With the cost of everything rising, more people are looking to cut costs where they can. CableTV.com has put together a handy guide with 10 ways you can lower your cable and streaming TV bills. Let’s take a look, with a few extra suggestions of our own!
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Some of the obvious choices include doing your research, bundling your services, shopping around and choosing annual subscriptions.
1. Due diligence
CableTV.com recommends first and foremost that you do some planning before signing up with specific cable TV providers or streaming services. Set a budget, make a list of channels or shows you want to watch, look for deals or promotions, and research the various options available in your area. And most of all, stick to your budget and don’t let providers talk you into additional services you don’t need or will take you over your budget.
2. Second-year price hikes
Many providers offer contracts, mostly in the two-year range. The enticement here is that the first year is often discounted but you will pay more in the second year. Not all companies do this, but it is something you need to watch out for. If they do, simply add the first- and second-year price together then divide by two to calculate the real cost per month.
3. Basic cable TV plan
As a general rule, basic cable TV plans do not offer great value. In fact, you can get an over-the-air TV antenna which will get you most of the same channels for free, and for a one time cost which is similar to what you’d be paying monthly for basic cable TV.
4. Shop around
While many providers used to offer bundling discounts, with the popularity of streaming services, most are offering à la carte TV and internet plans. If they do bundle, and it is a better deal than getting your internet from one provider and cable TV from another, go for it. If not, even though a single bill is more convenient, you can save money by getting your services from different companies. You can also ditch cable TV entirely and just use streaming services for your entertainment needs.
5. Bundle streaming servies
Streaming services are the new cable TV, with many different options, most offering different content. However, in some cases, you can bunde these directly through the streaming services like Disney, AMC+, or SHOWTIME/Paramount+ and, sometimes, your internet provider. Some cable TV providers even offer the option to choose a streaming service as one of your “TV” packages.
6. Annual subscriptions
Annual subscriptions are generally cheaper per month as opposed to paying monthly. While you do save money over the course of a year, you often have to pay up front for the year, which is a bigger up front cost.
7. Use your subscriptions
If you do choose an annual subscription, make sure you actually use whatever services you subscribed to. If you don’t, you’re just wasting money. If you are paying monthly, asses what shows you want to watch every month and cancel any services that aren’t going to be worth the cost that month. With most streaming service, their original content remains on the service so you can always catch up later when you ditch another streaming service for a month or two.
8. Free trials
Many streaming services offer free trials. If there’s only one or two shows you want to watch, pick a time you can binge them and watch during a 7- or 30-day free trial period. It’s also a great way to decide if you like the streaming service and the content they offer.
9. Free streaming TV
There are plenty of free streaming TV services with on-demand and live channel content. The caveat here is that most are ad-supported, but that really doesn’t make them different than paid cable TV services. Some we recommend here at Techaeris are Plex and Tubi.
Trust me, you’re not bound to your cable provider or their prices once your contract is up. Most times, you can negotiate a better deal than their posted rates, especially if you are a long time customer. If not, asking to speak to customer retention or threatening to leave for another provider may be the route to discounted services.
What do you think about these 10 ways to lower your cable and streaming TV bills? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.
Last Updated on May 8, 2022.