Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How We Save On Our Cable Bill

Netflix Standard Display Offer 728x90A couple of months ago (back when we first got on this track of saving money), I called up our cable company (Comcast) and just asked if there was anything they could do to lower our bill.  First off, we took off the movie channels.  We'd subscribed to them on a special deal for only $5 a month and that deal was about to run out anyway.  But, we realized that since we'd added those channels we didn't really use them.  We watched one show on HBO (True Blood) and that was it.  For the price we were paying each year for the movie channels (even at the discounted rate) we could buy each new season of True Blood on DVD.

We really didn't watch movies on the movie channels because we already had Netflix and we were used to using that as our movie option.  We have it set up to be able to watch streaming movies instantly via our Tivo and our Wii (or on any computer in the house).  So, the movie channels were just overkill.

Talking to the rep from Comcast he did find a current promo that was running that cut our cable bill in half.  What I found out was that any deal they are currently offering for "new subscribers" they will also give to current subscribers - IF YOU ASK for it!  So, I put a reminder in my phone to call back in a few months and ask what new deals are running that we can get in on.

I've been an avid fan of Netflix since the early days, I think I signed up in like 2003, way back before they had any competition and before they offered streaming movies.  I've always loved the conveinence of having the movies come right to my house.  You just set up a "wishlist" of movies and put the movies you most want to see at the top and then each time you send a movie back they send you the next one on the list.  They send the movies to you in the same envelope that you use to return it (you don't pay any extra postage fees on top of your membership fee).  It usually takes about 3 days for them to get the movie you sent back and for you to get the next one on your list.

Back before the days of streaming movies, I had an account that allowed me to have 3 movies at home at one time.  I think it cost about $20/month.  Now that they offer the streaming movies, I just have 1 DVD at home at a time and I can watch unlimited movies via streaming for about $9/month.  You really can't beat that deal; especially when you consider there are no extra costs involved.  I've kept a DVD for four months before and still no extra costs (any other service I'd have ended up buying that movie three times or more).

If you've considered Netflix in the past, or you just think you might want to give it a try, they offer a 1 Month Free Trial, so you have plenty of time to decide if it's for you or not.  I've talked to many people who have completely cancelled cable in favor of Netflix because there is just so much available on their instant streaming.  No, they don't have every single new release on their instant streaming (but that's why you get the DVD option, as well).  There are, however, tons of television series, movies, kids shows/ movies, exercise videos and much more available through streaming.  Heck, there's so much on streaming that I keep my streaming queue full constantly despite watching movies.  If you are interested, you can click here to sign up for your FREE Trial and see what you think.  If you are already a Netflix user, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

FWIW, I've got streaming set up on a Tivo, Wii and a Wifi enabled DVD player. I like the Wii options the best.  It's also available on the other major gaming systems, but I haven't tried it on those.


  1. We had the 3-at-a-time DVD's as well, since forever. They were about $16.99/month, but were going up right after the new year this year to $19.99/month. We realized we were no longer fully utilizing the 3 discs, so we dropped down to 1-at-a-time with the streaming, and we love it. We stream on our computers, our Wii, and our Roku box that we'd bought before we had the Wii. When we went on vacation in '09, we rented a cabin that had a high-speed internet modem. We packed our wireless router and our Roku box, and we were able to stream movies and shows while we were there, as well as being able to use our laptops wireless. All without paying extra for a cabin that had wireless installed!

    I can't say enough good about Netflix. We only have basic-cable channels, no movie channels. Between Netflix and the free-rental codes for Redbox (we don't have Blockbuster kiosks in our area or we'd use those codes too!) we don't need any movie channels.

  2. I think I'm going to give Comcast a call and ask them... I remember when our free fast internet trial was up, I called to remove it because I didn't want to pay the extra $10 a month. Then I realised the internet was too slow so I called to add it on and was willing to pay the $10 a month. When I called I was told I could get it free for a year! Lucky I didn't start paying that $10!

  3. We have been using Netflix for about 6 months. We have the 1 DVD at a time and we stream through our Wii. We like it so much and so many shows are offered free online, that we are seriously considering ditching cable all together (at least while the NFL is in the offseason!). I have recommended netflix to TONS of people! It is awesome, no commercials, no junk I don't want to watch!

  4. So I called Comcast and come to find out that we were on a special and our bill is going up by $35 a month on the 1st of March. Ugh!

  5. Peta - call em back at the first of March and ask if there are any new promos they can give you (then keep calling every week until there is one).

  6. I most certainly will... just annoying that I called to pay less and will actually be paying more! lol.