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Addicted to TV? Here are 5 Cheap Alternatives to Cable

Last summer I finally cut the cord and quit paying for cable.

Ok, technically I had satellite TV, not actually cable. That’s because satellite TV is actually cheaper in my community than cable. Yep! And it has more channels, which may or may not be a good thing. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Anyway. I cut the cord, but I didn’t cut my dependence on some of my favorite shows.

I don’t want a lot of TV, but there were certain shows I really, REALLY, wanted to watch each week.

If you are in the same boat, here are 5 cheap alternatives to cable that you can use to feed your TV addiction.

Use Your Family and Friends

Although I’d generally consider myself a “nice” person, I’m totally not above using my friends and family who are still dumb crazy enough to pay for a monthly TV service (cable or satellite). At least I can help them get more use out of their monthly subscription by coming over every week to watch my favorite shows. 🙂


Netflix is like my life-saver for watching cancelled TV shows and movies. The only truly unfortunate part about Netflix is that they don’t have access to current seasons of TV shows that are currently airing on cable. This is why I also subscribe to Hulu.


To me, the combination of both Hulu and Netflix is perfect. As mentioned, Netflix has a big database of old TV shows and movies. Hulu, on the other hand, has access to current seasons of many shows on TV. They generally air the new episodes the day after they appear on cable, so you don’t have to wait too long to watch new episodes of your favorite shows when you have Hulu. Just avoid hanging out with friends who have cable so they don’t spoil it for you before you can get home to watch it after work.

The other thing I don’t love about Hulu is that there are still commercials even though you pay for their service. Of course you can pay almost double to skip the commercials, but what cheap a$$ wants to do that?

TV Network Websites

Many TV networks have websites where you can watch their content for free the day after it airs on cable. If your “must watch” TV shows are carried by these networks, then you can skip the Hulu subscription and save about $8/month. You just have to make sure you stay relatively “caught up” on your TV shows as many network websites will only have the new episode of the week available for streaming for a few days.

But, more and more of these websites are requiring you to login with your cable subscriber information, which means you won’t be able to cut the cord and still use these sites to watch your shows.

Amazon Instant Video

If you are a TV addict and an Amazon addict, you can’t go wrong with an annual subscription to Amazon Prime. A Prime membership will result in you getting free shipping on tons of products on Amazon, plus you’ll have access to Amazon Instant Video’s streaming service. This is a cheaper option compared to Netflix, but it has a lot less selection.

There you have it. 5 alternatives to paying an outrageous amount for cable (or satellite) TV that still allow you to feed your TV addiction.

Are you addicted to TV? Any show in particular? How do you get around paying for an expensive monthly TV subscription?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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