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A Few Ways To Save On Your Cable Bill Without Cutting The Cord Consider The Consumer

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A Few Ways To Save On Your Cable Bill Without Cutting The Cord

If you’ve considered cutting the cord instead of paying for cable service every month, or even just exploring a cheaper options, you should start by reviewing exactly what it is you’re paying for now. Here are a few ways to save on your cable bill.

Consumer Reports states that you’re likely to find that cable-TV pricing can be complicated. Prices generally vary by location, there are lots of opaque fees, and promotional pricing keeps changing. But you can take control of your bills by building a customized collection of entertainment services.

Here are four sample scenarios to give you ideas for your own plan. And read “Take Control of Cable TV!” for a step-by-step guide to getting everything you need at a lower price.

Cable Bill Before Cord Cutting

Let’s say you have a fairly typical bundle of three services from your cable company: TV, internet, and digital phone. Here’s what the bill might look like. It’s based on an actual bill from a consumer in Connecticut, rounded to whole-dollar amounts.

  • TV   $92
  • Internet   $55
  • Phone   $20
  • Broadcast TV Surcharge   $9

  • TOTAL COST    $176

Note: Sample bill excludes taxes, which vary by state. TV price is for a midtier plan with 175 channels including HBO and Showtime, plus a digital receiver. Internet price is for standard broadband.

Monthly Costs After Cord Cutting

Now let’s get rid of cable-TV service—and the associated fees. That saves $101 per month. But you still want to watch movies and TV shows, right? And streaming services cost money, too. Your new TV-viewing budget can vary a lot depending on what choices you make. For some options, you’ll need to buy an antenna to get free over-the-air broadcast TV signals. In our recent indoor antenna test, models ranged from $10 to $80. But then there are no recurring monthly charges.


Live in a spot where an antenna works well? Have a library card that entitles you to a Kanopy account? If you can do without cable channels, TV viewing can be cost-free.

  • Antenna   $0
  • Sony Crackle   $0
  • Kanopy   $0
  • Internet   $55
  • Phone   $20

  • TOTAL COST    $75

This plan uses an antenna for broadcast channels. Netflix delivers older movies and original series (“The Crown”). And you can rent two new releases from FandangoNow.

  • Antenna   $0
  • FandangoNow (2 movies)   $12
  • Netflix    $11
  • Internet   $55
  • Phone   $20

  • TOTAL COST    $98

Sling TV Blue gives you about 45 cable and broadcast channels. Add two options, such as HBO and Spanish-language programming, and you still cut $56 from our sample bill.

  • Sling TV Blue$25
  • HBO (Sling add-on)$15
  • Best of Spanish TV (Sling add-on)$5
  • Internet$55
  • Phone$20

  • TOTAL COST$120

There are now several cable-style streaming services to choose from. Many now combine local broadcast channels with networks, such as AMC, CNN, and HGTV, that used to be available only in traditional pay-TV packages. Note that internet and phone service may rise in price when you cut TV from a triple-play bundle, though some consumers report no increase.


Saving money isn’t the only reason to cut the cord. It also helps you customize your viewing. A mix of streaming series can give you the kind of content you like most.

  • Amazon Prime  $10
  • DirecTV Now Go Big package   $60
  • HBO (DirecTV add-on)  $5
  • Filmstruck with Criterion  $11
  • Netflix  $11
  • Internet  $55
  • Phone  $20

  • TOTAL COST$172

Are you interested in saving some cash next time you pay your cable bill? Let us know if any of these suggestions work for you! Send an email to, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from all of you.

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