The Cost of Watching Television

Big Kid 26

photo by JayGirlsMom

Imagine cutting one of your regular bills by 3/4. That's what frugaldad --a money and parenting blogger I really dig--did.  The bill in question happened to be cable. He went from spending $46/per month to $12. In January of 2008 he and his family decided to make the sacrifice of going from expanded cable with premium channels to a basic cable package for whole year.

He writes: We survived that year without expanded cable service, and only missed the channels a few times. In fact, as the year wore on we hardly missed those channels at all. We all made sacrifices.  My wife gave up TLC and some of her favorite shows (Jon and Kate Plus 8, Little People, Big World, etc.).  My kids gave up the Disney Channel, the Cartoon Network, etc. I survived (barely) an entire college football season without ESPN, and a highly-charged presidential election without cable news.

What I love most that frugaldad discovered during the year that his family lived on basic cable, was that they had more quality family time together--and they appreciated the channels they did have. For example, he watched PBS for the first time since childhood--and what do you know? They had a few shows on there he really liked!

Do you have premium cable channels? Would getting rid of them be worth the savings?


recession guide

26 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

proud... proud2Bmomma

I personally could get rid of the television completely.  I hate it.  Not because of what is on it but because of what it stops us from doing together as a family.  My husband watches A LOT of television.  He would never consider scaling down.  While I would like to put a sledge hammer through it.

WillDoDa WillDoDa

I am a lot like proud2bmomma. I have gotten somewhat used to it and even given in a bit to the boob tube, but I wouldn't hesitate to cut down on our package dramatically.


My husband on the other hand is a TV addict and always has been.

bookw... bookworm65

We have no cable & I sure don't miss it. I save $56.00 a month! Besides if I really want to watch something I just watch it on my computer!


im pflag

RanaA... RanaAurora

I did 4 years watching fuzzy broadcast TV with rabbit ears.  Unless we're strapped, I'm not going back to it.


The neighborhood I live in has two options: rabbit ears or satellite.  We have no cable services.  Even the cheaper satellite plans are pretty decent, so it's not really a big deal.

ldyla... ldylancer03

I cant imagine going back to no tv...Well i mean i guess i could do it but right before i had my son we didnt have cable due to no money or i mean spending money on things that we actually needed. Now we have alot more on our tv than some people do i think and i love it. We have the first package that has digital cable on it so we can have our DVR and i tell you i know i cant live without that thing. We had to the first 6mths we lived here cause the company hadnt gotten it set up yet and it was hard. I love that i can watch one of my shows whenever...and the best part is that there is always something on tv on saturdays now lol....i wouldnt give it up if i didnt have to.

LaNet... LaNette000

It aggravates me to no end having to pay $40 a month just to watch my local channels, 4 in all. I like to know what's happening with the weather, since we live in a tornado zone. Really sux, I need that $40 for food or other things like toilet paper and laundry detergent.  I think it's a rip off, because I hardly ever turn on the tv to watch shows, and when I do turn it on, there's not much worth watching.

Alyso... Alyson121

Actually right now we don't even have cable.  So are t.v. isn't on, except when we watch dvd's. 

SanDi... SanDiegoMaxMom

We stopped buying cable in 2003...My husband figures that we've saved over $5000 since we gave up cable tv.  Think about it....$5000!  Our phone co and the internet co keep offering bundles, but we're better off without it.

rona503 rona503

I'm with you bookworm65 if i want to watch somthing I do it right here on the comp.

i_luv... i_luv_my_baby

No, I won't give up Sprout.  Noddy and Thomas are the only things that get me some free time!

1-10 of 26 comments 123 Last
F