house the most. We do the 2 at a time plan for $14.83 per month. Wayyy cheaper than cable. We keep a notebook in the living room and when we see previews that we like we jot down movies. That way we keep a good list going in Netflix and see all the "new releases" when they come out to rent. I've been very happy with Netflix service. If I put a DVD in the mail on Wednesday we have a new movie on Friday so we have new movies at least every weekend. Plus they have a lot of movies available instantly over the computer. They even offer a lot of hard to find, interesting documentaries. When farm work picked up again this spring I called and canceled our account. They will save our list so we can pick up where we left off as soon as I call them back.
The other lifesaver is our computer. We have a wireless router so the computer often sits here with me while I knit or can. Here are some of my favorite websites to watch "TV" on:
-The major television network websites are the most reliable and have most of the current shows available. I have had excellent luck with ABC.com and they are very good about adding the newest episodes right away.
-Try some of the cable channel websites too. I've been playing around on TLC.com lately. I really enjoy 18 Kids and Counting and Jon & Kate Plus 8 (does anyone else follow them, BTW? I'm a big fan and am so sad that their marriage is suffering!). The shows tend to take awhile to load and pause a lot but there is good content there if you can connect. They have a lot of educational type things too not just reality TV drama.
-Here's a new favorite: Hulu.com. You can watch a ton of The Dave Ramsey Show on there. Right now I have that running in another tab since it is mostly a talk show anyway. I highly recommend it.
I'm not so much encouraging you to get high tech or spend all your time on the computer. However, if you spend as many hours as I do sitting or standing doing one continuous job it is sometimes nice to have something else going on.
Enjoy!! Just think - if you're spending $45 a month on TV you could pay a different bill with that or sock it to your debt...
Any other ideas for cutting bills or living without paid TV?
What started as a blog about the happenings here on our Centennial Farm has now evolved in to a little more personal account of things from my point of view as a new farm(er's) wife. Stick around for awhile and hopefully you'll learn a little about everything from industrial and sustainable farming to raising livestock to being green and maybe even catch a good recipe or two. Enjoy!
We're on our way out of debt and on to greener pastures...